Category Archives: Tower of London

Perilous and Paranormal: London at Halloween

The days are getting shorter, the mornings are getting colder and the trees are getting barer. Fall has arrived, bringing the onset of Halloween with it, and there are plenty of attractions around the UK where you can indulge your fondness of a fright, your taste for terror and your soft spot for some spookiness.

Dirty Tricks and White Knuckles at the London Dungeon
Known year-round as a place of torture, gore and misfortune, the terror intensifies at the London Dungeon for Halloween in 2012. Joining Jack the Ripper and the Rat Catcher is the Dungeon’s newest resident, The Trickster. Prepare to be shaken by the mischief of The Trickster and his ability to stay just one step ahead – be sure to check around every corner! For visitors who don’t fall victim to The Trickster, tickets to The London Dungeon include three terrifying rides – 5D laser ride Vengeance, vertical drop-ride Extremis and Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell.
Historical Halloween Horror with the Tower of London
Halloween in the UK would not be complete without a visit to the scene of some of Britain’s bloodiest and goriest tales – the Tower of London. From Simon of Sudbury to Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, the Tower of London has witnessed countless executions, murders and mysteriously ghostly goings-on. For some authentic historical horror this Halloween, make sure you get Tower of London tickets on your trip to London.
The Phobia of Phobias in the London Bridge and Tombs
To experience another London attraction where every day is Halloween, look no further than tickets for the London Bridge Experience and Tombs. Described by the hosts as their “most intimidating, shocking and unnerving show yet”, the family-friendly Phobophobia 2012 attraction is a terrifying adventure through the darker aspects of London’s history. With Jack the Ripper and London Bridge’s own Pumpkin Man on the loose, this is a guided tour not to be taken lightly. There are frights to be had for sure but younger and less brave visitors aren’t forgotten, however, as the venue also offers their Guardian Angel show (where the ‘Angels’ are minders to reassure the younger children), pumpkin carving and face painting.
Hunt the Haunters at Hampton Court
The Tower of London isn’t the only city residence favoured by London’s un-dead and incorporeal. If the Tower hasn’t satisfied your hunger for Halloween-themed history, head to the outskirts of London for some ghost-spotting at Hampton Court Palace. From the ‘Screaming Lady’ of the ghost of Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard, to the so-called ‘Skeletor’ ghost whose video made headlines worldwide in 2003, there’s plenty to occupy the minds of even the most avid ghost hunter. Hampton Court Palace tickets also include access to the spectacular gardens and famous maze.
Halloween for the Hardcore at Thorpe Park
Just 20 miles from central London, the Fright Nights are back for the Halloween period at theme park Thorpe Park, with the chilling Thorpe Park Penitentiary feature new for 2012. The park is transformed into a harrowing prison facility where the main feature of the Penitentiary attraction is The Passing, a dark and disturbing interactive maze where visitors are death row criminals about to be executed. Visitors will have their heads covered with hessian body bags, meaning they must navigate the maze and deal with its horrors while effectively blind, before being fully bagged and ‘buried’. The nightmare doesn’t end after burial however; will you receive forgiveness or be condemned to eternal oblivion? Thorpe Park tickets are available in advance from the VisitBritain Shop. Thorpe Park welcomes all visitors but The Passing is not suitable for under-12s and height restrictions apply to certain rides. Additional ticket purchase may be required for Halloween attractions.
Set the Stage for Halloween Horror
For some suitably hair-raising theatre thrills this Halloween, the long-running The Woman in Black production certainly fits the bill. Adapted from a best-selling novel and recently released as a film starring Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black is a gripping and suspenseful show of death, mystery and vengeance. Currently showing at the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden, the 7 million people who have seen the production since its launch are a testament to its spookiness! Tickets for The Woman in Black are available on the VisitBritain shop.
On behalf of Great Britain, Happy Halloween!

Experience London in a new and exciting way!

The Italian Job Mini Cooper London Tour.

Avoid the crowds with this truly bespoke and personal sightseeing experience around the most iconic sights in London. You will have the chance to travel in real style, as you hop into the coolest car in town, joined by your local and knowledgeable guide, ready to point out some of the most amazing stories and facts about one of the world’s most amazing cities!

The Italian Job Mini Cooper London Tour

The Italian Job Mini Cooper London Tour

With your private guide, in your exclusive groovy car, you will have the opportunity to tailor your tour to your needs and interest, requesting pick up and drop off location, specific interests, and areas of London that you want to discover. This really is the ultimate in exclusive and personal sightseeing travel!The tour will include all of the most famous sights of London, cruising through the famous areas famous across the world. You will discover Royal Parks and Palaces, the illustrious West end and its many theatres, and the Roman and Medieval London, with tales and stories to bring every part to life. Discover famous film locations, unknown stories, the best restaurants, and all the best shopping and markets.

The Italian Job Tour takes in all of London’s iconic sights: – Royal Palaces, Including Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace – London Royal Parks – Whitehall, the home to many Government buildings and history (think James Bond !) – Big Ben – Houses of Parliament – London Eye – West End London – Famous for shopping, dining and Theatre – Mayfair, Bond Street, Regent Street – for upmarket boutiques and expensive jewellers – Medieval and Roman London – with history dating back to over 2000 years – Bank of England and London’s financial district – Tower Bridge – Tower of London –  And so much more

You will even have the choice of blue jumpsuits to really get you in the spirit, and you can discover where the gold bars are hidden! The Tour will last for 1.5 hours, and you have the opportunity to select a pick up and drop off location. The cars can carry up to three passengers each. You will have a knowledgeable and charming local guide ready to answer your every query, to help you get the most out of London long after your tour has finished. Step away from the crowds and experience some of the charm of the coolest cars from the 60’s.

You’ll feel like a true Londoner!

Schedule:

Directions Pick-up point: St James’s Park Tube Station Times

Tours depart at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 21:00 daily, subject to availability.

The tour lasts approximately 1 hour.

Dates and Prices – £139.00 is per car for up to three people in a car. So for 2, £46.33 per person or 3, £39.50 per person

Full Details: http://www.sightseeingtours.co.uk/london-tours/london-coach-tours/the-italian-job-mini-cooper-london-tour-165

Travel Editor – Best Value Tours
www.SightseeingTours.co.uk

Forget the Eye and the Shard, it’s old London tourists want

The Tower of London: still the main attraction, despite the Shard just across the river Photo: ALAMY

The Tower of London: still the main attraction, despite the Shard just across the river Photo: ALAMY

Cristina Odone finds that the capital’s hordes of tourists aren’t interested in the shiny new additions: it’s London’s historic sites that they’re heading to.


The capital is swarming with tourists, and two of them are staying with us. Anna and her nine-year-old daughter flew in from Florida for a week’s holiday, with no plans to see the Olympics, as tickets are too pricey. (Though now that Anna’s seen a well-placed seat at the women’s netball reduced to £100, they may reconsider.)

On their first day, as they fought with their jet lag, I produced a collection of leaflets I’d put together for them. I’d ticked every box of the newLondon experience, I felt, with brochures that covered everything from what’s on at the Southbank Centre to the London Eye and the Saatchi Gallery. But it wasn’t Cool Britannia the visitors were after. They were resolutely in search of the old-fashioned version, featuring Buckingham Palace, the British Museum and Madame Tussauds.

This was London the Prince Charles way: Beefeaters and double-decker buses rather than Renzo Piano and Damien Hirst. I was further surprised to find that Anna and Sophia were typical of the incoming hordes this summer: the Visit London guide confirms that tourists rank the British Museum and the National Gallery as their top capital attractions, while the Eye comes a mere fifth. The Shard and the Southbank Centre don’t feature.

I can’t help thinking, as our guests come home lugging mugs marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (bought on their visit to Westminster Abbey) and tea towels adorned with Big Ben (bought at the V&A), that they’re teaching me that the rest of the world still loves Britain. Its street cred may lure globetrotters with intellectual pretentions or fashionista flair, but it’s not our unique selling point as far as ordinary tourists are concerned.

Our masters, please take note: forget commissioning newfangled projects, just maintain the old attractions. It is cheaper and easier—and a lot more popular. Has anyone ever heard a tourist asking for directions to the Dome?

One visitor likely to complain about his London stay is Bruce Springsteen. Three hours into his concert in Hyde Park, the American rock star was joined on stage by Sir Paul McCartney. The audience went mad at this “first”, and the legends belted out two Beatles hits. But before they could launch into a third, those in charge turned off their sound equipment – in order not to breach the 10.30pm curfew.

Ticket-holders booed, and Springsteen’s guitarist took to Twitter to hyperventilate about Britain’s “police state”. But I say hurrah for the silence enforcers – and please, could they not limit their efforts to concerts. I’d like them to impose a noise curfew when my neighbours fall asleep with their TV at full volume, blaring out the shopping channel late into the night; and when cars with souped-up sound systems collect shrieking passengers in the small hours. As another American rock legend once crooned, oh, for the sound of silence.

• Poor George Osborne is under fire, once again, for having belonged to the Bullingdon Club. A photo surfaced this week of gorgeous George sporting a pouting pose and the distinctive (blue frock coat, gold waistcoat) uniform of the notorious university dining society. It may date from 1993, when George was young enough not to shave every day; but it is seen as a way to embarrass him now.

The Chancellor should take comfort from knowing that in Poland, they celebrate the fact that Radek Sikorski, their foreign minister, was elected to the Bullingdon. When a penniless refugee who arrives in Oxford without money or connections gains entry to the most elite society in the university, it becomes not a byword for exclusivity but the epitome of British open-mindedness.

Link Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/9402313/Forget-the-Eye-and-the-Shard-its-old-London-tourists-want.html

Travel Editor
Best Value Tours – www.SightseeingTours.co.uk