London - Tuesday 23rd May
Three nights in James and Charlene's Trafalgar Square Apartment
3.10pm- Arrive in London
London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Finnair AY839 - Terminal 3
4.00pm (approx)- Transfer to accommodation
Heathrow Express: Takes only 15mins from airport to Paddington station - but costs $35 per person and would require additional transport to get to apartment
Taxi: would take approx 30-60mins, subject to traffic, approx $100 but would have to queue and price subject to traffic as well
Private transfer: Same travel time as a taxi, however a driver would be waiting for us, it would be pre-paid with no surprises and they would know our destination. Price for a minivan would be approx $115
5.00pm (approx) Check into Trafalgar Square Apartment
Description from owner:
Our large luxurious two bedroom split level flat will appeal to those wishing to stay in one of the best locations in Central London. The flat is directly opposite Trafalgar Square with a direct view of Nelson's Column. This really is located in the Heart of London and families will love the location.It would also be a great choice for a couple seeking a special space to stay in London. The flat is fully double glazed to block out most noise from outside..
Our guests will also benefit from air conditioning for what can be hot summer nights! There's also a big lift (elevator) to allow the ever necessary ease with the suitcases. The flat is situated on the second floor of a period building(built in the 1890's). It keeps most of its traditional charm but is very much adapted to life in the 21st century.We really do believe that this should be one of the best homes from home in the West End.
There's a very fast WI FI connections and satellite TV. We also provide a selection of DVD's when the rain becomes too much for our guests and they want to enjoy an evening in.A vast selection of reading material is available in addition to a selection of magazines.
There is a very large dining area. There's a table with seating for up to 8 dinner guests. Dining in will really be a total pleasure with a view to remember. We provide plenty of high quality pots,pans,dishes,serving plates and the ever necessary wine and champagne glasses and flutes.The kitchen has all the appliances one will need to make their vacation a pleasure and not a chore. There's a washer/dryer and wardrobe space for clothes.There's an iron and board for those wishing to take any creases out
The main bedroom has a large double bed.
The other bedroom is up in a separate mezzanine area and has two single beds. This bedroom is ideal for those travelling with teenagers or young children. We also provide a full height airbed that is very comfortable. The large L shaped sofa is an ideal bed too and will sleep a large or tall adult with ease.We have a cot for those with very young children. An extra cot can be provided at no extra charge.There's also a highchair.
The bathroom has a full sized tub with shower above. There's a full length mirror and hairdryer. There's constant hot water so this is ideal for larger groups.We provide good quality towels and a selection of soaps and bath bubbles are also included.
The flat has hard wood flooring in the main rooms.
We provide a guide book for our guests with a list of current shows, places to eat etc.This flat really is an oasis in Central London and we're sure our guests will love it!
For those coming to London to shop, you'll be spoilt for choice. From the boutique shops in nearby Covent Garden to the hustle and bustle of nearby Oxford St, your every want should be catered for. A visit to Hamley's on Regent St is a must for those travelling with children...or for the young at heart. Foyles Bookshop on Charing Cross Road is one of the best bookshops in London with a vast selection on offer. Stanfords Travel Bookshop on Long Acre in Covent Garden is the ideal place to pick up a unique gift/postcard for those back home. If you're travelling to mainland Europe after London,they also have all everything one could need for travel research. This shop is wonderful. The flat is also close to Cecil Court. This is a small tranquil little street lined with a delightful selection of independent bookshops. You'll only a quick journey away from both Harvey Nichols and Harrods. The closest huge department store will be Fenwicks where you'll find high quality English products. We do have to mention that a trip to Fortnum and Mason is a divine experience that shouldn't be missed. You'll be able to walk there with ease. The window displays are always stunning.
The main theatres of London are all within a few moments walk/so no need to take a cab. From musicals to the best in drama,there should be something to suit most tastes. The Official London Theatre office is located in Leicester Square /a few minutes away. This is one of the best places to buy tickets at a discount. It's run by the Society of London Theatre and tickets go on sale daily for that shows later on the same day.
Fancy a pint? James and I were finding ourselves being asked that question so many times from our guests that we're now on a mission to recommend the best ones in the West End. The Red Lion, The Sherlock Holmes, The Ship and Shovell, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese are tops of the list so far. We have printed out a list of pubs and placed them in our guidebook. If we missed a good one, please let us know and we'll pay it a visit and put it in the guide. We welcome suggestions.It doesn't matter how long you live in London there's always something new to discover.
Hop on or Hop off Bus Tours have a stop right near the flat. This is a great way to see some of the main London sights. The bus tour offers good value for money.
London is a great place to shop for gifts. All of the major museums have wonderful gift shops with a range of unique treats on offer. The elegant, Regency-period Burlington Arcade is worth a visit during your stay. This is about a 7 minute walk from the flat/on the way to the Royal Academy. If you wish to bring back some scented delights, trip to Penhaligon's in Covent Garden is the place to go. They still sell the same flower based scents that sold over a century ago. Miller Harris is also worth a visit.
London has some of the best street markets in the world and if there's time your trip should include at least one. Camden Lock Market is best on Saturdays and Sundays. Notting Hill Portbello Road is best on Fridays and Saturdays. The Jubille and Apple Markets located in the Covent Garden Piazza still have a good selection of British made products. The Columbia Road Flower Market is lovely. It's such a nice place to walk around. The Piccadilly Crafts Market is only less than a 10 min walk from the flat in is situated in the courtyard of St James's Church. This market dates from the Middle Ages and even if you don't buy anything, the backdrop of Wren built church is simply stunning.
Keeping fit(or trying to on holiday)The best advice we can give is to try and walk everywhere. This location will make that quite easy as it's safe and very easy to walk to many of London's attractions. For those that wish to have a work out whilst on holiday,most gyms in Central London now sell day passes. There's also horse riding available during the Spring months and for those travelling in winter London has two very romantic outdoor skating rinks. The first one is just outside the V&A Museum and the second one is located on the Strand/Somerset House(about a 10 min walk from the flat) There's also the annual Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park that plays host to all sorts of fun winter events. There's a nearby Boris Bikes docking station and this can also be a fun way of getting around. A walk along the South Bank is an ideal way to spend a morning or afternoon. Please make sure you stop off at Borough Market which has the BEST food market in London. Outstanding produce! The Southbank also has a very good and far too tempting international food market. This is located just near the Royal Festival Hall.This is a wonderful place to stop if you're out for a show at the Shakespeare Globe or at the Festival Hall.
We do advise guests that are staying for longer than two night to do a food shop as soon as possible. There are two large grocery shops located within a block of the flat. There's also a huge Whole Foods Market about a 10 minute walk away for excellent quality(although expensive food) The Co-Op near the flat is open 24 hours and has a surprising range of food at good prices.