Gary - Tourist - Head ShotBritain is a land of rich history and incredible diversity.  The crown jewel of Britain is the city of London.  Although you can easily spend as much time as you like exploring the various corners of the country, be sure to consider visiting London to appreciate everything the city and its citizens have to offer.

London with its international airports and its cruise port at Southampton is a bustling hub for travellers coming and going, or just passing through.  Even if London is not your end destination, consider planning a lay-over to take advantage of this great opportunity.

With the summer season fast approaching, here are some tips to help you plan an unforgettable trip to London.

Be sure to plan on seeing the famous lifting of the Tower Bridge.  This is regularly scheduled and the best view point is from outside City Hall or from the Tower of London.

Travel 1 Tower-bridge-londonThe Sumatran Tiger Exhibit at the London Zoo.  There is a free “Tiger Live” event daily at 12pm.  This presents amazing insights into the behaviour of these magnificent animals.

Kew Gardens is an ever-popular draw for visitors, who can make the most of the visit with a free “Introductions to the Gardens” walking tour.  These take place at 11am and 1:30pm daily.

Of course you will be visiting Windsor Castle.  When you do, plan to take in the Changing of the Guard within the Castle grounds.  This takes place daily at 11am except Sundays.

At the National Gallery, there is a new program of lunchtime talks – some theatre-style focusing on particular artistic traditions, and others simply studying one painting.

Henry VIII’s Crown of State is currently on display at Hampton Court Palace, in the Royal Pew above the Chapel Royal.  Sounds like a stately spot!  You can see the exhibit between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday and 12:30pm to 3pm Sundays.

Travel 3 London-panoramaTake in the Horse Guards Parade for the Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at The Household Cavalry Museum – arrive in good time since the ceremony starts promptly at 11am daily and at 10am on Sundays.

Insider’s Tip: The director of the Florence Nightingale Museum gives a talk each Monday at 3:30pm helping visitors discover more about this most influential women of Victorian Britain.

The Cartoon Museum is sure to keep both the kids and adults amused.  And, on the second Saturday of the month there is drop-in cartooning for the whole family!

The London Wetland Centre is a tranquil oasis in the heart of this big city where visitors can spot wildlife and discover rare birds from all over the world.  To get hands-on and learn more, visitors should arrive before 3pm when there is a daily bird-feeding tour.

Another hint: Buy “The London Pass” which is a sightseeing card that gives visitors entry to a choice of 60 popular tourist attractions in the city.  There is a Daily Pass and a Three-Day Pass.  This will save you considerably, especially if you plan your sightseeing well and in advance.

These are a few highlights of this world-class historic city.  Certainly, there are many, MANY more attractions to enjoy.  Do your research on official destination tourism websites, like!  Make a list of those things you really want to see and do.  Then, make a daily plan of activities and don’t forget to leave time in your schedule for impromptu and happenstance.  Things will pop up and you don’t want your day too full to take them in.  This will keep the frustration factor at a minimum, so you can just enjoy!

Here’s a hint to make your vacation memorable!  Plan well in advance.  I can help you sort through all the choices to create the perfect excursion for you and the whole family!  All you now have to do is enjoy the experience and get ready for life-long memories!

More about cruise & travel to come in future articles.  Til then, keep cruisin’! – Gary Gallant

Gary is a Cruise & Travel Professional with Expedia Cruise Ship Centers, and has been in the industry for 14 years.  His passions are people and travel.  His passions are people and travel. Check him out in the Social Networks as well!

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