5 things to do in London

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 10:55pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Apart from visiting Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and the Tower of London, here's a few things you might want to try
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Climb the tallest building

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While the London Eye was the highest viewing point in the city a few years ago, it has been replaced by The Shard. Also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, it is London's tallest skyscraper at 306 m. Inaugurated in July 2012 and opened to the public in February 2013, this 87-storey skyscraper is the tallest building in the European union and has residences, restaurants, offices as well as the Shangri-La Hotel. Head to The View (68th-72nd floor), the observation deck, where you can get a panoramic view of the city including some of the city's most iconic landmarks including St. Paul's, Tower Bridge, the green dome of the Imperial War Museum's as well as the London skyline.

Watch a Shakespeare play or a musical

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Many a playwright including William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson spent a large part of their life living and working in London; it has been the favourite setting for many more playwrights. Home to Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer and impresario of musical theatre, a trip to London without watching a play or one of its famous musicals is unheard of. If you're a Shakespeare fan, make your way to Shakespeare's Globe, located on the bank of the River Thames in Bankside's Cultural Quarter. If you're in London this summer, you might want to catch All's Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, while some of the fast-selling musicals you might want to book tickets for are Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Thriller-Live, Wicked, Billy Elliot, Mama Mia and more.

Dance to the tunes of King Henry VIII

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Home to King Henry VIII, the most famous King in British history because of his six wives and for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, Hampton Court Palace was his favourite. One of the most legendary of all London palaces, it also boasts stunning gardens and a world-famous hedge maze. While you're there, if you're lucky enough you might get a chance to witness King Henry VIII's marriage to his his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, which took place in Hampton Court Palace’s Chapel Royal in 1543. You may also have the opportunity to meet the King and Queen or see one of the ghosts known to haunt the palace.

Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter

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If you're a Harry Potter fan, or even if you're just curious to know what the Harry Potter hullabaloo is all about, join a walking tour, where you can visit a few locations from the Harry Potter world. You can visit the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, the bridges under and over which the members of the Order of the Phoenix fly on their broomsticks en route to Grimmauld Place, the location where the Triple Decker Knight Bus squeezes through two London buses, the visitors’ entrance to the Ministry of Magic, No. 12 Grimmauld Place and more. You can also take a trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where you can step on to the authentic sets, discover the magic behind the special effects and explore behind-the-scenes secrets of the film series.  You can book your tickets for both tours at http://www.muggletours.co.uk/home.php and http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/en/tickets/individuals

Enjoy an evening at a local pub or bar

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After you're done with sightseeing for a day, head to one of the local London pubs. East London, where the Olypics took place, has many new bars to check out. Grab one of the picnic benches outside if it's a nice sunny day and order a pitcher of Pimm's. A tea-coloured liquid, consisting PIMM’s (a gin-based spirit) and lemonade; small cubes of apple and cucumber, ice, oranges, pears, strawberries and mint leaves, it is sweet and soothing. With fish and chips to accompany it, it's the perfect way to begin the evening in London.


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