Visiting London - December 2010 Highlights
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London Highlights for December, 2010
Highlights from London's ticketed events; Heritage & Pageantry, Performing Arts, Fairs and Fine Art Exhibitions.

Royal Heritage & Pageantry

Tower of London
Venue: London, EC3N 4AB. Tel: 0870 756 6060.
Date: Daily, 9am-5.30pm, summer; 9am-4.30pm, winter
Tickets: 17 at portcullis. (concessions) Book online for discount.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Tower Hill. DLR: Tower Gateway. Bus routes: RV1 from Covent Garden, 15, 42,78,100. All sightseeing buses. Riverboat: Regular service from Westminster, Charing Cross, Greenwich Piers.
Description: London's top tourist attraction, and the custodians of the Tower are as expert at putting on a family show today as they were at chopping off heads in earlier days of gore. The most famous attractions are the Crown Jewels, the 'Beefeater' yeomen in their ceremonial Tudor dress, and the celebrated ravens. See Fit for a King,, a superb new exhibition of spectacular royal armour spanning five centuries, in the White Tower, (free with entrance ticket). Royal enactments are regular featured events where the Axeman cometh for he or she who doth incur His Majesty's displeasure!

Hampton Court Palace
Venue: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8, 9AU. Tel: + 44 (0)844 482 7799.
Date: Daily, 10am-6pm, summer, 10am-4.30pm, winter.
Tickets: 14, (concessions and online discount 13). Prices subject change.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Richmond.
Description: Must see sights include Henry VIII's Great Hall and Tudor kitchens, the Maze and the celebrated Gardens. In depth description
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. The ground floor of the Palace is wheelchair accessible and there are limited facilities for viewing the upper floors with the use of an elevator. Adapted Toilets: Yes. See Palace Disabled Access for full details and help.

Buckingham Palace State Rooms
Venue: Buckingham Palace, Westminster, SW1A 1AA.
Access: Public opening 27 July-1 October, 2010.
Tickets: 17.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Victoria Rail Terminal; Hyde Park Corner; Green Park.
Description: The State Rooms form the heart of The Queen's working palace and have been lavishly decorated by succeeding monarchs since George IV and furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection - paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto; sculpture by Canova; exquisite examples of Svres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture; a feast of Fine Art, artifacts and historical royal heritage that should not be missed.
The Queen's Year, this year's special exhibition in the State Ballroom, will provide a lively insight into the principal national and ceremonial events in the royal year. See displays of ceremonial robes, gifts, uniforms, dresses and jewellery, as well as archive photography and film that evoke the many and varied aspects of the sovereign's work. The exhibition will illustrate the pageantry, tradition and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament, the historic Garter Day ceremony at Windsor Castle and Trooping the Colour, as well as investitures, garden parties and State Visits.
Garden lovers should give themselves time to enjoy the Palace Gardens and famous lake; home to thirty different species of bird and more than 350 different wild flowers, some extremely rare. Visitors end their tour with a walk along the south side of the garden, with splendid views of Nash's west front of the Palace.
The special exclusive Royal Collection souvenir shop in the garden is well worth a visit on your way out. Give yourself up to four hours to do full justice to the Palace, gardens and souvenir shop.

Kensington Palace
Venue: Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX. Tel: 0870 751 5170.
Date: Daily, 10am-6pm, summer; 10am-5pm, winter.
Tickets: 12.50, (concessions and online discount).
London Transport: Nearest Tube: High Street, Kensington.
Description:. As well as the fascinating exhibition of Court Ceremonial dress which gives us a good idea of the splendour of the British Court, there is a great deal worth seeing, from the Cupola Room, where Queen Victoria was baptised, to the exquisite trompe d'oeuil ceiling executed by Palladian architect William Kent for George II, (1722). While the original State Rooms have been turned into a museum, this is still a working palace and Royal Residence, housing working members of the Royal Family. Princess Diana lived here after her divorce.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes.

Clarence House
Venue: St. James's Palace, SW1A 1BS, (entry from the Mall). Tel: 020 7766 7303.
Access: Summer opening only. 10am-3pm, 31 July-1 September 2010
Tickets: Book online. 8.50, (concessions), Take advantage of special online discounts and advance booking.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Green Park.
Description: Built by John Nash for the Duke of Clarence who became King William IV from 1830 until 1837 and used it as his palace, it was later the home of The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh following their marriage in 1947, and thereafter the London home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1953 until 2002. It is now the official London residence of Charles Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.


Royal Mews, © Royal Collection.
The Royal Mews
Venue: Buckingham Palace, Westminster, SW1A 1AA, London. Entrance in Buckingham Palace Road.
Access: Summer opening. 11am-4pm, 20 March - 31 October.
Tickets: 7.50, (concessions), Take advantage of special online discounts and advance booking.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Victoria Station.
Description: The Mews houses the Queen's horses in what are undoubtedly one of the finest working stables in existence. Also on view are the Monarch's State Coach and other official vehicles

Banqueting House: Whitehall Palace
Venue: Banqueting House, Whitehall, SW1A 2ER, Tel: 0870 751 5187
Date: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, 2010.
Tickets: 4.80 (Concessions) Buy Online or at the door. A multi lingual audioguide comes with the ticket. Take advantage of the 41, (63 for two adults) annual membership giving unlimited entry to the Tower of London; Kensington, Hampton Court and Kew Palaces; and Banqueting House.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Westminster, Embankment.
Description: Admire the Rubens ceiling, a pictorial paean to the Stuart belief in the 'Divine right of Kings', a concept that cost Charles I his head. Lunchtime concert season begins September. See website for details. See also Offtolondon's Banqueting House for descriptive details of this exquisite relic of the once vast Stuart Palace of Whitehall.
Venue Hire You can hire the historic and impressive Banqueting House for entertaining, conferences, wedding and civil partnership receptions, functions or film location. Check Venue Hire for details and bookings.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes for portable/standard size wheelchairs.

Kew Palace
Venue: Kew Gardens.
Access: Summer only. Daily until 25 September, 2010; 10am-5pm.
Tickets: 5, (concessions). Children free.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Kew Gardens.
Description: The country palace of George III, (d.1820) and his Queen Charlotte, Kew Palace has recently been meticulously refurbished under Royal patronage and is a masterpiece of Georgian taste, decor and furnishings.
Special Sunday evening tours: 20, 27June; 18,25 July; 15,22 August; 12,19 September. Included are wine and nibbles, an expert to guide you around the Palace and into areas not normally open to the public. Finish your evening in the Tudor undercroft. Tour tickets 22 per person. Booking essential. Call 0844 482 7777.

Palace of Westminster
Access: Open to overseas visitors during the Parliamentary summer recess in August and September. Exact dates to be announced. Guided tours daily, Monday to Saturday inclusive.
Venue: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA.
Tickets: Online only.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Westminster.
Description: An unrivalled opportunity to see the Victorian Gothic magnificence of the Palace of Westminster and its Chambers of the House of Commons and House of Lords together with the magnificent mediaeval Westminster Hall with its remarkable hammer beam roof, used for centuries first as the royal banqueting hall, later as a Court of Justice, (King Charles I was 'tried' here), and more recently for the lying in state of sovereign or eminent persons.
The guided tour is made under strict security and lasts one hour only, which gives little time to admire the architecture of Sir Charles Barry, the ornamentation of Augustus Pugin or the statuary in the detail they deserve. Despite this proviso, the visit is still worthwhile.
Take the opportunity to make a separate visit to the nearby mediaeval Jewel Tower; Westminster Abbey, (tickets at the door); and London Eye; (or pop up to the top of Big Ben if you are a UK voter and fit for the climb). Note the many statues and monuments in the environs of Parliament. Check website for terms and conditions.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

The Golden Hinde
Venue:Pickfords Wharf/Clink St., London SE1 9DG. Tel: 020 7407 7056.
Date:Daily 10am - 5.30pm, 2010.
Tickets: 6. (Concessions).
London Transport: Nearest Tube: London Bridge.
Description: This is an exact working replica of Sir Francis Drake's Naval Flagship, the Tudor warship Golden Hinde, in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world 1577-1580. This exact reconstruction, a fully working ship, was launched in Devon in 1973. Since then she has circumnavigated the globe and sailed over 140,000 miles - many more than the original. Her present berth is the St Mary Overie Dock on Thames South Bank, just a short walk from the Clink Prison Museum, Shakespeare's Globe and Tate Modern. This is a living history experience of particular interest to maritime history buffs. Explore the 5 decks and the 22 canons.
Venue Hire You can hire the Golden Hinde for entertaining, conferences, wedding and civil partnership receptions, functions or film location. Check website for details and bookings.
Wheelchair Accessibility: No.
Walk the Gangplank No!

Christmas Music, Theatre & Dance: Hot Picks

Royal Opera House: Ballet
Venue: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, WC2.
Date: 20 November-31 December, 2010.
Tickets: From 6 - 110.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Covent Garden.
Description: The Royal Ballet's Cinderella. Frederick Ashton created a ballet that is both demanding of its principals and full of great charm - the perfect way to enjoy some of the world's greatest dancers bringing ballet to life. There are magical moments, as when Cinderella makes her entrance to the ball and her pas de deux with the Prince. But there is also humour and character with the Step-sisters, tussling with each other as well as failing to charm anyone else. Prokofiev's music is one of the great 20th-century ballet scores, so rich in atmosphere and full of orchestral colour; a perfect complement to the stage pictures. .
Burlington Bertie's Tip: Dine at the ROH's excellent Amphitheatre Restaurant. Book your table and pre-order your food and wine before the performance.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Royal Opera House: Christmas Carols
Venue: St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, WC2.
Date: 7.45pm. 8 December, 2010.
Tickets: 20 including mulled wine. Early booking essential.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Covent Garden.
Description: The Staff and Artists of the Royal Opera House are supporting the charity Children's Hospices UK and presenting a Christmas Carol Concert at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden at 7.45pm on Wednesday 8 December 2010. The concert will feature wonderful seasonal music performed by members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House joined by choristers from the Royal Opera Chorus. These famous forces will be conducted by Antonio Pappano, The Royal Opera's Music Director; Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet and Renato Balsadonna, Chorus Director.

English National Ballet: The Nutcracker
Venue: London Coliseum, St. Martin's Lane, WC2N 4ES.
Date: Mats 2.30pm. Eves 7.30pm. 10 - 30 December, 2010.
Tickets:. From 10. (Student concessions). Book online.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Charing Cross. ENO patrons receive 50% discount at various nearby carparks. Check website for details.
Description:. Created by Artistic Director Wayne Eagling to celebrate the Company's 60th birthday, this new production of The Nutcracker will be English National Ballet's 10th interpretation of this much-loved classic. A world of Edwardian elegance designed by Peter Farmer brings to life the eternally popular Tchaikovsky score that features the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' and many other familiar favourites.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes. Inform box office of your requirements when booking.

Sadlers Wells: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
Venue: Sadlers Wells Theatre, Rosebury Avenue, EC1R 4TN: 0844 412 4300.
Date: Mats: 2.30pm. Eves: 7.30 pm, Tues-Sat; Sun 4pm. Mats Sat 2.30pm; 30 November, 2010-23 January, 2011.
Tickets: 10 - 50. Book online (Concessions). Early booking essential.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Angel.
Description: When it premiered at Sadler's Wells in 1995, Matthew Bourne's triumphant modern re-interpretation of Swan Lake turned tradition upside down, taking the dance world by storm. This Christmas the multi award-winning hit returns to the theatre where it all began for a strictly limited run. Early booking essential.
See Clip
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Check website for special seating arrangements and any discounts. Make your requirements known when booking. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Sadlers Wells: The Snowman
Venue: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, WC2.
Date: 11am, 2.30pm, 7pm. Days vary. 1 December 2010-9 January, 2011.
Tickets: 12-32. (Concessions & Discounts). Book online, in person at Box Office, or telephone; 0844 412 4322.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Angel.
Description: The much loved stage version of Raymond Briggs' enchanting Christmas story returns to the Peacock Theatre for its 12th Christmas season. This is a captivating mix of dance, stagecraft and music suitable for all children from 2 to 82; the perfect introduction to dance for the very young. Watch this video clip.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Check website for special seating arrangements and any discounts. Make your requirements known when booking. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Panto at the Hackney Empire: Jack and the Beanstalk
Venue: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ.
Date: 27 November, 2010 - 9 January, 2011.
Tickets: . 9.50-24.50. Book Online
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Golders Green.
Description: The Hackney Empire team return for the annual Panto season with a sparkling production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Now London's No1 pantomime venue, the Hackney Empire has received universal critical acclaim each year for their Panto productions written and directed by Susie McKenna. Expect familiar faces from London's West End as well as Hackney Panto regulars. Come and see the singing harp, the golden hen, the giant of all giants and Buttercup... the break dancing cow!
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Check website for special seating arrangements and any discounts. Make your requirements known when booking. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Oliver
Venue: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Catherine Street, WC2B 5JF.
Date: Closes 8 January, 2011.
Tickets: From 32.50.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Leicester Square. Car Park St. Martin's Lane NCP.
Description: The sensational score is full of Lionel Bart's irresistible songs including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You've Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I'd Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Check website for special seating arrangements and any discounts. Make your requirements known when booking. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Royal Albert Hall: Christmas Music
Venue: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2A.
Date: December, 2010.
Tickets: Various. Book online.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge, Kensington High Street. Limited parking offered. See venue website for details.
Description: A rich program for the Christmas season includes solo performances by Catherine Jenkins and Jose Carreras; Handel's Messiah and evenings of Christmas Carols.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes. Inform box office of your requirements when booking.

Offtolondon Theatre Breaks and Offers
Date: Ongoing.
Venue: West End and City theatres and other venues.
Tickets: Online booking for all seats, accommodation, etc with special discounts.
Description: Your guide to London, concerts and events with online booking facility. Book your tickets online for these and Christmas shows now. You have the pick of the best seats, all the top theatre shows, and some great added-value extras. Every theatre break package includes hotel accommodation plus theatre tickets, a DVD previewing the Best of London Theatre, entry into a free prize draw and a selection of discount vouchers for London attractions.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Most London theatres, some hotels, (such as the newly refurbished Russell Hotel near the British Museum), and many restaurants are now wheelchair accessible with Accessible Toilets in their public areas, and have special accommodation facilities for wheelchair users. It is however essential that you make your requirements known when booking.

Fine Art: Hot Picks

Royal Academy: Treasures from Budapest
Venue: Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W.1.
Date: 10am-6pm daily, 10am-10pm, Fridays; Until 12 December, 2010.
Tickets: 13.50, (Concessions). Book Online or pay on the door.
London transport: Nearest Tube: Piccadilly, Green Park.
Description: . This exhibition showcasing the breadth and wealth of one of the finest collections in Central Europe, the exhibition comprises works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, with additional key loans from the Hungarian National Gallery. The exhibition features over 200 works and includes paintings, drawings and sculpture from the early Renaissance to the twentieth century. Selected works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Manet, Monet, Schiele, Gauguin and Picasso are on display, many of which have not previously been shown in the UK.
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Victoria & Albert Museum: Diaghilev
Venue Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. Tel: 020 7942 2000
Date: 25 September, 2010 - 9 January, 2011.
Tickets: 6, (Concessions).
London Transport: Nearest Tube. South Kensington.
Description: A major retrospective examining the origins, development and long term influence of the Ballets Russes, to celebrate their first seasons in Europe a hundred years ago.Diaghilev's extraordinary company, which survived a twenty-year rollercoaster of phenomenal successes and crippling problems, revolutionised ballet. As importantly, Diaghilev's use of avant-garde composers, such as Stravinsky and designers such as Bakst, Goncharova, Picasso and Matisse, made a major contribution to the introduction of Modernism.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

National Gallery: Venice - Canaletto and his Rivals
Venue: Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Date: 13 October, 2010 - 16 January, 2011.
Tickets: 12. (Concessions). Book Online Concessions.
London Transport: Nearest Tubes. Charing Cross; Leicester Square. Car Park: St. Martin's Lane NCP.
Description: The finest assembly of Venetian views since the much-celebrated display in Venice in 1967, and first of its kind in UK. It brings together around 50 major loans from collections across Europe and North America to highlight the rich variety of Venetian view painting. In each room, major works and masterpieces by Canaletto are juxtaposed with those of his rivals and associates, to demonstrate different approaches to similar views of the city. Major rivals on display include Luca Carlevarijs, Michele Marieschi, Bernardo Bellotto, and Francesco Guardi. Also represented are less well-known painters, each responding to the market driven largely by the British Grand Tour. A superb illustrated catalogue, (130 images), with biographies of each artist is available in hardback @ 35.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Tate Modern: Paul Gauguin - Maker of Myth
Venue: Bankside, SE1 9TG.
Date: Daily 10am-6pm; 10am-10pm, Fridays/Saturdays. 30 September, 2010 - 16 January 2011. Closed 24-26 December.
Tickets: 13.50, (Concessions). Book Online.
London Transport: Riverboat to Bankside Pier. Nearest Tube Blackfriars; Cannon Street.
Description: For the first time in the UK in over 50 years, Tate Modern presents an exhibition dedicated to Gauguin, whose sumptuously colourful Post-Impressionist paintings of women in Tahiti and beautiful landscape images of Brittany in France are some of the most popular images in Modern art. The exhibition features many of his iconic paintings from his travels around the world, including those showing daily village life from the artist's colony of Pont-Aven in Brittany, nude bathers and haystacks in the Breton landscape, and decorative works such as the carved wooden door panels around Gauguin's hut in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.
While visiting, relax in the Tate Modern restaurant over morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea and enjoy the spectacular view over the Thames, St. Paul's and the City of London.
Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Expos and Fairs

Olympia Horse Show
Venue: Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX.
Date: 14 - 20 December, 2010.
Tickets: From 27.50.Book online, (early booking recommended), or at the door.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. West Kensington.
Description: The annual Olympia Horse Show offers its usual packed program of equestrian competition, thrilling displays and non-stop Christmas entertainment.
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Adams Antiques and Frock Me Fairs
Venue Antiques: Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Hall, Elverton Street, Victoria, SW5 9TA. Tel: 020 7385 1200.
Venue Frock Me: Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road. SW5 9TA. Tel: 020 7385 1200.
Date: Antiques, 12 December 2010; Frock Me, 5 December, 2010.
Tickets: 4 at the door.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Victoria; Sloane Square.
Description: London's Christmas Antiques Fair. A great opportunity to buy that special present! Join avid collectors and dealers as they get down to the business of buying and selling! Expect up to 150 specialist British and European dealers offering antiques and collectibles at prices that are considerably friendlier to your wallet at the antiques fairs in fashionably expensive Mayfair. This and theFrock Me Vintage Fashion Fair at Chelsea Town Hall, (5 December 2010), are firm Christmas shopping dates for Shophound Alexia on the look out for special or unusual gifts, and fashion with a difference.
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes. Adapted Toilets: Yes.

Museums

Churchill War Rooms
Venue:
Date: Daily. 9.30am-6pm, 2010.
Tickets: 14.95, (Concessions). Online Booking or at door.
London Transport: Nearest Tubes.Westminster, St.James's Park.
Description: Life in Churchill's war bunker. Housed here also is the Churchill Museum. All visitors are provided with a free personal Audio-guide, available in English (adult, family and visually impaired versions), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Dutch and Mandarin.
Wheelchair accessibility : Yes from Great George Street. Adapted Toilets: No.

Sherlock Holmes Museum
Venue 221b Baker Street, NW1 6XE. Tel: 020 7935 8866.
Tickets Adult 6, Child 4. Daily 9:30a.m. - 6:00p.m. Discount Group admissions for 10 + persons. Advance booking telephone: 020 7738 1269, Online or email: info@sherlock-holmes.co.uk
London Transport Nearest Tube. Baker Street. Nos 13 and 139 buses run between Baker Street and Trafalgar Square. The trams and horse drawn hansom cabs of Holmes's day are regrettably a thing of the past.
Description Permanent Exhibition. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson lived at 221b Baker Street, (built 1815), between 1881-1904, according to Holmes's biographer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The famous 1st floor study, where the world's most illustrious detective played the violin while pondering and solving those mystifying cases before the use of fingerprints or DNA made detection so much easier, is still faithfully maintained as it was kept in those late Victorian and Edwardian days of gaslight, horse drawn Hansom cabs and London fogs. Nothing has changed. The rooms are exactly as described by Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes's possessions are in their usual places: his deerstalker, magnifying glass, calabash pipe, violin, chemistry equipment, notebook, Persian slippers and disguises, soda water gazogene on the sideboard. Dr Watson's hand-written notes made at the time of the famous case of the Hounds of the Baskervilles may be perused and visitors will be interested to admire a waxwork in the likeness of the infamous Moriarty. Strongly recommended to all admirers of Holmes.
Wheelchair Accessibility: No.

Leighton House Museum and Art Gallery
Venue: 12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ.
Date: Daily 10am - 5:30pm. Closed Tuesdays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Tickets: 5 (Concessions). Pay at door.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Kensington; High Street, Kensington. Carparking: Olympia Hylton NCP.
Description: Permanent Exhibition. Victorian opulence in art and architecture shown at its best and most spectacular, (or worst and most decadent if you are a modern minimalist). The former studio-house of the great Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), who designed and decorated it between 1864 and 1879, the house is one of the most extraordinary buildings of the nineteenth century. Filled with golden mosaics, gilded walls, elaborate paintwork, domed ceilings, trickling fountains, cool marble and peacock blue tiles. Leighton House also became home to the owner's extensive collection of Victorian paintings, 81 of which are exhibited here together with a fine collection of ceramics and lustreware. Over 1000 Islamic tiles adorn the Arab Hall, reflecting the influence the East had on Lord Leighton following his travels. It forms the centrepiece and focal point of the house. The Arab Hall, Dining Hall or Studio are available to hire for receptions and functions.
The house reopens with a special exhibition of Leighton's own collection of paintings, which have been brought together for the reopening including important loans from the National Gallery and Tate. The collection included works by many of his contemporaries such as Burne-Jones, Millais, Watts and Costa. Many of the paintings will be hanging in their original positions for the first time since the collection was dispersed in 1896.
Wheelchair accessibility : No.

Linley Sambourne House
Venue: 18 Stafford Terrace, W8.
Date: Open from 11 September 2010. Guided tours: Weds, 11.15am, 2.15pm; Sat/Suns, 11.15am. Costumed tours: Sat/Suns, 1pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm. 2010.
Tickets: 6, (Concessions). Booking recommended. Call 020 7602 3316 (9am to 5pm) or email museums@rbkc.gov.uk
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Kensington High Street. Nearest, Carparking: Olympia Hylton NCP.
Description: The former terrace house of Edward Linley Sambourne, noted Victorian artist, nude photographer and famed illustrator of Punch, who lived here from 1874 - 1914 with his wife Marion. They decorated and filled it with art, artifacts and furniture in the then popular 'aesthetic' style. Victorian domestic life and culture of the 1880s and 1890s is preserved here as if in aspic at this fascinating museum run by the Victorian Society.
Wheelchair Accessibility: No.

London Walks and Attractions


Sealife London Aquarium
Venue: Town Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB.
Date: Daily. 9.30am-6pm, 2010.
Tickets: From 16.20, (Concessions). Book online for advance discount or discounted combi tickets with nearby London Eye.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Westminster.
Description: Home to one of Europe's largest collections of global marine life with everything from tiny sea horses to 11 species of sharks, (watch them at feeding time) this SEA LIFE takes visitors on an immersive, interactive and spectacular journey along the Great Oceanic Conveyor.


London Eye. Millenium Wheel
Venue: Westminster Bridge Road, (Riverside Building County Hall), SE1 7PB. Tel: 0870 990 8883.
Date: Daily.
Tickets: 15. (Concessions). Book online.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Westminster.
Description: Opened at the beginning of 2000 to celebrate the Millennium, this huge 450-foot British Airways Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames overlooking Westminster gives a fabulous bird's eye view of Royal and Civic London, with spectacular views stretching for 25 miles on a clear day to include views of Windsor Castle. Up to 25 people can fit in each of the wheel's "capsules." The wheel turns surprisingly slowly, taking 30 minutes to go round, so you will have plenty of time to spot landmarks, take photos, propose to your beloved, get married and celebrate the occasion with champagne! Combine your London Eye experience with a Thames River cruise. Online booking discount, (champagne supplied)!

Jack the Ripper Walk
Venue: Aldgate, Whitechapel, Spitalfields. EC. Tel: 020 8530 8443
Date: Daily. 7pm-9pm. Check website for 2010 date confirmation.
Tickets: 6.50. Online Booking
London Transport: Aldgate East, (District, Hammersmith and City Lines).
Description: Guided Exploration of the Whitechapel and Spitalfields alleys and pubs where serial killer Jack the Ripper murdered at least five and possibly many more prostitutes in a reign of terror during 1888. Richard Jones, author of the much acclaimed DVD Jack the Ripper will lead you on the bloody trail of London's most infamous murderer.

London Ghost Walks
Venue: Departs from Bank or Blackfriars Underground station. EC. Tel: 020 8530 8443
Date: Tues/Fri/Sats. 7pm-9pm. Check website for 2010 date confirmation.
Tickets: 7. Online Booking
London Transport: Aldgate East, (District, Hammersmith and City Lines).
Description: Alleyways and Shadows; Ghosts, Ghouls and Graveyards; the titles of these walks, painstakingly researched by author and historian Richard Jones, perfectly conjure the haunting atmosphere of these deliciously spooky tours that venture beyond the busy main roads and twist their eerie way through forgotten medieval and Victorian London. Let Richard Jones lead you to places where the disembodied voices from London's eerie past may just whisper in your ear, as their icy fingers lightly stroke the back of your neck.

The Shakespeare City Walk
Venue: Starts from Blackfriars Tube Station, Exit 8. (Circle and District Line).
Date: Mondays and Fridays, 11am. Ends 7 December, 2010. Tel: 020 7625 5155 before date for confirmation. Recommences 3 January, 2011.
Tickets: 6.(Concessions). Book online or pay guide at start.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Blackfriars.
Description: Thespian Declan McHugh leads you on a 90 minute walk through the City of London, uncovering often little-known monuments and locations with connections to Shakespeare's life, his friends, his loves and his work, while declaiming the Bard's poetry and prose in true Woolfitt style.

Jack The Ripper's Sinister London
Venue: Selected departure points by coach.
Date: Fridays, Sundays. from 6.40pm
Tickets: From $50.13 per person. Pay online.
Description:Tread in the footsteps of the infamous Jack The Ripper down the dark, narrow, gas-lit alleyways immortalized in such films as "From Hell". Led by one of the renowned London Blue Badge Guides, you will visit four murder sights. Your "Ripperologist" will run through some of the suspects who sparked a Victorian Whodunit that will leave you as gripped as its victims. Approx. 4 hours.

New Year's Eve Festivities

New Year's Eve Cruises
Venue: River Thames, Westminster Pier.
Date: 7.30pm, 31 December, 2010 - 2am, 1 January, 2011.
Tickets: From 107. Online Booking. Early booking essential.
London Transport: Nearest tube. Embankment. Embark/disembark at Westminster Pier.
Description: King Cruises celebrates New Years Eve in style with stunning London scenery, a fantastic night of wine, champagne, sumptuous food and fireworks! New Year's Eve on the Thames offers some of the best fireworks in the world and a night on the river Thames starts 2011 off to a bang. A New Year's Eve river cruise is a luxurious way to see out the old year and toast in the new. Choose from four fabulous river cruises still taking bookings, (a number were already sold out in August), which include gourmet food and great entertainment, so that all you have to do is hop aboard, relax, and raise a glass of bubbly to 2010. All boats berth close to Big Ben for the famous chimes at midnight.

Medieval Banquet, New Year's Eve Revelry
Venue: Ivory House, E.Smithfield, E1W 1EP
Date: 7.45pm, 31 December, 2009 - 2am, 1 January, 2010.
Tickets: 110. Online Booking. Early booking essential.
London Transport: Nearest tube. Tower Hill.
Description: Celebrate New Year's Eve by stepping back into history. Enjoy a 5 course Medieval Banquet with unlimited beer and wine during the meal. Be entertained by King Henry VIII and his court, flickering torch light in vaulted cellars by jousting knights, strolling players, the incredible strong man or maybe even be invited to join in the dancing by your very own serving wenches. At Midnight enjoy a glass of Champagne to toast the New Year, followed by a disco until 2am.

Free London
Permanent collections in many galleries and museums are entry free. Some individually mounted temporary exhibitions within specified rooms may carry a ticket charge however, (bookable online or at the door). Check Shophound Alexia's comprehensive Free London Diary for details.

Choose your Hotel OfftoLondon provides expert advice and secure booking facilities for your overnight, 'City Break' or long term London accommodation requirements; from de-luxe 5-star hotels to comfortable backpacker's hostels.

Burlington Bertie's Highlights Memo
Book now for The annual Boat Show/Outdoors Show/Bike Show 13-16 January, 2011. Three major shows now combined into one gigantic event at London ExCel.

Top Tips
London has never been better value for Dollar holders! Make the most of your visit with a "Weekender" trip to Paris and Rome.


image: photoeverywhere.co.uk
Day rail trips via Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Paris for a morning's shopping, afternoon visit to the Louvre and evening meal on the Seine are now a popular excursion option. Offtolondon's associated companies, travel specialists Offtoparis and Offtorome will take care of all your travel and accommodation requirements and show you the sites.

A Night 'On the town'
While in Festive London, treat your partner to a great evening out 'On The Town' with OfftoLondon's superbly priced theatre and dinner packages.

Spare a day of your stay in London to take advantage of Offtolondon's discounted whole day visit by luxury coach to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Regency Bath for just $92.

Choose your Hotel
Use OfftoLondon's hassle-free and secure booking facilities to obtain the best internet prices for your overnight, 'City Break', or longer term accommodation requirements; from de-luxe 5-star hotels to comfortable hostels.

Book your tickets online
Book all your tickets and London Travel Passes with Offtolondon.com to ensure best seats and best prices at the events, exhibitions and shows of your choice without the hassle of price bargaining and queuing on the day.

London Transport Oyster Card
The Central London congestion charge zone for visitors driving in London now covers all main areas of attraction. It makes sense to travel by the safe London Transport bus or Tube. Buy a multi-journey Oyster Card before you arrive, (you can top this up at will), and you will save money, time and hassle.


New York City Breaks
Christmas shopping in the Big Apple is an exciting option. Soak up style on Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman or Sachs Fifth Avenue. Buy your digital cameras and gadgetry for fabulous prices at specialist Adorama on West 18th Street. Take in a Broadway Show, dine superbly and see all the landmark sites.
New York! New York! Its a Wonderful Town!
Check it all out at A Traveller's Guide to New York


London in One Day Sightseeing Tour
8.5 - 9 hours - Drive to Westminster, past Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister, and on to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Stop for a visit inside Westminster Abbey, site of many royal coronations. Visit Poets' Corner and the tombs of many well-known scientists and monarchs. Also see the Chapel of Henry VII.
Stop near Buckingham Palace to see the colourful ceremony of the Changing of the Guard before driving through busy streets and past peaceful parks to Piccadilly, home of London's Theatreland. Pass Trafalgar Square with its impressive Nelson's Column and fountains, before reaching a traditional London pub for lunch.
The afternoon starts with a cruise on the River Thames, during which a Thames Waterman will point out the places of interest along the way. Disembark to visit the Tower of London where you will meet the Beefeaters clad in Tudor uniforms, hear the legend of the ravens and some spine chilling tales from the Tower's 900 year history. You will also see the Crown Jewels, magnificently displayed in the new Jewel House.
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