1. The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum employed some of the latest construction techniques at the time, including the decorative terracotta castings of birds and animals visible around the entrances. Explore the world of dinosaurs and fossils and trace the history of evolution! A restaurant, a café and a sandwich bar, as well as a snack bar and picnic area, make sure you are never short of an opportunity to re-fuel. There are three different shops, The Museum Shop, The Dino Store and The Earth Shop.
2. The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) South Kensington is the world’s greatest museum of art and design, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. Discover 3000 years’ worth of amazing artefacts from many of the world’s richest cultures including ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewellery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings. The museum also stages additional temporary exhibitions of art, design, fashion and photography.
3. The Science Museum
The Science Museum has seven floors stuffed full of centuries of scientific and technological innovation, from steam engines to cars, space flight, medicine and computers. Galleries have been updated with interactive displays, such as The Launch Pad, the Garden and Things galleries. Each floor has a different theme – Flight, for example, on the third floor, has fighter planes and early flying contraptions suspended from the ceiling. There are three cafes to choose from and a gift shop.
4. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace was built in 1605. Formerly known as Nottingham House, it was purchased by King William and Queen Mary in 1689. The palace and gardens were used by successive British monarchs as royal apartments or as a primary residence. Princess (later Queen) Victoria was born here in 1819. Later occupants included Princess Margaret,and Princess Diana. Highlights of a tour include the King’s gallery and the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. Facilities include a shop and tearoom.
5. Shopping on the Kings Road
Step out of Sloane Square tube station and walk straight ahead onto the Kings Road – fashion epicentre of the swinging 60’s, and home to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s shop “Sex” in the 70’s. The Kings Road isn’t on the edge any longer, but being one of Lonodon’s wealthiest districts, it does have a very good selection of clothes and shoe shops, and an atmosphere which you will either love or hate (Think women wearing sunglasses when it’s cloudy).
6. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is a huge green lung in central London covering 350 acres. With children’s play areas, cafes, tennis courts and extensively wooded landscaped grounds, there is always something to do here. Hire a boat on the Serpentine, or visit the acclaimed Serpentine Gallery which showcases regular exhibitions of contemporary art. Open air film screenings are sometimes held on summer evenings. Facilities include an education centre, catering outlets, tennis courts and toilets.
Arguably the most famous department store in the world, Harrods sells everything you would expect and more. You can buy anything here – and if it isn’t in stock, they will order it for you, whether it’s a real helicopter or a toy one. Even if you aren’t buying, have a look at the magnificent food hall on the ground floor. The fact that there are a total of 28 restaurants over 7 floors gives you an idea of the scale and opulence of this place.
8. The National Army Museum
Visit the National Army Museum and find out how Britain’s past has helped to shape the present day. Discover the impact our Army has had on the story of Britain, Europe and the world, and see how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many. Victory in world war assured the independence of our own and many other nations. Wherever you are from, the actions of the British Army – and the many nations who have fought within it – have helped to shape the world we live in.
9. Aspley House
Apsley House, home of the first Duke of Wellington and his descendants, stands at Hyde Park Corner. For over 200 years, this great metropolitan mansion has been known colloquially as ‘Number 1 London.’ Inside you will see many aspects of the first duke’s life and work, outstandingly his amazing art collection. Paintings by famous artists are hung throughout the first floor, many of them part of the Spanish Royal Collection which came into Wellington’s possession after the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.
10. Chelsea Royal Hospital
There are few institutions in the United Kingdom with an unbroken three centuries of service and none of them is so close to the heart of the nation as “The Men in Scarlet”, the Chelsea Pensioners, and their home, the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Founded in 1692 by King Charles II and intended for the ‘succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war’, the Royal Hospital, with its Grade 1 listed buildings, still serves its original purpose.