If there’s one thing you can always guarantee on a short break to London, it’s plenty of heritage and culture to get stuck into. From trips to world-famous museums to sightseeing at Royal Palaces, you could spend weeks on end exploring all the fascinating cultural attractions on offer.
With so much going on in one city, it’s hard to know where to begin. Fear not, I’m here to guide you through the difficult decisions that come with planning a cultural London break. Browsing through our delightful London attractions, I’ve picked out some of the best exhibitions and tours on offer this year.
Museum of London, 17th October 2014 to 12th April 2015
From October 2014, the Museum of London will be showcasing one of the world’s most fascinating minds; the one and only Sherlock Holmes in a brand new and incredibly exciting exhibition.
Arthur Conan Doyle created the fascinating fictional character back in ye olde 1887 and the world has never looked back. His iconic deerstalker, pipe and cape have stood the test of time expanding from great literature to the big stage and screen.
To celebrate the world-famous detective, The Museum of London Sherlock Holmes Exhibition will transport visitors back to Victorian London to discover the backdrop of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and the truth behind Sherlock’s complex, yet remarkable mind.
British Museum, 6th March 2014 to 22nd June 2014
Ever wondered what life as a Viking would be like? (Yeah, me too.) Well, wonder no more. The British Museum is launching their first major exhibition in 30 year’s letting you discover the ancient world of warriors, seafarers and conquerors.
See their personal items, exquisite objects, and the remains of a 37 metre-long warship dating back to 1025 for a fascinating insight into the Viking way of life. Revealing their extraordinary past and recent excavation findings, the Vikings: The Life and Legend Exhibition is not to be missed!
Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews, 2nd August to 28th September 2014
If you fancy a bit of grandeur on your London break, then A Royal Day at Buckingham Palace and Royal Mews is just what you need. The day will start with a nosey around the truly splendid working stables, followed by a peek at the luxury state cars used by the Queen herself. The Royal Mews is also home to the fabulous Gold State Coach built for George III way back in 1762. Weighing in almost four tonnes, this shiny regal carriage is a symbol of Royal opulence at its best!
If, like me, you thought the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge last summer was the most exciting thing to happen all year, then the Palace’s newest Royal Childhood exhibition guarantees to stir up all those lovely feelings again! Discover what life as a little Royal person is really like, and delve into the Royal Collection and Archives to see fascinating Royal childhood objects.
To top off an already wonderful day, the tour will conclude in Buckingham Palace’s Garden Café – perfect for enjoying refreshments, looking out the famous lawn and wondering “What if I’d been born a Royal?” Ah wishful thinking…
Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, 9th February 2014 & 9th March 2014
Another Royal treat, but let’s face, we can’t enough of it in London. As the centre of court life for more than 200 years, the walls of Hampton Court have seen it all. From Henry VIII’s notorious reign to William III’s Glorious Revolution, you can discover the very place where the discussions that shaped our country as we know it today went on.
With a guided tour of both Hampton Court’s palaces and the stunning riverside gardens included, you’ll see the splendour of the Great Hall and hear haunting stories about ghosts said to be residing in the Palace.
Finishing with a trip to the Royal Chapel and the world-famous maze, this is one tour where you can truly lose yourself (excuse the pun) in the historically fascinating Royal way of life.
Do any of these London sightseeing tours or exhibitions appeal to your inner culture vulture? Or perhaps you can recommend another trip to satisfy culture lovers on a London break? Let us know using the comments box below!