Visit London Blog » london dungeon http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:26:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Best Bus Routes for Sightseeing in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/best-bus-routes-for-sightseeing-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/best-bus-routes-for-sightseeing-in-london/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:00:35 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=27625

London’s famous double-decker buses are an ideal way to see the city if you’re on a budget. Buy a Travelcard for the day and take a self-guided city tour on London’s best bus routes. These four cover most of the major sights in the city. Their routes are described from west to east and the return journey passes the same sights in reverse.

Number 74
Starting in Putney, this route travels past London’s museums hub in South Kensington where the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum sit side by side. It then passes luxury department store Harrods and the boundary of one of London’s largest green spaces at Hyde Park Corner. You can catch a glimpse of The Dorchester hotel just after, followed by the famous haunt of public rhetoric – Speaker’s Corner at Marble Arch. The final stop is Baker Street, home to both the Madame Tussauds wax figure museum and the Sherlock Holmes Museum, at the site of the fictional detective’s residence.

Number 9
The number 9 is one of only two routes operating the old-style Routemaster buses on part of its route. Leaving from Hammersmith, it passes Kensington Palace (you’ll have to get off to see it) followed by the beautiful Royal Albert Hall and the monument to Queen Victoria’s husband which sits opposite it. Like the number 74, the 9 passes the museums in Kensington, Harrods and Hyde Park corner. It takes a different route afterwards to visit St James’s Palace, Trafalgar Square, The Savoy hotel and arts and cultural centre Somerset House.

Number RV1
The RV1 is a favourite route for us here at VL Towers! Despite being a single decker, it still passes through some of the best parts of London, giving you a great cultural tour of the city. Soak up some shops and street theatre at Covent Garden before taking the RV1. Hopping on it will take you to the South Bank where you’ll see the London Eye and Royal Festival Hall. The London Bridge stop is metres from the London Dungeon and City Hall is the next sight on the route, which crosses Tower Bridge to finish up at the Tower of London.

Number 24
The 24 sets off from Camden Town which offers alternative fashion and food. The bus then heads to the more mainstream Leicester Square in the centre, calling in at Trafalgar Square and Horse Guards Parade. The political heart of London is next as the bus passes Parliament Square where you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, as well as the nearby Westminster Abbey where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in 2011. The final site is the city’s policing headquarters at the iconic New Scotland Yard building.

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Top Five London Halloween Events http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/10/top-five-london-halloween-events/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/10/top-five-london-halloween-events/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 14:36:12 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35642 Scare yourself silly in London this Halloween by checking out one of the city’s spooky happenings.

1. Catch a Scary Movie

 The Halloween Movie Mash-up Weekend at the Portobello Pop-up Cinema

When: 25-27 October

What: Celebrate the best in musical and classic horror flicks at this three-day fright-fest that features Halloween-themed food and drink, sing and dance-a-longs, fashionably frightening dressing-up boxes, pumpkin carving and apple bobbing. Film screenings include Halloween, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Find out more here

2. Brave the London Dungeon 

Halloween 2013 at The London Dungeon

When: From now until 9 November

What: Halloween revellers can meet the fiendish Sweeney Todd and a supporting cast of historical characters at what the London Dungeon reckons is its biggest, best and boldest Halloween season yet. Expect a double-dose of Halloween scares and laughs including The London Dungeon’s own Halloween home brew and a ghastly trick or treat lolly for every guest.

Find out more here

3. Enjoy a Ghoulish Adventure on the London Eye

Halloween Witch Academy 2013 at EDF Energy London Eye

When: 26 October – 2 November

What: Families are invited to join the ghoulish fun at the London Eye‘s Witch Academy. On the Halloween Storytelling Capsule, kids can join the High Witch to take on the ghastly Grimly Grim (voiced by family favourite Harry Enfield) and help to foil his plans to steal the Crown Jewels. Every graduate of the Witch Academy will receive a special badge of honour and join the Witch Academy Alumni.

Find out more here

4. Get Spooked at London Zoo

Boo at the Zoo at ZSL London Zoo

When: 26 October – 3 November

What: London Zoo is set to come creeping to life with a string of Halloween-themed special events, including spooky storytelling, frightening face painting and menacing mask-making. Visitors can also enjoy special Halloween versions of the zoo’s popular animal talks, feeds and demonstrations.

Find out more here

5. Discover a World of Spirits at Vinopolis

Vinopolis Cocktail Making Masterclass – Halloween Special

When: 31 October

What: Wine tasting destination Vinopolis will be stirring up a selection of spine-tingling Halloween potions in their Cocktail Making Masterclass. Test your magic with one of the experts as they teach you the tricks of the trade in order to concoct just the right mix of hair-raising ingredients, leaving you with some fiendish cocktails to try on your friends at home.

Find out more here

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Top Accessible Attractions in London by Srin Madipalli http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/top-accessible-attractions-in-london-by-srin-madipalli/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/top-accessible-attractions-in-london-by-srin-madipalli/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 13:56:42 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35166 London resident, wheelchair user and Disability Horizons co-founder Srin Madipalli, shares his thoughts on accessible attractions in London.

EDF Energy London Eye

The London Eye is one of my favourite tourist sites in London. On a clear day or evening, you get stunning views across the city of most of the major landmarks. There were no issues driving my wheelchair into the capsule, which was step-free.

Buckingham Palace

It’s been a long time since I went to Buckingham Palace (about 10 years ago!), but I remember being able to go everywhere. There was a small delay with one of the stair lifts, which struggled to lift my very heavy powered wheelchair.

The Natural History Museum, V&A Museum and Science Museum

All three museums are right by one another in South Kensington. They are big, fascinating and insightful places that have some fantastic exhibitions. Access is generally very good, but on busy days, or for special exhibitions, working through the crowds can be a bit difficult.

Tate Modern

For those of you who are like me, and know very little about the arts, or are generally unfamiliar with anything related to modern art, the Tate Modern is perfect. It’s accessible, spacious, easy to navigate and its exhibitions are well-presented. As it is free to enter, you can wander in and out as you wish.

Tate Modern is in a great location, on London’s South Bank, right by Shakespeare’s Globe and opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, so if you get bored of the art, there are other things in the vicinity to see. There is also a really good pub right by the Tate Modern called the Founder’s Arms which overlooks the Thames. Great place to have a beer on a warm summer’s day (it is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet too).

The British Museum

Another one of the big mega museums of London that is free to enter. My law school was a two minute walk from the British Museum, so when I used to have periods of free time between lectures, I sometimes went for a wander around.

While it is fully accessible, it is also one of those museums that is difficult to fully see in just a day. If time is limited, I’d recommend going to one of the special exhibitions. Like with London’s other museums, they can get really crowded on certain busy days, which can make it difficult to fully appreciate what you are seeing.

Also, just be wary that is a big museum, so if have any difficulties with fatigue or tiredness, be sure to plan your visit and identify in advance any particular exhibitions or galleries that you would prefer to visit.

Kew Gardens

One of London’s real gems, the vast expanse of Kew Gardens can be a great day out, and it is accessible. As it is more towards the edge of the city, you will need to consider transport more carefully.

I recall Kew Gardens Station being step-free, but as there would be a big step to get onto the train, I had to arrange assisted travel with South West Trains, who organised a ramp. I found the most interesting bit of Kew Gardens to be the special greenhouses, where the controlled conditions enable plant-life that usually can’t grow in a British climate. Like with the museums, Kew Gardens is pretty big – more than 300 acres in fact – so if this is likely to cause any difficulties, plan your day.

London Dungeon

I really like the London Dungeon. It is a bit cheesy, but it is a good laugh and a good way to spend a couple of hours. While accessible, some parts of the London Dungeon can be quite dark, which could make it difficult for some. I recall people in costumes and waxwork exhibits jumping out from nowhere trying to “scare” you, which I found utterly hilarious, but imagine that some people wouldn’t!

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is a tranquil and peaceful place that sits within the hustle and bustle of the busy financial district of central London known as the “Square Mile”. Once a upon a time, I used to go through the grounds of St Paul’s as short-cut on my way home. Most parts are accessible, but there are some areas that aren’t, such as the Whispering, Golden and Stone galleries, due to its age.

National Gallery and Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery is one of the smaller of London’s premier galleries, but it is still very impressive. I recently visited the National Gallery for a special collection of the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Again, they are both free to visit and accessible but, like all museums in London, can be a pain to make the most of when busy. Trafalgar Square, with Nelson’s Column, is one of the those must-see public squares and is within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Trafalgar Square is step-free with an accessible route to the National Gallery which sits right behind it.

Shakespeare's Globe TheatreShakespeare’s Globe

I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on a kind of date many years ago. I strongly recommend watching a performance there. I loved the fact that I could choose to be in the wheelchair platform in the covered stands or in the open standing area near the stage. I chose to position my wheelchair in the standing area by the stage, which was exposed to the elements!

The atmosphere in the audience was a lot of fun – the pouring rain made it just that much more a novelty. The performances at The Globe are a world away from the boring and static way in which Shakespeare is taught in the classroom and watching a modernised play live with its characteristic audience participation is a really enjoyable experience.

More accessible attractions in London

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London Video of the Week: Top London Attractions for Kids by Ellie Roddy http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/london-video-of-the-week-top-london-attractions-for-kids-by-ellie-roddy/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/london-video-of-the-week-top-london-attractions-for-kids-by-ellie-roddy/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 15:40:10 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35069

Ellie Roddy visits some of London’s top tourist attractions for families: the London Dungeon, ZSL London Zoo, Sea Life London Aquarium, Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Look out for a special guest presenter from the London Dungeon!

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London Dungeon: Re-Fresh Fear this Year! http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/london-dungeon-re-fresh-fear-this-year/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/london-dungeon-re-fresh-fear-this-year/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:00:26 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=34445

Think learning about history is boring? You’ll think again at the London Dungeon!

Step into the dark, spooky underground and back in time at the Dungeon’s new home on the South Bank, where you will cry with laughter and shake with fear while learning a thing or two about London’s gruesome past.

For almost 40 years, the Dungeon has been terrifying visitors beneath the arches on Tooley Street (near London Bridge); since March, it’s continued to frighten visitors in the underground vaults of County Hall, between Big Ben and the London Eye.

I went on an after-hours tour of what was already one of London’s most popular attractions, to see how it has improved. During 90 minutes, we were taken on a journey across 1,000 years of London’s goriest past, where history is brought to life.

The Dungeon is now “bigger, bolder and better” than before. Spine-tingling special effects make the whole experience extremely atmospheric, from the sight of the not-so-dead bodies to the sound of explosions during the gunpowder plot… even down to the stinky smells. The interactive tour features 18 new shows which are led by 20 live actors; old favourite characters are joined by new villains including Henry VIII virtually played by actor Brian Blessed.

The journey begins with a descent into the dungeons in a medieval lift. Here Henry VIII condemns you to execution as you begin a trip down the murky Thames… you don’t lose your head just yet but you will get wet!

London’s most infamous characters are lurking around every corner, including Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper and Guy Fawkes, who move you seamlessly from show to show taking you from plague ridden streets to torture chambers… where a lucky few will escape the torture!

Try and keep your head as you pass through the spinning sewer, and once again when you are treated to a “hair cut” in the dark above Mrs Lovett’s Pie Shop. Don’t get lost in the mirror maze and be extra careful as you stop off at The Ten Bells Pub, as Jack the Ripper is waiting to strike again.

Finally, if you have managed to make it this far, you will find yourself facing the judge in the courtroom – will you be sent through Guilty or Very Guilty? Either way you enter the Newgate Gallows to face the noose at the drop ride to DOOM!

I lived to tell the tale…. will you?!

Ellie was a guest of The London Dungeon

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What’s On This Weekend. 1-3 February 2013 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/whats-on-this-weekend-1-3-february-2013/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/whats-on-this-weekend-1-3-february-2013/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2013 12:15:09 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=31419 This weekend sees a blockbuster opening in London – the View from the Shard at London Bridge. This sky-high viewing experience allows visitors the chance to view the capital from an unprecedented height, but if you can’t make it to the building’s 72nd floor, the city still has plenty of lowlier – yet equally enjoyable -attractions on offer.

The View from the Shard

From Friday you’ll be able to view London from Europe’s tallest building, as the View from the Shard opens for business. A ticket allows you access to the the building’s highest floors, from which you can enjoy a 40km-wide view over the city and its environs. Don’t forget to pay close attention to the displays on your way up – you might see a few familiar faces in surprising situations. Adult tickets start from £29.95.

Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts

See the first major exhibition of Manet’s portraiture at the Royal Academy, which brings together works from around the world to highlight the artist’s skill in this complex field. This unique exhibition features more than 50 paintings, which depict everything from Manet’s friends and relatives to popular society figures of his day. For those looking to make a weekend of it, the nearby Athenaeum Hotel’s Manet Experience package offers a perfect combination of culture and luxury. Until 14 Apr

RAF Photographer of the Year 2012, at the RAF Museum

See stunning images of Air Force life at the RAF Photographer of the Year exhibition. The competition is now in its 23rd year and attracted more than 900 entries in 2012, depicting everything from life during overseas operations to the RAF’s world-class equipment. Not only can you see photographs by winner Corporal Mike Jones and many others, but you can also explore the rest of this fascinating museum, which features military aircraft displays, a 4D theatre and a chance to learn more about RAF history. Entry to the museum and exhibition is free.  Until 15 Apr

Snowdrop Days, Chelsea Physic Garden

Admire 10,000 newly-planted snowdrops in the Chelsea Physic Garden, which hosts this stunning celebration of the delicate white flower. As well as the garden displays, you can examine different varieties up close in the Snowdrop Theatre, or buy your own from the Chelsea Physic Garden shop. The Snowdrop Days are accompanied by programme of events that includes guided walks, lectures and workshops. Adult tickets are £9. Until 10 Feb

London Dungeon Car Boot Sale

Why exit through the gift shop when you can take the attraction home with you? Anyone who has enjoyed the deliciously terrifying delights of the London Dungeon will be delighted by the news that, on 3 February, the Dungeon will be selling off props from its old location at the Pimlico Car Boot Sale. You can purchase everything from cut-price period costumes to ghoulish fake body parts at this relocation sale, which precedes the start of the attraction’s new reign of terror at the Southbank in March. 3 Feb, from 11.30am

More events in London

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Things to Look Forward to This Year http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/things-to-look-forward-to-in-2013/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/things-to-look-forward-to-in-2013/#comments Sat, 12 Jan 2013 10:30:22 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=31176 The tallest building in Europe... almost. Photo: The View from The Shard

Last year set the bar pretty high for events and attractions in London, but 2013 is shaping up to be just as exciting. Here are some highlights you can’t miss this year.

View from the Shard

When? From 1 February

What? The opening of the Shard – that spiky new building that you can see from all over London. You can visit the viewing deck on the (deep breath) 69th floor, where digital telescopes will fill you in on the various parts of London you can gaze at.

Why? It was Europe’s tallest building, until November last year when a tower in Russia inched ahead. But height isn’t everything – the Shard is iconic and will give you giddy views of the city from 40 miles around. If you’re feeling brave, head up to the 72nd floor – it’s partly open air and the highest point you can access.

New London Dungeon

When? From 1 March

What? The London Dungeon is moving to a new home at County Hall, due to building work at London Bridge station.

Why? The move to the South Bank means a refreshed and more scary dungeon – there are 18 new spine-tingling shows to watch, and a virtual 3D Brian Blessed will sentence you to death as Henry VIII.

The Coronation Festival

When? 11-14 July

What? Dust off that bunting from the Diamond Jubilee, it’s the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, which happened a year after she became Queen. To celebrate, Buckingham Palace is hosting an exhibition featuring more than 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment – the mark of recognition for companies who have supplied goods or services to the royal family. There will also be two evening galas celebrating music throughout Her Majesty’s rein.

Why? The goods on show will be the best of British – officially. And it’s in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, need we say more?

RideLondon

When? 3-4 August

What? A brand new cycling festival through the streets of London. RideLondon is made up of three events: a 100-mile road challenge beginning in the Olympic Park, a family fun ride around London landmarks for up to 70,000 cyclists and a city centre grand prix for women’s elite, junior cyclists and hand cycles.

Why? After Bradley Wiggins rode to glory in the Tour de France and then won the Olympic time trial, the appetite for cycling in London is huge – 50,000 people have registered for only 20,000 places in the road challenge.

What are you looking forward to this year? Let us know below.

 

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The London Dungeon to Move to County Hall http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/11/the-london-dungeon-to-move-to-county-hall/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/11/the-london-dungeon-to-move-to-county-hall/#comments Fri, 16 Nov 2012 13:00:59 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=30175 One of London’s most popular attractions, The London Dungeon, is moving next year.

The dungeon has been terrifying visitors in its current location at London Bridge for almost 40 years. But it will close at the end of January and re-open in the underground vaults of County Hall on the South Bank in March.

Owners Merlin Entertainments promise the new dungeon will be “bigger, bolder and better”. Some of the attractions’ favourite characters, including Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, will be making the move to County Hall. They’ll be joined by new villains, including a murderous Henry VIII “virtually played” by actor Brian Blessed; and gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes.

Rides at the new London Dungeon will take visitors condemned to execution on a turbulent journey along the Thames; provide a “deadly drop” of three storeys; and a disorientating journey through Bazelgette’s Victorian sewer system.

Fans of The London Dungeon will be pleased to know that the usual band of torturers, plague victims, giant cockroaches and rats will be providing live shows and scares at the new venue.

The London Dungeon, Tooley Street is open until 31 January 2012. The new London Dungeon at County Hall opens 1 March. Prices for the new venue remain same same. Book tickets

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Win! Day 19: A Year’s Free Entry to Merlin Attractions http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/12/win-day-19-a-years-free-entry-to-merlin-attractions/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/12/win-day-19-a-years-free-entry-to-merlin-attractions/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 10:00:48 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=23784 Leave your wallet at home and visit some of London’s best attractions for free for a whole year with our amazing competition.

Win a Standard Annual Merlin Pass and you’ll get 12 months’ free entry to Merlin attractions across London and the UK, including the London Eye, London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds and London Dungeon.

Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to go on your own – your special pass also gives you savings on tickets for friends and family, plus food and shopping discounts at Merlin attractions and other special offers.

Enter now to win a Standard Annual Merlin Pass

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Kids Enjoy London Even More with New Topps London Sticker Collection http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/kids-enjoy-london-even-more-with-new-topps-london-sticker-collection/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/kids-enjoy-london-even-more-with-new-topps-london-sticker-collection/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2011 11:07:27 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=20712 The new My London Sticker Collection for 6-to-12 year olds is a great way to help kids enjoy London even more this summer.

The My London Sticker Collection offers children a fun way to discover more about London’s landmarks, as well as creating a great “personalised” guide book with colourful pictures of the city.

Children can collect stickers of everything London; from famous sporting venues like Wembley Stadium and Lord’s Cricket Ground to notable Londoners such as Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill.

The book, which costs just £1 from newsagents and shops like WH Smith, also contains “money-off vouchers” and exclusive deals and discounts for a variety of family activities including West End shows, the London Dungeon and the Houses of Parliament.

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