With London taking the world stage for the Olympics this summer, we can help but think about what else there might be to do in London while you’re there. There is a plethora of history and interesting tours and attractions to visit that are off the beaten path. In fact, working with our travel partner in Europe, we’ve developed quite a portfolio of different sites that may interest you or your group. Take a peek here, we’ve highlighted three that might tickle your fancy. If these don’t, take a moment and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org We have many, many more.
Also, if you’re still dying to take your group to London this summer but can’t find a hotel, have you considered Paris? It’s only 2.5 hours away from London by Eurostar and would expand your trip to two amazing cities. Don’t hesitate to contact us; we have itineraries, the network and the right properties that might be just perfect for you and your group.
TOWER OF LONDON AND CROWN JEWELS
A keep, a prison and still a fortress, the Tower has served as a palace, place of execution and in its time has housed the Royal Mint, the Royal Observatory, the Royal Menagerie and the Public Records. Now it is famous for the Bloody Tower, Traitors Gate, the Ravens, the Yeoman Warders and of course the Crown Jewels including the First Star of Africa, one of the biggest diamonds in the world.
Although they have been displayed in a number of different locations within the Tower, in 1994 the Jewels were rehoused in a magnificent new treasury within the Waterloo Barracks. Guests enter the Jewel House through the impressive Hall of Monarchs. This room displays a royal crest, representing every British monarch dating back to that of William the Conqueror.
EXCLUSIVE BACKSTAGE TOUR OF THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
The Royal Opera House is the third theatre on the Covent Garden site. Its history began in 1728 when John Rich, actor/manager at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, commissioned The Beggar’s Opera from John Gay. The success of the venture provided the capital for the first Theatre Royal at Covent Garden, designed by Edward Shepherd. The first serious musical works to be heard at Covent Garden were the operas of Handel.
Covent Garden (as it is popularly known) is now the home of the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera, both considered to be among the very top companies in the world. After a more than £250 million refurbishment with the rebuilding of the Floral Hall, it finally reopened after two and a half years closure in December of 1999.
The private tour will include an introduction to the history of the opera house and a look at aspects of current productions. There will also be, schedule permitting, an opportunity to see The Royal Ballet in class. Unlike other tours and by special arrangement, one will be able to see the magnificent backstage technology in operation and view the Royal Box.
An architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history – the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the tombs of kings and queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions. Today it is still a church dedicated to regular worship and to the celebration of great events in the life of the nation. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a “Royal Peculiar” under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter, subject only to the Sovereign.