London area of the Docklands
Sitting right along the Thames, are the once famous Docklands of London. Beginning 1802, the construction of the docks welcomed business, burgeoning, tightknit riverside communities. Although the docks were heavily bombed from World War II, the docks have developed fully in the last few decades.
After the transformation of the Docklands, it became a great place for tourists who like water and a slower pace compared to that of central London. From St Katharine Docks to the Canary Wharf at West India Docks, the Docklands offers a variety of different places. It’s waterfront streets are known for open views of the river, great restaurants, and nice hotels.
London Cable Car & Emirates Aviation Experience
Why explore on the outskirts of metro London? Right in the midst of the Docklands is the Emirates Air Line and the associated Emirates Aviation Experience. This neat attraction was created as a part of a business partnership between Emirates and Transport for London (TFL). Therefore, you can use the London transit underground card to ride the Air line.
The Emirates Air line is a gondola (cable car) that crosses the River Thames, connecting the Royal Docklands with the Greenwich Peninsula- a brief trip from the stunning O2 Arena. With over 1.5 millions riders per year it is totally safe, comfortable, and quick 0.62 mile ride.
At a maximum of about 300 feet above the river you will have spectacular views of the area. In your car, a short video will play. It describes the development of the Emirates Air Line and Docklands below.
Be sure to bring your camera long you can take surprisingly beautiful shots of river and the surrounding Docklands. If you hate crowds, much like I do, I would recommend that you get inline for the cable car in the morning after sun rise, or in the evening before the sun sets.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The location on which St Paul’s Cathedral stands has been deemed a religious site almost 6,000 years ago. Originally, the church was built mostly out of wood, but it was one of the many buildings that was destroyed in the Fire of 1666. Over the centuries the cathedral had been rebuilt many times, yet the historical significance had always remained.
These days, the “services held at the Cathedral include Churchill’s funeral and the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana.”
St Paul’s Cathedral is a colossal cross-shaped church, with striking gold decorations, marble floors, and beautiful ceilings decorated with elegant frescos. Even if you are not a fan of religious structures, this cathedral is a piece of art.
I would recommend buying a ticket at the cathedral itself and to utilize the complementary hand-held multimedia guide. It narrates almost all important details of all the different parts of the Cathedral.
Holy Dome! The dome of St Paul’s is the most impressive part of the famous cathedral. The dome composed of three circular galleries. After an initial steep trek of over 200 steps, visitors will reach the first gallery, the Whispering Gallery, that stands about 99 feet tall. “It has impressive acoustic properties so any whisper or murmur at the other side of the gallery can be heard clearly.”
At the Cathedral’s most central point is a large underground crypt where pieces past temples remain, as well as various memorials and monuments. Interestingly, it is a famous burial place for some of the UK’s most influential citizens, including Lord Nelson, Wellington and Churchill.
Let’s get those steps in!
Going to the top Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is no easy trek, but the view from up top seems like the best in all of London. For a total of 528 step and about 365 from ground level, it may cause even fit individuals to huff and puff. I would recommend that you wear a comfortable pair of shoes and bring a water bottle.
PICCADILLY CIRCUS, such an odd name for a public place. With such a unique name, people often ponder about the meaning of it can where it came from. The ‘Piccadilly’ portion of the name comes from the year of 1612 when Roger Baker, a tailor who made a fortune selling Piccadils.
Piccadils are inflexible decorative neck collars worn by high-fashion individuals during the late 17th century. Overtime time the local residents referred to the tailor’s house as Piccadilly, rather than locals referred to the tailor’s house as Piccadilly Hall’.
For the second portion of the name, ‘Circus’, it originates comes from the “Latin word for ring or circle and was commonly used by Romans to refer to public areas like this.” Nowadays the ‘circle’ has transformed into a square, but the classic name has stuck around.
Now, Piccadilly Circus is usually a very popular destination amongst travelers. This bustling circle is not a place that you would want to miss either. Here is a quick list of what you can expect to see:
Sights In Piccadilly
Open Air Circus: In the 1990’s this pedestrian friendly area was filled with many dancers and gymnasts. Now days you are able to find not only dancers, but other unique street performers and artists.
Coca-Cola Sign: In the mid 1950s, the bold Coca-Cola sign was built. This made it the longest existing sign in Piccadilly Circus. However, products were for the first time advertised in neon lights at this place in 1908.
Statue of Eros: Eros is the name of the statue, but that is not exactly what it represents. It actually represents Anteros, “the god of selfless and mature love and not his twin brother Eros, the god of frivolous and romantic love. “ You might want to touch this statue if you are having love life problems.
Afternoon Tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel
It might sound horribly cliché to have tea time in London, but there is no denying that having afternoon tea in a 5-star hotel makes you feel like luxury. Presenting the pinnacle in British elegance, the 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel at the Park room brings its customers the most notable Afternoon Tea experience. With a contemporary design, fresh flower bouquets, and well-trained servers, the Park Room allows their customers to relax in a classy atmosphere tasting premium tea with complementing snacks. Frequent customers come here for a retreat from the bustling London life-style.
In fact, just last year the Park Room at Grosvenor House was awarded a Highly Commended certificate at the Afternoon Tea Awards. This award recognizes the highest of quality in Afternoon Tea service.
An Exquisite Experience
Just a bit of history about the origin about Afternoon Tea. It was named after “Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who is understood to be responsible for starting the ritual of Afternoon Tea in the early 1800s. “
With a stunning, yet somewhat delicate interior the Park room offers live piano music, along with extravagant chandeliers, innate cutlery and well-dressed servers. Park Room offers a “seasonal twist on a traditional Afternoon Tea experience with delicate pastries hand crafted by Executive Pastry Chef, Dale DeSimone.”
For price about 50 pounds you are able to chose from an extensive list of unlimited quality Newby teas. Unlimited assortments of various finger sandwiches, scones, small pastries, and an assortment of fresh jams. You might think that the price is too steep for tea and snacks, but you can definably leave with a satisfyingly full belly.
I chose to drink the aromatic chai tea with a selection of black currant and raspberry jam!
If this looks like an interesting experience to you, I would recommend that you make a reservation at least 3 days prior to your desired day. https://www.parkroom.co.uk/