Category: Things to do

Top shopping places in London

Posted By : Jimmy Raza/ 5 0

Top shopping places in London

Whether it is a business trip, a city break or a romantic getaway, shopping is usually a mandatory ‘add-on’ when visiting London.
From luxury designer shops to souvenir stores, London is the ideal place to shop till you drop. Why you ask? All kinds of great shops are on display, global and local, an excellent customer service and the cool British vibe that encourages you to spend more and more… Take an extra luggage with you and visit all the stores from our list of recommendations we spotted in London especially for you:

Oxford Street

The famous Oxford Street is well known as the heart of London shopping or as we would like to say, the heaven of shopping. This is the place where famous designer shops meet with landmark stores and it’s impossible not to find what you want for advantageous discounts.

Margo Tip: Don’t forget your comfy shoes, this street may cause you back pains…It is long but offers all the top brands!

Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

For a fabulous shopping session, you can try London’s trendiest fashion boutiques. Young designers are exposing their unique creations in individual boutiques, but also you can find renowned brands like Barbour and Belstaff.

Knightsbridge

If you’re looking for high-end fashion from famous designers, then this is the place for you. Renowned brands such as Harrods are attracting more and more avid shoppers every year. The ideal location for shopaholics.

Margo Tip: follow the opening of the sales season throughout the year, when you can catch real bargains of top brands!

Marylebone High Street 

An elegant street that hosts plenty of stores such as Cath Kidston and also food specialties. This place has been described as “The Hidden Wonder of the West End” and truly deserves its title.

Westfield London

If you’re more like the mall type, Westfield London is an American style shopping mall that brings together clothing stores, food and, obviously, a giant theatre. There you can find street fashion shops along with luxury brands, making the ideal place to spend time on a rainy day.

Margo Tip: a great option for shopping in London on a rainy and cold day!

Carnaby Street

Step into a vibrant street, the place where fashion and culture were born and to this day, maintain the tradition. Filled with more than 100 brands and 60 elegant restaurants, Carnaby Street is the perfect place to get into the real British shopping spirit and fill your bags with high-end fashionable items.

Savile Row

Get into the old-fashioned style of shopping on Savile Row – the place where you can find stores that can craft you fabulous handmade suits, the well-known British tailoring. Explore the picturesque street and have an amazing shopping experience.

Secret London Shops

For a truly original shopping session dedicated to shopaholics, we handpicked some of the top “underground” locations, hidden from the world’s eyes. Starting with LN-CC fashion outlet factory, you can try the fine-cut clothes from Pistol Panties, enter a cool shop for movie lovers at Umit & Son and chill afterward with a delicious cupcake and an excellent tea at The Tea Room.
We would love hearing your ideas and plans – feel free to leave your comments here or on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter

Our London expert team is here to help with advice for the best visit in London! Contact us for guidance.

Going to London with young kids

Posted By : Jimmy Raza/ 13 0

London is considered to be a wonderland for kids, why? Starting with the fact that this city is the birthplace of so many famous stories – from Mary Poppins to Doctor Who and Harry Potter, London was the setting for a lot of iconic movies characters making it the perfect place for all the kids. This city will take your kids on a journey into their favorite fairy tales and make them enjoy it to their fullest. Either you choose a museum, either a park, your child will still be in awe, making you will agree with us that London is truly magic! Here’s what you need to know when heading for a trip to London:

When to visit London with your kids

The nicest weather allowing you to do a lot of activities is during the summer time, but it can also be the busiest period. If you choose to visit it in the summer, we recommend going during the week. You can also enjoy some discounts by doing this.

Save money on transportation with The London Pass

The London Pass is a card that grants passage into the majority of London’s attractions. It can be a great deal for families, allowing you flexibility and ensuring you’re not missing any important objective. The card allows you to explore the city of London and enter over 70 attractions for one Price.

Eating in London with kids

Food can be quite expensive in London if you choose to eat in restaurants. However, with kids, restaurants might not be the best choice, especially if you have limited time (and they are hungry!). London is full of fast food options and most of them are even healthy options – for example – pret , who offer vegan and healthy food packed for the road. Another option is to hop into an M&S food store and pack some fresh salads, fruits, and snacks for great prices and quality.
If you do eventually choose a restaurant, most of London’s restaurants are family friendly, offering you a great décor and a friendly environment. For some funny noodles you can try Wagamama, or for a kid-friendly menu you can try Giraffe.

Book a hotel in advance

To get the most of your experience with your kids and enjoy the best comfort, book a family-friendly hotel. You can do this a few months in advance to avoid the overbooking period and take advantage of great deals. To save more money, you can stay at a hotel outside the Central London, but bear in mind to keep it close to the subway.

What to do?

  • Book a bus tour

An organized London bus tour can save you time and money, beside the great adventure of seating in an open roof bus. When booking a 24h bus tour you ensure your transportation, a well-trained guide to share with you the London history and free entrance at many objectives such as Madame Tussauds. These tours are the most loved kids activities, as well as the attraction of riding an open roofed bus…

  • Harry potter warner bros studio tour

This one is considered as one of the main attractions in London.
You can find a lot of magical tours where kids can play, but the all-time favorite is the Harry Potter: Warner Bros Studio Tour.
It is better to book your ticket in advance and it is recommended to avoid the hassle of transportation to the distant location of the studio, and hop in to an organized bus that will bring you to the doorsteps of Hogwarts, while on the journey the bus will project, you guessed right – a Harry Potter movie!
Don’t forget your Harry Potter outfit!

  • Have fun at in the park/ theatre

In the hot season, London is loaded with great shows. You can attend the amazing plays for kids either in the outdoor theatres or at the grand scenes. Also, the parks are a great idea, offering a wide range of outdoor activities such as tennis, ping pong, badminton or even riding the bicycle. Kew Gardens, Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Battersea Park and St. James Park are great ideas for spending a cozy afternoon and enjoying a British picnic.

  • Visit the main attractions

Don’t miss the most famous London attractions and put them on your list. Kids will love the live history lessons. Take them to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, British Museum, Legoland Windsor, National Portrait Gallery, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, London Sea Life Aquarium, London Zoo, Madame Tussauds, the adventure of Shrek …you name it.

In some locations your kids will benefit of free access, but in most of them a fee is required, so in order to enjoy some good offers, search for a combined deal such as this one, offering 5 attractions in one fee

Our London expert team is here to help with advises for a good visit in London! Contact us for a guide.
We would love hearing your ideas and plans – feel free to leave comments here or at our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

The Making of Harry Potter Tour – A brief guide

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The Making of Harry Potter Tour –  A brief guide

The Experience:

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter most commonly known as Harry Potter Tour is the most popular and most demanding tour in London that takes you behind the scenes of your favourite Harry Potter Films. The tour is so popular that the tickets get sold out months in advance The tour has amazed people of all ages in its own magical way.

So, what is Harry Potter Studio tour, in lame words Harry Potter Studio tour is a walking tour that walks you through the magical world of Harry Potter™ films with props, sets, costumes and even the magical animatronics used in the film series. The whole three hours experience really makes you feel like you are in the magical world of Harry Potter and shows you how the magical world was made into reality for its fans.

The tour starts with a short film where Harry and his mates tell you about their experiences while shooting the film series and then the giant doors open, taking you to the great hall, from there on the magical world is open to your footstep and you will unravel the secrets of harry potter world. The tour is divided into stages and amazes you in every corner. As you walk be see Hogwarts Castle, take a ride on Hogwarts Express, walk the cobbles of Diagon Alley and the scary forbidden forest and not to mention a flying ride on Harry’s broomstick.

Audio Guide:

An audio guide is available for your convenience from the studio if you wish to rent it for only £4.95. Audio guide gives you a great insight of the tour with a great explanation of how the props, costumes and sets were made possible for the viewers and lovers of Harry Potter. The audio guide is also available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Brazilian and Portuguese.

Where the studio is located

Warner Bros. Studio London is located in Watford, which is 20 miles north-west of London. There are various ways as to how you can get to the studio and it also depends which type of ticket you bought.

Tickets bought directly from the studio:

If the tickets are purchased directly from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London’s website, then you have to make your own way to the studio as tickets bought directly from Warner Bros. Studio London does not include transportation. You can make your own way to the studio which is explained later in the article.

Tickets Bought from ticket retailers/tour operators in London:

Warner Bros. Studio London has authorised a number of ticket retailers or tour operators in London that sell the tour including transportation to the studio and back. Such tours are normally available in terms of time slots and are proven to be more successful among tourists because as a tourist it is a little bit tricky to get to the studio and you have to make few train changes. However, if you buy from retailers/tour operators you have everything sorted for you and all you have to do is to make your way to the tour departure point which is generally Victoria London and the tour operator will take care of everything for you.

A Harry Potter tour bought from a retailer normally lasts approximately 7 hours with two hours to reach the studio and back to London and 3 hours to spend inside the studio, mostly you get more than 3 hours to spend in the studio as the transportation takes less than 2 hours.

Transportation only to Warner Bros. Studio London

shuttle bus to harry potter studio

If you have bought tickets directly from the studio, then you can also choose transportation only option offered by some of the suppliers. In order to do that you must make sure that you match the departure time of the bus with the entrance slot, you have booked with the studio, for example, if your entrance time is booked for 2 PM then you must choose departure time of 12 PM in order to get there on time.

How to get to the studio on your own:

If you wish to make your own way to the studio, you can either drive to the studio using the postcode WD25 7LR in your SAT NAV and great news WB Studio offers free parking for its guests. Alternatively, if you wish to travel by train from London then you can take a train from Euston Station to Watford Junction from where you can board on the shuttle service offered by the studio for a price of £2.50 or £3 if you buy a return.

How to Book Tickets for Harry Potter Studio tour:

Tickets to Harry Potter Studio tour gets sold out very quickly, if you have any plans to go to the studio you must book it way in advance otherwise you will struggle to get the tickets or most likely you won’t get the tickets.

Tickets can be bought directly from the Warner Bros. Studio London’s website or from ticket retailers.

Last Minute Harry Potter Tickets:

There is no such thing as last-minute tickets to harry potter studio however some suppliers such as Golden Tours which is the preferred partner of Warner Bros. Studios London keeps allocation for hotel concierges and small sellers in London, so if you have not booked the tickets best thing is to check with small sellers in London or on the internet.

 

Note: Margo Tickets & Tours is authorized sales agent of Golden Tours Ltd

hop on hop off tours

Which Open Top Bus Tours London

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Which Open Top Bus Tour London

A hop on hop off sightseeing bus tour is a must do and highly recommended for London Tourists especially if this is your first-time visit to London. With the help of hop on hop off bus tour you will have a good idea of the city without worrying about directions or stations as the bus stops and passes all the prime locations, which also gives a benefit to people who do not speak very good English as the bus has guide in multiple languages which keeps you aware of places you are passing on the bus. The bus stops at all the stops and you have an option to get off and get back on at the same stop or join the bus at another stop. Following set of paragraphs explains key advantages of the hop on hop off bus tour London and various bus tours available to book.

Key advantages of Hop on Hop off bus tour

  • City Overview and Open Top Bus Experience:

Doing a sightseeing Hop on Hop off bus tour gives you a nice overview of the city and idea of the city’s prime locations to visit. Doing a sightseeing open top bus tour is highly recommended for at least a day or two days and after that, you can be on your own.

  • Flexible & Frequent:

Firstly, a hop on hop off bus tour is very flexible, which means you can use it as you like. The buses are mostly arriving every 10 to 15 minutes in summer and every 15 to 20 minutes in winter, this way you are not bound to any fixed schedule and you can spend as much time as you like at one location and when you are ready you can join another bus coming from the same stop you got off the bus or another stop.

  • Guide in Multiple Languages:

Although London is very tourist friendly with directions and signs everywhere and lots of helpful people but still if you are not very good with English, a hop on hop off bus tour is definitely a good option for you. Usually, all the hop on hop off bus tours have recorded guide in many languages which does not just guide you about the history of London, it is also very helpful if you don’t speak English very well as you will be well aware of where you are and where you are going.

The buses do also have a live onboard guide in English which keeps you entertained as well.

Comparing the Hop-on Hop-off Bus tours:

The time is long gone when London only had one or two sightseeing hop on hop off bus tours, now London has at least four companies operating as a hop on hop off bus tour and it is often difficult for tourists to choose the right one, here is your guide to hop on hop off bus tours. In the following guide, we have focused on 3 main companies in London.

  1. Big Bus Tour
  2. Golden Tours Hop-on Hop-off Tour
  3. The Original London Tour.

Routes Covered

All three companies cover all the major sights including Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, Westminster, Tower Bridge, St. Pauls and Buckingham Palace.

Hotel Districts:

Big Bus Tour has the benefit of offering full-service regular service from areas that are densely populated with hotels such as Paddington, Bayswater, and South Kensington. This way tourists can join the tour right from their hotels and come back to the hotels. Golden Tour’s Hop on Hop off does not have full service from hotel districts except Paddington however they do operate a morning and afternoon connection service

Bus Frequency

Previously Big Bus Tour company had an advantage of having most frequent service and most convenient map with blue line covering most of the sights but now Golden Tour’s also offering very good frequency of buses and with the inclusion of Orange & Blue route where you can cover most of the sights in London

Extra Inclusions:

All the hop on hop off bus tour services offers free walking Tours and River Cruise Tour as part of standard Hop on Hop off bus tour except Golden Tours offering a cheapest 1-day ticket without river cruise tour or walking tours.

How Hop-on Hop-off Ticket works:

Most tickets are formed as 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours validity, which can be termed as 1 day, two days or three days. The validity of the ticket starts from the time you first board on the bus and valid until the same time next day or day after depending on the ticket you have bought for example a 24 hour ticket will be valid from the time you first board the bus until the same time next day.

Service Timings:

Service timings vary and depend on season, usually in summer time buses operate the longest duration with the Big Bus Tour having last bus tour starting at around 7 PM. In winter, however, most services have their last bus at around 4:30 PM.

Which Company to Choose:

Based on our experience we are fond of two hop on hop off companies in London, Big Bus Tour and Golden Tours’ hop on hop off bus tour. The key advantage with choosing Big Bus Tour is better convenience in terms of route and pick up from hotel districts along with very good frequency whereas Golden Tours’ open top bus tour does also have route convenience and very good pricing strategy where you have an option to choose with or without River cruise tour.

Pricing and Ticket Options

1 Day ( no extras ) 24 hours 48 hours 72 hours Offers

Big Bus Tour

NA £35 £43 £49 Book Here

Golden Tours

£26 £30 £35 £43 Book Here
The Original Tour NA £32 £42 NA Book Here