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Oxford Street Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road via Oxford Circus. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, and as of 2012 had approximately 300 shops. It is designated as part of the A40, a major road between London and Fishguard, though it is not signed as such, and traffic is regularly restricted to buses and taxis. The road was originally a Roman road, part of the Via Trinobantina between Essex and Hampshire via London. It was known as Tyburn Road through the Middle Ages and was once notorious as a street where prisoners from Newgate Prison would be transported towards a public hanging. It became known as Oxford Road and then Oxford Street in the 18th century, and began to change character from a residential street to commercial and retail purposes by the late 19th century, also attracting street traders, confidence tricksters and prostitution. The first department stores in Britain opened on Oxford Street in the early 20th century, including Selfridges, John Lewis and HMV. Unlike nearby shopping streets such as Bond Street, it has retained an element of downmarket street trading alongside more prestigious retail stores. The street suffered heavy bombing during World War II, and several longstanding stores including John Lewis were completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. Despite competition from other shopping centres such as Westfield Stratford City and the Brent Cross shopping centre, Oxford Street remains in high demand as a retail location, with several chains hosting their flagship stores on the street, and has a number of listed buildings. The annual switching on of Christmas lights by a celebrity has been a popular event since 1959. However, the combination of a very popular retail area and a main thoroughfare for London buses and taxis has caused significant problems with traffic congestion, safety and pollution. Various traffic management schemes have been proposed by Transport for London, including a ban on private vehicles during daytime hours on weekdays and Saturdays, and improved pedestrian crossings. -0.142025 51.515312 https://smart.london/attractions/Oxford_Street
Regent Street Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It is named after George, the Prince Regent and was built under the direction of the architect John Nash. The street runs from Waterloo Place in St James's at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church. From there Langham Place and Portland Place continue the route to Regent's Park. The street was completed in 1825 and was an early example of town planning in England, replacing a number of earlier roads including Swallow Street. Nash's street layout has survived, although all the original buildings except All Souls Church have been replaced following reconstruction in the late 19th century. The street is known for its flagship retail stores, including Liberty, Hamleys, Jaeger and the Apple Store. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, now the University of Westminster, has been based on Regent Street since 1838. -0.13936501492043 51.510999132859 https://smart.london/attractions/N__454369334
Victoria and Albert Museum The Victoria and Albert Museum London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The V&A is located in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area that has become known as "Albertopolis" because of its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the major cultural institutions with which he was associated. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Like other national British museums, entrance to the museum has been free since 2001. The V&A covers 12.5acre and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum owns the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, with the holdings of Italian Renaissance items being the largest outside Italy. The departments of Asia include art from South Asia, China, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection is amongst the largest in the Western world. Overall, it is one of the largest museums in the world. Since 2001, the museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme, which has seen a major overhaul of the departments, including the introduction of newer galleries, gardens, shops and visitor facilities. New 17th- and 18th-century European galleries were opened on 9 December 2015. These restored the original Aston Webb interiors and host the European collections 1600–1815. -0.17221216798823 51.496852702752 https://smart.london/attractions/N__469765002
Bond Street Bond Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It links Piccadilly in the south to Oxford Street in the north and has been popular for retail since the 18th century, being the home of many fashion outlets that sell prestigious and expensive items. The southern section is Old Bond Street and the longer northern section New Bond Street—a distinction not generally made in everyday usage. The street was built on fields surrounding Clarendon House on Piccadilly, which were developed by Sir Thomas Bond. It was built up in the 1720s, and by the end of the 18th century was a popular place for the upper-class residents of Mayfair to socialise. Prestigious and expensive shops were established along the street, but it declined as a centre of social activity in the 19th century, although it held its reputation as a fashionable place for retail, and is home to the auction houses Sotheby's and Bonhams and the department stores Fenwick and Tiffany's. It is one of the most expensive and sought after strips of real estate in Europe. -0.1448 51.5126 https://smart.london/attractions/Bond_Street
British Museum The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of an expanding British colonial footprint and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington in 1881 . In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. -0.1247294 51.5189937 https://smart.london/attractions/W__40405915
Tate Modern Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group . It is based in the former Bankside Power Station, in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark. Tate holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art. Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. As with the UK's other national galleries and museums, there is no admission charge for access to the collection displays, which take up the majority of the gallery space, while tickets must be purchased for the major temporary exhibitions. -0.099412567299731 51.507606803011 https://smart.london/attractions/W__24642569
Big Ben Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower as well. The tower is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012; previously, it was known simply as the Clock Tower. When completed in 1859, it was, says clockmaker Ian Westworth, “the prince of timekeepers: the biggest, most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.” The tower had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place. A British cultural icon, the tower is one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and is often in the establishing shot of films set in London. -0.1245825 51.5006801 https://smart.london/attractions/W__123557148
Jermyn Street Jermyn Street is a one-way street in the St James's area of the City of Westminster in London, England. It is to the south of, parallel, and adjacent to Piccadilly. It is known as a street on which the shops are almost exclusively aimed at the gentlemen's clothing market and famous for its resident shirtmakers such as Turnbull & Asser, Hawes & Curtis, Thomas Pink, Harvie & Hudson, Charles Tyrwhitt and T. M. Lewin. Gentlemen's outfitters Hackett and DAKS are also located on Jermyn Street, as well as shoe- and boot-makers John Lobb and Foster & Son. A number of other businesses occupy premises on the street, such as the men's luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill, who opened its shop on the corner of Jermyn Street and Duke Street in 1907; barbers Geo.F. Trumper, and Taylor of Old Bond Street; cigar shop Davidoff; as well as Britain's oldest cheese shop, Paxton & Whitfield, trading since 1797. Forming part of the St James's Art District there are a number of art galleries in Jermyn Street including Ben Janssens Oriental Art, Guy Morrison & Titus Kendall, Harris Lindsay, S Franses Ltd, Simon Dickson Ltd, The Sladmore Gallery and The Weiss Gallery. Among the restaurants in the street are the historic Wiltons, the new Fortnum and Mason restaurant - 45 Jermyn St, the long established Rowley’s Restaurant and Franco’s. Tramp nightclub and the 70-seat Jermyn Street Theatre are also on the street. -0.136908 51.5084 https://smart.london/attractions/T__e71a61ba88d7
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning. Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds. The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II; the Queen's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The palace has 775 rooms, and the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. -0.14252570903718 51.50079561526 https://smart.london/attractions/W__8137715
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952 (Kray twins), although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site. The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery. The peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, and the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, it is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. -0.076074678291883 51.508140256681 https://smart.london/attractions/W__4486210
Savile Row Savile Row is a street in Mayfair, central London. Known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men, the street has had a varied history that has included accommodating the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society at 1 Savile Row, where significant British explorations to Africa and the South Pole were planned; and more recently, the Apple office of the Beatles at 3 Savile Row, where the band's final live performance was held on the roof of the building. Originally named Savile Street, it was built between 1731 and 1735 as part of the development of the Burlington Estate. It was designed under the influence of Burlington's interpretation of Palladian architecture, known as "Burlingtonian". Henry Flitcroft, under the supervision of Daniel Garrett, appears to have been the main architect – though 1 and 22–23 Savile Row were designed by William Kent. Initially, the street was occupied mainly by military officers and their wives; later William Pitt the Younger and Irish-born playwright and MP, Richard Brinsley Sheridan were residents. Tailors started doing business in the area in the late 18th century; first in Cork Street, about 1790, then by 1803 in Savile Row itself. In 1846, Henry Poole, later credited as the creator of the dinner jacket or tuxedo, opened an entrance to Savile Row from his tailoring premises in Old Burlington Street. In 1969, Nutters of Savile Row modernised the style and approach of traditional Savile Row tailoring; a modernisation that continued in the 1990s with the "New Bespoke Movement", involving the designers Richard James, Ozwald Boateng, and Timothy Everest. The term "bespoke" as applied to fine tailoring is understood to have originated in Savile Row, and came to mean a suit cut and made by hand. -0.140853 51.5113 https://smart.london/attractions/Savile_Row
Madame Tussauds Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with smaller museums in a number of other major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud. It used to be known as "Madame Tussaud's"; the apostrophe is no longer used. Madame Tussauds is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying waxworks of famous people. -0.1547768 51.5228224 https://smart.london/attractions/N__29269886
Harrods Harrods is a luxury department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London. It is owned by the state of Qatar. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods, and to Harrods Buenos Aires, sold by Harrods in 1922 and closed, with plans announced to reopen in 2013. The store occupies a 5acre site and has 330 departments covering one million square feet of retail space. The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which is Latin for "all things for all people, everywhere". Several of its departments, including the seasonal Christmas department and the food halls, are well known. -0.16284859961019 51.499154191728 https://smart.london/attractions/W__25739565
Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century, and is presently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Today, the State Rooms are open to the public and managed by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, a nonprofit organization that does not receive public funds. The offices and private accommodation areas of the Palace remain the responsibility of the Royal Household and are maintained by the Royal Household Property Section. The palace also displays many paintings and other objects from the Royal Collection. -0.18813733009614 51.505113438114 https://smart.london/attractions/W__30089855
National Gallery The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Musée du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unlike comparable museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and by private donations, which comprise two-thirds of the collection. The resulting collection is small in size, compared with many European national galleries, but encyclopaedic in scope; most major developments in Western painting "from Giotto to Cézanne" are represented with important works. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case. The present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was designed by William Wilkins from 1832 to 1838. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins's building was often criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897. The Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain. The current Director of the National Gallery is Gabriele Finaldi. -0.12896074114218 51.508861069869 https://smart.london/attractions/W__4372002
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