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London spans such a huge area and encompasses so many diverse attractions that it’s impossible to fit everything in during just one short visit to the UK capital.
With this in mind, the best place to start exploring this fabulously eclectic and historic city would be from your hotel, so if you’re staying at the Montcalm Royal London House in Finsbury Square, take a look at the fantastic attractions around you and plan your trip from there.
Here’s our pick of four of the best attractions for visitors of all ages, as well as instructions on how to get there from the Montcalm Royal London House hotel:
1. HMS Belfast
Now owned by the Imperial War Museum (which itself features further down this list), HMS Belfast is a former warship that was used by the Royal Navy between 1938 and 1963. The ship played a key role in the British naval operations of the Second World War, particularly during the Normandy landings of June 1944.
Later, HMS Belfast was involved in the Korean War of 1950-52, before it was decommissioned following a quarter of a century of service. Today, the boat is moored on the River Thames and visitors can climb aboard to learn about the ship’s impressive history, from its construction through to its battle days and its later years of travel across the globe.
Getting there: You can reach HMS Belfast from the hotel by foot in around half an hour, or you could take the Tube from Moorgate close to the hotel, disembarking at London Bridge, from where the ship is just a few moments’ walk.
2. Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the city’s most iconic and imposing landmarks. This is where prisoners were kept for committing treason before being publicly hanged in the past, with the sinister ravens (did you know the correct term for a group of ravens is unkindness?) that would have once pecked out the eyes of prisoners still marking their territory at the tower today.
Visitors can learn all about the tower’s medieval days during a trip here, before seeing the Crown Jewels up close for themselves. Highlights of the collection include the Imperial State Crown, which is worn by HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the State Opening of Parliament each year, as well as an 800-year-old Coronation spoon and the largest colourless cut diamond in the world.
Getting there: If you want to walk, the Tower of London is just under 30 minutes from the hotel on foot. Alternatively, get on the Underground at Moorgate and take the Circle Line to Tower Hill.
3. Imperial War Museum London
The Imperial War Museum London is one of five sites across the UK dedicated to displaying artefacts and stories from the major conflicts of the last 100 years. Starting with the First World War and continuing through to the present day, the museum explores how the way in which wars are fought has changed over the past century due to advances in technology and changing political relationships.
Getting there: Hop on the Tube at Moorgate and take the Northern Line train to Elephant and Castle, which is around a ten-minute walk from the museum. The entire journey should only take you 20 minutes in total.
4. Sea Life London Aquarium
The Sea Life London Aquarium is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Watch the penguins and sharks being fed, learn all about how corals are formed and discover fascinating facts about stingrays, all while seeing these magnificent sea creatures up close. Make sure you stop by to see the sea turtles, octopuses and jellyfish during your visit too.
Getting there: From the Montcalm Royal London House, walk around the corner to Moorgate Tube station and take the Northern Line to London Bridge. Here, you’ll need to get off the train and change to the Jubilee Line, disembarking at Waterloo. Then, it’s just a five-minute walk to the aquarium.
5. British Museum
Although its name may suggest it simply houses artifacts exploring Britain’s past, the British Museum in fact features exhibitions celebrating history across the globe, with current exhibits ranging from South African art that dates back more than 100,000 years to Roman coins and a look at modern-day American popular culture.
Getting there: Head out of the hotel towards Liverpool Street station and jump on the Underground to Tottenham Court Road via the Central Line. From there, it’s around a ten-minute walk to the museum.