The River Thames is almost as famous as London itself. Winding its way through the heart of the city, it draws in locals and...
There aren’t many cities better than London for culture vultures. With world famous museums, beautiful architecture and iconic monuments, the city is bursting with delights for fans of the arts. If you only have a day to explore some of the city’s highlights, here are the must-see attractions.
Your day begins with a visit to the Saatchi Gallery, a museum that prides itself on displaying an eclectic range of exhibits. The gallery focuses on contemporary works by lesser-known artists or those that have not had much exposure in the UK. This means that the Saatchi Gallery appeals to art aficionados who have an open mind and a desire to be challenged by the works in front of them.
While in the area, be sure to explore a little of King’s Road if you can. For fans of fashion and architecture it offers a number of highlights, including a store by Vivienne Westwood and a number of Grade II listed buildings.
Getting here: The gallery is easily accessed via Sloane Square Underground station, or Victoria mainline station for any visitors arriving from outside the capital.
A great day out: Visit the gallery website to find out if they are running any family art workshops while you’re there. That way you can make your very own masterpiece.
Victoria and Albert Museum
A 20 minute walk from the Saatchi Gallery (or a 7 minute bus ride if you’d prefer) is another of London’s cultural heavyweights: The Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded 1852, the museum is the world’s largest dedicated to design and decorative arts, drawing in almost 500,000 visitors every year.
The V&A would obviously make a great destination for anyone interested in design, sculpture and ceramics, but it should also appeal to any history buffs that you know. The museum contains exhibits spanning 5,000 years of human creativity, including paintings, furniture, clothing and jewellery, so it has a very broad appeal.
Long-time favourites: Grinling Gibbons’ delicate lace cravat from 1690 is amazingly intricate, while the museum’s 3D-printed gun represents a much more modern craft.
Nearby delights: The wonderful architecture of the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall, both just a short walk away, are worthy of your time and a quick selfie, even if you don’t go inside.
Award winning restaurant ROKA provides the perfect chance for you to refresh your body and mind after a few hours of mental and physical exertion. Located in Mayfair, you could hop on the number 10 bus from outside the Royal Albert Hall or take a leisurely 35-minute walk through Hyde Park.
Once you arrive at the restaurant you’ll be greeted by the sights and smells of the robata grill, a style of cuisine inspired by fisherman who would cook fish on their boats while off the northern coast of Japan. The grill forms the stylistic centrepiece of the restaurant, located amid the diners so you can watch the master chefs at work.
For fans of fresh fish or Japanese food in general, ROKA is waiting to provide a dining experience that fits in with your culturally enriching day.
Top dish: Smoked duck breast with barley miso and kumquats. You won’t have had duck like this before!
After your meal, it’s time to make your way to the final stop on your cultural tour of London: the British Museum. In order to do so, you could take the Central Line from Bond Street to Tottenham Court Road, or brave the crowds of Oxford Street by taking a 30-minute walk.
For arts enthusiasts it doesn’t come much better than the British Museum, with this London institution boasting 8 million objects, the oldest of which dates from almost 2 million years ago. What’s more, the museum features a broad spectrum of exhibits, with galleries on African art, Asian calligraphy and much more. It is also a great day out for families, with free activities and events taking place throughout the year.
Amazing artefacts: Easter Island Statue. This four-ton statue has travelled more than 13,000km and is almost 1000 years old.