London Guide 2015: start planning your next trip

Our annual guide to the capital brings you fascinating features on our historic landmarks and royal palaces, plus our guide to the best days out and where to eat, drink and sleep.

London skyline. Credit: James McCormick/Visit Britain
London skyline. Credit: James McCormick/Visit Britain

Ever since the Romans landed here circa AD50 and began to lay the foundations of Londinium on the banks of the Thames, our capital city has been developing into the sprawling metropolis it is today.

Home to some of Britain’s most impressive architecture – from the Palace of Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral – as well as the site of many momentous events, it’s a city to be reckoned with.

But while the cobbled streets and taverns that inspired our literary greats still evoke a sense of this rich past, London is constantly evolving, offering the best in contemporary theatre, shopping and restaurants.

Our annual London Guide has everything you need to plan your trip, including:

Royal homes

From terrible tales of the Tower of London, to the two very different sides to Hampton Court Palace – which turns 500 in 2015 – we peak behind the doors of our capital’s royal residences.

Hampton Court Palace. Credit: SuperStock
Hampton Court Palace. Credit: SuperStock

Hampton Court Palace
This palace, which was once the home of King Henry VIII consists of two distinct halves: its Tudor origins and its 17th-century makeover and its walls tell as many stories as the ghosts that haunt them.
Visitor info
Hampton Court Palace and its famous maze are open year-round, with the exception of 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January. Get ticketing info and opening times for Hampton Court Palace.

Queen Charlotte's Cottage, Kew Palace
Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, Kew Palace

Kew Palace
This was the childhood playground and school of King George III and a visit here will reveal a different side to the king that everyone remembers as ‘mad’.
Visitor info
In 2015 it will be open from 2 April until the end of September. You can find out about Kew Palace ticket prices and how to get there here.

Buckingham Palace. Credit: Steve Vidler/Corbis
Buckingham Palace. Credit: Steve Vidler/Corbis

Buckingham Palace
The most well-known of all the royal residences, Buckingham Palace has performed many roles over the years but first and foremost the Queen is most likely to consider it her office.
Visitor info
As it is a working palace visitors can only come at select times. The summer opening times in 2015 are from 1 August until 27 September, but if you’re quick you could also book yourself on an exclusive guided tour between now and 1 February 2015. Find out more about visiting Buckingham Palace.

Tower of London. Credit: Art Kowalsky/Alamy
Tower of London. Credit: Art Kowalsky/Alamy

Tower of London
In 2014 this historic building played a pivotal role in the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War with its revered poppy installation but whenever you choose to visit there are fascinating histories to discover, from the Princes in the Tower to the truth behind Anne Boleyn’s execution.
Visitor info
The Tower of London is open year-round, see opening times and prices for the Tower of London here.

London hotels

Infinity Swimming Pool - level 52 - Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard London
Infinity swimming pool at the Shangri-la Hotel

From the capital’s new sky-high hotel, to the epitome of British luxury, we round-up some of London’s best hotels. Check-out some of our full reviews below.

Shangri-la hotel, The Shard

The Halkin by COMO hotel review

Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel review

London restaurants and bars

L'Escargot, Soho, London
L’Escargot, Soho, London, which Princess Diana used to frequent

The restaurant scene in London is always evolving, with new eateries opening every week, but there are also some faithful establishments that have stood the test of time. Follow the links for some reviews.

Eelbrook, Fulham

Review of Hotel Xenia, Kensington

Princess Diana’s favourite Soho restaurant

Secret London

No10 Downing Street
Come with us as we take you on a photographic tour inside some of London’s most iconic buildings, revealing a side of them rarely seen before, and sharing some of their secrets…

Capital days

Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey. Credit: Neil McAllister/Alamy
Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey. Credit: Neil McAllister/Alamy

Westminster Abbey is just one of our recommended days out and its ancient environs hides many a murky history….

To read all this and much more see the London 2015 Guide

Related articles


London restaurant review: Eelbrook, Fulham
Review: Hotel Xenia, Kensington
Buckingham Palace: the Queen’s office
6 of the best London restaurants

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