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Why go to London

The UK's capital city is an ideal location for a city break; indeed, it is undoubtedly one of the world's best cities, featuring an incredible range of museums, galleries, historic buildings, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

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A city break in London has all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway - the only problem you might have is fitting it all in! Here's why to go.

You can take a tour of Buckingham Palace or visit the Tower of London, where traitors and criminals were punished in bygone times. See the Beefeaters and ravens and admire the Crown Jewels. Take a stroll around Parliament Square and admire the architecture.

Enjoy fine works of art at the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Take a ride on the London Eye for stunning views over London, or book a Champagne Experience at dusk and let the bubbles go to your head as you watch the sun set over the River Thames.

Visit world-renowned stores such as Harrods, or browse designer boutiques and department stores such as Selfridges. Other famous shopping areas include Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Carnaby Street. There are many markets selling a wide variety of goods along with caffs and restaurants to stop for a break.

For an educational day out, visit the British Museum to see treasures from around the world. These include Egyptian mummies. The Natural History Museum has a dinosaur in the entrance hall to welcome you and in the Science Museum you can enjoy great interactive exhibits.

Get away from the bustle in Hyde Park, where you can hire a bicycle, enjoy a peaceful picnic or visit the nearby London Zoo. Or hire a car and escape to nearby Kent, Brighton or Oxford.

For the best in live theatre visit the West End. Many shows book up early so it is best to book in advance. There are also numerous venues offering live entertainment, from comedy clubs to live music venues. Alternatively, there are many quiet bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic evening.

Most attractions in London are open all year round, making it ideal for short breaks and holidays at any time. The summer months are the most popular with overseas tourists.

The Gatwick Express will whisk you into Victoria Station from the airport, non-stop, in just 30 minutes. Other, cheaper, train services operate, but they are slower.

Heathrow Airport's Express train service will have you in Paddington Station in just 15 minutes. Once again, other services, such as the Underground, are cheaper but significantly slower.

Use the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to reach central London from London City Airport. The journey takes around 30 minutes. London Luton Airport is connected to central London by bus and train services. Both journeys take around an hour and cost roughly the same.

Stansted Airport, in Essex, is also well connected to London. Express trains take 45 minutes to reach Liverpool Street Station by express train. A longer coach journey will save you some money.

To travel around London, you will be able to hop aboard iconic London buses, or use the Tube (the Underground network of trains) to get around central London. Buses, Tube trains and Overground trains, plus the DLR, are great for journeys into the capital's outer reaches.

Boats on the River Thames also connect parts of the capital. Alternatively, hail a black cab in the street, jump into one at a rank, or book a licensed minicab.

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*ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) is a financial protection scheme for package holidays: It provides support to consumers in the event their holiday provider collapses. Booking with an ATOL holder ensures that you won't be left out of pocket and you won't be left stranded abroad. All package holidays compared using TravelSupermarket are protected by ATOL.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) offers similar cover for packages booked with its members. However, while ATOL predominantly covers flight-based packages, ABTA covers non-flight based holidays (such as rail and cruise) and linked travel arrangements. If you are unsure whether or not your trip is covered by ABTA, check with your provider.

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