Good museums interact with their visitors, and no museum does that better than The Science Museum. Alongside historic collections you’ll find a world of hands-on experiments that brings science alive. Located in the museum district of South Kensington, The Science Museum is a little over a ten-minute walk from The Harrington.
The Natural History Museum rightly commands an international reputation as both a world-class visitor attraction and a leading scientific research centre. There are over 80 million species in the Natural History Museum’s archive but one will stick in your head when you leave: the blue whale floating in the Central Hall.
With 150 galleries over seven floors, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is home to one of the finest art collections anywhere in the world. An awe-inspiring ensemble of Italian Renaissance sculptures and the seven Raphael Cartoons (tapestry designs for the Sistine Chapel) sit alongside an ever-changing calendar of classic and contemporary exhibitions. Visit the website for a calendar of events during your stay.
The Saatchi Gallery is one of the foremost exhibitors of contemporary art in London. Founded in 1985 and opened at its current Chelsea location in 2008, the gallery has displayed just about every modern artist of the late 20th and 21st century. Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst have all had wall space dedicated to them at the Saatchi Gallery. As a long-time champion of subversive artists, there is always something groundbreaking to enjoy here.
Located in a quiet corner of Hyde Park, just west of the stretch of water by the same name, the modest Serpentine Gallery is great for any culture vulture. Its contemporary exhibitions, rotating every two months, enthral and entertain as does the summertime pavilion, designed and built by a new artist every year. The Serpentine Gallery will satisfy your appetite for art after you’ve picnicked in the park.
The Royal College of Art is at the leading edge of art and design. It is one of the world’s most revered teaching establishments for art and design and is the only one that is entirely postgraduate. Most events are open to the public so it’s well worth keeping an eye on their calendar.
Everyone knows what the Houses of Parliament look like, especially Big Ben (well the tower that holds the bell). This is the place where all our MPs and Lords sit to debate new and current legislation as well as carry out their work. But this is also one of London’s hidden gems as even many Londoners have never been inside.
Kings, queens, statesmen and soldiers; poets, priests, heroes and villains – the Abbey is a must-see living pageant of British history. We would also highly recommend visiting for their regular religious services as the choir and its organ are certainly one of the best in London. Also, while you are visiting do take in one of their guided tours in one of 12 languages.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence of HM Queen Elizabeth II and is one of the most famous landmarks in London. Each summer the Queen opens the State Rooms to members of the public. If you are staying at The Harrington Residences during the summer then this really is a must-see. The grandeur and opulence of the State Rooms are breathtaking and an experience that is truly unforgettable.
Overlooking Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery is London’s premier destination for international art lovers visiting the capital. Home to over 2,000 pieces, including one of Monet’s water lily paintings and an item from Van Gogh’s sunflower collection, it is waiting for you to enjoy and discover.
Tate Britain on the north bank of the River Thames is the oldest gallery in the Tate network, having opened in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of art since Tudor times, and in particular has large holdings of the works of J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed all his own collection to the nation.
One of the most famous attractions in London, known the world over, has been popular for over 200 years. Everyone has a famous person they look up to, whether it’s a celebrity, royalty or famous scientist. Madame Tussauds gives you the chance to have your photo taken next to your ideal even if they are long dead.
Christopher Wren’s masterpiece is the jewel in London’s architectural crown and having undergone a £40m restoration, St. Paul’s Cathedral has never looked better. Inside the magnificent Victorian structure are memorials to historic figures including Wellington, T.E. Lawrence, William Blake and Alexander Fleming.
With the massive turbine hall and other smaller galleries, Tate Modern not only has a remarkable permanent collection but has played host to many leading modern artists, some of whom regularly court controversy. If you love modern art, then this is the first place you should visit when in London.
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