Top Things to do at Sunrise in London

There’s no better way to enjoy the best sights in London than at sunrise. It is amazing how much is within easy reach of most hotels in the city. If you are an early bird or just want to pack as much as possible into your stay in the British capital, here are some ideas of what you can do at dawn.

Go for a Run

There’s nothing quite like a run to energize your day. One of the best places to run in London is Regent’s Park. Listen to the call of the animals in nearby London Zoo while running past immaculate gardens on the Inner Circle. Head up to Primrose Hill for a mesmerizing view of the city skyline at sunrise.

Head to the Pub for Breakfast

In the heart of the City of London, Smithfield Meat Market ceases trading at 6 a.m. The porters and butchers traditionally head to the pubs for breakfast. For a traditional cooked English breakfast alongside night workers and those heading to business meetings in the city, spend the early hours at a pub in Smithfield. Fox and Anchor and Smiths of Smithfield are among several good places to try.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

For a panoramic view of London, a hot air balloon ride sounds exactly what you need. There are launch pads near the Tower of London and many of the balloon flights take in some of the most famous sights in the city. Set up camp at Fraser Residence City Hotel and head out for an early morning adventure . Glide over commuters, the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament as the city wakes up to a new day. This is one of the best times to view London from the air, especially as the sun rises.

Go for a Walk

Sunrise is a beautiful time to walk through London. Take the path up through Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory and the meridian time line. You can even stand on Greenwich Mean Time as the sun comes up. Want a shorter walk? Watch the sun come up from Waterloo Bridge, and then head down the trail along the River Thames towards St Paul’s Cathedral as the early sunlight glimmers on the water.

London is full of things to do. Which activity will you wake up to from your hotel in London?

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on August 13, 2015

London or Paris?

From the face of Big Ben to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Europe’s capital cities certainly hold a lot of attraction for tourists. Both London and Paris offer travelers great hotels, top-notch cuisine, thought provoking museums, beautiful parks, and landmarks that hold significant and rich histories. How do these two cities stack up against each other from a tourist appeal?

Museums

We can’t talk about museums in London and Paris without admitting that The Louvre is the most famous attraction in this particular arena. Just across the river from the Verneuil Patio Saint Germain de Pres, the Louvre displays some of the world’s most popular works, from DaVinci’s Mona Lisa to the statue of Winged Victory. No trip to Paris would be complete without a stop at this most iconic museum. However, it is important to note that London has a variety of immense collections as well to rival that of the famed Louvre. Take a look at the classic works and the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum (one of the world’s oldest), or go modern and check out the Tate Museum. The National Gallery, near The Grand at Trafalgar Square, holds over 2,000 paintings to explore. This one has to be a tie, with the majesty and appeal of the Louvre being met by the variety of the London museums.

Parks

An afternoon relaxing in a sprawling city park is one of the true joys of urban traveling. Both London and Paris offer great green spaces, some mere minutes from popular London and Paris hotels. Spending a day in London? The central Hyde Parks is of particular appeal, with a lake, gorgeous trees, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Regent’s Park is a massive 410 acres, and Victoria Park offers the athletic types a multitude of sporting fields. Paris also has some lovely green space, most notably the Tuileries Garden on the way down to the Arc de Triomphe (visible from Hotel Champs Elysees Mac Mahon). In the end, this one has to go to London. You just can’t complete with the variety and beauty of its many green spaces.

Restaurants

Another joy of traveling to a new city is enjoying the cuisine the place has to offer. Both London and Paris have some great eats. Staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Chelsea? Don’t miss lunch at The Dairy, a restaurant nearby with an ever-changing seasonal menu and craft beers. Paris travelers can delight in Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénée, with simple seasonal ingredients and a modern environment. In the end, this one has to go to Paris. French cuisine just offers diners a wider variety of unique culinary experiences.

Landmarks

There are a plethora of landmarks and historical sites to visit in both London and Paris. London, of course, has Big Ben: the home of parliament and the most featured landmark in the city. It also boasts the London Eye (an iconic Ferris wheel), Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London (London Bridge, while famous in song, is overshadowed by the famous Tower Bridge). While London certainly has a lot to offer, head west to Paris and you find the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Moulin Rouge and the Notre-Dame de Paris with all its pensive and unique gargoyles. There’s no way to pick a winner in this fight.

In the end, the showdown between London and Paris has to be a tie. Both cities offer everything from cheap hotels to fancy, five-star restaurants. With a variety of parks, landmarks, and more, a traveler could find the perfect vacation at either one of these internationally famous cities.

 

Another Day in London

If you’ve never been to London, and you are going for your first time, you will certainly feel obliged to see the sights (see below). But do yourself a favour and allow for more than 1 day to see London. By all means, see the sights – the well known palaces (Kensington, Buckingham and the often missed St. James’s), the parks (Green and Hyde), Big Ben, the London Eye, and more. But you’ve got to allow time to get out and see the heart of the city. If you’ve been here more than a few times, as I have, you’ll get out and explore like a local . See my “A Day in London” Post https://markstraveljournal.me/2013/03/17/a-day-in-london/. The markets, quaint shops, local pubs, small restaurants, etc. The real heart of any great city is of course it’s people. And London is without question one of the world’s great cities.