London is a huge city with many attractions to see and many plenty to explore, but sometimes you can only swing a short trip or a few hours to kill during a long layover. With a tight itinerary in mind, here is a plan for eating the best and seeing the most of London in 48 hours.
Itinerary for Seeing London in 48 Hours
Head out early to beat the crowds at Buckingham Palace, a top spot on every visitor’s itinerary. Snap some pictures of the famous façade and try to make the guards laugh before 9:30am when tours of the palace begin. You’ll be one of the first in line!
Next, walk along The Mall and turn at St. James’ Palace, grabbing a pastry at The Wolseley. Check out the neon signs and the fountain of Eros in Picadilly Circus, then follow Regent Street to Trafalgar Square, home to Nelson’s Columns and the world’s tiniest police station.
Make your way to Horse Guards Parade, where many large-scale public events are held. Pass under the main archway toward Downing Street, home to the British Prime Minister. With all of that walking, you’ll be ready for lunch. If you haven’t caved yet, continue to Big Ben, grabbing a bite at the historic St. Stephen’s Tavern Pub right across the street.
Cut across Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey, host to huge British moments, including coronations, funerals, and royal weddings (including that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011). The Abbey is closed on Sunday, so plan accordingly in order to get inside.
Pass by the House of Commons and the Palace of Westminster, crossing the River Thames to the London Eye for an incredible view. Back at Westminster Bridge, take classic double-decker bus #148 to Grosvenor Gardens. Enjoy an award-winning Afternoon Tea at the nearby Goring Hotel. Wrap up your day in the West End, home to restaurants, nightlife, and theaters galore.
Fuel up for your day with a full English breakfast, locally called a fry up. You’ll get a huge plate of eggs, bacon, potatoes, beans, toast, and more. Priding itself on local ingredients, Roast serves up the best in town, and its setting overlooking Borough Market is pretty great, too.
After breakfast, walk to nearby London Bridge and along the Thames to often-photographed Tower Bridge. Cross over and check out the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels.
Make your way to the Great Tower Street bus stop (15 or N15) and hop on board, enjoying views of the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House. Exit at Savoy Street and walk to Covent Garden, a bustling marketplace filled with street performers. The area is packed with restaurants and pubs, so now would be a good time to grab a pint or some lunch—try The Harp in Chandos Place, the Lamb & Flag, or The Freemasons Arms.
The British Museum houses an amazing collection that includes the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles Parthenon sculptures. It’s free to enter and open daily, so there’s no excuse not to go!
Next, stroll through Soho, checking out the shops on Oxford Street, then jump on the Tube at Oxford Circus, getting off at Knightsbridge. Swing by Harrods before heading to Kensington Palace, home to the newest royal couple, and its gardens. Finish the day with traditional fish and chips—the best are found at North Sea Fish in Bloomsbury and Golden Hind in Marylebone.
Getting Around Town
The quickest and most efficient way to get around London is via its extensive Tube system. This underground train service has 12 lines and 270 stations. Millions of people ride the Tube each day in order to travel throughout the city. Ticketing is charged according to the zones through which you’re planning to travel, but as most of the city’s main attractions are all within Zone 1, things shouldn’t be too complicated. Riding the Tube is a attraction in and of itself–be sure to admire the stations, as many of them contain fantastic artwork.
Another option for getting around in London, and one we suggest using a few times in our itinerary above, is by bus. The city has 700 different lines, many of which use the iconic double-decker red buses. While riding the bus may not be very efficient if you get stuck in traffic, it will offer you a chance to see more of London while you’re traveling between destinations. The same goes with a taxi, which are readily available throughout the city.
For those who like to be active while on vacation, and like to get to know a location up close and personal, bike rentals are available all around town. Hundreds of rental stations are located strategically throughout London and rates are very economical: free for the first half hour and just £1 per hour after that.
Where to Stay
London offers a fantastic mix of hotel accommodations, with everything from 5-star properties to money-saving hostels. With accommodation options scattered in and about all of the main attractions in London, you’ll be able to plan your stay accordingly in order to maximize your time. After all, if you only have two days, it’s key to stay close to the big-name sights in order to avoid wasting precious time traveling around. Choose a London hotel in an area where you’ll spend most of your visit: Mayfair, Soho, West End, or Westminster. While Mayfair and Soho might be a bit more pricey, they’re also right in the thick of things. Westminster is very convenient to the historical government-related part of town. And, of course, the West End is where you’ll likely be spending your evenings, so choosing a hotel in that area will mean having a nearby place to crash after a long day and night on the town. Here are some recommendations in those four fantastic, and convenient, London neighborhoods, broken down by budget:
A classic hotel, The Savoy is all luxury, all the time. The top choice of celebrities and politicians, guest rooms overlook the Thames and the London Eye.
Well-known luxury Mayfair hotel Claridge’s offers every amenity you can imagine, in addition to a great location and spectacular service.
45 Park Lane is consistently voted one of the most luxurious hotels in London. Overlooking Hyde Park in the Mayfair neighborhood, the hotel assigns each guest their own host, who will make sure that every aspect of their stay will be perfection.
Dean Street Townhouse, in the heart of Soho, is perfect if you plan to enjoy London nightlife. With rooms starting at £95, you’ll enjoy comfortable accommodations and an ideal location.
Those looking for a typical hotel experience can check in to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire, which offers spacious accommodations right off of Oxford Street.
The Doubletree Hotel Westminster is located right in the middle of a bustling neighborhood that is close to all of London’s biggest attractions. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll be able to take in gorgeous views while enjoying your contemporary guest room.
The Pavilion Hotel is perfect for those looking for something on the quirky side. With fashion and rock and roll coursing through its veins, the rooms start at £60.
With simple, straightforward rooms starting at £39, the no-frills Easy Hotel, London Victoria, is great on the wallet, especially if you’ll be spending most of your 48 hours out and about.
Located near Oxford Circus, The Astor Court Hotel is housed in a former gentlemen’s club, but you’d never notice it given that the guest rooms have been remodeled so many times, each one unique and interesting. And with rates starting around £24 a night, you won’t be able to beat either the location or the price!
The Best Dog-Friendly Attractions in Portland, Oregon
With a green focus and an animal loving attitude, a superband many fantastic pooch-welcoming bars and restaurants Portland is one of the most dog friendly cities in the USA. Check out our top dog-friendly attractions…
1 Sellwood Riverfront Park
With a 1.5 acre off-leash area which extends to the river this is a great place to bring your dog especially if yours loves to run and play with other dogs. You’ll need to put your dog back on the leash to use the connecting paths which take you through the forest, parks and neighborhood areas but there’s plenty of places for them to enjoy sniffing around. Make sure you bring your own poop bags and drinking water for your dog. The park provides picnic tables where you can rest after your walk.
2 Wildwood Trail, Forest Park
Situated at NW Germantown Road, this wilderness area is for serious hikers and canines of a high fitness level as its 30-mile hike takes a couple of days to comfortably get around. It is recommended that you consider getting a map of the Forest Park to find the best way to get around the trails as some are more challenging than others. You’ll need to keep your dog on a leash the whole time and you’ll have to bring your own water and poop bags as these are not provided.
3 Portland Saturday Market
If you and your pooch are the socializing kind then the open-air arts and crafts Saturday Market and Farmers Market at 2 SW Naito Parkway is the place to be. You’ll have to keep your dog on the leash at all times while you’re browsing for delicious baked goods, meats and cheeses but dogs are made welcome with plenty of drinking water stations and lots of shady spots when the weather gets too hot.
4 Portland International Raceway Dog Park
If you’re looking for somewhere you can let your canine really stretch their legs, the fenced off dog park here has got to be the best place to go. This is a very well maintained area where the grass is kept short and neat and garbage is constantly cleared away so take poop bags with you at all times. Portland International Raceway is the home of drag racing, auto racing, motorcycle racing and motocross as well as Cruise-in specials and all these are held at various times throughout the year so why not make a weekend of it and enjoy plenty of thrills, excitement, music and great food and drink. Remember though that your pet must be properly supervised, on-leash at all times and must be cleaned up after. Some events do not allow pets so check before you book.
5 Plum Hill Vineyards
How about this for something a little different? Plum Hill Vineyards, situated between Forest Grove and Gaston this family-owned concern brews its own wines and not for nothing do they say it’s ‘your dog’s favorite winery’! It has to be one of the very few places where you can enjoy the company of your canine friend and at the same time sample some of the delicious wines the Plum Hill Vineyard has to offer. This place is genuinely dog-friendly as well-behaved dogs (and their humans) are allowed into the tasting room and onto the outside patio area. There is a large fenced dog run right next to the Vineyard where you and your dog can play. Poop bags, water and treats are thoughtfully provided for you.
6 International Rose Test Garden
If you love to walk around well tended gardens that are full to the brim with the sweet aroma of more than 10,000 beautiful roses, other plants and attractions then this is well worth a visit. The International Rose Test Garden, the oldest public garden in the US, is pet-friendly and extremely easy to get around on paved paths. You can take one of the free public tours or just stroll around at your own pace to enjoy the fountain, statue and gardens. Why not bring a picnic lunch and sit a while to enjoy the superb view, provided it is a clear day, over the city and Mt Hood in the distance. The garden is open all year round but to see the roses at their best you should visit in June. There is free admission and a gift shop on site as well.
7 Sandy River Delta, Thousand Acres Park
Although known to locals as simply Thousand Acres, and located just off I-84, 20 minutes from downtown Portland, this is actually 1,400 acres of doggy paradise. Consisting of open fields, wetlands, hiking trails, two rivers (the Sandy River and Columbia River) and numerous blackberry bushes you and your pooch can enjoy as much off-leash fun as you can handle. If your dog loves to swim, run or just take a leisurely stroll at your side you should come here to appreciate all that the Thousand Acres has to offer. It isn’t solely for dog walkers either – the Park is popular with birders, waterfowl hunters, horseback riders and mountain bikers. There is one part of the park that you won’t be allowed into however as one third of it is an off-limits wildlife habitat so be aware of this. The park is open all year round from dawn until dusk and there is car parking on site. The US Forest Service is responsible for the upkeep and development of the Park as well as maintaining the off-leash regulations for doggy visitors. These state that dogs should be kept on-leash at all times in the parking lot and within 100 feet of the Confluence Trail.
8 Hotel Monaco
Canine and human visitors to Portland will need a dog-friendly place to stay and the Hotel Monaco is one of the best. The hotel welcomes all dogs whether large or small, pure-breed or mutt. On arrival you and your pooch are greeted by the hotels’ own canine, a Golden Retriever, to make you all feel at home. You can order up a dog bed, food and water bowls and mats if you don’t want to take your own. The hotel’s nightly wine reception welcomes guests and their pups and you’ll be glad to know there are a good number of dog-friendly restaurants nearby.
How to Improve Payment Experiences for Consumers
Improving the payment experience for your customers doesn’t have to be difficult, even with the plethora of complex merchant account solutions on the market. Regardless of the solution your business uses, there are a few things you can do to make customers want to spend their money and give you their business. If you have been trying to think of ways to improve the payment experience, try implementing some of the following tips first.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
By offering multiple payment options, you can attract new customers and ensure your existing ones can pay with ease. No one enjoys carrying around large sums of money, and many modern consumers expect to be presented with a variety of payment options. Many customers prefer to use their phones to make payments while others prefer to use credit or debit cards.
Streamline the Online Payment Process
It is a fact – customers want a fast and safe online payment experience. If your business allows customers to make online purchases or payments, you should emphasize safety and efficiency. Consumers do not enjoy having to visit multiple websites or enter a superfluous amount of personal information simply to make a purchase or transaction that should take less than one minute. By streamlining and simplifying your online payment system, you can ensure your customers remain satisfied.
Offer Rewards to Loyal Customers
Many merchant account solutions provide business owners with the opportunity to implement a rewards or loyalty program. These programs provide frequent customers and patrons with various rewards and incentives for making purchases. Most people don’t enjoy spending money, but when they are rewarded for doing so, they are more likely to come back and recommend a business to their friends and family members.
Is Clover What Your Business Needs?
The Clover POS system is ideal for any business owner seeking to improve their customers’ payment experience. Offering a sleek and sophisticated design, Clover offers everything a business owner could want in a single package. Contact Merchant Account Solutions today to speak with a professional.
Hot Topic Here’s How To Have A Cool (And Warm) Home!
I’m not talking about having a funky retro home or awesome bachelor pad here! No, instead this post is all about temperature management in the home and what you can do to control it at both ends of the spectrum. Something that is worthwhile doing as it can not only make your house a more pleasant place to live but save you money too. Read on to find out more.
One way that you can regulate the temperature in your home efficiently is by picking the right window dressings. Yes, transparent voile looks lovely, but they aren’t the most efficient way to keep the heat in during the winter, or even stop the heat penetrating your room during the summer.
In fact, it’s much better to use thick, specially designed thermal curtains for this task. After all, it costs money to heat or cool a room, and by buying some reasonably priced blackout curtains, you can save a fortune, as well as make your home space much more comfortable during extremes of weather.
A massive part of controlling the temperature in your home is the type of window that you have. Old style windows with wooden frame and a single pane of glass are the least energy efficient because they do not create enough of a barrier between the outside and inside of your home. This lack of barrier results in natural movement of heat between the inside and outside, making it very difficult to, maintain a constant temperature in the room.
However, manufacturers and most builders have long since dropped this type of window for triple glazed ones instead. The additional layers of glass act as insulation and help to maintain the temperature in the room. Once again meaning that it is easier to keep cold or warm because not so much of the air that is at the right temperature is being lost.
The right window can make all the difference in home temperature control.
Another smart strategy for controlling the temperature within your home in to install what is known as a screen door or a security screen. These are mesh screens that experts will fit over the regular doors, the idea being that you can keep the doors open in the summer to provide a cooling breeze and not compromise the security of your home at the same time.
Of course, you will need to get some tips for buying security screens before making your purchase. After all, as most families will want to make sure they choose the most secure option, so they can use their screen door overnight and still, have peace of mind.
Ceiling fans are something else you may wish to consider if you are looking to regulate the temperature in your home. Naturally, they are best suited to keeping a warm area cold, as their rotation moves air about and provides a breeze.
However, before deciding to install a ceiling fan, it’s important to look at the dimensions of the room that you wish to do this in. Such spaces need to be tall enough that no one will be in danger of hitting their head on the fan when it is in use.
Also, as ceiling fans are often large and cumbersome items, it is vital that they do not overwhelm the room and ruin the aesthetics and ambiance that you have worked so hard to create.
One of the most popular temperature control methods for the home is air conditioning. Air conditioning is a system where air from outside is brought in from outside and cooled before being released into your home. Many people that live in hot climates already have such systems, and rely on them daily to control the temperature in their home, especially during the warmest times of the year.
Although, others query whether the cost of installation and running is too high for air conditioning to be an economical way of managing temperature. Certainly, the cost of installing and maintenance can be high, and when you add running costs to this, it can make air conditioning seem more like a luxury, especially in locations where they can do without it for most of the year.
With that in mind to help you make your decision, it can be useful to watch a video like the one below and research the cost versus benefit issue in more depth.
Glass film, also known as Solar Film is an additional method of temperature control used in the home. The film is tinted and applied to windows, and it prevents a large portion of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays entering the building and warming up the air.
It also reduces sun glare which is an added benefit as it can mean that your home environment is much more comfortable no matter how bright the day is outside.
One of the most substantial developments in home temperature regulation is underfloor heating, as it tends to be a lot more efficient than the regular type of radiator heating. The reason for this is that the heat is more easily dispersed around the room, meaning less is needed to raise the temperature to an acceptable level and keep it that way.
Before installing such a heating system in your home, it is worth remembering in that there are two types on the market. The first type is water based, with hot water running through pipes installed under the floor. The second type is electrical element based and is where the elements are controlled by an electrical charge. Each type is often be suited to some properties, in particular, so do your homework before you sign on the dotted line.
Last of all, if controlling your home temperature is a hot topic then it’s also worth considering infrared heating. This is one of the newest methods of home heating on the market. It is also incredibly efficient.
The reason that it is so economical is that the system works by directing heats to specific areas of the home. In this way you have much more control over the precise temperature of your environment and a lot less energy is wasted in maintaining a constant level of heat across the entire space.
Therefore infrared heating is a good choice too to consider if you are looking to stabilise your homes inner temperature, no matter what the weather is doing outside.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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