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Mushy peas, warm beer and incomprehensible accents: they may not be what lure you to England in the first place, but they are exactly what will make your visit memorable. There’s no getting away from it, the English are fond of some very odd food – think jellied eels, bread and butter pudding and toad in the hole. However, celebrity foodies like Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall have led the charge in changing the way we think about English cuisine - it’s all about taking the freshest of local ingredients and using them in classic regional recipes.
Those local eccentricities that have given England such a varied culinary landscape are also what makes it so diverse and a fascinating place to visit. You may struggle to understand a West Country accent to begin with, but spend an afternoon in a village pub, washing down Cornish pasties with local cider among friendly locals and you’ll soon be in the swing of things.
Geographically, it’s also incredibly diverse. OK, their mountains aren’t as big as ours, nor their rivers as wild, nor their forests as untamed. But what they lack in scale, they make up in variety and sheer jaw-dropping beauty - a day exploring the Lake District or the Cotswolds is likely to be one of the most memorable you’ll ever spend.
Where to start in a city with an incredible history dating back thousands of years, some of the most iconic attractions on earth and over 30,000 shops? Maybe at Westminster Abbey where every British king or queen has been crowned since 1066, or strolling the aisles of the ultimate Harrods.
Take a ride on the breathtaking London Eye, the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel; or cruise the Thames River to Greenwich and step inside a quintessential Gastro Pub like The Union - the food is simple, classic British and locally sourced. London never sleeps so dip into a myriad of cuisines from Caribbean to North African. A smorgasbord of clubs, concerts and spectacular shows await!
Museums – London has some of the world’s best museums, including The Museum of London. South Kensington is home to the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Don’t forget about London’s art museums - the Tate Britain & Modern display some of the world’s finest classic and modern art collections.
Historic Sights – The city is full of historic monuments and buildings. You can’t go home without seeing the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Royal Observatory. Each epitomizes England’s wealth, power and architectural prowess during their respective historical periods.
Markets – Like many European cities, London is full of markets, many of which date back to medieval times. From fruit and vege stalls through to high end antique stands there are bargains to be found all over town. Some of our favourites are the Borough Food Market, Camden Market and Portobello Road Market.
West End Theatre – No trip is complete without at least one night out in London’s famous West End ‘Theatreland’. Here you can see all the top musicals like Wicked, Disney’s Lion King, Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia.
Shopping – You’ve done Oxford Street and Harrods; now why not wander down Sloane Street, peer into the windows of Gucci, Dior or Versace trying to see someone famous, and then grab a coffee at a sidewalk cafe in Sloane Square.
Holiday Snaps – Get your photo taken in front of Parliament and Big Ben. Did you know the world’s most famous clock tower isn’t actually called Big Ben but St Stephen’s Tower; Big Ben is the name of the largest bell inside the tower.
Thames River – Cross the Thames via Tower Bridge, not to be confused with London Bridge. Wander along Southbank and then cross back via Millennium Bridge.
Advertised airfares are per adult and are based on a return fare in business class on specified airline • Prices include ticket taxes & surcharges based on most direct routing with no stopovers and are correct as at time of loading, but may fluctuate depending on exchange rates • From Auckland a Prepaid Passenger Service Fee of $14 per person is included in the package price – this replaces the New Zealand Departure fee of $25 per adult. • On/after 01 Jul 10 all direct international departures from Christchurch will include a NZD $25 departure tax this is additional to the advertised prices above. • Fares are exclusive of departure fees from other airports • Prices exclude a House of Travel booking fee of $24.95 per person • Flight & routing restrictions apply • Sales end as specified above • Travel as specified above. • Full payment is required upon purchase • Min/max stays apply • Capacity is limited and may not be available on all services • Prices shown are for online bookings only.