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September 16th 2014

The Dark Arts Descend On Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The Dark Arts Descend On Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

 

Summer is over, the nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. The Dark Arts will descend on the Studios this October and give visitors a taste of the evil magic our favourite characters battled against tirelessly in the Harry Potter film series. A new permanent Dark Arts feature will be installed at the Studios, adding to the already fantastic  wizarding experience!

 

New permanent Dark Arts section comes October 2014

Death Eaters

Launching on Tuesday 14 October 2014, the new Dark Arts section of the tour will showcase the full Malfoy Manor set which was used as the headquarters of Lord Voldemort’s scheming followers.

Visitors to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will be able peer into the gloomy drawing room and see the long table (above) around which Bellatrix Lestrange, the Malfoy family, the Death Eaters and Voldemort sat!

 

The mannequin of captured Muggle Studies teacher Charity Burbage will be suspended above the set and there will also be a life-like model of Nagini the snake on the table! You will also see authentic costumes belonging to Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape and some props from Dolores Umbridge’s Ministry of Magic office, including her slightly creepy kitten plates.

Of course, the rest of the tour will also still be there for you to enjoy, with highlights such as the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s Office, Butterbeer, Diagon Alley, The Knight Bus and the incredible Hogwarts model all contributing to one amazing Harry Potter experience. Check out a cool time lapse video of the Hogwarts model construction below:

 

Halloween 2014 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The dark magic doesn’t stop there, because this Halloween there will also be a whole host of deliciously evil bonus events on offer at the Studios. Grab your tickets for entry between Friday 17 October and Monday 3 November to see a section of the lavish Halloween feast from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on display in the Great Hall. Practise your duelling technique during an interactive wand combat lesson and learn some famous Harry Potter spells!

You’ll also be able to walk down a darker Diagon Alley as the lights are dimmed, the music becomes more foreboding and Death Eaters lurk in the shadows…

Don’t miss out on experiencing the sinister side to the world of Harry Potter this October! You’ll get an inside look into the characters we love to hate and see exactly how the Harry Potter films were made at this legendary location. A visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is a completely charming experience for anyone taken in by the story of the boy wizard. Don’t forget tickets to the Studios must be booked in advance!

 
September 10th 2014

Where To Get Your Fashion Fix In London

Where To Get Your Fashion Fix In London

Catwalk models

© Paha_l | Dreamstime.com

 

Some of the world’s most stylish people are set to descend on the capital this week for London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015. Models, designers and who’s who of the fashion industry will flock to the capital for five days of shows! Unless you’re in the fashion business or are related to the Delevingnes, chances are you won’t get your hands on a front row ticket for any of the London Fashion Week shows, which run from 12-16 September. Never mind though, because there are special events running in the wake of London Fashion Week plus plenty of London shopping destinations open year-round for that much-needed fashion fix!

Join the fashion crowd at London Fashion Weekend 2014

London Fashion Weekend 2014A one-off event running after the London Fashion Week Shows, London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House is a ticketed affair that anyone can purchase entry to. Being staged between 18-21 September 2014, it is being billed as ‘fashion’s biggest pop-up’ with catwalk shows, designer shopping, hair and beauty pampering and educational panels from leading industry experts all on offer in the beautiful setting of Somerset House.

If you fancy yourself as a budding fashionista, it’s your chance to see collections from top British fashion designers!

 

 Shop ’til you drop with London’s best shopping destinations

Want to spend that money in your pocket on some new threads? London is the place to pick up that new outfit! With so many areas of the city primed for spending your pennies, take a look at our favourite places for clothes shopping in London.

Oxford Street

Oxford Street

 

  • Carnaby Street: This shopping street is fully pedestrianised, so you can window shop without worrying about London’s busy roads! Located near Oxford Street, this pretty London shopping road is the place to visit unique boutiques and one off stores next to popular brands. During the Christmas period, Carnaby Street looks even more gorgeous as the annual Christmas decorations light up the row of stores, bringing the festive season to London!
  • Covent Garden: An intoxicating mix of independent stores, market stalls and big brand names, Covent Garden is one of London’s most famous shopping and dining areas. You can pick up beautiful hand crafted items at the Apple Market or shop at the stores located both inside and around the edges of the much-loved piazza. Get to know Covent Garden better and find out where to shop or which Covent Garden restaurants you simply have to visit with a free walking tour – it runs weekly and all you have to do is register!
  • Westfield Shopping Centre: This huge shopping centre has two locations in the capital – Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. Easy to reach via public transport (including tube) and providing all the retail therapy you could ever need under one roof, these huge shopping centres are perfect for a rainy day. There are over 250 stores at both London shopping centres!
  • Oxford Street: This busy street is probably the most famous shopping street in London! Stretching over one and a half miles, Oxford Street is lined with massive variety of stores. Highlights of Oxford Street include Topshop’s flagship store and Selfridges, the celebrated British department store where you can blow your money on practically everything under the sun. Selfridges London has a great range of high street fashion collections too.
  • Harrods: We couldn’t forget Harrods, the favoured London store of the rich and famous! This luxury department store in Knightsbridge is spread over 7 floors and 330 departments. You’ll find collections from the world’s best fashion designers here, and once you’ve worked up a sweat browsing the haute couture, hit the amazing food hall to satisfy your appetite with oysters, sushi or other tasty delicacies.

Where’s your favourite destination in London for shopping all the new fashions? Whether it’s modern or vintage, classy or laid-back, London has something for everyone regardless of style or size!

 

 
September 2nd 2014

Join Us For A Free Covent Garden Walking Tour

Join Us For A Free Covent Garden Walking Tour

Covent Garden London

 

There are few places in London that attract both Londoners and visitors in equal measure. Covent Garden is one of them! Depending on the time of day you visit, you’ll see business lunches taking place, tourists snapping photos next to street performers and friends grabbing a drink at one of Covent Garden’s many pubs and bars. It’s an eclectic, buzzing area of London that is rarely quiet and always has something going on!

Things to do in Covent Garden

The area known as Covent Garden is located in London’s West End and is made up of smaller parts including the market piazza, the Opera Quarter (home to the Royal Opera House), St Martin’s Courtyard, Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard.

covent garden1Popular with both Londoners and visitors, Covent Garden has something for everyone! Shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, theatres, museums, entertainers…the list goes on. There used to be a fruit and vegetable market in Covent Garden but over the years it transformed into the trendy city hotspot of today.

You’ll see the “Apple Market” sign (left) during a visit to the many market stalls in Covent Garden. They now sell clothes, antiques and other gifts but the sign is a reminder of the fruit and veg market that once had a home here!

It’s a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs and grab some delicious treats from the street vendors and pop-up food stalls. You’ll also find big brand stores here – there’s the Apple Covent Garden store, where you can pick up all your favourite Apple technology products (this Apple shop unsurprisingly isn’t related to the old fruit market!).  The Covent Garden Apple store is one of the largest Apple stores in the world!

 

Some highlights of Covent Garden’s 19th century piazza can be seen in the video below!

 

Free Covent Garden Walking Tour with Golden Tours

You’ve read about Covent Garden, now experience it! Golden Tours are offering a free 90 minute walking tour of Covent Garden, taking participants on one of the most exciting London walks available. This London walking tour is not just confined to Covent Garden piazza; the expert guide will take visitors to West End highlights such as London theatres, the Royal Opera House, historic hotels and much more.

The only way to fully experience Covent Garden and the area around it is by embarking on a London walking tour. Exploring Covent Garden on foot means you won’t miss anything and, trust us, there’s a lot to see! You can weave through narrow alleyways and cobbled streets with ease, soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of this vibrant London sightseeing location.

The free Covent Garden walking tour takes place every Saturday at 10.30 AM, departing from Duncannon Street near St Martin-in-the-Fields church. See the Golden Tours Facebook page for more information and to sign up.

 
August 26th 2014

Meet The Beefeaters At The Tower Of London

Meet The Beefeaters At The Tower Of London

Beefeater at Tower of London

Photo by bobgjohnson on Flickr

 

Who are the Beefeaters?

The Yeomen Warders are the face of the Tower of London and their red-tinged uniforms cause quite a commotion when striding through the grounds of the Tower. Tourists love snapping a photo next to these city ambassadors, but Yeomen Warders have more to do besides looking pretty.

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Yeomen Warders (or ‘Beefeaters’) were historically responsible for looking after the Crown Jewels and the prisoners of the Tower, but today their role as ceremonial guard is a little more pleasant. If you’re wondering why they are affectionately called Beefeaters, take a look at the theories behind the nickname.

The Tower of London is a top place to do some London sightseeing and meeting a Beefeater makes the experience all the more worthwhile! You’ll get a better understanding of the 1,000 year old London attraction too.

 

The first female Beefeater

The first female Yeoman Warder began her stint at the Tower of London in 2007 – breaking over 500 years of male-only Beefeater history! Moira Cameron passed all the tests and is now the only woman Beefeater in a group of 37! Though women have never been officially excluded from being a Yeoman Warder, applicants need 22 years continuous service. This has been made easier to achieve in recent years as maternity leave is now included as part of their service.

Other women have applied for the job, but Moira is the only successful lady so far! Take a look at this video about Moira’s life at the Tower of London.

 

Do you think the life of a Beefeater is for you? Make sure you’re eligible with this Beefeater check list!

Prospective Yeoman Warders must:

  • Have at least 22 years of service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
  • Have been awarded the ‘Long Service and Good Conduct’ medal.
  • Be passionate about history and enthusiastic about talking to visitors about the Tower.
  • Have a good memory. Beefeaters learn a 50 minute tour to give to visitors and it includes lots of Tower of London facts!
  • Love London. Beefeaters live inside the Tower of London with their families – can you imagine ordering a pizza there?

Need to pay a visit to the Tower of London first before you make up your mind? Tower of London tickets can be purchased individually or packaged with other popular London attractions. If a Beefeater career doesn’t appeal to you, the Tower of London also has lots of other amazing things to experience – see the Crown Jewels, White Tower and learn about old functions of the fortress- it was once a Royal Mint, palace and zoo!