Sunday, 29 August 2010

The outskirts

Defining the exact boundaries of London is not really an easy task. Considering the wider concept of the Greater London Area, in fact, London territory is extremely vast.

Trying to stay within a more limited radius, there are nice places that definitely deserve to be visited in the London area, once again the choice to do so or not depends on the time you’ll have available to you.

Canary Warf (nearest tube/DLR station: Canary Warf)

If you have been in Paris and have visited “La defence” it will be very easy to you to find out what the place is about but, actually, not exactly what it looks like. Although Canary Warf might be renowned as the home to many UK’s biggest organisations, criss-crossed by many channels the area is much more pleasant than you could ever imagine.
A mix of big and tall building, bridges and coloured mansions placed on the water front, Canary Warf is well worth a visit.

Additionally, with its more than 200 shops, this is also one of the most popular shopping destinations around London.

The lunch-hour rush time should be avoided, but if you want to have an insight of what it happens there during that time you could be ready to be there before lunch and wait after lunch for your meal.

Nonetheless, whatever the time you would prefer to visit it, Canary Warf is a must visit place.

Richmond (nearest tube station: Richmond)

Located in London zone 4 you can reach this lovely place just riding the District line, but be sure that, even though you are travelling on a southbound train, you are getting on the right train, that is the one whose final destination is Richmond and not Wimbledon.

In order to fully enjoy the visit and the place, you are strongly suggested to visit the place on a sunny day. Although the town is relatively small, the place also offers very good opportunities for shopping, so that if you still need to buy something and are undecided to go, never mind about that, the high street will surely give you the opportunity to do a very good shopping.
But the reason you are suggested to go is obviously not a shopping related one. Richmond, in fact, will provide you a lovely and pretty different possibility to enjoy the River Thames. The water front, in fact, with its hotels, restaurants, bars and lawns can offer you a relaxing and lovely experience, just have a go.

Greenwich (nearest DLR station: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich/Greenwich)

Located along the borders between zone 2 and 3, Greenwich is another place definitely well worth a visit. Described as one of the most “picturesque and oldest parts of London”, and home to the Greenwich University, this place really hold a particular fascination for its visitors.
You could both go shopping at the Greenwich Market and visit the Royal Observatory, with which the famous meridian is supposed to coincide. You could also decide to pay a visit to the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the Cutty Sark vessel until 2011, since it is currently undergoing refurbishment.

If you are passionate for theatre you could enjoy a performance at the Laban or at the Greenwich Theatre, whilst if you prefer to east a local dish you could pay a visit to the historic Trafalgar Tavern Pub, one of Charles Dickens' regular haunts, and taste a dish of whitebait, a delicacy made of small, young fish of various different types, fried and eaten whole.

Wimbledon (nearest tube station: Wimbledon Park/Wimbledon)

If you are a tennis player and fan, you won’t possibly miss to visit one of the most famous temples of this sport and the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.

Located in London zone 4 you can reach this lovely place just riding the District line but, once again, be sure that even though you are travelling on a southbound train you are getting on the right train, that is the one whose final destination is Wimbledon and not Richmond.

Wimbledon also is a lively town where you could also enjoy a shopping experience.

O2 (nearest tube station: North Greenwich)

The O2, whose original name was the Millennium Dome, resisted all the criticisms it had to face before, during and well after its opening in year 2000 and is now home to the major music shows and to other kinds of events in London.
Wembley (nearest tube station: Wembley Park)

If you are a soccer passionate and fan, than you would possibly like to visit the famous and massive Wembley stadium. It is also possible to take a guided tour of the premises, but tickets are required.

Royal Botanic Gardens (nearest tube station: Kew Gardens)

If you fancy plants and flowers, then you could love to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens. To reach the place you should travel on a District Line, be sure to travel on the Richmond branch, and you should get off just one stop before Richmond, where the train terminates.