2 Birthdays for a very special Queen – Happy Birthday to Her Majesty!

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The month of April is not only the first full month of British Springtime, but it also marks a special day for her Majesty. Thats right, this month Queen Elizabeth will be celebrating her 90th birthday!

Elizabeth II turns 90 on April 21 but also has an official birthday in June

Elizabeth II turns 90 on April 21 but also has an official birthday in June

The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on the 21st of April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. Not many are fortunate to have two birthdays a year!

The tradition of having 2 birthdays dates back to the time of King Edward VII, who’s real date of birth fell in November. Naturally, he preferred to celebrate it during the sunnier months of Summer and decided to hold his birthday parade, known as the Trooping of the Colour, during May or June.

The special day for Her Majesty will be marked by gun salutes all around London at mid-day: in Hyde Park,  Windsor Great Park and at the Tower of London. Make sure you are here for the celebrations and book your Private London Tour to make sure you have the best seat in the house!

We wanted to send a huge birthday greeting to Her Majesty for being such a great ambassador for the United Kingdom and for all the great work she has done over all these years. Thank you for being a brilliant Queen!

Young visitors on our tours have also been celebrating: here are a few words and drawings made by children on our family friendly London tours,  congratulating the Queen.

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Isn’t this beautiful? One of our young visitor’s painting of the Queen celebrating her birthday – Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria (from left to right)

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God Save the Queen – Great work from Clarie Robertson, age 12 on her visit to London

 


Spring has arrived in London!

The sunshine has finally made its way back to London. Without doubt, the spring and summer seasons are fantastic times of the year to visit the capital and always help make outings and day trips that much better!

Big Ben looking glorious in the London Spring Sun

Big Ben looking glorious in the London Spring Sun

So what are we looking forward to over the coming months? Well to begin with, there’s:

– Strawberries and cream at the Wimbledon Lawn tennis club
– UEFA Euro 2016 Football. Its been four years since the last tournament: catch the best matches on big screens all over London or for the more adventurous, pop over to Paris to see the games live with our friends at Paris Magical Tours.
– Music festivals, garden parties and lunches at roof top terrace pubs

– The horse racing season, including Royal Ascot: ladies in fine hats and dresses and gentlemen in tails

– Royal Celebrations: The Trooping of the Colour to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and the Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle: a stunning display of British tradition at its very best.
… and last but not least: more more hours of sunshine goodness!

London will also host for the very first time the London Games Festival. Celebrating everything from culture, art, the  business of games and video games – there is something for everyone including workshops, activities and the largest Monopoly board in Trafalgar Square!

Did you know that the Queen is lucky enough to have 2 birthdays? That’s right: although Her Majesty’s official birthday is in June, the Queen’s actual birthday falls on the 21st April. Look out for gun salutes being fired in Central London to mark the occasion.

Why not book a day out in London and spoil family and friends this Spring 2016? To make sure you have a wonderful experience this Spring, make sure to visit London Magical Tours to find out all about their  fantastic days out.


February: the month of love in London

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There are so many things to do in London to spoil that special someone.

Valentines day is on a Sunday this year so there is really no better time (or excuse) to go all out and unleash the inner romantic in you!

Here at the London Blog we have your back covered if you are wanting to do something more than the normal box of chocolates and flowers:

1. Take advantage of the weekend:

Some people say that you should be romantic everyday, not just on Valentines Day. So be a man/woman of your word and treat your partner to a weekends worth of Valentines surprises. From a cupid capsule on the London Eye with champagne to the National Art Gallery – London has plenty to offer.

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2. The element of surprise: Leave the flowers and chocolates behind

Nothing kills romance more than unoriginality. So if you’re going to do the flowers and chocolates, get them out of the way early – give your partner these gifts at the start of the day. This will keep you partner guessing as to what else you have planned. Your gifts and surprises are your time to show off – so why not take your date to a gallery or museum? Head to the National Art Gallery to view spectacular paintings by the likes of Turner and Constable, Gericault ,Friedrich and 19th century romantics.

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3. Be pro Green:

Sometimes some quite time with your partner is all that is required. Make the most of the fact that London is home to stunning Royal Parks such as Green park, Hyde Park, St. James’ Park. If you are feeling adventurous, why not surprise your loved one with a horse back ride in Hyde Park or a romantic stroll through gorgeous scenery in St. james Park: a la 101 Dalmatians.London-intro_3102474k

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4: Eating Out:

Piccadilly is home to the Queen’s official supplier of tea. Spoil your date with perfectly hand crafted sandwiches, scones with clotted Somerset cream and a selection of delicious afternoon cakes along with a choice of hot drinks such as tea, chocolate or coffee. So if you want to add that extra element of Royalty, refreshments at Fortnum and Mason are a must!

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5. Theatre land:

There are plenty of musicals, comedies and stand out performances that are sure to set pulses racing. A night out at the Comedy Club is a great way to lighten the mood and bring out your inner comedian.

For something a little more soothing: The Burt Bacharach Musical “Close to you” playing at the Criterion Theatre is filled with some of the greatest love songs including I say a little prayer and what the world needs now is Love. 

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London Magical Tours is offering romantic tours throughout the month of February including Saturday 13th and Sunday of 14th of February . The London Night Tour takes on a special romantic twist: as part of their London VIP Tours, it includes the best romantic highlights of Royal London and the option to have all the above ideas pre-booked for you, including theatre tickets to help make the most of your Valentines Day 2016.

We would love to hear what your favourite places are in London for a little romance. Tell us about your ideal date locations by leaving a comment below!

 


January in London – the best time and place for a spot of shopping!

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Now that the christmas festivities and new year celebrations have drawn to a close, January is the perfect time of the year to purchase gifts and even spoil yourself with a spot of shopping in London.

In the last few years shoppers would normally have to wait until January for the sales, however it has become more common for sales to start during the weeks leading up to the new year. From the 26th of December (Boxing Day) through to the end of January you can expect to find sales and save a fair amount, with certain stores boasting a saving of  up to 70% off retail prices.

London, being one of the biggest fashion and retail capitals of the world has lots to offer. From department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges to smaller independent stores, you are sure to find the best for everyone.

London Magical Tours is offering an exclusive VIP shopping experience so that you can make the most of your time during your visit to the capital. Skip the big crowds and shop in style!

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London’s Best Christmas Lights

The Victorians practically invented Christmas !

Love Christmas? If you don’t already know it – London is spectacular at Christmas. Cards, carols, crackers – even Dickens. Yes, Dickens’ Christmas Carol of Scrooge and Tiny Tim fame. The Victorians practically invented Christmas as we know it.

If you are lucky enough to be visiting London during the festive season you’ll certainly be in for a treat: from the bright lights of Regents and Oxford Street, to the ice rinks and Christmas trees spread all across town, here’s a quick rundown of some of our favourite London festive lights to help get you in the spirit.

 

Covent Garden Plaza:

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Steal a kiss under the mistletoe by the famous christmas tree of Covent Garden for that perfect Hollywood moment. Don’t forget to take a visit to the market for some great gift ideas and enjoy a fun stroll down the Candy Cane walk, amongst the fragrances of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine.

 

Regent Street& Oxford Street

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Look out for the traffic free weekends taking place throughout December at what is one of the world’s best locations for Christmas lights. Thanks to ACT Lighting Design (the team who have previously worked on the Champs Elysees, Paris), Regent Street will look absolutely spectacular once again this year. Expect music and special guest appearances throughout the season – and would Christmas in London really be Christmas without a visit to Hamley’s toy store?

 

Carnaby Street

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Carnaby Street are putting on a Christmas party for shoppers this year. Shops, bars and restaurants are also offering savings, so make sure to grab a bargain while enjoying the light shows. And if that was not enough, live music and DJs are sure to keep everyone on high festive spirits throughout the season in this quirky London neighbourhood.

 

The Royal Exchange

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For a more traditional christmas tree, the huge tree at the Royal Exchange found in the City of London is hard to beat. What’s more, the East London Chorus choir will be supplying Christmas Carols for all at its official switch on this year.

 

If you’re looking to learn about Christmas in London and take in the beautiful holiday lights (along with many off the beaten path secrets), London Magical Tours is offering the chance to discover the best of the holiday season during their London Christmas Lights Tours through November and December until the 6th of January 2016. Make sure to book your visit and make this a christmas for all the family to remember!