Posts Tagged ‘London’

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Take the Royal Wedding Tour of London

January 19, 2011

If you’re a big fan of Kate and William, then the next time you’re in London, check out the Royal Wedding walking tour that will take you to places where they ate, danced, broke up and attended other royal get-togethers.

The £15 walking tour is given by Celebrity Planet, which also offers a Princess Diana memorial tour, a Harry Potter tour, Notting Hill/Portobello Road tours, a Jack the Ripper walk and a Beatles London tour, among others.

Don’t want to pay for a tour out of your student traveller budget? Then make your own map. Many of the Royal Wedding locations are listed on the Celebrity Planet website, and there are many sites that list Harry Potter locations in London.

Grab a map and a highlighter and you can plot your own day around London, at your pace. You’ll miss out on the color commentary though, which can be part of the fun if you have a good guide.

Know of any other good walks in London?

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Run Away to Orlando or London with Harry Potter

October 19, 2010

Harry Potter theme parkI’m just about a week away from my trip to Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My friend and I have costumes all picked out, because we’re massive geeks, and I can’t wait to get there.

A trip to Orlando may not be in your near future, but if your travels are going to take you through London there are a lot of ways to add a little magic to your next trip.

I would love to go stay at the Burrow myself, but since that’s not possible (yet – I would love to see someone open a Weasley hostel) let’s explore some other ways to get your Harry Potter travel fix.

You could book a Harry Potter tour around London and let someone else do the driving. Or, if you’d rather search out the places that have known magic yourself, put together your own Potteresque itinerary:

  • Visit London’s Kings Cross Station and get a picture of Platform 9 3/4. Yes, there’s a sign there for you. Also stop by Platform 4, where the filming was actually done.
  • The London Zoo is where we first see Harry talking to snakes. Please don’t try to let any of them out.
  • Walk through Leadenhall Market in London, which stood in for Diagon Alley. Ollivander won’t be there, but maybe you can buy a cloak.
  • The Millennium Bridge is torn apart by Death Eaters in the new film, but is perfectly sturdy in real life, so you can walk across it. (Check out this article about the special effects.)
  • Rick Steves has a list of other filming locations throughout England and Scotland.

And if all you’ve got going on is a staycation, throw on a robe and make some tasty wizarding treats for your friends. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon, force everyone to speak with a British accent, and pretend to be in a land far far away…

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Travel to Harry Potter Locations: Floo Powder Not Included

July 16, 2009

Harry Potter theme parkWith the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week, you might be yearning to add a little more magic to your next trip. I would love to go stay at the Burrow myself, but since that’s not possible (yet – I would love to see someone open a Weasley hostel) let’s explore some other ways to get your Harry Potter travel fix.

You could book a Harry Potter tour around London and let someone else do the driving. Or, if you’d rather search out the places that have known magic yourself, put together your own Potteresque itinerary:

  • Visit London’s Kings Cross Station and get a picture of Platform 9 3/4. Yes, there’s a sign there for you. Also stop by Platform 4, where the filming was actually done.
  • The London Zoo is where we first see Harry talking to snakes. Please don’t try to let any of them out.
  • Walk through Leadenhall Market in London, which stood in for Diagon Alley. Ollivander won’t be there, but maybe you can buy a cloak.
  • The Millennium Bridge is torn apart by Death Eaters in the new film, but is perfectly sturdy in real life, so you can walk across it. (Check out this article about the special effects.)
  • Rick Steves has a list of other filming locations throughout England and Scotland.

Finally, the Harry Potter Theme Park in Florida is scheduled to open next year, so you can start thinking about a trip to Orlando.

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Get a Free Night (or Two) in London

April 6, 2009
The Generator Bar - Because everyone looks cool when they're blue and glowy.

The Generator Bar - Because everyone looks cool when they're blue and glowy.

I love London. It’s full of history and pubs and English boys with skillfully mussed hair who shout “Oi!” and use sexy slang. The last time I was there I stayed at the Generator Hostel in Russell Square, a couple of blocks from the British museum and close to the downtown theater and nightclub area.

The Generator is similar to a BASE Backpackers, with a bar right in the building that offers great drink specials. The lodgings aren’t plush, but if you’re looking for a good time in an excellent location, this is the place for you.

And now you can get a night or two at the Generator for free by booking one of these Topdeck tours with Travel CUTS (only if you’re booking a trip from Canada; sorry Americans, this deal isn’t open to you). With other tours you get a free stay at the Umi Hotel in the Notting Hill area of London, which is equally cool, but maybe not as wild.

With Topdeck you can choose between a EuroCamping tour (sleep under the European skies!), or a EuroClub trip, where you stay in hostels, cabins, castles & yachts. 

Summer is coming, people, and your student days are coming to a close. Start planning your travel adventures now while the deals are still good!

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Traveling to Britain Rocks!

February 14, 2009

britainrocksHere’s a new website and a new contest for Canadian students: Check out VisitBritainRocks.ca to enter to win a trip to London for you and three of your closest friends. The contest is sponsored by Contiki, Transat and Travel CUTS, so you know the prizes will include heaps of student travel perks.

The contest runs until May 31, 2009, so you have plenty of time to get all of your friends to enter.

The site also includes really good information for planning a trip around one of England’s many big music festivals, letting you know when and where to go and giving you some history on the English music scene. Sign up for the podcast and enjoy the musical flavors of the U.K. on your iPod.

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Get a Lift at the Airport

March 13, 2008

London Heathrow airportYou’ve spent months, or at least days, planning a trip to England. You’ve picked out just the right hostels and the perfect tour. You’ve already decided which museums to visit, which pubs to crawl, and which nightclubs to get down at. You have new luggage, your clothes are sorted, your money and documents are stashed securely, and your iPod is packed with enough music to keep you entertained on even the longest flight. Excellent.

Now. What to do about being stranded at the airport?

It’s a simple thing, probably the shortest part of your journey, but if you land in a foreign country without figuring out how to get to the city center or wherever you’re headed, you might find yourself in a bind. Yes, you can always get a cab, but it might cost more than you had expected to spend on food for a week. Most airports offer public transportation, but depending on how long you’ve been traveling, you might just be too completely exhausted to figure it all out.

What you need is a pre-arranged airport transfer, a train ticket priced within a student’s travel budget that you can have all ready in your jet-lagged little hand to get where you need to go. Airport transfers are available for Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports around London and trains leave frequently throughout the day.

Be ready to get off the plane and get your holiday moving!

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New Year’s Eve Around the World

December 18, 2007

London fireworksWherever you are on December 31st, chances are there’s something exciting happening. Unless you’re home with your parents. Then I can’t really help you.

If you don’t have plans yet, there’s still time to get together with friends, or make new friends, or call up old friends and plan a reunion.

Spending the New Year Down Under? Visit newyearseve.com.au to find out where to see fireworks or get your dance on in Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, or somewhere in between.

If you’re in Edinburgh, you have to do Hogmanay, and in Dublin, Ireland the party will be all over the place. London will have its share of fireworks along the Thames, but if that sounds too chilly for you, how about celebrating Festa de Iemanjá on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro?

If you’re looking for fun in Tokyo, Paris, Reykjavik, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Singapore, or even boring old New York, this article on New Year’s Parties Worldwide can give you more details.