British English and all manner of regional accents.
Best Time to Visit
Spring, when the royal parks are green and Londoners come out of hibernation with fresh smiles and renewed energy.
What to Pack
The UK uses old bulky square 3-pin plugs rarely found elsewhere. And get an A-Z map to navigate because the streets are all higgledy-piggledy and sometimes Google Maps on a smart phone is just too small to stare at.
The British Museum opened in 1753, showcasing perhaps the world’s most diverse and complete collection of items from ancient times through centuries of colonial acquisitions. 7 million pieces in all. The National Gallery opened in 1824 and the Victoria & Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate have all also earned true world class status.
London is perhaps the world’s leading performing art city, thanks to theatre in the West End, classical and opera at The Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House, and even more at the Barbican Centre, South Bank Center and Colliseum Theatre. Meanwhile, Earls Court, Wembley, the O2 and Shepherds Bush Empire showcase London’s hugely influential music scene.
Essential events include the biannual London Fashion Week, the June Meltdown Festival, July’s The Proms, August’s Notting Hill Carnival, September’s Merge Festival, and October’s Frieze Art Fair, London Design Festival and BFI London Film Festival.