London remains England’s most treasured city. Home to the Royal Family and some of Britain’s most historically relevant buildings and architectural marvels, the capital is also culturally rich and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Guests who make the sound choice to stay at The Melita have an especially wonderful arrangement of amenities and attractions available to them, most of which are just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. From Westminster Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, these six incredible places are located within 20 minutes from our historic hotel, perfect for adventurous wandering, exploration, and self-guided tours!
First, and perhaps most importantly on this list, is Victoria Station just minutes from our hotel entrance, in the heart of London. Not only can you catch a train from the station to just about anywhere else in London; the building itself is intricately designed and quite beautiful. An Edwardian facade and dual mermaid statues with Pre-Raphaelite faces make this building, a stunning marvel of historical art in its own right.
If you’re visiting Victoria Station for transportation, it’s helpful to know that station link buses run twice per hour. Both the London Underground and the Airbus are accessible from this location. If you’re driving, you may park your automobile in the car park next door while traveling around the city.
For more information about Victoria Station, or to verify scheduled times, click here.
One of the London’s most famous locations, the Westminster Cathedral has remained steadfastly in place since the first foundation bricks were laid in 1875. Owned by the Catholic Church, it remains one of the world’s most opulent and artistic faith-based buildings in the world. Although most royal weddings take place at Westminster Abbey, rather than the cathedral itself, it has played host to a number of famous events.
Lovebirds who are visiting London to marry should know that the cathedral does offer wedding services, but you must belong to the congregation and book at least six months in advance.
For guests who are interested in attending services, both mass and confession are open to the public throughout the week. Because times can change, it’s best to confirm the cathedral’s weekly schedule before your visit; click here for more info.
Guests who simply want to marvel in the beauty of the building itself have plenty of discoveries to make, too. Westminster Cathedral is filled with ecclesiastical treasures. To maximise your experience, stop at the gift shop and purchase a copy of the Cathedral Guide Book for just £5.00. This informative and interesting pocket guide points out the building’s most beautiful areas and opulent treasures, giving visitors a unique glimpse into their historical and religious significance.
For more information on Westminster Cathedral, click here.
Apollo Victoria Theatre
Yet another of London’s most historic and beautiful buildings, the Apollo Victoria Theatre was originally built by expert architects Ernest Wamsley Lewis and William Edward Trent in 1929. Dual entrances on both Vauxhall Bridge and Wilton Road lead the interior, where you can access the box office and purchase tickets for a variety of shows.
The Apollo Victoria features a year-round selection of masterfully enacted plays, concerts, musicals and performances. Scheduling is subject to change, and depending on the time of year you visit, the content performed may be seasonal, too. Visitors and potential guests can verify the current schedule on the Apollo’s website.
With over 2,000 seats in the auditorium, this rich cultural location has plenty of space for theatre lovers from all over the world. Despite its size, it’s wise to book or purchase tickets well in advance, as some performances, such as 2016’s incredibly popular rendition of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Wicked,” are immensely popular and fill up quickly. Booking with us, has it’s perks and the Apollo Victoria Theatre is just one of the many.
Shows can also be booked ahead of time by making reservations at 0844 826 8000, or by purchasing tickets online.
Visiting the Tate Britain museum is like stepping back into art history. With pieces from as far back as the 1500’s, many of which are untouched, preserved originals, it remains important to British culture and history to this day. Famous pieces like “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, “Proserpine” by Dante Gabriel Ross, and “Newton” by William Blake make this location a must-see for any history or art buff. We love the arts, and being centrally located to so many art filled destinations makes The Melita Hotel, a travelers haven.
Tate Britain is open from Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 18.00, but scheduling for special events and exhibits may range beyond these hours. Admission to the regular museum is entirely free, though you may shop at the gift shop or make a donation if you wish to support their work.
Once you’re finished browsing the beautiful collection, stop by the Djanogly café. Or, come to experience London’s historical afternoon tea any time after 1.00.
For more information about Tate Britain, or to find out about the museum’s current tour schedule, dial +44 (0)20 7887 8888.
St. James’s Park
At a sprawling 23 hectares in size, St. James’s Park is the place to be if you want to experience the English countryside without ever leaving London. This beautiful green space is home to exquisite gardens, a beautiful pond, fountains, a small and cosy cafe, and a large number of waterfowl, including ducks, swans, geese, and even pelicans.
Despite being centrally located, close to Buckingham Palace, the park’s gardens are more influenced by French botany than by English gardening techniques. Today, their design draws influence from historical gardens in Versailles, France, and a smattering of modern, contemporary practices. Expect to enjoy an endless array of flora and fauna if you visit during the growing season.
St. James’s Park is also home to a small bridge that offers one of the most beautiful views of Buckingham Palace in all of London. This picturesque location is frequented by tourists seeking commemorative photos and snapshots, and it makes an excellent stop-over after weddings, too.
Depending on when you visit, you may also arrive on time to witness incredible events like the Horse Guard Parade or the yearly Trooping the Colour ceremony. Afternoon tea is served at Inn the Park, as is lunch, dinner, and supper. A variety of other refreshments, like cold drinks and ice cream, can be had by visiting any of the many refreshment points scattered throughout.
St. James’ Park is open to visitors from 05:00 – 00:00.
No visit to London would ever be complete without laying eyes on the incredible Buckingham Palace. Home to British royalty and high society members since George III first purchased it for his wife Charlotte in 1761, it officially became the British Monarch’s residence in 1837, during Queen Victoria’s reign. Visitors from afar will immediately recognise the balcony that sits on the front facade; this is the most common place at the palace for British royals to make public appearances on special occasions, including Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Buckingham Palace is truly palatial in every sense of the word. The interior holds an incredible 775 different rooms, including 52 individual bedrooms for both the Royal Family and other guests. Receptions and special events take place in one of the palace’s 19 state rooms. In true blue-blooded fashion, Buckingham Palace is also home to 78 individual bathrooms.
Although most of Buckingham Palace’s interior is locked away from visitors for privacy and security reasons, tours are available. Most tours focus on the state rooms and apartments, but this can still provide an intimate glimpse into daily life for the Royal Family within their treasured home.
City Wonders provides an excellent guided walk-through tour that arrives just in time to see the Changing of the Guard; more information is available here. Tickets can be difficult to secure and spots fill up quickly, so if you wish to go, book a spot well in advance.