SIGHT­SEE­ING Ap­s­ley House

Where London - - Sightseeing -

Visit the home of the Duke of Welling­ton to see its grand in­te­ri­ors and fine art. Please check for times and prices. www.english-her­itage.org.uk/ ap­s­ley­house. 149 Pic­cadilly, Hyde Park Cor­ner, W1J 7NT. T: 020-7499 5676. F6. Sta­tion: Hyde Park Cor­ner.

Ban­quet­ing House

This 17th-cen­tury build­ing was de­signed by Inigo Jones for James I, with an ex­quis­ite painted ceil­ing by cel­e­brated baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. It is the only re­main­ing part of the Palace of West­min­ster, which was de­stroyed by fire. Daily 10am-1pm, but call be­fore vis­it­ing. Adult £6; child free. www.hrp.org.uk. White­hall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. E8. Sta­tion: West­min­ster.

Bat­tersea Park Chil­dren’s Zoo

A zoo with keeper ex­pe­ri­ences, play area and pet­ting farm with don­keys, chin­chillas and goats. Daily 10am- 4.30pm. Adult £8.95; child £6.95. www.bat­tersea­park­zoo.co.uk. Bat­tersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, SW11 4NJ. T: 020-7924 5826. Off map. Sta­tion: Bat­tersea Park.

Buck­ing­ham Palace

The Lon­don res­i­dence and prin­ci­pal work­place of the monar­chy has 775 rooms. To 5 Feb: Ex­clu­sive Guided Tours. Dis­cover the state rooms with an ex­pert guide. www.roy­al­col­lec­tion.org.uk. Buck­ing­ham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Sta­tion: Green Park.

Chang­ing the Guard

At 11.30am ev­ery other day, watch the chang­ing of the Queen’s Guard on Buck­ing­ham Palace’s fore­court. There is no cer­e­mony in very wet weather. The Chang­ing the Life Guard Cer­e­mony takes place Mon-Fri 11am; Sun 10am – please check for last-minute changes. www.royal.gov.uk. Buck­ing­ham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Sta­tion: Green Park.

Chelsea Physic Gar­den

Lon­don’s old­est botanic gar­den, founded in 1673 as the Apothe­caries’ Gar­den. Ad­mire 5,000 species of plants, es­pe­cially medic­i­nal ones in­clud­ing trop­i­cal plants in glasshouses. Free daily tours. Check for times and prices. 29 Jan: Pho­tograph­ing Snow­drops. Spend the day pho­tograph­ing snow­drops with ex­pert ad­vice on com­po­si­tion, light and tech­niques.www. chelsea physic gar­den. co.uk. 66 Royal Hospi­tal Rd, SW3 4HS. T: 020-7352 5646. Off map. Sta­tion: Sloane Square.

Chiswick House & Gar­dens Trust

See Old Masters on dis­play in this manor house, which fea­tures neo-Pal­la­dian in­te­ri­ors de­signed by Wil­liam Kent and ar­chi­tec­ture in­spired by an­cient Rome and Italy. The re­stored gar­dens in­spired Blen­heim Palace and New York’s Central Park.

From 19 Jan: Mag­i­cal Lan­tern Fes­ti­val. Stun­ning il­lu­mi­na­tions light up the grounds. This year’s theme is ‘Ex­plore the Silk Road’ with lan­tern scenes, which rep­re­sent and high­light this sig­nif­i­cant route of trade and cul­ture from Europe to an­cient China (p. 7). Gar­dens daily 7am-dusk; house Sun-Wed 10am-5pm (closed un­til Apr); con­ser­va­tory daily 10am- 4pm. House adult £6.70; child £4. www.chgt.org.uk. Chiswick House and Gar­dens, W4 2RP. T: 020-8995 0508. Off map. Sta­tion: Chiswick Park.

The Crys­tal

The world’s first cen­tre ded­i­cated to urban sus­tain­abil­ity, which aims to ed­u­cate visi­tors about fu­ture global chal­lenges and their so­lu­tions. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm. Adult £8; child free. www.the­crys­tal.org. 1 Siemens Broth­ers Way, Royal Vic­to­ria Docks, E16 1GB. T: 020-7055 6400. Off map. Sta­tion: Royal Vic­to­ria.

Cutty Sark PASS PART­NER

This 19th-cen­tury ship is the world’s last sur­viv­ing tea clip­per. Ex­plore in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays on deck or take part in a lively pro­gramme of fam­ily-friendly events. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £12.15; child £6.30. Joint tick­ets with the Royal Ob­ser­va­tory avail­able. www.rmg.co.uk/cut­tysark. Cutty Sark, King Wil­liam Walk, SE10 9HT. T: 020-8312 6608. Off map. Sta­tion: Cutty Sark/Green­wich.

Den­nis Sev­ers’ House

Since 1979, visi­tors have been able to ex­plore the home of artist Den­nis Sev­ers. Ten rooms, from the cellar to the at­tic, il­lus­trate the life of a fam­ily of Huguenot silk weavers from the 17th to 19th cen­tury. Silent night tour Mon, Wed & Fri 5pm-9pm. Day­time tour Mon noon-2pm & Sun noon- 4pm. Tick­ets £5-£17.50. www.den­nis­sev­er­shouse.co.uk. 18 Fol­gate St, E1 6BX. T: 020-7247 4013. D11. Sta­tion: Liver­pool Street.

Dr John­son’s House

Writer Dr Sa­muel John­son com­piled his first English dic­tio­nary – which was first pub­lished in 1755 – in this pe­riod home, which dates from the 18th cen­tury. Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. Adult £6; child £2.50. www.dr­john­son­shouse.org. 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE. T: 020-7353 3745. D9. Sta­tion: Temple/Chancery Lane.

Eltham Palace & Gar­dens

Ex­pe­ri­ence the decade of deca­dence as you are trans­ported back to the 1930s. Part show­piece of Art Deco de­sign and part me­dieval royal palace, make your­self at home as a guest of the Cour­taulds. Please check for prices and times. www.english-her­itage.org.uk/eltham. Court Yard, SE9 5QE. T: 020- 8294 2548. Off map. Sta­tion: Eltham.

Ful­ham Palace

This at­trac­tive 15th-cen­tury build­ing was the sum­mer re­treat of the Bish­ops of Lon­don. Now it’s a mu­seum with gar­dens, a café and art gallery. Mu­seum, his­toric rooms and shop Mon-Thur 12.30pm-3.30pm; Sun noon- 4pm. Ad­mis­sion free, charges for spe­cial events. www.ful­ham­palace.org. Bishop’s Av­enue, SW6 6EA. T: 020-7736 3233. Off map. Sta­tion: Put­ney Bridge.

Go Ape Bat­tersea Park

Make like a monkey at this tree­top ad­ven­ture play­ground, which is suit­able for chil­dren over six and adults. Ne­go­ti­ate lad­ders, bridges and zip lines while at­tached to a re­as­sur­ing har­ness. En­thu­si­as­tic staff are on hand through­out the three-and-a-half-hour ex­pe­ri­ence. Daily from 9.30am. Adult £35; child £27-£35. www.goape.co. uk/bat­tersea-park. Bat­tersea Park, SW11 4NJ. T: 0845- 643 9236. Off map. Sta­tion: Bat­tersea Park.

Golden Hinde II

A full-size re­con­struc­tion of Sir Fran­cis Drake’s 16th-cen­tury ves­sel, in which he cir­cum­nav­i­gated the globe. Reg­u­lar events in­clude dress­ing up in his­tor­i­cal cos­tumes, quiz nights and bat­tle work­shops. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Guided tour adult £7; child £5. www.gold­en­hinde.com. 1 Pick­fords Wharf, Clink St, SE1 9DG. T: 020-7403 0123. E10. Sta­tion: Lon­don Bridge.

Ham House and Gar­dens

One of Europe’s great­est 17th-cen­tury houses. Its gar­dens, which in­clude a walled kitchen gar­den, are said to be haunted. Please check for times. Adult £10.40; child £5.20. www.na­tion­al­trust.org.uk. Ham St, Sur­rey, TW10 7RS. T: 020- 8940 1950. Off map. Sta­tion: Rich­mond.

Han­del & Hen­drix in Lon­don

For­mer homes of An­glo-Ger­man com­poser Ge­orge Frid­eric Han­del and Amer­i­can gui­tarist Jimi Hen­drix. See where Han­del lived and com­posed for 36 years, plus Hen­drix’s bed­room re­stored to how it was in 1968-1969. Mon-Sat 11pm- 6pm; Sun noon- 6pm. Adult £10; child £5. www.han­del­house.org. 25 Brook St, W1K 4HB. T: 020-7495 1685. D6. Sta­tion: Bond Street.

HMS Belfast

Per­ma­nently moored on the River Thames, this ship is Europe’s only sur­viv­ing World War II cruiser. In ser­vice un­til 1965, it’s now a re­minder of Bri­tain’s naval her­itage. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £14.50; child £7.25. www.iwm.org.uk. The Queen’s Walk, off Too­ley St, SE1 2JH T: 020-7940 6300. E11. Sta­tion: Lon­don Bridge.

Houses of Par­lia­ment

The site of Bri­tish Par­lia­ment since 1265, the cur­rent neo-gothic build­ing in­clud­ing Big Ben was built in the 19th cen­tury. Watch de­bates for free when the Houses are in ses­sion. Tours ev­ery Sat; also week­days 3- 6 Jan. Guided tour adult £25.50; child £11. Au­dio tour adult £18.50; child £ 7.50 (first child free). www.par­lia­ment.uk/visit. Palace of West­min­ster, Par­lia­ment Square, SW1A 0AA. T :020-72194114. F 8. Sta­tion: West­min­ster.

The Jewel Tower

Built around 1365 to house Ed­ward III’s trea­sures, this is one of only two build­ings left from the me­dieval Palace of West­min­ster af­ter an 1834 fire. Don’t miss the or­nate ceil­ing carv­ings. Please check for prices and times. www.english-her­itage. org.uk. Abing­don St, SW1P 3JX. T: 020-7222 2219. F8. Sta­tion: West­min­ster.

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