Where London - - Sightseeing -

Ap­s­ley House

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

Arcelor Mit­tal Or­bit

This 114.5-me­tre tall ob­ser­va­tion tower, de­signed by Turner Prize-win­ning artist Sir Anish Kapoor, gives un­ri­valled views of the Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park (p. 28) and sta­dium. It also has an out­door slide, from which you can whizz down, and oc­ca­sional ab­seil ses­sions. Please check for times and prices. www.arcelor­mit­talor­ Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park, E20 2SS. T: 0333800 8099. Map in­set. Sta­tion: Strat­ford.

Ban­quet­ing House

This 17th-cen­tury build­ing was de­signed by Inigo Jones for King 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 £6.50; child free. White­hall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. E8. Sta­tion: West­min­ster.

Bat­tersea Park Chil­dren’s Zoo

Zoo with keeper ex­pe­ri­ences, a play area and a pet­ting farm with don­keys, chin­chillas and goats. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £8.95; child £6.95. www.bat­tersea­park­ Bat­tersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, SW11 4NJ. T: 020-7924 5826. Off map. Sta­tion: Bat­tersea Park.

The Bri­tish Li­brary

The world’s largest li­brary also boasts tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions and a great per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. To 29 Aug: Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion: Hope, Tragedy, Myths. A cen­tury on from the Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion, this ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion of arte­facts and doc­u­ments shines new light on the un­prece­dented events of the pe­riod. Ex­hi­bi­tion gal­leries Mon 9.30am- 6pm; Tue-Thur 9.30am- 8pm; Fri 9.30am- 6pm; Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm. Ad­mis­sion free; charges for tours, some ex­hi­bi­tions and events. 96 Eus­ton Rd, NW1 2DB. T: 0330-333 1144. C7. Sta­tion: King’s Cross.

Buck­ing­ham Palace

The mag­nif­i­cent Lon­don res­i­dence and prin­ci­pal work­place of the monar­chy has 775 rooms. It’s usu­ally closed to the pub­lic, ex­cept for the an­nual sum­mer open­ing of the State Rooms (22 Jul-1 Oct). www.roy­al­col­lec­ Buck­ing­ham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Sta­tion: Vic­to­ria/Green Park.

Chang­ing the Guard

At 11am ev­ery Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun, watch the chang­ing of the Queen’s Guard on the Palace’s fore­court (ex­cept in very wet weather). Free. Buck­ing­ham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. Sta­tion: Vic­to­ria/Green Park. The Chang­ing the Life Guard Cer­e­mony takes place Mon-Fri 11am; Sun 10am – check in case of last-minute changes. Buck­ing­ham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Sta­tion: Vic­to­ria/ Green Park.

Chelsea Physic Gar­den

Lon­don’s old­est botan­i­cal gar­den was founded in 1673 as the Apothe­caries’ Gar­den. Ad­mire 5,000 species of plants, es­pe­cially medic­i­nal ones in­clud­ing trop­i­cal plants in glasshouses. Please check for spe­cial events. Mon 11am-5pm gar­den only; Tue-Fri 11am- 6pm gar­den and shop; Sun 11am- 6pm gar­den, shop and café. Adult £10.50; child £6.95. www.chelsea­physic­gar­ 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 out­stand­ing manor, which fea­tures neo-Pal­la­dian in­te­ri­ors de­signed by Wil­liam Kent and ar­chi­tec­ture in­spired by an­cient Rome and 16th-cen­tury Italy. The 18th-cen­tury re­stored gar­dens in­spired Blen­heim Palace and New York’s Cen­tral Park. Gar­dens daily 7am-dusk; house Sun-Wed 10am- 4pm; con­ser­va­tory Tue-Sun 10am- 4pm. House adult £6.70; child £4. Chiswick House & Gar­dens, W4 2RP. T: 020- 8995 0508. Off map. Sta­tion: Chiswick Park.

Cutty Sark

This 19th-cen­tury ship is the world’s last sur­viv­ing tea clip­per, with many of the orig­i­nal fea­tures in­clud­ing the cab­ins of its for­mer sailors. Ex­plore in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays on deck or take part in a lively pro­gramme of fam­ily-friendly events. 3, 10, 17 & 24 May: Tod­dler Time. Bring your lit­tle sailors along for songs, sto­ries and play­time. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £12.15; child £6.30. www.rmg.­tysark. Cutty Sark, King Wil­liam Walk, SE10 9HT. T: 020- 8312 6608. Off map. Sta­tion: Cutty Sark/Green­wich.

Dennis Sev­ers’ House

Since 1979, vis­i­tors can ex­plore the home of the artist Dennis Sev­ers, who died in 2000 (p. 36). Ten at­mo­spheric rooms, from the cel­lar to the at­tic, il­lus­trate the life of a typ­i­cal fam­ily of Huguenot silk weavers from the 17th to 19th cen­turies. Keep all your senses alert and keep a look out for its for­mer res­i­dents! Silent night tour Mon, Wed & Fri 5pm-9pm. Day­time tour Mon noon-2pm & Sun noon- 4pm. Tick­ets £5-£17.50. www.den­nis­sev­er­ 18 Fol­gate St, E1 6BX. T: 020-7247 4013. D11. Sta­tion: Liver­pool Street.

Dr John­son’s House

The writer Dr Sa­muel John­son com­piled his first English dic­tionary, first pub­lished in 1755, in this four-storey pe­riod home, which dates to the late 17th cen­tury. Now a Grade I-listed build­ing, it re­tains many of its orig­i­nal fea­tures. Check for guided walks (1st Wed of ev­ery month) in John­son’s foot­steps around Fleet Street. Mon-Sat 11am5.30pm. Adult £6; child £2.50. www.dr­john­sons 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE. T: 0207353 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 royal palace with a me­dieval great hall and lux­u­ri­ous bath­room, make your­self at home as a guest of the Cour­taulds. Ex­plore their map room and beau­ti­ful pe­riod dresses and hats. Please check for prices and times. www.english-her­ Court Yard, SE9 5QE. T: 020- 8294 2548. Off map. Sta­tion: Eltham.

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