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Blackpool Tower is one of Britains most famous landmarks, and is now over 200 years old. The very top for the tower is over 515ft in the air, and its of course based on its more famous French counterpart - the Eiffel Tower. Two widely unknown facts about the tower are that it has a 19th century time capsule underneath it, and it is built in such a way that it was ever to collapse it would fall into the sea and not into the surrounding buildings!
Tickets for the tower vary in price depending on where you buy them - if you turn up at the door as we did then it costs £17 per adult and £14 per child; however if you pre-purchase them online then both adults and children cost £14 per person.
The attractions themselves are a group of contrasts. The first attraction we came across was the Aquarium; which was quite small, busy and dark. Its got about 15-20 seperate windows full of different fish, plants and aquatic animals such as crabs etc. Its an interesting little exhibit, and can probably hold your attention for around 10 minutes.
Then we went upstairs to the 3D Cinema and Dinosaur Walk. This was really funny but only because the 3D Cinema was possibly the worst thing ive seen! Its around 20 years old and is a blurry, unexciting journey back to the land of the Dinosaur's. This was just awful; not to the mention the small 'cinema' smelt absolutely awful! The Dinosaur Walk was OK, it will take you around two minutes to walk through and thats if you stop to look at the little exhibits. This whole area really could do with updating to say the least!
Then we went to the Ballroom; this was brilliant. Its a grandiose, large, old fashioned ballroom with a bar, lots of seating, a massive dancefloor and of course the vintage, authentic Wurlitzer playing all of the music. Im not into dancing particularly, but it was really nice to watch some of the older couples reliving their glory days and genuinely enjoying themselves! It did seem like you could join in if you wanted to, however its not like a regular dance hall where you can throw some shapes! You do need to know the dances that are going on to join in. Even if you just want to sit down and watch, you will find yourself spending a lot of time here!
It was then time for the 'Mooky's Eastern Promise' circus. My girlfriend was slightly apprehensive about this as she felt it would just be clowns throwing custard pies at each other! However, this was one of the highlights of our holiday! The Asian acts presented were absolutely brilliant of a wide variety; my personal favourite was the seemingly invincible Shaolin Monks, who were able to break a real metal part over their heads! There was a brilliant trapeze, balancing acts, acrobatics, and of course comedy and audience participation from Mooky; who was surprisingly funny and engaging! This really is a must see for anyone on holiday in Blackpool, a fantastic and massively entertaining two hour show!
Then came our visit to the Tower Top. This is of course popular, so you join the queue (which we spent about ten minutes in), and around half way through they pull you out the queue to have your picture taken that you can look at and perhaps purchase later. There are a lot of money making systems like this employed in the tower for example a few arcades, slot machines, teddy bear grabbers (where in Blackpool doesnt have these?!) and a large number of souvenirs available during the circus; however we didnt find this a problem and ultimately you only have to say no. I imagine this would be slightly more difficult if you had kids! We bought the pictures and thought they were very good!
The lift to the tower top took about 60-90 seconds and was packed, as was the first level of the tower top when you get there! The 'Walk of Faith' was good,. larger than i expected and confusing for the senses and a brilliant photo opportunity, but again it was busy as your not the only one trying to get a photo on it!
For those wishing to access the very top of the tower, its around 2-3 flights of stairs, with a large walkway area to stop at halfway up if you cant face going all the way like my girlfriend! Anyone scared of heights ill just say that everything is well covered on the way up, due to the height of the fences and rails around it as well as the protective mesh, it is more or less impossible to have anything happen to you! The view from the top is spectacular; i was able to see the North Wales coast!
I cannot speak for the cafe, but after a look at the menu it did seem to be a varied selection that is slightly expensive for what it is.
We spent around 4 and a half hours in the tower with around half of this in the circus.
Some of the tower, especially the 3D Cinema, I wouldnt go to ever again even if they were free! However the Ballroom, the Tower top and of course the superb Mooky's Circus make Blackpool Tower an unmissable day out!
TIP: your Blackpool Tower tickets get you in half price in the Tussauds Waxworks and the Adventure Isle Golf, both of which were really fun so make sure you hold onto your tickets!
J D Wetherspoons has been part of British high streets for over 30 years. The pub chain is based on a number of core principles that the organisation at least attempts to meet - low prices, cask ale, long hours and a comfortable friendly environment for its customers.
One of the things that sets Wetherspoons aside from its locally based pub competitors is the lack of music - one of the things that allows Wetherspoons to deliver such low prices to its customers is its decision to not pay for a music license.
At the end of 2009, there was 743 Wetherspoons in the UK, so chances are you will always be relatively close to a Wetherspoons pub! If you are after a drink, Wetherspoons is a great place to go. As mentioned, the fact that the chain does not pay for music licenses amongst other things mean that there is a wide, varied selection of all of the drinks you are used to drinking at your local pub, at a fraction of the price! The pub usually has a friendly atmosphere, plenty of seating and a number of fruit/slot machines as well as 'Itbox' quiz machines; some of the chains pubs also allow its customer free access to todays papers as well as muted television coverage of the BBC or Sky news channel. The pub also sells coffee and tea, crisps, fresh juice, and a wide variety of soft drinks. With all of the entertainment options and wide variety of cheap drinks considered, it is easy to see why Wetherspoons is such a popular chain!
The problem comes with the chains food. On the face of it, its a wide selection of tasty and decent quality food for a low price. However, a closer look shows you what this bargain food is made of. Despite the fact that Wetherspoons "works closely" with the Food Standards Association to make sure its food is of a high standard, the low quality of their foods is absolutely disgusting. Below are some examples of this:
Bacon Carbonara (pasta) - Over 55grams of fat and over 155% of your RDA of salt.
The Gourmet Beef Burger - 1828 calories and an unbelievable 104.4 grams of fat, which is 149.1% of the recommended daily allowance of fat for someone who exercises for 30 minutes a day! Thats more fat than two KFC 'Fully Loaded' meals!
Large Breakfast with Black Pudding - 131.3% of your RDA of fat and 120% of your saturated fat RDA, and 190% of your salt allowance for one day!
Large Mixed Grill - 168.4% RDA of fat and a ridiculous 210.5% of your saturated fat - thats over two days worth of heart clogging saturated fat in one meal!
There is in fact, over ten meals that will offer over 175% of both your daily allowances of saturated fat and salt in one meal!
This is just some of the examples of the shocking quality of the food that Wetherspoons offer. Their food may be delicious and available at a low price - but you are not only just paying with your money your paying with your heart. This is a pub that offers food for kids, dont forget!
Wetherspoons is great for a cheap drink and a nice break from a days shopping, but I urge you to look closely at their nutritional information before purchasing any food - its really surprising just how bad it is! Enjoy a pint or two, but go somewhere else for your food! Your heart will thank you!
We visited the Imperial War Museum as part of our London holiday. The museum is quite easy to find, around five minutes taxi ride from Big Ben, London Eye and the Houses of Parliament and is opposite the Days Hotel Waterloo. Its nearest tube station is Lambeth North, around 10 minutes walk from the museum.
It is an unmistakable and grandiose building, its large green St.Paul's Cathedral-esque dome dominates the local area and makes the museum quite easy to find! It is unmissable due to the two enormous guns outside the building!
Admission to the museum is free, as is the case with all of the major museums in London. Visitors are asked to make a donation, and i can assure you £5 is a tiny price to pay for what you get! On arrival security will search your bags so anyone with a bag shouldnt keep too much in there, otherwise you may be waiting around for a while!
On arrival you are also given the opportunity to purchase guide books and this is something i would definitely recommend, there is so much to see and do in the museum and the guide book really helps and gives background information on the objects you are seeing and why they are important.
The most striking memory from our visit was the Holocaust Exhibit. I have a particular interest in World War 2 and, despite the horrific stories, I have always found it difficult to truly come to terms with the enormity of the holocaust as it was just numbers to me and didnt really have a human face if that makes sense. I have read both Mein Kampf and the Diary of Anne Frank, and therefore the Holocaust Exhibit provided me with a very interesting experience.
I must say, it is one of the most emotional and powerful things I have ever seen in my life. The exhibit begins pre World War 2 and chronicles Hitler's rise to power, changes in Germany, persecution of Jews, Crystal Night and the slope toward the 'Final Solution'. The Holocaust Exhibit gives visitors a massive insight into the Holocaust and its messages hit home so hard. It is a fascinating, powerful, emotional and often disturbing exhibit that will leave a mark on anyone who visits it. It is an absolute must see, and is definitely something I will never forget. We spent two hours in the exhibit and could have spent a lot longer there. You really cannot underestimate the power and lasting impression of this exhibit that is so immaculately put together and is a real testament to the museum and its curators.
Away from the holocaust exhibit there is a huge range of war items, stories and memorabilia, some of which are hundreds of years old. It is a huge and detailed museum that has literally thousands of things to see - visitors are able to sit inside a real tank, walk through a war time trench, see war time planes and even touch the real bronze German Eagle from the Reichstag - one of the iconic items of history. We could not find the German Eagle at first so asked one of the attendants who was friendly, knowledgeable and polite.
Visitors could spend an entire day in the Imperial War Museum and still not see everything they would like to see. There are hundreds of photo opportunities (although not inside the holocaust exhibit as its not allowed, presumably to show respect) within the museum, there is a cafe and thankfully there are lots of places to sit as the museum can be very tiring!
The Imperial War Museum is absolutely superb, so well put together and you literally cannot look anywhere without seeing something interesting. For visitors who go to the Holocaust Exhibit, i can guarantee you wont be the same coming out as you were going in - an absolute must see and is more powerful than any of the tanks on show.
Me and my girlfriend watched Wicked in London's Apollo Victoria Theatre at the beginning of April 2010 as part of a hotel/theatre package on Superbreak (that was very reasonably priced, by the way!).
The show is loosely based on the book by Gregory Maguire entitled 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' and tells the story of Elphaba (who would go on to become the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (who would later go on to become the Good Witch of the North). The story chronicles their budding friendship, conflicts, and the backdrop to Elphaba's fall from grace and how she became the Wicked Witch of the West.
The first thing to note is that Wicked relies a lot on the famous story the Wizard of Oz, and anyone going to see Wicked should at least be familiar with the Wizard of Oz, as it would allow them to understand the relevance and importance of large parts of the story. Wicked is full of story elements that overlap and link with the Wizard of Oz. Even if you are familiar with the story, if you are going to watch Wicked then it couldnt hurt you to watch the Wizard of Oz again for a bit of a catchup!
I must admit I have never been someone who is massively into musicals, however I was absolutely blown away by Wicked. The seats from Superbreak were fantastic, right in the middle and only 7 rows from the front!
The show itself was fantastic! From the outset the stage is filled with lively, colourful, loud actors and actresses who's dancing and singing will grab and hold your attention all of the way through the show!
The show that we went to see featured Dianne Pilkington as Galinda and Alexia Khadime as Elphaba, and both were absolutely superb in the role. Pilkington instilled comedy and a special, unique charisma into a character that can be surprisingly difficult to like at the start of the show, while Khadime is absolutely brilliant as Elphaba!
A criticism of the show has been that there are no catchy tunes (such as You've got to pick a pocket or two from Oliver!) that you will be singing once you leave the theatre, however i did not find that at all! The songs 'Popular' and 'Defying Gravity' are catchy, superb numbers that will have you tapping your feet long after the show has finished!
Without giving anything away about the plot, the musical deals well with both the positive and negative moments of the story and ensures that the audience becomes emotionally involved with the show and its characters, and subsequently the audience will feel the sadness of the downs and the delight of the up's! Be assured though, this is a resoundingly positive story, full of laughs, great songs, and a strong storyline to back it up!
This show would be fantastic for small children, families, and couples such as ourselves! Wicked is surely one of the most charismatic, joy filled shows of the modern age and deserves its rave reviews! An absolute must see, and you will definitely leave spellbound by the magic of Wicked!
St. Paul's Cathedral, one of London's most famous attractions, dominates the London skyline and is very hard to miss. However, its distinctive dome and famous bronze cross are just the tip of this spectacular Cathedral's beauty.
The first thing visitors will notice before entering the Cathedral is a statue of Queen Anne. The statue faces away from the Cathedral, this was deliberately done; in the early 1700's Queen Anne bore 17 haemophiliac babies, one of which died in early childhood. As the children were taken from her one by one, Anne became depressed and began to drink large amounts of alcohol and became morbidly obese. She also, most importantly, began to turn her back on religion, refusing to believe in such a cruel and awful god. Londoners made up a poem about Anne that reads "Poor Queen Anne, left in the lurch, she faces the gin-shop, with her back to the church". This is unfortunately the Queens major legacy, and is why this statue is so newsworthy.
The fact that it costs £12.50 for adults, £4.50 for children, £11.50 for senior's and £9.50 for students has proven to be slightly controversial with some visitors; however if people wish to access the Cathedral simply to worship and not for sightseeing then they are allowed to do so for free by informing an attendant of this.
As soon as we got into the Cathedral, we were given a small free tour by an attendant. The attendant gave us a brief glimpse into the history of the church. The 'new' St. Paul's Cathedral was created by Christopher Wren following the Great Fire of London, and has been used for Charles & Diana's wedding as well as the ceremony for Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. The Cathedral was also host to the funerals of Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington amongst others.
One of the first things visitors will notice is the number of memorials. There are memorials to Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, Sir Alexander Fleming and two special and noticeable memorials to Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, both of whom are buried in the Cathedral. The Cathedral has a large crypt that visitors are allowed to access and pay their respects to these great men of British history.
The Cathedral floor also includes the beautiful painting Light of the World; I am not personally massively into art but the Light of the World really spoke to me and is definitely worth visiting in itself. There is so much else to see around the Cathedral floor, and some of the views are absolutely stunning. It is also very interesting seeing the workings of an active Cathedral. Visitors are asked to remain still and silent and join in an hourly prayer through their visit; and whether you are religious or not it is simply courteous to respect their practices.
After visitors have seen the cathedral floor and visited the crypt, they are able to visit the 'Whispering Gallery'. This is 99 feet and 259 steps up, and is definitely worth the effort. The Whispering Gallery gets its name from a fantastic quirk of the gallery, that allows a whisper to be said on one side of the gallery and heard on the other side. Me and my girlfriend tried this and it really works!
My girlfriend is scared of heights, so she stayed at this level, however i was feeling daring so i decided to carry on going up! After 378 steps, visitors come across the Stone Gallery. The stone gallery is 173ft in the air and offers some beautiful views of London.
For those who are fit and healthy enough, and who do not have a large fear of heights, the Golden Gallery awaits! The Golden Gallery is 280 feet in the air and it takes 530 steps to get up to it! It is extremely tiring and it can be slightly daunting climbing up and up the spiralling staircase; however for those who do it you will be so glad that you did! The small outdoor gallery offers simply the most beautiful views of London that are available, its absolutely fantastic! You feel a real sense of achievement climbing all the way up, however for those with even a small fear of heights you may wish to consider whether its right for you, the gallery is small and can get very crowded, and its such a long way up in the air!
For those of you who have been left at the bottom by their loved ones, there is the chance to take part in a religious service. These happen regularly during the day.
To summarise, the Cathedral offers both religious and non-religious visitors a fantastic way to spend a few hours. From the memorials, paying your respects in the Crypt, the stunning paintings and Cathedral design, the services, the Whispering Gallery or a 280 feet high view of London - A day at St. Paul's is not to be missed!
The Natural History Museum is very easy to locate, it is across the road from the Victoria & Albert Museum and right next to the Science Museum.
From the outside, the building looks like a large church or cathedral, and upon walking into the main hall visitors are greeted with a staggering view of a Dippolodocus (Dinosaur!) within a spectacular cathedral-esque hall. This sets the theme for the entire museum, a splendid and eye opening sight awaits you at every turn!
The Natural History Museum is one of the best museums in Europe; there is such a wide range of objects and exhibits within the museum. For those interested in animals, there is a huge variety of animals within the museum from Panda Bears and Dodo's to Elephants, Hippo's and even a Blue Whale! There are separate sections for insects, birds, primates, mammals, marine invertebrates and fish, amphibians and reptiles amongst others. Visitors could indeed spend a whole day surrounded by beautiful and fascinating creatures from all over the world, however the museum has so much more to offer!
One of the museums most popular areas is the dinosaur exhibit - this houses pre-historic fossils, full dinosaur skeletons as well as moving animatronic dinosaurs such as baby raptors. The centrepiece of this fascinating exhibit is a life-size animatronic T-Rex, complete with movement and loud roars the T-Rex is fitted with a sensor that notices particular colours, so some visitors get an eerie sense that the beast is following them around the room! This section can get busy as it is obviously very attractive to children.
The Darwin centre offers visitors an opportunity to visit behind the scenes at the museum, and see some world class exhibits that are currently in storage! We did not get time to do this, however it does seem very interesting!
The 'Red Zone' is themed around the earth; its history, composition, global warming, earthquakes and rock formations, fossils and the future of the earth amongst other things. Those with an interest in geology will feel at home in this section, and anyone passing through the sculpture of the earth cannot help but be in awe of such a powerful looking object.
The above is just a number of the exhibits available and there is so much more - human evolution, human biology, ecology, tree and plant life and a wildlife garden amongst other things!
The museum opens at 10:00am and closes at 17:50pm, and those with a particular interest in the history of man, animals and the world in which we live may possibly wish to spend an entire day there, as that is the only way you would be able to see and fully appreciate the millions of objects!
My girlfriend did find it hard going after a while, so those with a bad back may wish to take into account the amount of breaks required to get all the way round such a huge museum. Seeing such a lot of items can be hugely tiring, and we were absolutely exhausted after visiting the Natural History Museum. Thankfully there are quite a lot of benches and places to sit dotted around the museum for those that wish to take a break!
There are also a lot of places to eat; from small, quick bite cafe's to a restaurant that would not look out of a place in a 4-5 star hotel! Obviously it depends on an individuals tastes and budget, however i did personally find the prices quite expensive! Then again, you are in London!
To sum up, the Natural History Museum is a superb attraction that would really need a full day to fully appreciate all of its splendour; however those with just a few hours like we had wont be disappointed! The fact that the museum is free makes it unmissable!
As part of our London holiday me and my girlfriend visited the Hard Rock Cafe - a Rock 'n' Roll themed restaurant. The first thing to note is that the Hard Rock Cafe does not take reservations as such, however if you visit the website a 'PX' can be booked - this allows you to bypass the queues and get the next available table. This is a must, because the queue was big as we arrived and word is that waiting times can be up to 90 minutes long!
We were seated problem and our waiter was very friendly, telling us about the history of the building and of the cafe generally. Regarding food, we shared a Chicken Quesadilla (a lot like a Fajita) for a starter and for main my girlfriend had a burger while i had a club sandwich. Holly seemed to enjoy her burger, and my sandwich was absolutely gorgeous, and the sheer size of it made for a fantastic picture; it was absolutely massive! We were too full for pudding, and one starter two main courses and three drinks came to around £42. It was slightly expensive but worth it, there is a huge amount of memorabilia on the walls and the cafe has a nice atmosphere.
After we finished our meal we went next door to the shop and asked about visiting "The Vault"; this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of our holiday! 'The Vault' - formerly Queen Victoria's bank vault - houses a lot of rare Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia! John Lennon's hand written lyrics, Jimi Hendrix's Guitar, Kurt Cobain's signed Guitar and Madonna's leotard are just a few of the rare objects in the vault; its absolutely fascinating and so good to see such important and sought after objects. After the tour of the small but jam packed vault, you are offered an opportunity to sit on Jimi Hendrix's bench and have some pictures with signed guitars; i chose a signed Oasis guitar and my girlfriend chose a signed Gene Simmons guitar. This was a lot of fun, the pictures were available for £10 each and while this is quite expensive it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so we got some pictures. To be fair, the pictures are of a very high quality!
The Hard Rock Cafe was brilliant, and definitely worth a visit! It definitely pays to put a bit of time in before hand to be able to bypass the queue, and anyone who goes to the Hard Rock Cafe really really should visit 'The Vault',a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Yes, the abbey is slightly expensive at £15 for adults and £12 for students. However, its an absolutely brilliant experience. My girlfriend and I went on the Verger Tour around the Abbey (it cost £3 more) and it was one of the most enjoyable things we did on our whole holiday. The tour lasted around 90 minutes and thoroughly explained all the details of the abbey - its history, and the people inside it. The verger was intelligent, eloquent, friendly and immensely helpful. People on the verger tour access one or two areas of the Abbey that other people are unable to get to unless they are on a verger tour (makes you feel a bit special ha ha), and every room, memorial and tomb that we saw on the tour was well explained and all questions the group had were answered well.
The Abbey itself is an immense place - full of history and heritage. It is not a Cathedral and it is not the same as St. Paul's, so if you go there expecting something like St. Paul's you will be disappointed; it is a church that is the resting place for hundreds of influential men and women through the ages.
The abbey itself is full of history, heritage and culture - and to fully appreciate the abbey some prior research would be good because knowing who the people are and why they are important is definitely makes the experience a lot better.
I would also say that you should DEFINITELY 100% go on a Verger tour as it seems to me this makes the experience so much more interesting, informative and worthwhile. Its cheap and absolutely fantastic. If youre not able to do this for some reason then make sure you get the audio tour, there isnt many signposts and you will definitely need some direction as well as explanation as to why things/people are important etc.
If you do the verger tour, honestly, one of the best things you will do in London!
I had some reservations about the open top bus tour due to its price (£24 per person, £22 online for 24 hours) but i couldnt have been more wrong. It was absolutely fantastic! There are different routes depending on what you want to see, we (Me, 26 and my girlfriend, 20) first went on the 'Yellow' route as we liked the prospect of a live tour guide. When we boarded and went upstairs to sit down we realised that there was no live tour guide but instead a loud recorded voice (i assume its due to the time we went not being popular enough); I thought this would take away from the enjoyment of the tour but it didnt at all it was absolutely brilliant! Got to see a lot of cool sights including a lot i didnt even know of before the tour, and i found out a lot about the sights that London is famous for. We got off the tour at the Tower of London and used it to get home at around 5pm that evening and, again, had no problems at all.
The next day, as it was a 24 hour ticket, we had until 12:15 (the time we had booked it the previous day) to use the ticket, so this time we decided to go on the 'Red' tour, to get a different tour. The first third of the tour was almost exactly the same as the 'Yellow' tour, including the facts and information we were told, and we felt it was a bit of a waste of time. However, almost to the minute we said that we found that the red tour went on a very long, interesting and different route to the yellow tour. So if you plan on doing more than one, make sure you stick with the tours as they are so interesting.
One thing i would say is definitely dont count on the tour as a quick way to get around London. Its a guided tour, so of course it takes a slow, unusual route around London in order to get around all of the sites. Using it as a quick way to get around is, in my opinion, an absolutely ridiculous idea to start off with. It stops a lot, goes to a lot of different places and goes past a lot of different sights. It will get you to where you want to go, but it doesnt go directly there. Its not a regular bus.
Absolutely fantastic, definitely something you should do as it gives you a fantastic view as well as a lot of knowledge about both the well known and secret sights of London.
The Tower of London was made for a really enjoyable afternoon out. After reading other reviews we had heard about the Yeoman tour, so decided to start our visit with this tour and we were not disappointed; it was absolutely brilliant. The Yeoman warder tour guide was funny, informative and answered all of our questions - and really made the first 50-60 minutes of our visit enjoyable. The tour included a visit to the Tower of London Chapel - which seemed to only be closed off unless you were with a guide. The Tower itself is a national icon; full of history and culture with each of its many rooms and buildings telling its own story. The audio tour was good and worth doing, as it keeps you occupied and interested for around 2 hours.
Definitely do research before you go, its a lot more interesting if you understand who the people were and why the tower is important. The guidebook is also fantastic.
If you go to London, make sure you go to the Tower!
I was really looking forward to the Science Museum as, from videos i had seen and things i had read on the internet, it looked like a really fun, interesting, stimulating place to be. It turned out to be the opposite - not interactive at all, not stimulating and quite frankly a little dull. Two of us went, aged 26 and 20, and were not stimulated by the museum at all; im interested in science but i dont know that much about it so its not like i already know everything - it just wasnt interesting. The part i was looking forward to the most - the "Wellcome Wing" (dont know why its spelt with two L's) was closed as it was going through renovation, so, perhaps this played a large part. I remember being downstairs and spending around 10-15 minutes reading and going along a large exhibition on the evolution of hoovers, ovens and fridges. Fantastic(!)
I would say that it is VERY child focused, so, if you have children then this will be a very good place for you to go. However, unless your spending most of your time in the 'Wellcome Wing', those without children might find this museum as interesting as learning about the evolution of vacuum cleaners!
Me and my girlfriend stayed at the Days Hotel Waterloo at the end of March 2010 for 4 nights as part of a hotel/theatre package holiday and found the hotel very reasonable. After reading the reviews I decided to email the manager to ask for a room on the quieter side of the hotel, and she emailed me back saying a room on the quieter side of the hotel but that there was a police station right by the hotel. We arrived to our room, which to be fair was on the quieter side of the hotel, and it was a bit small but very nice. Good TV with english as well as foreign channels, coffee/tea making facilities, desk, drawers, and a nice (if a bit small) bathroom with a power shower. The bed had damage to one of the legs, so if you sat on the corner of the bed it would tip like a see-saw! This however wasnt a big issue and we didnt complain. The staff were really nice and helpful, so im sure if we did complain then they would have assisted us in any way possible. The room was quite small, and for ladies my girlfriend complained that the wardrobe size was 'ridiculous', so if your staying for more than 4 nights you may have to fold some of your dresses into draws.
The staff, as mentioned, were very nice. They helped us with directions if we needed them, any questions we had and with booking taxi's etc.
Breakfast was pretty good - they had three different types of cereal, croissants, white and brown bread, pastries, fruits, yoghurts, jam's and marmalades, tea coffee hot chocolate and fresh juices.As you walk into breakfast they ask you if you would like a cooked breakfast and if you say yes then, after around 10-15 minutes, you will get a breakfast consisting of a two rashers of bacon, one sausage, beans, fried/scrambled egg, mushrooms and toast. You can choose which of those you dont want, obviously, but dont go in expected a buffet type thing where you can pick up 5 sausages and loads of bacon because its not like that! Breakfast was lovely, although one morning the apple juice had been watered down. I wouldnt pay £8.95 for it separately, but its a good breakfast with a decent variety for those who have the breakfast included in the cost of the hotel room.
The bed was comfortable and, as we were on the quieter side of the hotel, we didnt have any real trouble with sleep. We are quite heavy sleepers and, while you could hear sirens now and then, they caused no trouble at all.
The location of the hotel was also good. Easily found by all taxi companies, 1-3 minutes walk away from the Imperial War Museum, close to Big Ben, Parliament and London Eye, around £6 for a taxi from the hotel to Big Ben/Westminster Abbey.
I would recommend the bakery, around 10 seconds walk from the hotel. Its small and on the corner by the hotel and was absolutely lovely; with prices that were excellent for London.
All in all its a very good hotel, especially for the price you pay. Its not perfect, but its very good value for its location, helpfulness of staff and overall experience. I will be going back if they maintain their excellent value for money.
Despite the fact that there were a lot of negative reviews on the internet, my girlfriend has fond memories of Planet Hollywood so we decided to give it a go. We found it easily enough and it looks nice from the outside. I had booked via the online system, but when we got there we were told that our reservation was not on the list. Despite that, we were given a table within seconds and served quickly. We shared a starter - Beef Sliders - which was very nice. Then for main course, I had Chicken Fajitas while my girlfriend had Chicken and Broccoli Pasta. The fajitas were very nice, the chicken did seem slightly overcooked when i ate it on its own but as part of the fajitas it was very tasty. My girlfriend really enjoyed her pasta, it was well cooked and she was happy with it.
If you looked at the meal on its own then you would give Planet Hollywood 4 out of 5. However, its two major flaws let it down - these are value and atmosphere. Firstly, value. It is definitely worth going on the website to look at the menu and its prices as its very expensive, and they add on 12.5% as a tip; it would be nice to decided how much I tip. Secondly, despite the fact it was my first trip to Planet Hollywood ive been told they are famous for a plethora of exhibitions, memorabilia and items from the world of TV & Film. There was, however, very little of that on show in Planet Hollywood.
I would recommend a visit, but before you go be willing to pay high prices and dont expect to see too much memorabilia.