Dec 082009

West End Breaks – a great way to see London

West End breaks are a great way to really get to know the glitziest area of London. Staying in the West End for a few days gives you a chance to see the capital and really get familiar with one small part of the metropolis. London can seem a bit overwhelming when you have to whiz about on the tube. Staying in one area where everything is within walking distance really helps you to connect with the city and start to feel comfortable with it.

Things to do in the West End

See a show, or even two.

West End breaks - The Mousetrap

West End breaks - The Mousetrap

The West End has some of the best shows and theatres in the world. Everything from the quintessentially English The Mousetrap to the Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof can be found within a few minutes walk. If you are booking a West End break to see one show why not try fitting in a matinée of another as well? You can get half price tickets for many matinees actually on the day at the Official Ticket Booth on Leicester Square. Do not be seduced by deals at the other so-called discount booths as these are often overpriced once you add in booking fees etc. If you do not feel like another show you could even check out the latest films in Leicester Square. If you are lucky you might happen on some stars attending the latest world premier!

Shop till you drop

Shopping during a West End break is easy and fun. You are within walking distance of Covent Garden where there’s a wonderful selection of interesting little shops, the Apple Market (which is full of crafts and antiques) and The Jubilee which is a fascinating market. On Mondays, Antiques; from Tuesday-Friday clothing and household goods, and on Saturday and Sunday arts and crafts.
Venture a little further and you find one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe in Oxford St, Bond St and Piccadilly Circus. There you will find all the high end fashion and major shops you might want. Where the West End really scores though is with little unique shops in Seven Dials and Carnaby St which will intrigue and tempt you in to look at and buy things you didn’t even know you needed.

Eat the world

Food on a West End break is very easy to organise. You might want to book your pre-theatre dinner when you book your break. Most companies offer good deals on early dinners and restaurants are used to making sure you have had your meal with plenty of time to spare for what is usually a short walk to the theatre. It is so much more relaxing than trailing across London after you’ve eaten and worrying about getting to the show on time.
The West End has lots of restaurants and they are always changing. You can eat in just about any style you fancy from Classic French to Japanese and just about everything in between. In Covent Garden you can even get a real Cornish pasty and a pint of genuine Cornish beer if that is what you fancy. Check the menu boards outside if you are worried about the prices but most places are fairly reasonable. London’s reputation for being expensive really is not deserved and prices compare very favourably with tourist traps like the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. For real food bargains head for Soho and explore China Town. It is just a short walk but a world away.
West End breaks are a great way to get to know London and I hope this little introduction will help you to see that London is definitely worth getting to know.

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