In the 18th century (as the saying went) the sun never set on the British empire. Today, the same could be said of London, which (objectivity aside) vies with New York and Paris for the title of greatest city on the planet. Layer upon layer of the city’s 2,000-year history is immortalized in a succession of spectacular monuments, museums, and landmarks that defy cliché. The city’s brilliance is not just contained in its ancient stones or its sumptuous royal parks and gardens. There is a dynamism, an inclusivity, a never-say-die spirit that keeps the city on the crest of innovation.
London’s museums are simply overwhelming. The Renaissance collection at the National Gallery is sublime, the ancient keeps of the Tower of London with their jovial Beefeater tour guides comply to every child’s (and adult’s) medieval fantasy. The British Museum is simply in a class of its own; unfathomable antiquities include, the Rosetta Stone, Cleopatra’s mummy, and the hotly contested Parthenon Marbles….the list goes on.
Tate Britain showcases British art dating from the 16th century to the present day, including ravishing Pre-Raphaelite paintings. South Bank’s Tate Modern is where you are more likely to see an installation of an unmade bed. It’s worth following the trail of Christopher Wren—the architect credited with rebuilding London after the Great Fire of 1666. St. Paul’s Cathedral is simply stunning, perhaps even more so today, framed by modern glass and steel skyscrapers.
South of the Thames, down river from the gilded glories of Westminster and Big Ben, the London Eye observation wheel has become a city icon. Beyond the West End, London feels like a conglomeration of traditional villages clustered around spectacular parks and formal gardens. Gilded Knightsbridge is home to Harrods, the most famous retail establishment in the world. Jolly posh Chelsea is all about absolutely fabulous heels and purses and champagne brunch. Notting Hill has become rather a caricature of itself. Streams of tourists flock to its famed Portobello Road antique market, passing along the way gleaming white, multimillion dollar homes owned by Saudi princes, Russian oil tycoons, Tory politicians, and a fair few international celebrities. Unfurling east from Hyde Park, aristocratic Mayfair is where the finest hotels, finest homes, and finest tailors have perhaps put paid to the notion that there is no such thing as class.
Airports within a 30-mile radius of London:
- City Airport (LCY)
- Heathrow Airport (LHR)
- Gatwick Airport (LGW)
- Luton Airport (LTN)
Popular aircraft charters* in the London region include:
- Citation Excel (super light)
- Learjet 45 XR (super light)
- Citation CJ3 (light)
- Learjet 31ER 400A (light)
- Learjet 60 XR (midsize)
- Citation III (midsize)
- Gulfstream G200 (super midsize)
- Citation Sovereign (super midsize)
*This is just a sample. Zephyr provides access to aircraft at every end of the spectrum, from luxurious VIP airliners, to ultra long range business jet, helicopters, and economical turboprops.