Seeing the sights but no celebrities

View from the top of the Victoria Tower, the lesser known of the two towers of the Houses of Parliament, towards Big Ben, the River Thames and the London Eye

View from the top of the Victoria Tower, the lesser known of the two towers of the Houses of Parliament, towards Big Ben, the River Thames and the London Eye

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It’s easy to get carried away with the sights and glamour of the capital, but be sure to allow time to do just one thing.

Take a moment and tell yourself ‘I’m in London!’

As a youngster, everything that ever meant anything to me came from London.

It was where all the hippest fashions started, the coolest underground bands were born there and it was the most exciting place to visit.

And that childlike excitement has never gone away.

Stepping on to the escalator that would take me into the depths of the London Underground, the mysteries of the city begin to unfold.

I pass women in Louis Vuitton shirts and skyscraper Jimmy Choo shoes, men in Italian boots and suits.

And then an automated robotic voice screeches at me to ‘mind the gap’ – anyone visiting the city simply has to experience the Tube.

But the best way to see the highlights of London is to grab yourself a ticket to the tour bus early in the morning.

There are lots of different operators available and with prices ranging from just £11 per child and £23 per adult.

It’s one of the cheapest ways to get to all the attractions – and the most fun.

Riders can hop on and off the bus as they please throughout the day.

But families should be sure to make Madame Tussauds one of their first destinations.

It’s amazing just how quickly even the most grown-up of people get carried away amongst the waxworks of our well-loved film and television stars.

I’m sure I’ll not be the first to admit that I filled my camera with numerous different poses alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jose Mourinho and the dreamy George Clooney.

But there is much more to the massive museum than celebrity waxworks.

A ride though old London town in black cabs explores the history of the city and its most famous events, such as the Great Fire of London.

And one of the most exciting parts is a spooky walk through a dungeon hosting infamous serial killers and madmen played by actors who love to make you jump.

Those quivering as they leave pass the queue of those eagerly awaiting entry, making the anticipation almost unbearable.

Exhausted from the excitement of Madame Tussauds, I decided it was time to head back to my hotel for a relaxing meal.

I’d booked into the Radisson Edwardian Hampshire Hotel in Leicester Square, where room prices start at £199 per night.

The location of the hotel was to die for. My room faced directly on to the square and the Odeon cinema – offering a prime viewing position for star-spotting at movie premieres.

Sadly, there wasn’t a premiere taking place during my stay, but I’d love to book up again the next time the red carpet’s on show.

Retreating to the restaurant, I enjoyed tender scallops before tucking into a nice juicy steak.

Hearty food and cooked to perfection, it was just what I needed.

After enjoying a drink in the luxurious lounge, I took a wander around the hotel.

It boasts conference rooms, a gym and a business centre with internet access.

Then it was off to bed. The next day Buckingham Palace awaited and my camera was already readied for another snap-happy experience.

To those who live in London, it’s probably no big deal. But for me, I really don’t think the excitement of being in London will ever pass.

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