Between Meetings: On Business in London
London is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, fashion or architecture, the English capital has it all. With so much to see and do while on business in London, we’ve narrowed down a few things that can be easily slotted in between meetings or on your lunch break, from watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and shopping on Carnaby street to enjoying panoramic views over the city at The Shard.
Watch the Changing of the Guard
After your breakfast meeting, take a stroll along The Mall and watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Every day at 11.30am The Queen’s Guard, clad in traditional red uniforms and bearskin hats, perform the ceremony to music, courtesy of a marching band. It’s British pomp and ceremony at its best and is also a good opportunity to tick the Queen’s residence off your itinerary.
If meetings take you to the City of Westminster then you’re in the prime location to visit a number of London’s most famous sights. The historic Houses of Parliament, Big Ben andWestminster Abbey are a stone’s throw from each other, while just across the river you can find a popular feature of the London skyline, the London Eye.
Walk along South Bank
Take a break from the boardroom and spend your lunch strolling along South Bank. Pop into riverside attractions such as Shakespeare’s Globe and Southbank Centre, or simply sit and watch the area’s many talented street performers. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat from London’s famous Borough Market, where over 100 stalls laden with fresh gourmet street food await hungry visitors.
Visit London’s free museums
London’s museums are world-class, and unlike in many major cities, most of them are free. If you’re interested in history, visit the British Museum and discover ancient artefacts such as Egyptian mummies. If nature fascinates you, head to the Natural History Museum for exhibits on everything from dinosaurs and natural disasters to underwater creatures. Even if you’ve only got an hour to spare between meetings, it’s still worth stopping by.
Indulge in world-class art
Wherever you are in the city, you’ll never be too far from an art gallery. If you’re a modern art enthusiast, don’t miss Tate Modern’s permanent exhibitions, featuring work by the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Pollock. If you prefer something more historical, the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square offers works by some of the world’s most important artists, such as Van Gogh, Renoir and Leonardo da Vinci.
Shop on Carnaby Street
One of London’s most distinctive shopping districts, Carnaby Street has long been a meeting place of England’s most creative minds. The iconic district has 13 streets full of boutiques and flagship stores, making it a great place to pick up on-trend fashions and bespoke designs.
Take a river cruise
If you’re travelling across London between meetings, sightsee as you commute by hopping on a water taxi – sailing down the Thames is an experience in itself. It’s also an excellent opportunity to see many of the city’s most famous sights from the water, while making your way to your next appointment in record time.
Ascend The Shard
For the best views of the capital, London’s tallest building, The Shard, is the place to go.
The View – the viewing platform on levels 68, 69 and 72 – offers the highest panoramic vistas in the city and is particularly striking at sunrise or sunset. For an alternative view, visit the bar atAqua Shard on level 31 and enjoy first-class cocktails as you gaze over the city.
Image credits: National Portrait Gallery © Andrew Putler, Changing of the Guard © Chalabala/iStock, The Shard © Valdisskudre/iStock