Category Archives: Attractions

Top Luxury Shops near Marble Arch

London has some of the best shopping in the world. Its position historically and geographically has made it a central hub of trade from all across the globe. Shopping districts throughout the city fitevery possible style, trend and personal taste; … Continue reading

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Five Fun Free Things to Do in London

London is often thought of as an expensive city, and it can be, but it all depends on what you know. Going out at night in London can rack up the pounds pretty quickly if you’re not careful; but with … Continue reading

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Upcoming Must-See Plays

Theatre has always been a constant part of London’s culture. A tradition of amazing plays and performances stretches back from today through to Shakespeare and beyond. In fact one of my very first memories of London was seeing a truly … Continue reading

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Four Exceptional Museums near Marble Arch

One of the more incredible things about London is the weight of history surrounding you at all times. London is ancient and majestic and an exceptional place to learn. Tucked away all across the city are museums devoted to every … Continue reading

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A Curious Night Out in the West End

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is one of those books that you absolutely must read. The story follows Christopher John Francis Boone; a 15 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome (though the specific condition is … Continue reading

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5 Quirky Treasures to Find in London

One of my favourite things about living in London is the fact that around basically every corner you can find some new interesting relic or plaque dedicated to a slice of history. Practically everywhere you go you’ll find a new … Continue reading

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Catch a Film at the Prince Charles Cinema

If you are looking for things to do near The Montcalm London Marble Arch why not catch a film at the most interesting cinema in Leicester Square. In a square full of glitzy cinemas with big lights and red carpets, … Continue reading

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Spend Your Weekend with the Animals

Most of us city dwellers aren’t able to keep a pet around and it can be very depressing not having a happy dog or cat to come home to. The dogs you do get to see going for walks around … Continue reading

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Your guide to the London Transport Museum

When it comes to defining features of London there is one common theme that runs deep – transport.

New York has its yellow taxis, Venice has its gondolas and London has its black cabs and red buses. For years, people from all over the world have come to the English capital to jump on one of these famous modes of transport. This is not forgetting the Tube network which has been the backbone of the city since 1863.

Many Londoners may take these aspects for granted but for tourists it can be worth a picture for the collection. The famous London bus has undergone a huge transformation over the years but the latest version of the Routemaster includes a rear entrance complete with pole to give it that authentic feel.

Like the London taxi, they have become famous in their own right with visitors knowing that their British driver will be able to have the entire map of London memorised. It is small aspects such as this that makes London one of the most popular destinations on the planet and why millions flock there every year.

Since 1980, the London Transport Museum has been celebrating the various vehicles that patrol the capital's streets on a daily basis. The museum aims to converse and explain the transport heritage of the city and is a huge favourite with tourists and locals alike. So if you're in London, the museum is an absolute must.

So what is there to know about the London Transport Museum? Here is our in-depth guide to this popular attraction.

About the museum

Opening its doors in 1980, the London Transport Museum charts the history of public transport and other vehicles that have populated the capital in the past 200 years. It highlights the key link between transport and the growth of modern London culture and society since 1800. Everything from the humble black cab to the numerous trains that serviced the likes of King's Cross and Waterloo are on show here.

It is not just a case of taking a walk down memory lane, the museum also looks at developments in present-day transport. Whether this is the urban transformations that have been going on in recent years to the government-led projects such as HS2, HS3 and Crossrail, the latter of which is designed to improve travel across London.

The collection of vehicles currently displayed by the museum originates from the 1920s when the London General Omnibus Company decided it would preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus. The first Museum of British Transport opened its doors in the 1960s in an old bus garage in Clapham, south London.

As it grew in popularity by 1973, the museum was on the move once again when it relocated to the west London area of Syon Park where it was renamed as the London Transport Collection. In 1980, it moved once again, this time to the Victorian Flower Market building in Covent Garden and assumed the name London Transport Museum. It has been here ever since.

Over the years it has grown hugely popular with visitors coming from all over the world to marvel at some of the great vehicles that have been regularly used in London.

What to expect

The London Transport Museum has a huge range of famous vehicles that are mainstays of the attraction but there is also the added bonus of temporary exhibitions. Launching on April 19th is the 'Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front' which explains how transport played a key role in war effort.

It tells the untold story of the role of London's Home Front during World War I. Whether it be drivers taking their buses to the Front to support British troops heading abroad to fight or how women were advanced in the transport workforce for the first time while war raged. Goodbye Piccadilly paints a picture of Britain at wartime.

There are a number of vehicles set to be on display from this era. For the first time the 'Ole' Bill', a 1911 B-type bus No. B43, will be shown at the museum thanks to a partnership with the Imperial War Museum. There will also be a host of wartime artefacts which document Britain's transport role when it came to fighting the war.

Over the next couple of months, there are a number of temporary art displays which all carry a transport theme, including a retro look at the displays which would once don the walls of train and bus stations in the capital.

Opening times and prices

Opening times at the museum differ throughout the week for the different exhibitions. For the museum galleries, between Monday and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday it opens its doors at 10:00 BST and closes at 18:00 BST with the last entry being at 17:15 BST . However, on Fridays it opens at the slightly later time of 11:00 BST but retains that closing time.

The museum shop is open Sunday to Tuesday (10:00 to 18:30), Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (10:00 to 19:00) and Friday (11:00 to 19:00). For the Upper Deck cafe bar, this opens its doors on Sunday to Tuesday (10:00 to 18:30), Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (10:00 to 19:00) and Fridays (11:00 to 19:00).

Individual tickets are priced at £16 for adults and £13.50 for concessions (senior citizens, students with a valid ID card and those in receipt of state benefit assistance). Each individual ticket allows you unlimited admission to the museum for a 12-month period from the date of purchase.

If you are travelling with ten or more people then you can purchase a group ticket which will reduce the price to £11.50 for adults and £10 for concessions. However, this ticket can only be used on the day of purchase.

You can also buy fast-track tickets which will help you beat the queues at this popular tourist attraction.

How to get to London Transport Museum

Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, the London Transport Museum is fairly accessible by the Tube, as you would expect. Hop on the Piccadilly line and get off at Covent Garden Underground station and the museum is only a short walk from here. Depending on which direction you are coming from you can also use Leicester Square, Holborn, Embankment or Charing Cross.

If travelling by bus use the RV1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23 or 139 services and alight at Strand or Aldwych. These stops are just a stone's throw from the museum. If you're feeling a little more adventurous you can take the Thames Clipper boat route and get off at Embankment Pier which is just a ten-minute walk from the museum.

You can of course drive to the museum but it is advisable to just use the multiple transport links in the city. However, if you need to drive there are a limited number of parking spaces available near the museum and charge £4.40 an hour with a maximum stay of around four hours.

Grab a memento of the day

You can't leave the London Transport Museum without grabbing yourself a souvenir of the day. The museum has you covered with a variety of gifts and mementos of your visit to this piece of London history.

Situated in what was once the entrance to Covent Garden's Victorian flower market, the stylish gift shop has a range of designer gifts, books, toys, limited edition models, furniture and exclusive moquette accessories. Among the most popular items are iconic posters which chart the history of transport design.

The museum boasts an incredible array of posters with one of the largest archives in the world. Over 5,000 posters and 700 original poster artworks are housed in this Covent Garden attraction featuring shots taken from when the London Underground was first in operation. There are also some done by world famous artists and designers

Purchasing one of these prints could be a real treasure to frame and place on the wall back home.

Things to do around the London Transport Museum

Since its move to Covent Garden, the London Transport Museum has become an all-day event with an abundance of things to do around it. Covent Garden boasts some of the best restaurants and bars London has to offer and all within a short walk of the museum itself. Base yourself at the Underground station and there is so much to see and do.

Fancy taking in a show after a day at the museum? Well, the London Royal Opera House is only a stone's throw away and listings can be found on its website. How about unwinding with a spot of retail therapy? Well, you're in luck as Covent Garden has a multitude of high street and designer outlets to suit all your shopping needs.

Whether you want a sit-down meal or something to snack on while on the go, then you can not go wrong in the huge amount of restaurants that populate Covent Garden. You can also stay up long into the night at one of the many late licence bars catering to all your needs.

At the end of the night you can jump on the Tube to wherever you are staying as Covent Garden's Underground station provides key links to the rest of the capital. You can then relax at any one of the London boutique hotels you have booked for yourself.

If you are thinking of activities to do in London make sure the London Transport Museum is at the very top of the list, it is an attraction simply not to be missed.

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Fun for the Family near Marble Arch

Travelling with your kids is extremely rewarding. The wonder and joy on their faces as you introduce them to all new sights and sounds is entirely worth the more exhaustingaspects of travel. Making your trip memorable and relaxing requires a … Continue reading

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The Ultimate London Shopping Experience

We all know what the real reason to come to London is. Not the ancient architecture, not the historical landmarks, not the many museums and art galleries. No, the main reason to come to London is for the shopping. London … Continue reading

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The history of London’s grand railway stations

Anyone coming to London will no doubt be paying a visit to the myriad of railway stations which populate the city.

Being a capital city, London needs to be well connected and the sheer volume of transport hubs make it a breeze for residents and tourists navigate their way around. One of the best aspects of railway stations across London, and by further extension the rest of the UK, is that they still boast that charm from years gone by.

Obviously there has been considerable modernisation within the stations, but the outdoor frontage harks back to a bygone era. A lot of stations have retained their Victorian decor, making them magnificent sights for anyone making their first trip into London. While keeping that classic look , the stations have all the modern amenities needed to make a journey as smooth as possible.

From the bustling hub of King's Cross, complete the fabled Platform 9¾ from the Harry Potter film series, to glorious hanger that is St Pancras to Victoria's constantly busy epicentre for commuters, London has some of the most glorious railway stations. Aspects such as this define London from other major European cities and celebrates a heritage that was founded in merry old England.

So let's take a look at the history of these impressive stations and how they have evolved over the years and how you can get from them to your Park Lane hotel.

King's Cross

Anyone coming from the north of England will no doubt have passed through King's Cross on their travels. The busiest railway station in the British Isles is the backbone rail transportation across the nation. It is the main terminus of the East Coast Main Line which connects London with Yorkshire, the north-east of England and Scotland.

Situated in the London Borough of Camden, King's Cross forms a triangle of stations with the nearby Euston and St Pancras. It has been the hub for London transport ever since it was first built in 1852. Back then it formed the southern base of the Great Northern Railway and was the end destination for famous steam locomotives such as The Flying Scotsman and Mallard.

The East Coast Main Line provides passengers with a non-stop service between London and Edinburgh. It had eight platforms right up to 2010 when a new platform was opened. In the past few years, King's Cross has been transformed thanks to a £500 million investment by Network Rail.

It now retains its original Victorian facade but with a hugely modern and sprawling inside complete with all the very latest shops.

Directions to Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel: From King's Cross St Pancras Underground station jump on the Victoria heading towards Brixton. Change at Oxford Circus and get on the Central Line heading to West Ruislip, alighting at Marble Arch near to where the hotel is located.

St Pancras

A short walk from King's Cross is St Pancras railway station. This is London's gateway to the rest of Europe due to the Eurostar service. Regular trains run from here to Paris' Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi/Zuid in Belgium, making trips to the continent easy and efficient from the heart of London.

It is one of the truly magnificent railway stations, even by London's standards. It is a prime example of the city's proud Victorian architecture and has stood between King's Cross and the British Library since it was opened by the Midland Railway in 1868. It was originally used to form the southern terminus of the company's main line connecting London with the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

St Pancras retains this purpose today but it has evolved so much more over the years thanks to the launch of the Eurostar. The cross-border train service, which utilises the Channel Tunnel for journeys, was originally based at Waterloo International station but was moved to St Pancras in November 2007.

One of the most unique things about St Pancras is its commitment to public art. Among the striking sculptures is The Meeting Place. This nine-metre high bronze statue, designed by British artist Paul Day, aims to evoke the romance of travel and shows a couple locked in an embrace. Other installations include a statue of former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.

Directions to Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel: Since St Pancras shares an Underground station with King's Cross, the directions above are applicable.

Victoria

Situated in the heart of London, Victoria is the second-busiest terminus in London, and the UK, behind Waterloo. Last year, over 81 million passed through this station whether catching a Tube, train to other part of the south-east or even jumping on the express service to Gatwick Airport. It will no doubt be a port of call on your travels.

Opened by Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway in 1860, the terminus was swiftly leased to London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Two years later, expansion was needed and a separate station was opened for London, Chatham and Dover and Great Western Railways.

Nowadays, it is one of the key linking destinations for commuters and tourists alike, making their way around the capital. As it combines both an Underground station and regional rail services, it is easy to why it is one of the busiest stations in London.

Like many other stations in London, Victoria has retained its old features including a magnificent entrance facade. In the style of both King's Cross and St Pancras, Victorian inspiration is very much at the heart of its design.

Directions to Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel: From Victoria Station, catch the number 16 bus heading towards Longley Way from Stop H outside the station. After seven stops get off at Marble Arch Edgware Road and simply walk across to the hotel.

Paddington

Perhaps better overshadowed by a marmalade-eating bear of the same name, Paddington station is another key transport hub in London. Like the aforementioned stations, Paddington provides both Underground, regional and national train services. It is key link for passengers heading to Wales, the West Country and south-west of England as well as being home to the Heathrow Express and Connect line to the airport.

It has been the London terminus of the Great Western Railway since 1838 but came to the fore in 1854 following the designs of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. While not boasting the passenger numbers of the likes of Victoria, Waterloo or King's Cross, a huge 35 million people passed through Paddington in the past year alone.

The look of Paddington is much different from the other stations that dominate the transport network in London. While others have huge Victorian facades, Paddington's entrance is the classic trainshed keeping it's look very simple and authentic.

A visit to Paddington station, even if you're just passing through, is not complete without seeing the statue of Paddington Bear.

Directions to Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel: From outside the station, jump on the number 36 heading towards New Cross Bus Garage. Hop off after four stops at Marble Arch Edgware Road and the hotel is only a short walk away.

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