Akhil Gupta

Avid traveller, travel blogger, love exploring new cultures, food, people and adventures.

Birthday Celebration Dinner Cruise on the Thames River


We all gathered in London to celebrate my dad’s birthday celebration dinner cruise on the Thames River this July 2022. We heard a lot about it and wanted to celebrate this occasion on the Thames River cruise. It is a fantastic place to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. I booked the tickets for 6 of us from Viator which was the London Dinner cruise on the Thames River. My wife and I travelled from Tallinn, Estonia and my mom, brother and his wife travelled from New Delhi, India.

It was a special occasion, as it is very rare that we are able to gather all in London after so long. Especially due to Covid restrictions lasting 2 years. It has been a rough time for friends and family to gather. So here we are at the Westminster Pier sharp by 6.30 pm. Even though our cruise will start by 7 pm. We wanted to make sure that we reach in time and in case of any issues with finding the cruise we have ample time to go to the right place.

Dinner Cruise Starting Point

We had to reach the departure point which was: Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JH, UK. See the map below.

At the entry which was the boarding point gate, we walked along and were greeted by the ticket checker. we had our London Dinner cruise on the Thames River in hand. Also, Viator sent us a mail where we can add the ticket to the Apple wallet as well.

Dinner cruise starting point
Dinner Cruise Starting Point

We waited in the waiting area to post our ticket check. And we were called to get inside the cruise in like another 10 minutes or so. I was super excited to see the Thames River, Lastminute.com London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. We were asked to queue and we entered the cruise and were given a table for six next to the window. The fantastic view around, while the cruise was a little wobbly.

4 Course Meal Experience at Dinner Cruise

We sat for a while and the background music started playing. The cruise was moving along and we crossed London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge, and Canary Wark. While enjoying the London city views. The Food service started and we were first served some drinks. We had the option of having alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. By default, they were serving Sparkling wine.

Bread, butter and Salad for Starters

we were served Bread, butter, and Salad, as we opted for the vegetarian option when we were booking for the cruise. Just want to highlight that please do make sure that when you are doing your booking, please share your food choice i.e. vegetarian, non-vegetarian and any allergies in advance. When you are placing your booking you will be asked about your food preferences.

salad and bread with welcome drink for starters
salad and bread with a welcome drink for starters

Vegetarian Artichokes Lasagne for the main course

had Lasagne Of Artichokes, Spinach And Sauté Of Mixed Mushrooms, and Goats Cheese (V), Served With Seasonal Vegetables. The meal was delicious and was enough for one person. We ordered some wine. It was overall a good combination of food and drink.

lasagne of artichokes at Thames river dinner cruise
lasagne of artichokes at Thames River dinner cruise

Chocolate Truffle cake for Dessert

Finally, we reached the dessert and we got white, Dark And Milk Chocolate Truffle Cake (V) Served With A Raspberry Coulis. The dessert was too big for my wife, so we said we want only one. And my mother knowing diabetic, asked for tea for her instead.

After dessert, we all had the option of coffee, or tea as a palate cleanser.

I wished we had a cake as well, would have been awesome to cut it on the cruise, but we completely forgot about it. Anyways, overall the meal was delicious and all six of us enjoyed it.

Chocolate Truffle Cake at Thame Dinner Cruise
Chocolate Truffle Cake at Thame Dinner Cruise

Live performance at the Cruise

There was nice celebration-related music all the time in the background. After our meals, there was a live performance and the anchor was asking everyone to share the reason for their visit to come to the dinner cruise today. The majority of the people were celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries. The anchor came to us and asked us as well, we shared it was our dad’s birthday. So everyone gave a round of applause and wished him a happy birthday.

Live performance at the Cruise
Live performance at the Cruise

The whole cruise was full of positive vibes and everyone enjoyed it. We all started dancing later and took loads of pictures of all of London’s iconic buildings. As the festive time of the year is approaching you can also book the Christmas Dinner Party Cruise to have fantastic Christmas celebrations with your friends, office colleagues and family.


From Westminster Pier to HMS Belfast and Back

The cruise started from Westminster Pier and we were taken through beautiful London Icons like:

  • Westminster Pier
  • London Eye
  • Shakespeare Globe Theatre
  • Tower Bridge
  • Canary Warf
  • Tower of London
  • The Shard
  • Sea Life London Aquarium
  • St Pauls Cathedral
  • HMS Belfast
  • Canary Wark
  • Cutty Sark
  • O2 Arena
  • Old Royal Naval College

Overall Experience at Thames River Dinner Cruise

It was a fantastic place to celebrate a birthday or any occasion you want to make it special. We enjoyed the food, live music, and ambience set on the cruise. The duration of the cruise is less than 3 hours or so. It is a perfect place for any celebration. We enjoyed our time and at the end of the day when you have your family the time always becomes enjoyable and amazing.


The Lion King Theater Show London


Enjoy one of the most epic musicals on stage with a ticket to ‘The Lion King’ at London’s Lyceum Theatre. An adaptation of Disney’s hit 1994 film, the show tells the story of young lion Simba as he fights to reclaim his place as King of the Pridelands. Set against the plains of Africa, and exploding with colour, effects, and songs by Tim Rice and Elton John, the show thrills adults and children alike.

Ticket to ‘The Lion King’ theatre show at the Lyceum Theater in London. The Academy-award-winning musical about Simba the lion cub by Elton John and Tim Rice. Now in its 24th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre, visionary director Julie Taymor’s acclaimed reimagining of Disney’s beloved film will redefine your expectation of theatre.

Mufasa's mask is circular and symmetrical like the sun, it implies that he is balanced and in harmony with nature.
Mufasa’s mask is circular and symmetrical like the sun, it implies that he is balanced and in harmony with nature.

What’s Included in The Lion King Theater Show

  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Hotel pickup and drop off (Not included)

Book Tickets

Meeting and Pickup points

The Lion King, 21 Wellington Street Lyceum Theatre, London WC2E 7RQ England

How to reach the Lion King Show at Lyceum Theatre

The theatre address is Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ. The Lyceum Theatre is close to several National Rail / London Underground stations, multiple bus stops that are serviced by different routes and there is a self-hire bike docking station directly outside the theatre. For details and to help plan your journey visit Transport for London.

By underground and train

The nearest stations are:

• Covent Garden – Piccadilly line
• Charing Cross – Southeastern, Bakerloo & Northern lines
• Embankment – Bakerloo, Northern, District & Circle lines
• Temple – District & Circle lines
• Leicester Square – Piccadilly & Northern lines
• Holborn – Piccadilly & Central lines
• Waterloo & Waterloo East – Southeastern, South West Trains, Bakerloo, Northern & Jubilee lines

By bus

To reach the theatre by bus, use numbers 1, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 68, 77A, 91, 176 or 341 with Leicester Square as the destination. The closest bus interchange for all London routes and night buses is Trafalgar Square.

By car

Parking: If you’re driving into the West End to see the show, take advantage of the Q-Park Theatreland Parking Scheme saving you 50% off car parking for up to 24 hours. Present your Q-Park car park ticket for validation at our box office to qualify. Please note the discount does not apply to the pre-booking service. For full terms and conditions, participating car parks and locations visit Q-park.

Alternatively, the nearest NCP car parks are Parker Street, Museum Street, Holborn and the St. Martin’s Lane Hotel.

By bike

There are two Santander Cycle Hire docking spaces located close to the theatre. Find out more about how to use this scheme by visiting Transport for London.

You can also check out the getting around London page, in case you need more information to reach the Lion King Lyceum Theatre.

Book Tickets

Show Performance Times

  • Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 2:30 pm
  • We recommend arriving at least 60 minutes before the performance starts to pass through security checks and find your seats.

What To Expect in this Show

Make your own way to the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of London’s theatre district, and take your seat for this phenomenal, award-laden musical show.
Played out against the majestic Serengeti Plains and to the spellbinding rhythms of Africa, this adaptation of Disney’s beloved animated movie will thrill and entertain all ages from curtain up to the very last encore.
Trace the fortunes of wide-eyed lion cub Prince Simba as he battles his wicked uncle to return to the land of his ancestors, all set to life-affirming music by Tim Rice and Elton John. As you follow Simba’s incredible adventures, marvel at the exhilarating sets, vivid colours, and stunning special effects—it’s a feast for the senses in every way!
You have the choice of two seating options for the performance. Standard-price seats offer a good view of the stage and are normally positioned in the rear stalls or dress circles. Alternatively, select top-price seating to enjoy a full view of the stage and get closer to the stars!
To make your extra evening special, upgrade to include a 2-course dinner at the nearby Tuttons before the show.


Scar’s headpiece does not include the same circular form as Mufasa's. It is distinctly asymmetrical, sharp and spikey reflecting his persona.
Scar’s headpiece does not include the same circular form as Mufasa’s. It is distinctly asymmetrical, sharp and spikey reflecting his persona.

Additional Information about the Show

  • The duration of the show is 2 hours and 30 mins including the interval time.
  • Confirmation will be received at the time of booking unless booked within 7 days of travel. In this case, confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • The minimum age is 6 years
  • Children under 3 years of age are not permitted to enter the theatre
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Wheelchair locations are available on a request basis only
  • Most travellers can participate
  • The use of camera and sound recording equipment is strictly prohibited.

Beijing to London tour packages

Planning your London tour from Beijing? look no further, we have got you covered by detailing all your Beijing to London tour requirements. Book your Beijing to London tour package with us. The best time to visit London is around spring (early march to early June) and autumn (September to November). And in case you want to enjoy Christmas in London then November and December are beautiful times to stay in London. Beijing is the capital city of China. The city is also the political, cultural and international communication centre and scientific and technological innovation centre of the country. Beijing is also the world’s most populous capital city.

Some key Travel Statistics between Beijing and London

  • As per the statistics provided by Visit Britain, travellers from Beijing China tend to travel to the UK in the months of July to September more than 58% of traveller from Beijing travels to London for holidays. 13% for business and 13% for meeting up with friends and family. – Visit Britain 2019
  • Nearly 65% of Chinese visitors visit London. That shows how loved is London city among Chinese travellers. – Visit Britain 2019
  • More than 36% of the travellers from China coming to London are from Beijing. Making it the top city with the highest number of travellers coming to the UK. – Visit Britain 2019
  • Chinese Holiday visitors are more likely than other journey purpose groups to spend time in London, with 60% of nights spent in London in 2019. – Visit Britain 2019

Visa for London from Beijing

Before we help you with the Flight and hotel booking. The first step in planning your London tour is having a valid UK visa. All Chinese nationals must have visas to travel to the UK. There are various types of UK visas available for Beijing travellers. To know more about how to apply for a London tourist visa check out our detailed post on applying for London Visa here. Also, You can submit your visa application via the Gov.UK website. Following are the steps that you will need to follow to get your UK visa:

1. Research – Choose the right visa for your trip.

Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration (GOV.UK) website to check what type of visa you should apply for, and the documents that you will need in order to complete this. Each visa type requires different documentation, so check your visa type carefully. If your documents are not in English, you may need to get translations prepared before applying.

2. Apply – Get started with your visa application

Once you are ready to apply, return to the UK Visas and Immigration (GOV.UK) website to apply for your visa.

3. Pay your fees – Find out the amount you need to pay

To complete your application on GOV.UK, you’ll need to pay for your visa, and for the healthcare surcharge, if applicable. Once you’ve paid your fees, you’ll be given a reference number that starts with GWF. Please make a note of this, as it will be helpful should you need to make any amendments to your visa application or appointment.

4. Book your appointment at – Beijing Visa Application Centre

Once you’ve completed and paid for your visa application on GOV.UK, you’ll be directed to the VFS Global website to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre, so your biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) can be captured. You’ll also have the opportunity to select additional, optional services from VFS Global, designed to make your application process faster, easier or simply more relaxed. The address for the Beijing visa application centre is: Visa Application Centre East 101, Floor B1, Block C, Guanghua Lu SOHO II, No. 9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

5. Upload your supporting documents – Submit your documents for free

You can submit all the documents required to support your application online, from the comfort of your home, school or office; meaning you can keep valuable documents with you. Read our guidelines for supporting documents. If you don’t have a scanner available or would just like some help with this, we can scan your documents at the Visa Application Centre with our Document Scanning Assistance option. In most cases, a fee applies for this service.

6. Visit the UK visa application centre in Beijing – Attend your appointment

You must attend the appointment for your visa application. You cannot send someone to your place. Please read our guidelines for attending the Visa Application Centre.

7. Track your application – Stay informed about the progress of your application

You’ll receive an email update when your decision has been returned to the Visa Application Centre. If you can’t access email easily or would like more detailed tracking information, you can also choose to get updates by SMS directly to your phone. You’ll have to check whether this service is available at the Visa Application Centre you are visiting. You’ll need to pay a fee for this service.

8. Collect your passport – Receive your passport from the Visa Application Centre

After a visa application decision has been made, you will be contacted by us when you can pick up your documents/ passport from the Visa Application Centre or have your documents returned to you by courier for an additional fee. Please do not attend the Visa Application Centre until you have been contacted to do so as you won’t be able to collect your passport until it is ready. Collecting your documents in person; bring the receipt issued by the Visa Application Centre and a form of Government identification. Please check with the Visa Application Centre at the time of appointment for the options available to collect your documents.

Visiting the UK in the Chinese T our Group

You can come to the UK for up to 30 days as part of a tour group through the approved destination status agreement (ADS) if you’re a Chinese citizen. To qualify you must enter the country as part of your tour group (minimum 5 people) and stay with the group for the whole of your visit. Your tour must be organised by an ADS-licensed Chinese tour operator. Fill in the ADS visitor application form online to apply.

Flight tickets from Beijing to London

The distance between Beijing and London is a whopping 3065 km. So, it’s imperative that you will need to book a direct preferably to reach London city. A direct flight from Beijing to London roughly takes 11 hours. The one-stop flight will increase the time to an average of 13 hours and 40 minutes. More than 60% of the flight bookings for Beijing to London happened in advance. There are clear savings to be made. The Reason is Covid Pandemic has made flight tickets 2 times more expensive. The most frequent airline between Beijing and London are:

  1. Air China and then
  2. British Airways
  3. China Southern Airline
  4. China Eastern Airline
  5. Hainan Airline
  6. Brussels Airline
  7. Lufthansa Airline

You can search for your Beijing to London flight below:

Top London hotels to stay in for Beijing Tourists

Once you are done with the visa formalities and flight booking, you will need to sort out the hotel booking. London has the most beautiful and highest number of 5-star hotels in the world with 75 hotels in total. Surpassing Dubai which has 61 5-star hotels. The top 10 London hotels as per travel and leisure in 2022 are as follows:

S.No Hotel Name Score  
1 Shangri-La the Shard, London 97.86 Check Availability
2 The Goring, Belgravia 96.55 Check Availability
3 The Connaught, Westminster 95.79 Check Availability
4 The Lanesborough, Oetker Collection 95.50 Check Availability
5 Kimpton Fitzroy London 95.24 Check Availability
6 Claridge’s, Mayfair 94.60 Check Availability
7 The Savoy, Strand 93.63 Check Availability
8 Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park 92.95 Check Availability
9 Four Seasons Hotel London, Park Lane 92.50 Check Availability
10 Rosewood London 92.39 Check Availability

In case you are looking for other specific London hotels you can search and book below basis availability:

Best London tour packages for Beijing tourists

Once you have reached London, there are many fantastic London tours you can book. We have listed our top-selling London tours below:

1. London Eye Ticket with Fast-Track Option

Fast track option for a perfect Lastminute London Eye experience! With fast-track entry for your standard flight in a shared pod, you get to skip the majority of the queue.

London Eye Pod from outside
London Eye Pod from outside


2. Big Bus Hop On Hop Off London Tour

See the sights of London aboard an open-top, double-decker Big Bus as you admire 360-degree views of top attractions and listen to the captivating commentary.

big bus London hop on hop off tour of London
Big Bus London hop on hop off tour of London


3. Warner Bros. Studio: The Making of Harry Potter with Luxury Round-Trip Transport from London

Step into the mystical world of Harry Potter™ with a behind-the-scenes visit to Warner Bros. Studio London. With luxury round-trip transport from London Victoria to the north London studios included, this 7-hour experience enables you to discover the magic of the Harry Potter films without any hassle.
warner bros studio the making of harry potter with luxury round trip in London
warner bros studio the making of harry potter with a Luxury round trip to London


4. Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden Tour

Enjoy a leisurely one-way Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden Tour passing by sights such as London Zoo. If you are in London for the first time or have been to London multiple times, you must take this trip to Camden town from Little Venice. It’s a picturesque 3.5 km boat ride.
Little Venice Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden Tour
Little Venice: Regent’s Canal Waterbus Boat Trip to Camden Tour


In case you are unable to find the right tour package for yourself you can browse our tours section to see more existing London tour packages.  


London Dungeon Entrance Tickets


Explore London as it was in days gone by ⁠— experience for yourself the dangerous streets, unsavoury characters and sense of fear all around at the London Dungeon. Hear, touch, and smell over 1000 years of London’s darkest history with funny, cutting-edge storytelling at London Dungeon. Don’t miss out on this amazing London experience, book your London Dungeon entrance tickets today.

London Dungeon Experience Highlights:

  • Be amazed by 14 interactive shows involving 20 live actors
  • Take 2 thrilling underground rides
  • Immerse yourself in 360-degree sets with gripping storytelling
  • Discover over 1000 years of grizzly history in the city

Book this Tour

Tour description

The London Dungeon is a uniquely thrilling attraction that will whisk you way back to the capital’s most perilous past. See, hear and feel the chillingly amusing characters of the ‘bad old days’ as they come to life before you. Step inside Sweeney Todd’s infamous barber shop on Fleet Street and let him give your life a short back and sides. Then tread cautiously through the streets of Whitechapel, as Jack the Ripper could be lurking just around the corner. End your visit by being sentenced for your crimes and sent to Newgate Prison Ride to Doom. On the off chance you survive all of that, round off your journey with a visit to the Dungeon Tavern; hear the latest gossip and share a drink with the locals.

What’s Included in the London Dungeon ticket

  • Entrance ticket to The London Dungeon
  • Same-Day or Advance booking (depending on the option chosen)

Not suitable for

Children under 5 years of age

Book this Tour

How to reach London Dungeon?

  • By foot – Just follow signs for the South Bank; London Dungeon is right next door to the LastMinute.com London Eye and SEA LIFE London Aquarium. It’s all you need for a day out in one place and we can even save you money with combined tickets.
  • Public Transport – Subway, Underground, metro, tube, no matter what you want to call it, we are only a few minute’s walk from London Waterloo. If you prefer not to use the underground (you will experience the underground in the Dungeon anyway…). Waterloo is well served by buses and there even is a river service to the London Eye pier. Best check the Transport for London website to have seamless travel to the London Dungeon.
  • Coach and Car – London Dungeon does not have a car park but they are able to accommodate coaches for drop-off and pick-up (20 mins max.) Please contact the LastMinute.com London Eye Energy Customer Service line to reserve your coach bay: coach@londoneye.com There is also a car park close to the attraction; Q-Park Westminster car park is located just a short distance from The London Dungeon and we are able to offer discounts of 15% to those that pre-book their parking. To receive your discount please visit www.q-park.co.uk/parking/london/q-park-Westminster, click on Pre-Booking and enter the promotional code DUNGEON when making your booking.

Meeting Point

The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom.

Check out the map below to plan your visit.

Important information to keep in mind when visiting London Dungeon

Not allowed

  • Cameras are not allowed inside the Dungeon
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Video recording is strictly prohibited

Book this Tour

Know before you go

  • The London Dungeon is not suitable for people of a nervous disposition or children under the age of 12: entry is at the discretion of the parent/guardian
  • Children under the age of 5 are not permitted to enter The London Dungeon
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older
  • Disabled guests pay the standard price and their carer enters free of charge
  • The attraction is wheelchair-accessible, however, the London Dungeon can only admit wheelchairs and users with a combined maximum weight of 300kg. Wheelchairs must not be wider than 27 inches and be able to navigate tight angles and uneven flooring. There is a maximum of 1 wheelchair user per tour.

Queen Elizabeth II has died at 96 in Balmoral 8 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

She died peacefully on Thursday the 8th of September 2022 afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.

He said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

During the coming period of mourning, he said he and his family would be “comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held”.

The King and his wife, Camilla, now Queen Consort, will return to London on Friday, Buckingham Palace said. He is expected to address the nation.

Senior royals had gathered at Balmoral after the Queen’s doctors became concerned about her health earlier in the day.

All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.

Her grandson and now heir to the throne, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, also gathered there.

The royal family rushed to the Queen’s side

The Queen’s four children were at Balmoral Castle when the announcement was made.

Charles rushed to the Scottish castle earlier on Thursday together with his wife, Camilla. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, known as Princess Royal, was already there.

Prince William, who is now the heir apparent to the throne, arrived at Balmoral Thursday afternoon together with the Queen’s other two sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

Prince William and his wife Catherine have taken on the title of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, according to their official Twitter account. Charles and Camilla were previously known by that title. The couple is now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge. Catherine remained at Windsor, where their three children attended their first day at a new school.

Prince Harry arrived at Balmoral after the announcement was made. His wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was not travelling with him.

World leaders and mourners pay tribute

After Thursday’s announcement, a flood of condolences came in from all corners of the globe: world officials, cultural icons and everyday people alike mourned.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. “I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”

Queen’s Last public appearance

The Queen was last seen in public on 6th September 2022, Tuesday when she formally appointed Liz Truss as the UK’s new prime minister. A photograph from the audience showed the monarch smiling, standing in the drawing room in Balmoral, carrying a walking stick. Liz Truss is the 15th – and the last – British Prime Minister to be appointed by Elizabeth.

There have been concerns over the Queen’s health ever since a brief hospital stay last October 2021. She has experienced episodic mobility issues, which have at times caused her to withdraw from official engagements.

But those concerns grew deeper on Wednesday when Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had postponed a virtual meeting of her Privy Council after being advised by doctors to rest.

On Thursday, the palace announced that the Queen was under medical supervision, but said she was “comfortable” at Balmoral. As her children rushed to her side during the day, it became clear the situation was serious.

Her death comes seven months after the Queen marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The UK officially celebrated the Queen’s platinum jubilee in June with days of pomp and pageantry and she made several public appearances in London.

Kings Guard following Queen Elizabeth II's Coffin at her precession
Kings Guard following Queen Elizabeth II’s Coffin at her precession

Tallinn to London Travel Experience July 2022


Finally, I went to London in July 2022 after a good 2 years gap. This time I travelled from Tallinn to London. In this post, I will share my travel experience of what it’s like to travel from Tallinn to London.

Staying in Tallinn, Estonia for almost 3 months now. I definitely had to go to London. Knowing my Dad lives there, and I have not seen him for some time. We all decided that as the flights are open (Post Corona Virus Panedimic) from Estonia and from India both. We all can gather in London to celebrate my father’s birthday.

Tallinn to London Air Baltic Flight

Post-pandemic the flight cost has shot up and this was evident when we booked our Tallinn to London flights. We searched for our flights from Skyscanner. However, doing detailed research we found that if we book individual tickets from Tallinn (Lennart Meri) to London (Gatwick) one way and London to Tallinn one way. This way we can get the timing of the flight we want. This is not recommended approach however, we were able to save some money by doing this. Air Baltic flight from Tallinn to London for 2 people cost us €393 Euros. This one was not even direct, we first had to take a flight BT362 From Tallinn to Riga and then flight BT651 from Riga to London Gatwick.

The whole duration of the journey was 5 hours or so. Flight from Tallinn to Riga was for 50 mins and Riga to London was 3 hours or so. In total, if you are travelling from Tallinn to London the shortest time duration is 5 hours.

You can search for Air Baltic flights by clicking on the banner below:

Air Baltic
Air Baltic

I searched for the best deal for my Flight from Tallinn to London on Skyscanner. Check out the flights from Skyscanner below to get the best deals and offers:

London Gatwick Airport

Landed at the Third busiest airport in the UK. Gatwick airport and then I had to book a train to reach Central London. As we were hungry we took a quick bite from the Marks and Spencer Food store at the airport. I had my old University-time Oyster Card. However, for some reason, I was not able to top it up, even though I had GBP currency with me. Nevertheless, The fastest way to reach Central London that I figured out there was via the Gatwick Express. We bought a ticket one way from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria Station for £20 each. This was a little expensive but anyway, we had to buy one. The train came in at platform 2 and we hopped onto the train. There were about 2 stops before we reached Victoria Station, East Croydon and Clapham Junction.

London Victoria to East Ham Station

We reached London Victoria in about 30 mins. From there we continued our journey to East Ham. We took the district line towards Upton Park. This journey involved 19 stops. I mean this was the fastest we could travel to reach our destination at reasonable expenses. You may take a private cab but then they will be charging a lot more than a good old London tube.

You can plan your journey by visiting the TFL website, as there are a lot of disruptions due to construction and repair work done on the tube line.

Visa For London, UK

Thankfully I had a UK tourist visa before I moved to Estonia. I applied for a UK visa when I was in Delhi, India. As I have been a frequent traveller to the UK. I applied for a 5-year tourist visa from the New Delhi VFS Global Centre. In case you are Estonian and want to travel to the UK, You need not apply for a visa. Estonians can travel to the UK and stay up to 6 months without a visa. You also need to make sure that you meet the standard visitor eligibility requirements. To know more about the UK visa types and fees you can check out our Visa for London UK page.

Overall I had been missing London and finally got a chance to visit this beautiful city again. My Tallinn to London travel Experience had been good, and I will be travelling more frequently now. Knowing COVID-19 has taken more than 2 years of our life. Another reason being I have shifted to Tallinn, So Tallinn to London travel will be much more frequent than Delhi to London travel.

London Weather

However must say, summers here are getting unbearable. Climate change is playing havoc. All the underground trains are too old to cope with the heat. Especially the Central line does not have air conditioning. A lot is going to change in this big city. And the climate is going to play a pivotal role.


Notting Hill Carnival 2022 returns for the first time since pandemic began


Notting Hill Carnival 2022 returns for the first time since the pandemic began

For the first time since the pandemic Adults, Day at Notting Hill Carnival returned to the streets of west London. Performers in brightly-coloured costumes have marked the return of the Notting Hill Carnival after a two-year hiatus during the COVID pandemic.

Millions of people attended the festival which lasted until Monday and saw many of those in the parade dress up in brightly-coloured costumes in commemoration of Caribbean heritage.

Dancers, brass bands and floats entertained the large crowds in west London on what is known as ‘family day’. The event lasted until Monday till the bank holiday. The carnival, which celebrates Caribbean culture, has been held online over the past two years due to the COVID pandemic, but now the huge street party is back, with music, dancing, parades, and extravagant outfits.

Its origins date back to the 1950s when Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones began organizing gatherings after racially motivated attacks in the area. To check out historical pictures of the previous Notting Carnivals see our previous post on Notting Hill Carnival Going Digital 2020.

The festival has since become a “part of the very fabric” of London, according to the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Notting Hill Carnival 2022 Events 

At 3 pm, a group of people stopped in 72-seconds of silence by the parade marking the 72 lives lost in the Grenfell Tower fire five years ago.

Among the group were the first firefighters to arrive at the scene, alongside survivors and campaigners. Behind a food stand a man selling jerk chicken for a queue summed up how lots of people were feeling and enjoying the festivities. Revellers dressed in colourful costumes descended on the streets of west London for Notting Hill Carnival for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

The Metropolitan Police said there had been 76 arrests for “a variety of different offences” by 7 am on Monday. No festivals can go in please and the same was seen on Monday morning. Officers also said a police horse died on duty during the carnival after collapsing around 9 pm on Sunday. The force said it was too early to determine the cause of death and added that there will be an investigation.

Sadiq Khan Please Notting Hill Carnival is Back

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “As a Londoner, I’m really pleased carnival is back.” London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Biggest street party in Europe! And the vibes are immaculate.” He said it had “become one of the world’s biggest street festivals and part of the very fabric of this city”. This year’s event comes amid a cost-of-living crisis, which Mr Khan said had affected the carnival. He said the carnival was celebrating Caribbean culture, heritage, and history and there was a “pent-up” demand for festivities this year.

Cost of Living Crisis

The 2022 Notting Hill Carnival is also marked by the cost-of-living crisis, as organisers claim that some people were unable to afford the extravagant costumes which are traditionally seen at the event; while some bands were not able to perform due to the costs involved.

Notting Hill Carnival went Digital for 2020

The 2020 carnival was cancelled because of COVID, although there were live-streamed events, and last year’s carnival did not take place either due to the coronavirus risk. You can check out the Notting Hill carnival digital event of 2020 here.

Check out some pictures taken by various news channels on Notting Hill Carnival 2022

The Shard Entry Ticket


Attention Dear Visitors:

The Shard Entry Ticket Experience is Closed Until Further Notice

We are sorry to inform you that due to essential building maintenance at The View from The Shard, the experience is closed until further notice. We will keep you posted and update the page when the shard opens up for tourists and the general public. 

Regularly voted as one of London’s greatest tourist attractions offering the best views of the city from the top of London’s tallest skyscraper The Shard. Visit The View from The Shard and celebrate London with breath-taking 360° panoramic views day and night. You surely don’t want to miss the spectacular Hawkeye view of the city.

Admire the sprawling metropolis of London from the 72nd floor of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of the city from the inside or, if you’re feeling brave, venture outside onto Western Europe’s highest viewing platform.

The Shard Entry Ticket Highlights

  • Step out onto Western Europe’s highest viewing platform, on the 72nd floor of The Shard
  • Enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of London from 800 feet above
  • Learn about London’s history through multimedia exhibits
  • Explore The Shard at your own pace – there are no time restrictions on your ticket

Book London Tour

The Shard Experience

Watch the streets of London fall away as you climb to Western Europe’s tallest viewing platform on the 72nd floor of The Shard. With a flexible ticket, spend as much time as you like enjoying panoramic views of the city, with visibility of up to 40 miles. Test your limits and step outside onto the open viewing platform on the 72nd floor, or admire the views from inside. Learn about London’s history through multimedia displays and exhibits, or sit back and enjoy the view from the champagne bar.

The Shard redefines London’s skyline and will soon be a dynamic symbol of the city, recognizable throughout the world. The unique building features a sculpted design of glass facets that incline inward without meeting at the top to allow the building to breathe naturally. Sneak a glance upward at the points of glass that form the top of the building, which reaches a height of 1,016 feet (310 meters). Finish up your journey in the boutique, where you can purchase a souvenir photograph.

About the Shard Entry ticket

  • Free cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund

  • Covid-19 precautions

Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.

  • Reserve now & pay later

Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today. Learn more

  • Valid 1 day

Check availability to see starting times.

  • Skip the ticket line

What’s Included in the Shard Entry Ticket:

  • Ticket to the attraction
  • Souvenir photograph – available for purchase, for an additional cost

Book London Tour

 Important information to know before you go

  • Since this activity sells out quickly on Saturdays and Sundays you are strongly encouraged to exchange your voucher early on these days of the week to claim your preferred time. Otherwise, you may not be able to visit The Shard on your chosen day
  • With this flexible ticket, you spend as long as you like admiring the Shard’s breath-taking views and can change the day of your booking at no additional cost (subject to availability)
  • Entry times vary depending on the day
  • Infants under the age of 3 do not require a ticket

Meeting point:

Address: London Bridge, London. The entrance to the attraction is on Joiner Street, next to the London Bridge Underground station.

Need help with planning your travel to the Shard? Check out our Geeting Around London page for you to reach The Shard in time.

To help you plan your travel to the Shard, please check out the Google map below as well:

Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee


Britain celebrated its longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in her Platinum Jubilee year. The 96-year-old queen is being toasted across the nation with four days of events showcasing the best of British pomp and pageantry. It was a four-day extravaganza that consumed Britain. Every minute is covered live on local TV, in daily front-page splashes in tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, and on social media in a frantic manner.

Crowds in London got a glimpse of royal family members on the Buckingham Palace balcony, while others attended the concerts and street parties or simply enjoy the national holiday.

Queens Platinum Jubilee
Queens Platinum Jubilee

The UK had a four-day bank holiday weekend at the beginning of June, for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

Queen Platinum Jubilee schedule:

2nd June 2022, Thursday:

The celebrations kicked off with Trooping the Colour, a military parade in honour of the queen’s official birthday. In the evening, more than 3,200 beacons ignited, reimagining and repurposing the torchlight relays once deployed in England to warn of a possible invasion. The Cambridge kids were extremely visible during the entire Platinum Jubilee weekend, and their first appearance was perhaps the most exciting: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis rode in a carriage during the Queen’s birthday parade. The Cambridge kids sat with their mom, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their step-grandmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and waved to the crowds that packed the Mall. Notably, Prince Louis wore the same sailor suit his dad, Prince William, wore 37 years ago to the Trooping the Colour celebrations.

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte wave from the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour, June 2, 2022
Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte wave from the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour, June 2, 2022. (Image Souce: KARWAI TANG/GETTY IMAGES)

3rd June 2022, Friday: 

The queen and royal family attended a church service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Queen Victoria marked her Diamond Jubilee here in 1897 with a similar service. When a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed the attendance of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the Platinum Jubilee, there was much speculation surrounding what events they would attend. Ultimately, Meghan and Harry only made one public appearance during the four days of festivities, choosing to attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s. The two watched Trooping the Colour from the Major General’s Office with other non-working members of the British royal family. And while Lili and Archie made no appearances, the Sussexes confirmed their children would be travelling to the UK with them—therefore, the family celebrated Lili’s first birthday in private this weekend.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave St Paul’s Cathedral after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving, June 3, 2022.
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave St Paul’s Cathedral after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving, on June 3, 2022. (Image source: WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES)

4th June 2022, Saturday: 

The royal family attended a horse race at Epsom Downs, south of London. The queen, though a keen rider and horse breeder, may miss the event to attend a birthday party for her great-granddaughter Lilibet, daughter of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan. In the evening, a concert featuring Elton John, Diana Ross and Andrea Bocelli took place at Buckingham Palace for an audience of 22,000 people. During the Platinum Party at the Palace, Prince Charles gave a heartfelt speech where he spoke directly to his mother the Queen, thanking her for her service and support. “Your Majesty, Mummy,” he began, “The scale of this evening’s celebration—and the outpouring of warmth and affection over this whole Jubilee weekend—is our way of saying thank you—from your family, the country, the Commonwealth, in fact, the whole world. On behalf of us all, I wanted to pay my tribute to your lifetime of selfless service.”

The Prince of Wales delivers a speech during the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace, June 4, 2022
The Prince of Wales delivers a speech during the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace, on June 4, 2022. (Image Source: WPA POOLGETTY IMAGES)

5th June 2022, Sunday: 

More than 10 million people are expected to take part in “Big Jubilee Lunches” across the nation. The community-organized street parties and barbecues aim to foster neighbourliness, and similar events took place in Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa. The weekend ended with a People’s Pageant, involving the military and members of the public and led by the queen’s Gold State Coach, alongside a host of celebrities, including singer Ed Sheeran and soccer star David Beckham.

Last but certainly not least, the youngest Cambridge kid deserves a moment of his own for his antics throughout the weekend. From his shenanigans on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour to his dance moves while watching the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, Prince Louis was unstoppable.

Kate and her son, Prince Louis, watching the Jubilee Pageant from the royal box, June 5, 2022.
Kate and her son, Prince Louis, watching the Jubilee Pageant from the royal box, June 5, 2022.


People from all over the UK and across the Commonwealth are giving their time and creativity to build this event and celebrate this momentous occasion. Communities across the UK can find a connection to the ‘People’s Pageant’. Britons enjoyed an additional day’s holiday from Thursday to Sunday, while huge street parties happened across the UK.

Travellers from all around the world poured into London to see the spectacle and celebrations unfold and be part of something truly euphoric. Summers are a perfect time for you to book your trip to London. Don’t miss out as the Covid restrictions have been uplifted, it’s a perfect time to make those dream travel plans and book your London tour package with us. Check out some awesome tours we have recently added for you to book. “Click Here” 

London Zoo Entry Tickets


Book your advance ZSL London Zoo entry tickets and explore an oasis in the city centre, nestled within Regent’s Park. Immerse yourself amidst listed structures, lush gardens, and a diverse collection of approximately 15,000 animals.

Highlights of London Zoo:

  • Come face-to-face with one of nature’s most awesome predators at Tiger Territory
  • Visit Penguin Beach to see Humboldt penguins swimming, walking, eating, and more
  • Get closer than ever before to the mighty Asiatic lions at Land of the Lions
  • Explore London Zoo with an official entry ticket and see over 720 animal species
  • Check out the Gorilla Kingdom to get breathtakingly close to giant gorillas

ZSL London Zoo Ticket Details:

  • Free Cancelation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
  • COVID-19 Precautions: Special health and safety measures apply.
  • Valid 1 Day: Check availability to see starting times.
  • Skip the ticket line
  • Instant Confirmation

Book your ZSL Zoo Entry Tickets

About London Zoo Land of the Lions

Take in the zoo’s biggest experience, Land of the Lions, to get closer than ever before to the mighty Asiatic lions – of which only 400 remain in the wild. Explore walkways covering the 2,500 m² Indian-themed exhibit.

step into the land of the lions at London Zoo
step into the land of the lions at London Zoo

Exchange your voucher for a ticket at the pre-paid ticket desk and head into the zoo. Come face-to-face with one of nature’s most awesome predators in Tiger Territory, learn about the natural behaviours of Sumatran tigers, and discover the conservation issues these creatures face in the wild.

Then, discover the new features added in 2021. Head to Tiny Giants, a celebration of all things small but mighty and the sometimes strange but always wonderful world of invertebrates. Enjoy the unmissable, brand-new coral reef tank and watch schools of fish, including clownfish and blue tangs.

Next, visit Giants of the Galápagos, which opened in October 2021. Soak in the Galápagos climate and discover three Galápagos giant tortoises that can live for over a century. Imagine how the world might change in their lifetime and learn how we can protect them – and our planet – for years to come.

Book your ZSL Zoo Entry Tickets

Penguins at London Zoo
Penguins at London Zoo

Penguins at London Zoo

Head down to the beach to watch the colony of Humboldt penguins dive, swim, frolic, and feed in England’s largest penguin pool, complete with underwater viewing windows. Next, step Into Africa to observe the elegance and grace of the giraffes before moving on to the magnificent residents of Gorilla Kingdom.

western lowland gorillas at zsl london zoo
Western lowland Gorillas at ZSL London Zoo

What’s included in the ZSL London Zoo Ticket

Entry ticket only

Check availability to see starting times:

How to reach ZSL London Zoo?

By Tube

Camden Town (16 mins / 0.8 miles walk from the Zoo)
You will have to take the Northern Line train from Camden Town station, which is the nearest Underground station to the ZSL London Zoo.
Camden Town to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps).

Important information: The Northern line (Bank branch) will be closed between Kennington and Moorgate from 15 January to mid-May 2022. There will be no Northern line at four stations: Bank, London Bridge, Borough, and Elephant & Castle. There will be fewer Northern line trains between Camden Town and Moorgate. Some other lines and stations will be exceptionally busy. Find out more about travelling. 

Chalk Farm (18 mins / 0.9 miles walk)
Camden Town Station can get extremely busy, especially at weekends. Chalk Farm (Northern Line) is an ideal alternative, approximately the same walking distance from the Zoo. The station has lift access and this route offers a pleasant walking route through Primrose Hill’s pretty residential streets and beside Primrose Hill Park.
Chalk Farm to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps).

Baker Street (21 mins / 1.1 miles walk) / (14 mins via 274 bus)
Walking from Baker Street (Bakerloo, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City Lines) is via Regent’s Park.
Alternatively, take the 274 bus northbound, which leaves every 12 minutes.
Baker Street to ZSL London Zoo route (opens in Google Maps).

Regent’s Park (24 mins / 1.2 miles walk)
The ZSL London Zoo is an easy walk from Regent’s Park station (Bakerloo Line). Once out of the station and across Marylebone Road, the whole route is signposted and within leafy Regent’s Park.
Alternatively, take the 88 bus northbound from nearby Albany Street (exit Regent’s Park tube station to the right) to approximately halve the walking distance.
Regent’s Park station to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps).

Book your ZSL Zoo Entry Tickets

By London Overground

Camden Road station (21 mins / 1-mile walk from the Zoo).
London Overground makes travel to the Zoo easy from southwest, north and northeast London. The Zoo is an easy walk from Camden Road station, or catch the 274 bus towards Camden Town.
Approximate travel time to Camden Road station from Richmond: 45 minutes; from Stratford: 27 minutes; from West Hampstead: 14 minutes).
Camden Road to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps).

Nearest National Rail stations to ZSL London Zoo

Euston (Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway or London Overground).
If arriving at Euston, the fastest route to the Zoo is to take the Northern Line tube from Euston to either Camden Town or Chalk Farm. Camden Town to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps). Chalk Farm to ZSL London Zoo walking route (opens in Google Maps).

Marylebone (Chiltern Trains)
From the main entrance of Marylebone Station walk left to Baker Street, then either follow Baker Street tube walking directions or take the 274 bus northbound, which leaves every 12 minutes. See a map of the 274 route bus.

Please note, if you are travelling over school or bank holidays, your journey may be affected by planned engineering works. Check your journey at National Rail

Book your ZSL Zoo Entry Tickets

By Bus

Buses that stop near the Zoo:
88: Northbound, towards Kentish Town: Alight on Albany Street at Prince Albert Road.
88: Southbound, towards Great Portland Street: Get off on Albany Street at Regent’s Park Barracks.
These stops are just a few minutes walk from the Zoo. See map

274: Northbound and Southbound: Get off on Prince Albert Road at ZSL London Zoo. See map.

Plan your journey with the TfL Journey Planner.

By Car

ZSL London Zoo’s car park is on Outer Circle, Regent’s Park – plus we’re outside of the congestion charging zone. Sat nav: NW1 4SX. Cars and motorbikes are charged £14.50 for visitors to the Zoo. For more details please see full parking information.

A disabled parking bay is available in front of the Zoo entrance, with other dedicated spaces on the main road (up to four hours) and in the main car park.

Please be aware parking space in the Zoo’s main car park has been significantly reduced due to Thames Water/HS2 works.

By Bike

Cycling to the Zoo is easy. We have a public bike shed in the car park opposite the main Zoo entrance.
We also have two TFL Barclays Cycle Hire scheme docking stations – one in the small car park opposite the main Zoo entrance and another in the Zoo’s main car park.

Author’s ZSL London Zoo Experience and Suggestions

You can also check out our “Getting Around London” post to see how you can travel and plan your travel to the London Zoo.

Want to know what it feels like to go to ZSL London Zoo and see all those exotic animals? I went to ZSL London Zoo and have written a blog article to share my experience with you. Check it out here “My Day at ZSL London Zoo”

Important Information to consider

The last admission is 1 hour before the advertised closing time. So please make sure that you have planned your day well and have ample amount of time to see all the interesting areas of the zoo and nothing is missed out

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