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A cyclist heading up Regent's Canal on a sunny day in London
Underground, bus, and ridiculously pricey black cabs are the three most common modes of transport for visitors to London, but they're certainly not always the most pleasant. If you've ever stood cheek-to-cheek next to a sweaty stranger on the tube, taken a night bus full of drunken teens back to your hotel, or shelled out upward of £30.00 for a taxi ride across town, surely you understand.
But, what you'll also notice on London's streets are a bevy of cyclists, mainly locals, taking advantage of the city's many bike-friendly pathways and routes. Tourists hoping to do the same can rent a Boris bike and make their way around Hyde Park or Regent's Canal, feeling the burn in the process.
With the pending completion of The Shard London Bridge, London's architectural landscape continues to transcend its Tudor and Victorian roots. From The Gherkin to London City Hall, many an impressive modern landmark is sprinkled throughout the city, with more surely to arise leading up to and in the wake of next year's Olympic ceremonies.
If Westminster Abbey and Big Ben are your only frame of architectural reference for The Square Mile, then taking advantage of events associated with OpenHouse London will prove eye opening in more ways than one. Taking place this weekend, September 17th and 18th, the two day event offers visitors the opportunity to tour "major regeneration projects, landscape projects, government buildings…and more," all for free.
The exorbitant Dollar-to-Pound exchange rate often serves as a deterrent for prospective travelers to the Land of Pints and Royals. Wallet shock hits particularly hard in London, but initiated researchers will find plenty to do for a few pence.
Case in point: this weekend's Thames Festival features an array of free events, ranging from a sprawling communal feast on the Southwark (say: Suth-uck) Bridge to al fresco tango shows, to an electro-swing speakeasy (think James Blake meets lindy hop).
Other highlights over the two-day affair include Magnificent Revolution's Cycle-In Cinema, an outdoor movie theatre powered by audience members who hook their bikes to a generator in order to power the screening. With somewhat balmy weather predicted for the weekend, this could be one of the last opportunities to enjoy outdoor life in London before the standard stretch of grey sets in for fall.
We’ve been following public bike sharing around the globe for quite some time, and we even got to test out the famous Vélib bikes in Paris not too long ago. The latest city to join the craze is London, and we’re sure that the Barclays Cycle Hire will only get bigger and better with the royal wedding just a few months away, not to mention the Olympics in 2012.
Things kicked off last summer, but the real fun began last month when things were opened up to the general public with fewer restrictions and no specific membership requirements. London’s bike rental program works pretty similar to others, so all you need to do is find a bike rack, throw down a few bucks—Pounds Sterling in this case—and then start pedaling.
Royal Travel / Cheap London / Travel News / Wedding Travel / Celeb Travel / London Travel / Britain Travel / The Royal Wedding / Romantic Travel / Prince William / Kate Middleton / → All Tags
Although it's already been news that many Britons are looking forward to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29 not for the historical or romantic aspects, but for the long weekend it's created and the opportunity for vacation, there's still a pretty great chance that everyone will sit down in front of a TV to watch the spectacle.
For those planning to really get in the spirit and travel to London, there will luckily be opportunities to spy the couple on their wedding day without having to beg, borrow and steal for a ticket to the Westminster Abbey ceremonyKate and Wills will take a carriage ride past many of London's biggest tourist attractions on their way from their wedding to the post-nuptials reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Wills' father Prince Charles.
The AP has the details on the projected path: