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  • Cruising London's Waterways: In addition to the Thames, London is riddled with an antique canal system, complete with towpaths, bridges, and wharves. Replaced by the railroad, the system was forgotten until rediscovered by a new generation. An urban renewal effort has restored the system, with bridges painted and repaired, and towpaths cleaned up.
  • Viewing the Turners at the Tate: Upon his death in 1851, J. M. W. Turner bequeathed his personal collection of 19,000 watercolors and some 300 paintings to the people of Britain. He wanted his finished works, some 100 paintings, displayed under one roof. Today at the Tate, you get not only Turner but also glimpses of the Thames through the museum's windows. How appropriate -- the artist lived and died on its banks, in Chelsea, and painted the river in its many changing moods.
  • Enjoying a Traditional Afternoon Tea: Nothing is more typically British, and it's a great way to spend an afternoon. We suggest our favorite places for tea.
  • Rowing on the Serpentine: When the weather is right, we like to head to this 17-hectare (41-acre) artificial lake, dating from 1730 and located in Hyde Park. A stream was dammed to create the artificial lake, whose name derives from its winding, snakelike shape. At the Boathouse, you can rent a boat by the hour. With the right companion, it's one of the most idyllic ways to spend a sunny London afternoon.
  • Wandering through Covent Garden: George Bernard Shaw got his inspiration for Pygmalion here, where the character of Eliza Doolittle sold violets to wealthy operagoers. The old fruit-and-vegetable market, with its Cockney cauliflower peddlers and butchers in blood-soaked aprons, is long gone. But what's left is just as interesting: Today's Covent Garden is London's best example of urban renewal. An antiques market is in the piazza on Monday, a crafts market Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Watching the Sunset at Waterloo Bridge: Waterloo Bridge is the best place in London to watch the sun set over Westminster. From here, you can also see the last rays of sunlight bounce off the city spires in the East End.
  • Spending an Evening at a West End Theater: London is the theatrical capital of the world. The live stage offers a unique combination of variety, accessibility, and economy -- and a look at next year's Broadway hit.
  • Crawling the London Pubs: With some 5,000 pubs within the city limits, enough traditional ones remain, especially in central London. Make a crawl worthwhile by fortifying yourself with a ploughman's lunch or a plate of shepherd's pie. Our favorites include Grenadier, Salisbury, and Red Lion.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.