Thursday, 21 June 2012

David Beckham's top ten tourist tips

David Beckham would be the last person to claim that culture is his speciality.

But with London 2012 fast approaching, the list of top ten places to visit in the UK he has compiled for tourism agency VisitBritain is lacklustre to say the least. Despite having a host of cultural treats to choose from, he unimaginatively suggests taking a tour of Buckingham Palace, eating at Tony Lane’s Pie & Mash shop in London’s East End, taking the kids to Thorpe Park and playing a round of golf at St Andrews.

Could you come up with a better list for this summer's visitors? I've given it a go and here are my top ten suggestions:
  1. Take a tour of the newly restored Cutty Sark (and explore Greenwich afterwards).
  2. Buy a bunch of flowers at the Columbia Road flower market in Bethnal Green.
  3. Visit the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Tate Modern (and admire the views across the Thames to the City too).
  4. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
  5. See Tower Bridge rise up (it happens about 1,000 times a year and you can check times on the Tower Bridge website).
  6. Take afternoon tea at the Ritz (the prettiest restaurant in London).
  7. Listen to a free lunchtime concert at St Martin-in-the Fields in Trafalgar Square.
  8. Go and see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  9. Have lunch at the Porthminster Café in St Ives. It looks out across the sea and you can pop into the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden afterwards).
  10. Walk up Catbells in the Lake District. It’s a bracing climb but the stunning views across Derwentwater are worth it when you get to the top. 

PS. If you’re looking for a present for a girl who adores trying new beauty products then a subscription to GlossyBox could be just the ticket. It’s such a smart idea. You sign up, pay £10 per month (plus p&p) and you receive a chic box containing a selection of five luxury beauty samples from exclusive brands and tips, offers and tricks about beauty and style. I received the April box (above) and it was a real treat. It included an Inika Cosmetics organic eyeliner, a divine peppermint-scented Ayuuri bodywash, Figs & Rouge lip balm and more besides. The June box looks even better, with MeMeMe nail varnish, a mini mascara by Yves Rocher and a pair of precision tweezers.


  1. What about going to see the Ceremony of the Keys at The Tower of London, which takes place every night, as it always has done. It's impressive and atmospheric.

    And a visit to Borough Market on a Saturday to sample some of the many foods there?

    A fun posting, Emma.

    Liz X

    1. They are two cracking ideas, Liz. Maybe we should create our own app!

  2. I rather like your list.

    I'm a fan of breakfast at Fortnum and Mason and lunch at Browns, and a visit to any exhibition at my favourite gallery, the Hayward. The British Museum is also a must, and all the book and art shops in the surrounding streets.

    1. Some great ideas there, Nicola - especially the Hayward and the British Museum. Le Pain Quotidien is my favourite place for breakfast, but it's Belgian, so maybe doesn't count as a UK tourist tip!

  3. They should get out of London a little and see some great countryside - Peak District maybe (being on my doorstep) and they could pop into Chatsworth as well while up here or visit Arkwright's Mill, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, if that's more their style.

    1. Chatsworth is a great suggestion - and gorgeous countryside all round. Thank you, Mary.


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