The number 9 bus must be one of London’s best kept secrets. Quick, easy and cheap, it takes you to a bunch of the best places in the entire city. I regularly recommend it to guests and their feedback is always incredibly enthusiastic. It stops right next to the hotel and takes you to all these great attractions.
The Royal Albert Hall. This distinctive building, recognised the world over, has hosted many of the world’s leading performers since its opening in 1871. Best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941.
Harrods. The bus stops at Knightsbridge Tube Station, just a short stroll from the world’s favourite department store, as well as Harvey Nichols and a host of exclusive boutiques along Brompton Road, Sloane Street, and the King’s Road.
Hyde Park Corner. As the name suggests, it’s on the corner of Hyde Park, one of the finest open spaces in all London. See the huge memorial arch to the Duke of Wellington that originally provided a grand entrance to London. It is surrounded by a host of other statues and memorials. It is overlooked by the Duke’s spectacular Apsley House, home to one of London’s finest art collections.
Buckingham Palace. Alight at Green Park station and you are just five minutes’ pleasant walk from the Queen’s official London residence.
Piccadilly. One of London’s most famous streets, crammed with exclusive shops, (including foodie heaven, Fortnum & Mason) and adjacent to Bond Street (jewelers), Burlington Arcade (specialist boutiques) and Jermyn Street (menswear), Albemarle Street (art galleries). Also home to the Royal Academy of Arts, popular for its own collections and regular exhibitions.
Piccadily Circus. With its iconic statue of Eros, this is the very epicentre of London’s vibrant West End, an area crammed with theatres, restaurants, shops and bars. On the north side you enter Regent Street, which leads to Oxford Street, both of which are lined with fabulous stores.
Trafalgar Square. One of the world’s most famous landmarks, thronged by pigeons and people, and dominated by Nelson’s Column. It commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars. A major tourist destination in its own right, the square is bounded on the northern side by the National Gallery, housing one of the world’s finest collections of Western European paintings. The National Portrait Gallery is housed in the same massive building.
The Strand. Another of London’s best loved streets, it runs alongside Covent Garden, the bustling area of boutiques, restaurants, pubs, galleries and theatres that’s a magnet for visitors from all over the world. On the opposite side is Somerset House and the Courtauld Gallery, home to one of Britain’s best loved art collections.
The bus route ends at Aldwych tube station, close to Fleet Street, home of the British press until the 1980s. Just beyond lies St Paul’s Cathedral, built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
At the end of this trip (and I’ll bet you won’t be able to fit it all into a single day!) just take the bus back again to the Milestone and we’ll revive you with a traditional Afternoon Tea in the Park Lounge or the Conservatory.