GTW’s Marketing and Advertising Manager, Julie Cousins and her partner Mark Cox, Wednesday Cox and Reed Cox review some of London’s greatest attractions suitable for a group day itinerary.
Our Sunday started with a short train ride on a lovely summer morning. We took a First Capital Connect train to London. Those travelling may not be aware that they give a handy discount to groups of four (or multiples of) as it often has to be asked for.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
Once in London, we took the tube to Piccadilly and started our adventure at Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We were greeted at the door by a life-size model of the World’s Tallest Man, a three-legged banjo player, five-legged goats and lots more curious animals. We saw many amazing things as we weaved our way through the attraction. We saw portraits made from bottle caps and keyboard keys, and life-like models of the strange and unusual, such as the man with the longest nose and a person born with blue skin. We proceed through to the dungeon, which documented interesting torture methods. It should be noted that visitors with children could bypass this area. We bumped our way through the Mirror Maze, but unfortunately had to skip the Lazer Race, as groups of people were waiting to enter. Needless to say, we left feeling thoroughly entertained.
The Rainforest Café
Feeling like excited children, we were lead through a bustling rainforest setting filled with models of parrots, gorillas, elephants and other jungle animals. Providing a taste of the living rainforest, every few minutes a storm would erupt through the café. Our table was placed next to a mock waterfall, where we could clearly see group celebrations taking place. We ordered a sharing starter of sticky ribs and nachos and it wasn’t long until our meals arrived, served by friendly waiters dressed in Rainforest Guide uniforms. They politely worked to our time schedule and provided us with a tailored service. The fish was succulent and the steak was filling. The kids loved their broccoli soup, which had been served in individual cottage loaves, which was a nice personal touch.
I was most impressed by the system of entry, which separated individuals, groups and season ticket holders. Entering the attraction through an ornate elevator, we were greeted by a member of staff who gave us a briefing on what we were about to experience. We strolled past recognisable stars of film and sport, and pop stars from the past and present. The attraction didn’t appear crowded, despite the fact there were several groups of people in attendance. We continued through to the Chamber of Horrors, which can be skipped if pregnant or with children. I found it slightly scary, but not enough to give me nightmares.
Highlights included the Spirit of London Taxi Ride, which took us twisting through the changing face or our capital. Though, the moment we had been waiting for was the 4D Marvel exhibit. Towering above us was Hulk, as we strolled past such heroes as Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America. The 4D cinema was pleasantly air- conditioned and very comfortable. The 4D experience uses a 360-degree animated cinema, with high impact and special effects, with water and wind tremors that make you feel as though you are part of the action. It was certainly an attraction not to be missed if you are a fan of comic heroes. It was a brilliant end to the day. I would highly recommend visiting just two or three attractions in one day to save visitors feeling a little exhausted.