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TIL XMAS 2017 Final

This Is London Christmas 2017

4 CHRISTMAS TOURS AT THE

4 CHRISTMAS TOURS AT THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT Christmas Tours at the Houses of Parliament offer visitors an opportunity to take a glimpse into a busy 21st century working building, steeped in history and filled with an array of stunning art and architecture. Admire the exquisite craftsmanship of the finest British artists who designed the sumptuous interiors that are waiting to be explored and absorb the atmosphere of the season with the scent of pine from the enormous tree in medieval Westminster Hall. Choose between a popular Blue Badge Guide-led tour which takes 90 minutes or the flexible self-guided audio option which takes approximately 60 to 75 minutes. There is also a family version of the audio tour, produced for children aged 7 to 12, in English as well as a fun, hour-long guided tour led by one of the Visitor Assistant guides. Houses of Parliament Tours are available every Saturday and Tuesday to Friday between 22 December and 5 January (except 26 December). Advanced booking is recommended but not essential. Visitors to London this winter can also take part in ‘Unlock Parliament’, a brand new immersive experience at the home of the UK Parliament. Have you ever wanted to make your own laws? You can over the festive season on this unique and challenging experience inside the Palace of Westminster. The mysterious ‘Agent N’ will set you a series of puzzles and other clues (including some via video link). Your objective is to move Agent N’s rather surprising new Bill through Parliament. With the clock ticking, you will need to work as a team to make some tough decisions as quickly as possible. Can you solve the puzzles and clues in time to pass the Bill into Law? ‘Unlock Parliament’ is fun and suitable for all ages (minimum recommended age 8 years). Perfect for couples, families and groups of friends, and all kids go free! As well as successfully completing the challenge, discover where lawmaking takes place for real by booking the audio tour, too. ‘Unlock Parliament’ takes place from 27 to 30 December and 2 January. Tickets can be booked online or by telephoning 020 7219 4114. WICKED ADDS TWO EXTRA CHRISTMAS SHOWS Wicked, the smash hit musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, has added two extra matinee shows (14.30) this Christmas on Tuesday 26 December and Friday 29 December at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. Acclaimed as 'a magical mystery tour through the fantasyland of Oz' (London Evening Standard), Wicked is already the 15th longest running show in London theatre history (and the 10th longest running musical), having recently surpassed the run of We Will Rock You. Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Telephone bookings: 0844 871 3001. www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk Alice Fearn as Elphaba in WICKED. Photo: Matt Crockett. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

HAMLEYS: THE FINEST TOY SHOP IN THE WORLD As a boy, William Hamley dreamed of opening the best toy shop in the world, and in fact, he did. In 1760, he opened ‘Noah’s Ark’ and filled it with every type of toy, from rag dolls to tin soldiers. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, Hamleys was already a London landmark. The shop was so successful that a new branch was opened on Regent Street in 1881 and added a further five floors of toys. Hamleys, filled with everything from toy theatres, puppets, pedal cars and miniature railways trains, had become the largest toy shop in the world. Just like everyone else, Hamleys faced hard times in the 1920s, and was forced to close in 1931. But the story has a happy ending. Walter Lines bought Hamleys and worked hard to bring customers back. In 1938, his efforts were rewarded when Queen Mary gave Hamleys the Royal Warrant. Even though it was bombed five times during World War II, Hamleys did not stop. Wearing tin hats, staff served at the shop entrance, rushing in to collect the toys then handing them over at the door. When she came to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II showed she still remembered the toys her grandmother had given her, and in turn gave Hamleys toys to her own children. In 1955, she honored Walter Lines with a second Royal Warrant as a ‘Toys and Sports Merchant.’ The toys may have changed, but if he were here today, William Hamley would recognise the same delighted faces that he dreamt of in his shop as a boy. Its famous location at 188-196 Regent Street has over seven floors of toys and games that are sure to delight any child. With over 255 years of experience in bringing smiles and joy to children, Hamleys is known and trusted by families all over the world. Hamleys Toy Shop is situated mid-way along Regent Street. The nearest underground is Oxford Circus. 5 t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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