A. You are going to hear to part of a radio programme where Sebastian Hope, a travel writer, talks about London. Listen and match the questions with the photos.
1 What advice would you give to someone visiting London for the first time?
2 What’s the one thing you would say someone visiting London should do or see?
3 What’s the best place to have your photo taken?
4 What’s your favourite landmark?
5 What’s the best place to watch the sunset?
6 What’s the best place to be at dawn?
7 What would be a good thing to do on a scorching hot day?
8 What’s a good thing to do which is absolutely free?
9 What do you think is the most romantic place in London?
B. Listen again and answer the questions.
1 What does he mean when he says ‘get to know the village you are staying in’?
2 What in his recommendation for an indoor activity that visitors to London should do?
3 What building should you have as a background for a photo?
4 What’s special for him about St Paul’s Cathedral?
5 Where else can you go to watch the sunset apart from the Trafalgar Hotel roof garden?
6 Why does he like London at dawn?
7 Why is the London Aquarium a good place to go on a very hot day?
8 Why does he enjoy walking in Hyde Park?
9 What is special about the bird called the nightingale? Where can you hear it sing?
2 Parliament Hill
3 Westminster Bridge
4 St Paul’s Cathedral
5 sunset on the roof garden
6 bagel shop
7 rowing boat on the Serpentine
1 That many areas of London used to be villages. You should get to know the area you are in rather than trying to get to know the whole of London.
2 Go to the British Museum.
3 The Houses of Parliament.
4 It is hidden between other buildings so you walk round a corner and suddenly find it.
5 The bridges and the London Eye.
6 Because it’s completely deserted.
7 Because it’s air conditioned and there is a lot of water.
8 It reminds him of his childhood.
9 They are the only birds that sing at night. They sing in the enclosed gardens in residential squares.
I = interviewer, S = Sebastian Hope
I What advice would you give to someone visiting London for the first time?
S It’s often said that London is a city of villages, for example Hampstead, even Chelsea were all villages in the past; so take some time to get to know the village you are staying in before you start to explore the famous sights.
I What’s the one thing you would say someone visiting London should do or see?
S Outdoors: walk up Parliament Hill – you get far and away the best view over the city. Indoors: the British Museum. When you see what the people of ancient times were capable of, it makes you feel humble about the achievements of our own age.
I And what’s the best place to have your photo taken?
S I’ve always liked the classic view of the Houses of Parliament either from Westminster Bridge or from the other side of the river.
I What’s your favourite landmark?
S St Paul’s Cathedral. It is so hidden-away that when you catch your first sight of it, it’s always a thrill. You just turn a corner and suddenly there it is.
I What’s the best place to watch the sunset?
S Well, the views from the bridges are always spectacular. I imagine the London Eye, by Waterloo Bridge, would be a good spot, but I am ashamed to say I have never been on it. And on a summer evening I like the roof garden of The Trafalgar Hotel just off Trafalgar Square – you can watch the city lights come on as the sun sets.
I What’s the best place to be at dawn?
S In the summer, almost anywhere. I love the city when it’s completely deserted in the early morning light. One of my favourite places to be at that time is the all-night bagel shop on Brick Lane. I love queuing on the pavement outside for a salmon and cream cheese bagel in the early morning, because then it means I have been out all night doing something fun or interesting. But in winter the best place to be at dawn is in bed – definitely!
I What would be a good thing to do on a scorching hot day?
S Getting a boat on the Serpentine or in Battersea Park is one of my favourite things, and another of my favourite places, the London Aquarium, is somewhere where you can escape from the heat into a world of water and air conditioning.
I What’s a good thing to do which is absolutely free?
S Walking in the parks. London’s parks deserve their fame. I love walking in Hyde Park. It always reminds me of my childhood – I have memories of feeding the squirrels there.
I What do you think is the most romantic place in London?
S In Kensington, Knightsbridge, and Chelsea, residential squares have enclosed gardens. They’re magical places at any time of day, like secret gardens, but at night you can often hear nightingales singing – they’re the only birds that sing at night. It’s very romantic.
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Possibilities
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Discoveries
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Dilemmas
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – City living
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Around the globe
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Chance