Sites to Visit in London

Trafalgar Sq

Trafalgar Square, at the heart of London, is one of the city’s most vibrant open spaces enjoyed by Londoners and all visitors alike. It is a lively place often used for a wide range of activities including: special events and celebrations like the Royal Wedding, St Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year; filming and photography; and rallies and demonstrations.

London EYE

The London Eye has turned out to be the finest and most popular new attraction in London since Queen Victoria’s Great Exhibition. The Eye now welcomes between 3.5 and 4 million guests every year and, conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, is a feat of modern engineering, both beautiful to look at and from. When constructed in 1999, it was the tallest observation wheel in the world and, though it has now been surpassed by similar constructions in China and Singapore, it allows you to see one of the world’s most exciting cities from a completely new perspective.

St Pauls Cathedral

Sir Christopher Wren’s mighty St Paul’s Cathedral draws the eye like nothing else in London, even though the City’s skyscrapers now tower above it. The centrepiece of the great reconstruction of London after the great fire of 1666, it is still the spiritual focus of Great Britain. Royal weddings and birthdays, the funerals of Britain’s leaders and services to celebrate the ends of wars all take place beneath the famous dome. The cathedral miraculously survived the Blitz in World War II and served as an inspirational symbol of strength. Explore the medieval relics in the crypt, the gorgeous Victorian mosaics and up to the staggering views of London from the top of the dome.

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium was re-opened in 2007 after a full rebuild. The second largest stadium in Europe, Wembley took over three years to build and is located on the site of the previous 1923 Wembley Stadium, often referred to as ‘The Twin Towers’, which was demolished in 2003. As well as being the national home of the England football team, Wembley is also a large venue for top music acts, and has played host to the likes of Muse, Oasis, U2 and Coldplay.

Westminster Abbey

The setting for every coronation since 1066 and the burial ground for kings, statesmen, scientists, musicians and poets, Westminster Abbey is a true medieval masterpiece. Stunning gothic architecture, the fascinating literary history represented by poets corner, the artistic talent that went into the statues, murals, paintings and tombs, and the fantastic stained glass, combine to make Westminster Abbey the most enduringly stunning of London’s churches. Its popularity can only have increased since the wedding in April 2011 of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is to London, what Times Square is to New York. It is famous for two things: the huge neon advertising signs, and the statue of Eros that adorns the central fountain. Most people think that he represents the Greek god of Love, but he was originally meant to be the Angel of Christian Charity.

Buckingham Palace

England’s most famous royal palace, and the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace opens the doors of its State Rooms to the public every summer. Originally acquired by King George III for his wife Queen Charlotte, Buckingham House was increasingly known as the ‘Queen’s House’ and 14 of George III’s children were born there. Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live here (from 1837). The State Rooms are now still used by the Royal Family to receive and entertain guests on State and ceremonial occasions. Visitors can admire some of the more unusual gifts received by the current Queen, including drawings by Salvador Dali, an embroidered silk scarf from Nelson Mandela and a grove of maple trees.  The Ball Supper Room, the setting for a host of sparkling events in the history of the palace, 29-acre gardens and annual exhibitions are all also available to visitors.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge should be a pure piece of kitsch… a mock-gothic building built in the 19th-century. But its two castle-like towers have become synonymous with London around the world. If you’re lucky then you might be able to see Tower Bridge open and close.

Tower of London

For a thousand years the Tower of London has protected, threatened, imprisoned and occasionally executed the people of London. Originally the fortress of the hated Norman conquerors, built with imported white stone from France, it has been through many different incarnations in its life; the bloody tower where Richard III allegedly murdered his nephews, a patriotic symbol, home to British monarchs and armies, a prison and in modern times a treasury museum and UNESCO World Heritage site. The biggest draw for visitors are the crown jewels: crowns, sceptres, plate, and the two largest cut diamonds in the world are among the objects in the collection. The medieval palace, traitors gate, the beefeaters and the ravens make visits wonderfully atmospheric.

Big Ben & Westminster

If tourists only take one photograph in London then it’s invariably this one – Big Ben. ‘Big Ben’ is actually the name of the bell, rather than the clockface, and it stands in the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament. Did you know that you can actually get permission to climb up Big Ben, and stand in the belfry whilst the bell goes off? (Don’t worry, ear-plugs are provided!)

Now more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster began life in 1042 as a royal residence under Edward the Confessor. The major structure to survive various fires, Westminster Hall was built between 1087 and 1100 and is one of the largest medieval halls in Europe. Following a fire in 1512, Henry VIII abandoned the Palace and it has been home to the two seats of Parliament – the Commons and the Lords – ever sinc

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