In a place like London, where there seems to be an attraction around every corner, there are many ways in which to fill your days exploring the historic city. Simply setting out and strolling the leafy streets and parks on foot is an adventure bound to be filled with interesting discoveries, but where does a newcomer to this famous capital city begin? Even the well-paved tourist activities and sites can be enjoyable as they highlight those must-see spots that made the city what it is. So, get ready for a quick tour as we take you around London.
The London Eye
Get a bird’s-eye-view of London with a ride on Europe’s largest Farris Wheel, the London Eye. Set on the banks of the River Thames just across from Westminster Pier, the London Eye features capsules large enough to hold up to 25 people. One rotation of the giant wheel takes about 30 minutes, giving riders ample time to take in the view.
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are perhaps two of the city’s most famous historic landmarks. Built almost one thousand years ago, the Tower of London castle played a role as both palace, prison, mint and treasury. Today, the old castle is the home of the Crown Jewels. Equally majestic in its bearing is the nearby Tower Bridge. Close to a century and half old, the bridge is an iconic symbol of London.
Escape to Hyde Park
London’s largest green space, Hyde Park consists of over 350 acres of gardens and park land. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy boating and swimming in Serpentine Lake or take in the many concerts and exhibitions held throughout the season. Hyde Park is also home to an extensive collection of historic statues and sculptures.
Ride a Double-Decker
One of the enduring symbols of London is the double decker bus, and for visitors looking for that quintessential London experience, this sightseeing tour provides the perfect city overview. Bus tickets are valid for an entire day, which means riders can hop-on and hop-off where ever they like. All of London’s top attractions are included on the tour circuit including Big Ben, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and more.
Changing of the Guard
For a bit of royal pageantry, head to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. Held daily between April and July, the late morning spectacle lasts about 45 minutes and showcases the Guards’ precision like marches and movements. Better yet, ask your travel agent for tickets that include both the Guard Ceremony and a palace tour.
The world’s most famous clock tower, Big Ben has been ticking away since the late 1850s. The chimes and bells ring every quarter hour with Great Bell announcing the time at the top of each hour.
A West End Show
Along with New York’s Broadway, London’s West End is the pinnacle of stage production. Today, even famous film and TV stars can be seen performing live in many of today’s top stage productions. West End is home to over 30 theatres.
This popular public space outside the National Gallery in the heart of London is named for the famous 1805 naval battle that took place off the coast of Spain, at Cape Trafalgar. The well-known city square is best known for its giant lion sculptures and large fountains.
Churchill’s Underground Lair
Winston Churchill’s underground war rooms and museum gives the visitor a unique perspective on war time London as well as the former prime minister’s life. Guiding a country through World War II, the underground war rooms played an instrumental part in the war’s planning and implementation.
One of the world’s great shopping destinations, you’ll be spoiled for choice in London. Oxford Street is home to hundreds of shops, boutiques and landmark department stores while Knightsbridge features such iconic names as Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
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