London Top Ten
Flying visit to London? Do not miss out on the best places to visit.
By TTM on 17 February 2008 in Travel Articles
London, Europe's biggest city and growing, has an impressive 2000 years of history under its urban belt. And all of this can be seen in its medieval towers, world famous museums, palaces, elegant and historic architecture, riverside entertainment, and even in its historic abbey.
If you have never been before you will probably want to see the iconic Big Ben clock tower attached to the Palace of Westminster (home to parliament) and the Changing of the Guard in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace (home of Queen Elizabeth). It happens at 11.30am every day in the sumnmer and every other day in the winter (unless it is raining heavily). So, what else can you fit into a short break? Here is a list of our Top Ten Must-Sees.
1) Tower of London
The Tower of London is a must visit for everyone if just to see the Crown Jewels, the most symbolic feature of the kingdom. Also you can see Sir Walter Raleigh’s prison cell, also known as the Bloddy Tower and the Chapel of St John and the impressive Royal Armories.
Address: Tower Hill, Tower Hill tube, London EC3N 4AB, Tel: 44(0)870 756 6060
2) The London Eye
This huge famous wheel, now a much loved London landmark is the world biggest observation wheel. It is trimmed with capsules. You can climb aboard a complete enclosed capsule and as the wheel turns (450 feet at its peak) you will see magnificent vistas over River Thames and the city. Each capsule rotates at a rate of 26cm per second or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour so an entire rotation takes 30 minutes.
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB Tel: 0870 5000 600
3) Tate Modern
The Tate Modern has almost 60,000 works in its collection, including British works from 1500 to the present day and twentieth century works by both British and International artists. This selection has been assembled by Tate curators to give you a flavour of the collection as well as showing off some of the key works. Highlights include works by Turner.
Address: Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG Tel:020 7887 8000
4) Cabinet War Rooms
Shortly after becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill visited the Cabinet War Rooms to see for himself what preparations had been made to allow him and his War Cabinet to continue working throughout the expected air raids on London. It was there, in the underground Cabinet Room, he announced 'This is the room from which I will direct the war'.
Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ Tel: 020 7930 6961
5) Westminster Abbey
An architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history – the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the tombs of kings and queens, and countless memorials to the famous and the great. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions. Today it is still a church dedicated to regular worship and to the celebration of great events in the life of the nation. Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey is a “Royal Peculiar” under the jurisdiction of a Dean and Chapter, subject only to the Sovereign.
Address: Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA Tel: 020 7654 4900
6) Hampton Court Palace
An historical tour inside this maginificent palace includes stunning state apartments, costumed guides and 60 acres of spectacular riverside gardens and the opportunity to lose yourself in the amazing maze.
Address: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, London KT8 9AU Tel: 0870 752 7777
7) St Paul’s Cathedral
This magnificent piece of architecture with adistinctive dome was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1710 after the great fire of 1666 destroyed the original church. St Paul's Cathedral consists of the Crypt, Ambulatory and Whispering Gallery. The entrance price also includes a visit to the Crypt and Ambulatory.
Address: Ludgate Hill, London, EC4 Tel:020 7236 4128
8) British Museum
It may be called the British Museum, but artifacts come from all over the world. Check out the mummies, elgin marbles and peat bog man.
Address: Great Russell Street, Near Tottenham Court Tube Station, London WC1B 3DG, Tel: 020-7323-8299
9) Victoria and Albert Museum
This world acclaimed huge museum of art is a utter cultural gem. You will need at least 2 hours but leaver around 5 hours to see and really enjoy it all. Displays at Victoria and Albert Museum range from Venetian glass and Chinese art, to high-button shoes and tapestry cartoons by Raphael.
Address: Cromwell Road | South Kensington, London SW7 2RL Tel: 020 7942 2000
10) Trafalgar Square, London
This is London’s most elegant square and where most consider the city’s heart beats. It was built following the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a victory led by Adrmiral Horatio Nelson. A 145-foot-high monument, bearing a statue of Lord Horatio Nelson is guarded by lions. The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery frame the square and the square makes a fantastic backdrop for souvenir photographs.
Tip: It’s impossible to see an entire city in one break, and even then where do you start. So take a guide. This company has countless walks encompassing the Gardens of England, Ghosts, Jack the Ripper and Shakespearean London. On average a walk lasts 2 hours and costs £5.50. Original London Walks, PO Box 1708, London NW6 4LW Tel: 44-20-7624-3978
TIP FOR SHOPPERS: Who wouldn't put shopping on their To-Do list when visiting London? Sales start December 27 and last till the end of January. Expect reductions for around 30 per cent which may rise to up to 70 per cent in the last few days.
Look for for Liberty, Regent Street, for reductions at the high end designer wear and shoes too. Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, is great for designerwear and an impressive range of high street brands. Harrods can be tempting but the queues can be off putting.
Organise your city break: Find your perfect city break with Expedia
Cheap flights to London:
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF LONDON? LET US KNOW
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