Buckingham Palace, located in Westminster, is an iconic symbol of all that Britain stands for. This attraction simply screams finesse, splendour and importance and provides a great ‘photo moment’. Home to Britain’s monarch since the reign of Queen Victoria in 1837, Buckingham Palace is positioned at the end of a wide avenue called the Mall which leads from the famous Trafalgar Square and overlooks a statue of Queen Victoria and a beautiful garden.
This magnificent palace, in Neo-Classical style, dates bates to 1702-1705 with much remodelling and additions made in later years. If the monarch is in residence, you can see the Royal Standard waving on the Palace’s roof but one thing to really watch out for is the daily Changing of the Guard, a changeover of officers that stand guard upon the grounds of the Palace - an entertaining spectacle in itself. You don’t just have to enjoy this structure from the outside of course. Some of Buckingham Palace’s state apartments are open to the public in July and August but the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews are open on a permanent basis. It is also possible to see painting exhibitions and famous works of art from the Royal Collection in addition to stables, royal coaches and carriages used at the coronations of Britain’s past kings and queens as well as those to come.
Piccadilly Circus,in London’s West End, is a popular meeting point for many due to its links with areas such as Soho, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square which offer popular theatres, major shopping centres and other entertaining establishments. Piccadilly Circus is nothing more than a busy road junction but due to its location in the heart of London, the ‘Circus’ quickly became an important landmark and advertising location – it is particularly known for its video display and neon signs which illuminate the northern side on the corner building. Known as the capital’s version of New York City’s Times Square, Piccadilly Circus was constructed in 1819 by John Nash and is today surrounded by several notable buildings, including the Criterion Theatre and the London Pavillion. Centred in the middle of Piccadilly Circus is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain which features a beautiful aluminium statue of Eros, the Greek God of Love and Beauty. Directly below the Circus is where you will find part of the London Underground System - the Picadilly Circus tube station.
The Palace of Westminster lies along the banks of the famed River Thames in central London. Although considered a royal residence, the Palace of Westminster is better known for being the location of the Houses of Parliament – the House of Commons (the lower house consisting of elected members which represent the various constituencies of Britain) and the House of Lords (the upper house made up of members appointed by the Monarch or those that have membership by birthright or hereditary peers). The north end of the Palace of Westminster is where Big Ben is located.
Ripping the London skyline is the outstanding 98 m high Elizabeth Tower, previously known as the Clock Tower, which houses the prominent Big Ben bell. This monumental landmark, celebrating a Gothic Revival style, is found at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and dates back to 1858. Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell and is the largest bell of the tower. Today, the term Big Ben is collectively used to refer to both the tower and not just the bell itself. Big Ben is also an iconic symbol of the United Kingdom and London and much like Paris’ Eiffel Tower, appears in the foreground of many British and International films as to indicate a generic location in Britain. Every year, during New Year celebrations, Big Ben is Britain’s main focus point as television and radio stations tune into the chiming of the clock at the turn of the year.
Madame Tussauds is a huge wax museum founded by the wax sculptor Marie Tussauds and located in London’s Marylebone Road. With branches in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, Madamme Tussauds is the world’s most famous wax museum and is one of London’s must-visit attractions. Madamme Tussauds displays thousands of unbelievable replicas of household names from the film, music, art, science and sports worlds in addition to historical world leaders, victims from past revolutions and world wars, royal figures and infamous murderers. Some waxworks include names such as Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Princess Diana, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Adele, Beyoncé, Madonna, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, Leonardo Dicaprio, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, The Hulk, Wolverine, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Muhammad Ali among a long list of other great names. Don’t miss it!
Tower Bridge London is a bascule and suspension bridge that crossed London’s most famous river, the River Thames. The Tower Bridge is another of London’s iconic monuments and is located near the Tower of London castle, a popular tourist attraction also, from which its name originates. This grand structure consists of two towers joined together at the upper lever by two horizontal enclosed walkways where tourists and the general public can experience a wonderful view over the city’s surroundings.
If you like heights, the London Eye is a great way to view the city of London among famous monuments and landmarks from above. Reaching 135 m high and 120 m wide, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames and began its fame in 2000. It is London’s and the United Kingdom’s most popular paid attraction ridden by millions each year. The best time to take a ride on the London Eye is during night time when the Eye is lit as well as the rest of the city – certainly a romantic moment if that’s what you are looking for. The London Eye is certainly a worthwhile experience.
Westminster Abbey, the Church of the State, is one of London’s greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is said to have been built during the 10th century although the current structure was begun in 1245. This Gothic styled church is located in the City of Westminster to the west of the Palace of Westminster also known as the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey is most famous for being the traditional location for the coronation of a British Monarch as well as Royal weddings such as that of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton and Royal funerals like that of the Princess of Wales, Princess Diana. Westminster Abbey is also a burial site for most British kings and queens although with some exceptions such as Edward IV, Henry VIII and Charles I who are buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Natural History Museum in London is an inspiring attraction that comprises around 70 million items within five main collections – botany, entomolgy, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The Natural History Museum, established in 1881, is highly regarded for its important historical collections of the upmost scientific value which include specimens collected by Charles Darwin and David Attenborough. The museum’s most famous area is that which contains exhibits of dinosaur skeletons such as Dippy, a 105-foot long replica of the Diplodocus carnegii skeleton in the central hall of the museum as well as a skeleton and model of a blue whale which weighs an enormous 10 tons. You will also find different galleries and a library within the museum filled with plenty to discover. London’s Natural Museum, a stunning building which is an attraction in itself, is a great way to spend the day and will entertain you for hours no matter what your age.
Sightseeing in London on an iconic open-top double-decker bus is a spectacular and exciting way of viewing the surroundings of what is probably one of the most famous capitals of the world. In fact, sightseeing on a double-decker bus is a unique way of being able to absorb the splendid sights and sounds of up-beat London from up above whilst travelling in comfort and with no responsibilities other than holding your camera and grabbing those picture perfect opportunities so that you can take memorable photos back home with you. Tours are always guided and many times multilingual so you will be given all the incredible facts and figures you need to know about each of London’s most popular historical and modern attractions which include the observation wheel known as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the River Thames, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Marble Arch, the Natural History Museum, Piccadilly Circus, Downing Street, St. Paul’s Cathedral and so much more!