Around London

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1  London Eye

Built to mark London’s millennium celebrations in 2000, the London Eye is Europe’s largest observation wheel. Its individual glass capsules offer some of the most spectacular views of London as you slowly rise 135 meters above the Thames. Day or night the city will look incredible from that height!

2  Paul’s Cathedral

The largest and most famous of London’s many churches – and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cathedral’s in the world – St. Paul’s Cathedral sits atop the site of a Roman temple. The previous church structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and Sir Christopher Wren designed the rebuild. Today, the twin Baroque towers and magnificent 365-foot dome of St. Paul’s are a masterpiece of English architecture. If you’re up to it, be sure to walk the stairs with their spectacular views of the dome’s interior, including the Whispering Gallery.

3  Westminster Abbey

Another location with a long association with British royalty, Westminster Abbey stands on a site that’s been associated with Christianity since the early 7th century. Officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster, Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in 1065 as his place of interment. From his burial in 1066 until that of George II almost 700 years later, most sovereigns were not only crowned here but they were buried here, too. More recently, it’s become famous as the preferred location for Royal Weddings.

4  Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar in 1805. In the middle of the square stands a 56m granite monument of Nelson overlooking the squares fountain. Surrounding the square is the famous Admiralty Arch, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the National Gallery.

5  Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus marks the crazy intersection of several busy streets – Piccadilly, Regent, Haymarket, and Shaftesbury Avenue. So chaotic that the common expression “It’s like Piccadilly Circus” is now used to describe a busy and confusing scene – you just need to see it for yourself!

6  The Tower of London

Despite the Tower of London’s grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don’t miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo. Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower’s ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!

7  The Tower Bridge

We also recommend heading over to the Tower Bridge, one of the most recognisable bridges in the world. Not only should you take photos of this stunning bridge, but also go inside for magnificent views over London from the walkway between the two bridge towers. Something unique is the 11m long glass floors, allowing you to observe the traffic over the Tower Bridge from above. It’s also a pretty cool experience to see the bridge open and close below your feet.

8  The Changing of the Guard

One of Britain’s most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London’s most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard. Drawing crowds at 11:30am in every season, this colorful and free display of precision marching and music also takes place at St. James’s Palace where you can follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites.

9  Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria’s accession. If you’re wondering whether the Queen is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, she’s at home. On special state occasions, she and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony.

10  James’s Park

With royal, political and literary associations, St James’s Park is at the heart of London and covers 23 hectares (58 acres). It’s also home to the Mall, with many ceremonial parades and events of national celebration. The pelicans are fed every day at 14:30, and there are water birds, plus owls, woodpeckers and bats. There’s a children’s playground, and deckchairs from April to September.

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