Arguably one of the greatest and oldest cities in the world, London is the proud capital of England. Situated across the banks of the Thames river, London is a historic, multiethnic, buzzing and lively city which gives a once in a lifetime experience. When we think of London, the Buckingham palace, the Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Palace comes to the mind. London is a city with something for all types of travelers whether you love history, nature or even shopping. London offers a large array of things to do with great views including a zoo where you can spend a great time with the kids. Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Regent St. are some other attractions where you can spend some quality time and take home great memories.
Climate: Oceanic, unpredictable and rainy. Winters are cool and Summers are warm. Normal clothes as per weather.
By Air: London Heathrow airport.
Gatwick Airport: west Sussex (south London).
Stansted Airport: Essex.
London city airport.
By Rail: Local-London underground (The Tube)
The Admiraal de Ruijter (Amsterdam)
The Night Ferry (Paris and Brussels)
London bus network
Tramlink: Croydon (south London)
Places of Interest
How to reach:
By train: London Victoria.
By Underground: Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.
By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10.
By coach: Victoria Coach Station.
It dates back to the 18 th century, and has been the official residential palace of the royal family since Victorian Era. The changing of royal guard’s everyday at 11:30 is the most attractive event that gathers a lot of visitors. The palace is open to visitors during the summer months as the queen spends her summer at her palace on Scotland. This is a great time to tour the Buckingham palace and you can visit the lavishly decorated state rooms and see for yourself the opulence of the royal family. Exquisite furniture, wall paper, the grand staircase and the throne room are some of the highlights that will mesmerize you. The queen and other royals come on some special occasion to the balcony to greet the public. There is also a unique feature of the Palace that you can see, when the Royal standard flag is flying atop the palace, it indicates that the Queen is in the palace and if the Union flag is flying then it means that she is not in the residence.
The British Museum
Location: Great Russell St, London
How to reach:
Established in 1753, the British Museum is the home to some of the world’s finest and rarest artifacts collected from around the world. From the famous Rosetta stone to the Egyptian mummies, there are some amazing things to see at the British museum. It is an architectural wonder with a unique collection of artifacts and antiquities. A treasure trove of historical items, the museum has some great and well known things to see like the Elgin marbles, Rosetta Stone and many more splendid things to see.
The Big Ben
Location: Westminster, London
Timings: You can take Tours on weekdays, Mon to Fri 9.15am, 10.15am, 11.15am & 2.15pm
How to reach : Rail and tube- District, Circle or Jubilee lines
Designed by Augustus Pugin, Charles Barry, in the gothic style, the parliament houses and Elizabeth tower are together known as The Big Ben. This iconic monument is a major landmark of London. This 96 meter high tower offers a spectacular view especially at night when all the four clocks of the tower are illuminated. The huge clocks and the Bell continue to amaze the visitors. In fact, it is the 13 ton bell inside the tower that is called the Big Ben. Some say the name Big Ben came from Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner of Works, others say it was named after Benjamin Caunt, a British heavyweight boxing champion.
Westminster Abbey and Palace
Location: Westminster, London
Timing: 9.30 PM to 3.30 PM
Rail and tube: District, Circle or Jubilee lines
Westminster palace is the place where the House of Lords, House of Commons is situated. Ministers and other dignities meet here to discuss issues. Situated in the central London, it is one of the important buildings of British history. This magnificent structure constructed in the Middle Ages, is also known as the “Heart of British politics” due to its functional significance. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. On national events and royal occasions Westminster Abbey may sometimes close to the visitors.
Westminster Abbey is a medieval church that has hosted many coronations and royal weddings. There are many places to see in the Abbey like the famous Poet’s corner where famous authors like Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer and Rudyard Kipling are buried. There is also a corner where the royalty share tombs. The magnificent church offers a great insight into the history of London and is must for those who are fascinated by history.
Location: Tower Bridge Rd, London
Timings: Summer( April – September )10:00 – 17:30
Winter( October – March)- 09:30 – 17:00
Closed 24 - 26 December
How to reach:
Bus/Train - Fenchurch Street or Tower Gateway DLR Stations
This 18th century, 65 meter high and 244 meter long bascule and suspension bridge across the Thames River was build in 1866.The illuminated bridge looks spectacular at night and gives a panoramic view of the of Thames river and nearby places. The Victorian Gothic style architecture of the bridge is alluring and was designed to keep it in harmony with the design of Tower of London situated nearby. The bridge is a symbol of London and walking on this bridge offers a great view of the city and is a unique experience that you must go in for. It is a great learning experience for kids, families and visitors especially with the new makeover the bridge has undergone in 2014. The high level walkway has been replaced by a glass floor giving an excellent view of London as you watch it from 42 meters above the Thames River. You can enjoy the magical sight of the buses and other traffic as they move across the bridge or the vessels as they sail under the bridge.
Location: Lambeth, London
Timing: Open on all days except Christmas Day and annual maintenance days.
Note: London eye remains closed on Christmas day and annual maintenance days.
How to reach:
Tube - Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster.
Rail: Waterloo and Charing Cross rail stations.
Bus: Bus number 211, 77 and 381
This 135 m high giant wheel opened in 2000 and its glass capsules give a 360 degree view of London from 443 ft above the Thames River. This iconic wheel has become a synonym of urban London. This millennium wheel has observation glass capsules that can carry 25 people at a time. The wheel is supported by the A-frame; it has LED lightings fixed and looks spectacular at night. You can see numerous landmarks of the city like the Buckingham Palace, House of Parliament and many more from the glass capsules. A complete turn of the giant wheel takes nearly thirty minutes and slows for people to embark.