London is the capital of the England, and the United Kingdom has a long and colourful history that dates back to antiquity. Its history goes back to close to two thousand years ago when it first attracted the Romans who chose to make their settlements along the River Thames. Over the centuries it grew in prominence, size and of course population to make it one of the most important cities in the world. With so much history there is bound to be a lot of tourist attractions and visitors to the city will be absolutely stunned at the wide variety of attractions available. As there are so many places to visit it could overwhelm a first time visitor to the city! The best option is to make a list of some of the top attractions in the city which include the following:
One of the most iconic sites of London is Big Ben which is also known as the Elizabeth Tower, which is probably the most famous clock tower in the whole of Europe if not the world. It was constructed in 1858 and is an impressive 315 feet in height.
You could time your visit to the site when the main bell which weighs over 13 tonnes, rings every hour followed by the chiming of the secondary bells every 15 minutes. The tower got its more famous name from the main bell which was called Big Ben and this caught on with the public, as a result of which the entire tower is now known by the term.
The British Museum is not just about all things British (judging by its name) but instead houses an extensive collection of relics and manuscripts, among other rare archaeological finds from across the world. The collection covers multiple eras, so you can brush up your history of ancient civilisations like never before. With over eight million pieces in its collection it houses some of the most priceless antiquitiesin the world, which includes the Elgin Marbles, the Beowulf manuscript and the Rosetta Stone among scores of other invaluable objects. What makes it all the more attractive is admission is totally free!
Many people confuse the Tower Bridge with London Bridge, which is further down the river Thames and directly across it.The main difference is that London Bridge is like any other normal bridge, whereas its counterpart the Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that is attached to two towers. The Tower Bridge was commissioned in 1886 and was finally dedicated to the public by the Prince and Princess of Wales. There are more than 40,000 pedestrians and motor vehicles that cross it on a daily basis and there are speed and weight restrictions in place to ensure its integrity. There is an interesting Tower Bridge Exhibition permanently based there which you can visit to learn about its fascinating history.
The official residence of the monarch of Great Britain is Buckingham Palace that was built in 1705. It also serves as a location for state officials of the British government to meet the Queen and other state business. It is open to the general public at certain times in the year and you will have to check the palace’sofficial calendar before you plan your visit. Once you gain admission you can learn about the history and the official functions that take place within the state rooms and even get a guided tour of the Queen’s art gallery. A very interesting ritual outside the palace is the Changing of the Guard ceremony that occurs once a day. It is one of pomp and pageantry and definitely something not to miss.
Another of the many iconic landmarks, the London Eye, has the distinction of being the tallest Ferris wheel in the whole of Europe. It is located just between Jubilee Gardens and the River Thames and offers the most spectacular aerial view of the city of London. When you are at the top, which is a stunning 443 feet high,you will have the most beautiful view of Central London, especially at night!If you are in the city during the New Year celebrations, it is one of the primary tourist spots to usher in the New Year.
The River Thames is the longest and most famous river in the UK and passes right through London. It is an impressive 215 miles in length with several landmarks that are dotted all along the landscape on its embankments. One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful view it offers of the city and its skyline is to join any of the several river tour cruises that operate on the Thames.
It will give you a unique view of the city and its architecture quite unlike the view you get from taking a land tour. While enjoying your leisurely cruise you will sail past prominent landmarks like the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye and the Tower of London.
If you on a trip to London for the first time, then a visit to the Tower of London definitely should be on your itinerary. It goes by the official title of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, and its construction started over a thousand years ago in 1078.
It has served multiple purposes over the centuries as the Monarch’s residence, a treasury, an armoury, a prison and now home to the Crown Jewels. If you have a fascination for medieval history than the Tower of London is definitely worth a visit.