London

Free travel guides to the World

Sights in London, England

 

London is the center of the British world. As the empire capital the city has for centuries been among the dominating in Europe, and cultures from around the world bring its mark on the streets of the English capital.

London is a huge metropolis that has something to offer all visitors - even literally with many wonderful ethnic restaurants that offer a glimpse into the empire's gastronomic wealth.

 

The museums in London are among the world’s richest, and they have content to merely use all vacation time here, but also the churches, the political institutions, the landmarks and the many interesting buildings in modern and experimental architecture is an experience.

 

London is for many the epitome of shopping, and in many central department stores and shopping streets it also abounds with all that the shopping gene can demand.

Free travel guide book to London

 

Book contents (tour 1 text example)

1. Houses of Parliament

Parliament Square

www.parliament.uk

51°29'57"N 0°7'29"W

Underground: Westminster

The English Parliament, Houses of Parliament, is also known as Westminster Palace, because it was here that the English monarchs lived since the 1000s. In 1547, the king moved to Whitehall Palace, but the House of Lords stayed at Westminster, which in 1834 stayed ravaged by a fire that only Westminster Hall survived.

The current Westminster Palace was built in 1840-1888 in the splendid neo-Gothic style. Here parliament's two chambers are located, and debates are open to the public.

 

2. Big Ben

Parliament Square

51°30'2"N 0°7'28"W

Underground: Westminster

Big Ben is the name of the 13-ton bell at Westminster Palace's famous tower, colloquially also known as Big Ben. The tower is 96 meters high, while the clocks measures 7 meters in diameter. The clock's small hand is 2.7 meters long, the large 4.3 meters.

 

3. Westminster Abbey

Parliament Square

www.westminster-abbey.org

51°29'57"N 0°7'38"W

Underground: Westminster

The church Westminster Abbey was founded as a monastery in 1065, and the following year it became the coronation church for the the last Saxon king, Harold Godwinson, and Norman William I. Since then British monarchs have been crowned and buried here. At the royal coronations since 1308, the protagonist has held the King Edward's Chair, which are kept in Westminster Abbey.

From 1245 the church got its present Gothic appearance. The reconstruction was then initiated by King Henry III. Part of the west facade, however, is newer, and the church's two towers was built from 1722 to 1745.

Westminster Abbey's interior is worth seeing, especially the many architectural details and chapels. King Henry VII's chapel, for example, from 1503-1519 is considered one of the finest from the late Gothic style in Europe.

You can also see a number of royal tombs, for example, the church's founder, St. Edward, whose sarcophagus is the holiest relic. In the church there is also a museum, which is housed in a part of the earliest building from year 1065.

 

4. Churchill War Rooms

Clive Steps, King Charles Street

http://cwr.iwm.org.uk

51°30'7"N 0°7'45"W

Underground: Westminster

It was from this cellar, the British government with Winston Churchill led Britain during the World War II bombing. The rooms which are in original condition, were established in 1939.

Churchill Museum was opened in 2005 in some magazines that originally was used by Winston Churchill, his wife and his closest associates. Central to the facility is the Map Room, where large parts of the war's management took place. Many crucial strategic choices were made here.

 

5. 10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

51°30'12"N 0°7'39"W

Underground: Westminster

In the small street of Downing Street the most famous residence in London is located, namely the Prime Ministers. His residence has been here since 1735 and there is no access to the home.

 

6. Banqueting House

Whitehall

51°30'16"N 0°7'33"W

Underground: Westminster

This building is the only remaining part of the former castle, the Palace of Whitehall. The building was the first in England in the neoclassical style and was completed in 1622 The decor features such beauties as Rubens wonderful ceiling.

Palace of Whitehall was a big castle that King Henry VIII did build. Initially he increased Cardinal Wolseys former mansion York Palace in size, but as a symbol of the king's new status as head of the Church of England, he had the Cardinal's house demolished and would instead build the largest castle in the Christian world. The palace was the residence of the kings of England 1530-1698, where anything but Banqueting House was destroyed in a fire.

 

7. Royal Horse Guards

Whitehall

www.regiments.org

51°30'17"N 0°7'37"W

Underground: Westminster

Part of the former Royal Palace, Whitehall Palace, was located here, where the mounted army of the monarch today keeps watch. The building is constructed 1751-1753 in a style inspired by Palladianism.

 

8. Old Admiralty Building

Whitehall/The Mall

51°30'21"N 0°7'41"W

Underground: Charing Cross

The Old Admiralty Building was built almost as a castle towards St. James Park. It was built from the late 1800s to house fleet management. North of the main building is an extension of a semi-circular gate with offices; Admiralty Arch. The arch is part of the ceremonial route from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.

 

9. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

51°30'28"N 0°7'41"W

Underground: Charing Cross

Trafalgar Square is one of the city's oases where people meet when the weather is good. The site is created in memory of Lord Nelson, who is enthroned on the 56 meter high pillar. Among his actions was when he won in 1805 against the Spanish and the French Navy.

To the east of the square is South Africa House and the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields from the 18th century. To the west is Canada House, which was built in the 1820s, and to the north lies the National Gallery.

 

10. National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

www.nationalgallery.org.uk

51°30'32"N 0°7'42"W

Underground: Charing Cross

The National Gallery is London's finest collection of paintings. The collection was founded in 1824. It contains a large amount of works from 1200-1900 of Europe's leading artists, one finds, for example, the artist van Gogh's sunflowers here.

 

11. National Portrait Gallery

St. Martin’s Place

www.npg.org.uk

51°30'33"N 0°7'42"W

Underground: Charing Cross

National Portrait Gallery displays the history of England through paintings. The exhibition goes back to Elizabeth I, and includes many of the famous people through the centuries.

 

12. Saint James Park

Between The Mall and Birdcage Walk

www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st_james_park

51°30'10"N 0°7'57"W

Underground: St. James Park

The beautiful St James Park is located between the government area and the monarch's residence, Buckingham Palace. The park was laid out in 1820 on the former royal hunting grounds.

 

13. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace Road

www.royal.gov.uk

51°30'2"N 0°8'33"W

Underground: St. James Park

Britain's Royal Palace, Buckingham Palace, was built in 1702 as the Duke of Buckingham's home. In 1762 King George 3 bought the place, and after many years of development, the castle became the official royal residence in 1837.

Buckingham Palace's size is 77,000 square meter, the largest room is the State Ballroom, which Queen Victoria furnished for large ceremonies. The castle's 50 meter long Picture Gallery works by, among other things Rubens and Rembrandt hangs, and also the throne room is arranged with magnificent decoration.

The sculpture Victoria Monument stands in front of Buckingham Palace. It was inaugurated 1911. Here you can also see the changing of the guard, and there are also parts of the castle that can be visited - including Queen's Gallery, which houses a part of the castle's large and valuable art collection.

 

14. Wellington Arch

Constitution Hill

51°30'9"N 0°9'3"W

Underground: Hyde Park Corner

Wellington Arch was planned by King George IV in 1825 in memory of the victories during the Napoleonic Wars. The Arc de Triomphe was built 1826-1830, and with its location it worked as the western gateway to London.

The name Wellington Arch comes from 1846, when a colossal equestrian statue by Arthur Wellesley was put up. He was the Duke of Wellington. The statue graced the top of the Arc de Triomphe until 1912 when the current sculpture was installed. Wellington statue was moved to the town of Aldershot.

 

15. Westminster Cathedral

42 Francis Street

www.westminstercathedral.org.uk

51°29'44"N 0°8'22"W

Underground: Victoria

The large Catholic Church, Westminster Cathedral, was built in a marvelous Byzantine style in 1903. There is a beautiful marble interior and a good view from the tower that is 86 meters high.

The Pope visited the church in 1982, and in 1995 Queen Elizabeth 2 paid a visit as the first ruler of several centuries.

 

16. Tate Britain

Millbank

www.tate.org.uk

51°29'27"N 0°7'39"W

Underground: Pimlico

The famous Tate Gallery, whose collections business man Henry Tate founded in 1897, was divided into Tate Britain and Tate Modern in the year 2000. At Tate Britain the fine collection of British paintings from 1500 to today is exhibited.

More about the UK

Official name

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Capital

London

Political system

Constitutional monarchy

National day

23 April (England)

Anthem

God save the king/queen

Primary religion

Christianity

Language

English

Area

244,820 km²

Population

58,789,000 (2001)

Currency

Pounds (GBP)

Time zone

GMT (UTC)

www domain

.uk

Calling code

+44

License plate code

GB

 

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