8 Must-See Sights When You Are Visiting London
When you are planning a trip to visit one of the world’s top cities, it is easy to get swept away in the excitement of it all. There is a certain allure to the great metropolises across the globe, and it is wonderful to anticipate all of the cultural, dining and sightseeing opportunities such a visit will bring. Long before your departure date, you will already be living part of the experience as you read guide books, search online for great recommendations and tips, and start imagining the delights you will experience on your journey there.
London is one of those iconic cities that inspire the imagination and captivate you with their uniqueness, history and charm. Some 19 million plus international travelers come to London each year, ranking it third in the world among top cities visited. You will love exploring its great museums, seeing iconic sights known the world over and enjoying the rich multi-cultural heritage that this capital city offers. With all there is to do and explore in and around London, you will want to make sure you visit www.fairview-hire.co.uk before your trip and reserve a great car for your time there.
The official seat of the monarchy in Britain is Buckingham Palace. Construction of this iconic and stately residence was completed in 1837, replacing the building that was consumed by fire in 1834. The palace is neoclassical in style, and often serves as a site for official state events.
Typically, Buckingham Palace is open in the summer. You can choose to take a guided tour, or you can explore the grounds and building on your own. This site also hosts the world-renowned changing of the guard every day from May to July at 11:30 AM.
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If you want to delve deeper into the British monarchy, you should also consider a visit to Windsor Castle. The castle is just a short 45-minute drive from Buckingham Palace. Windsor Castle lays claim to being the largest and oldest occupied castle in the entire world.
Originally founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it has been home for some 40 monarchs over the centuries. The State Apartments have ceremonial rooms that are used by the Royal Family to hosts official Heads of State visits. With its majestic chandelier and gilding, the Grand Reception Room is a glorious space was once the main ballroom for the castle.
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Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
When you visit these attractions that are side by side, you will be seeing two of the most iconic sights known worldwide. Big Ben is the often-used nickname for the Great Clock Bell, which is located in the northwestern part of the Palace of Westminster. Big Ben reaches 96 meters in height, and you can hear its chimes if you visit when there is no Parliament session.
Westminster Abbey is known the world over as the iconic location hosting Royal Weddings. It is rich in history, having been part of Christianity since the 7th century.
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Saint Dustan in the East
When you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of London, you can head over to one of the little know gems of London, Saint Dustan in the East. This medieval church was originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries, but sadly was partially destroyed during World War II.
Rather than rebuilding it, a very special architectural project was commissioned to create an oasis of greenery amidst the city. The walls of the church that remain standing were made part of a special garden, offering a place of comfort and respite.
National Gallery Museum
If art calls to your heart and soul, you will definitely want to spend time at London’s world-famous National Gallery Museum. It boasts an incredible collection of European paintings that span from 1260 to the year 1920. The museum, which is located in Trafalgar Square, is open to the public free of charge 361 days a year.
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The works include Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, Waterlily Pond by Monet and Leonardo da Vinci’s Child. You will also find van Gogh’s Sunflowers here, along with paintings by Cezanne, Rubens, Vermeer and Seurat.
Many tourists who visit London may not even know of this hidden treasure. Located between Hyde Park and Warwick Avenue, Little Venice is an area of beautiful tree-lined canals. This gem a unique wonder, and unlike any other area of the city.
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On the canals, you will find brightly colored boats plying the waterway. Some function as cafes or tearooms. Imagine enjoying high tea or perhaps brunch on a canal boat in London; it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you want to enjoy all the magic there and take in the sights, spend an idyllic hour walking the length of the Little Venice towpath.
The London Eye
For a more modern wonder you can visit the London Eye, the world’s most famous Ferris Wheel. Opening in 1999, it was designed as part of Britain’s millennium celebrations for the year 2000. It instantly became one of London’s premier attractions.
Soaring some 443 feet above the river Thames, it provides some of the best views of the city. You ride in individual glass capsules, and overall, the ride lasts for about a half hour. This attraction is always busy and books up early, so it is a good idea to buy your ticket in advance.
Time in nature soothes the soul and inspires the spirit. If you want to leave the city behind for a moment and be refreshed by nature, be sure to visit 350-acre Hyde Park. This London oasis is a beautiful park that features attractions such as the Rose Garden and Apsley House, the former first home of the renowned Duke of Wellington.
You will also find Serpentine Lake; this man-made lake created in the 18th century is famous for boating and swimming. As the largest open space in the city, Hyde Park has been hosting visitors for nearly four hundred years, since 1635.