London bound travelers face a multitude of excursion options. They can choose an a la carte approach and take a taste of a variety of places. Another plan is to focus on places that fall within a specific category.
For an overview, visitors should consider a hop on hop off bus tour. If possible, add a short river cruise. Consider taking the Big Bus Tours-London. These buses run in an orderly fashion. Paid passengers can use their ticket for at least 24 hours. Look for promotions. Some may extend the length of the tour.
Short river trip provides a different perspective of the city. Photo hounds will be thrilled with the unobstructed shoreline views. The bus experience does not provide sufficient time to see everything. However, the ride does permit access to some of your “must see” places as well as spontaneous choices. On additional days, use the Tube (subway), taxis, or using foot power to explore additional sites.
History buffs will find no shortage of attractions. After all, London has a long history. Amazing museums, places associated with the monarchy, and architectural masterpieces are located throughout the city.
First time museum-orientated visitors can start with these 10 London historical landmarks.
This 19th century landmark oftentimes symbolizes London. It is a nickname for the Elizabeth Tower. The tower was renamed during Queen Elizabeth II’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee. You cannot leave London without at least one picture of this landmark.
Mention Buckingham Palace and Queen Elizabeth II immediately comes to mind. The palace has been the London residence for the royalty since the mid 19th century. Nowadays, it is also used as administrative headquarters for the monarchy and a place to hold official events and receptions. It’s up to you. Do you want to wait in line to get a peek inside? I didn’t.
This massive place houses more than 8 million items. It is the largest collection in the world and includes pieces from all continents. Amazing is one word that describes this place. I spent hours roaming around.
The museum focuses on Winston Churchill’s life and provides a visit to the secret underground bunker where the British government worked during WWII. You’ll definitely learn a tremendous amount about Churchill’s life and World War II.
At this location you can stand on the Prime Meridian and also visit the National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory.
Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster)
The building was originally used as a royal residence for the Anglo-Saxon kings. Since its beginnings in the 11th century the land and buildings have experienced many changes and renovations. If government proceedings are your thing, you can tour the building and watch committees and debates
This famous residence has housed various members of the Royal Family. Visitors can walk around the lush Palace Gardens and visit several exhibits that showcase the monarchs’ excessive indulgences.
The hall was dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria’s deceased husband, Prince Albert. Today, the structure is used for a wide variety of events including rock concerts, classical music concerts, film previews, ballet, sporting events, dance recitals, and even the circus.
This is another landmark that represents London. This one was built at the end of the 19th century. The bridge is located on the Thames River. Have fun photographing this icon and the exhibit inside.
William the Conqueror built most of the structures in the 11th Century. The moat and the towered walls were added later. Anyone who is interested in knighthood will enjoy the armor exhibit. You can also watch a mini changing of the guard without huge crowds.
London is a magnificent visitor friendly city that is a treasure trove for historical adventures. Start with this short list of London historical landmarks and you won’t be disappointed.
Before You Go
Check the websites for visitor information and maps. Don’t forget your rain gear. It rains often and sometimes without warning.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 27, 2015. IT IS BEING REPOSTED ON THIS SITE BECAUSE THE EXAMINER SITE SHUT DOWN IN JULY, 2016. SOME PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THE ORIGINAL SLIDE SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Sandra Bornstein is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. It is available on Amazon.
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.