London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is the largest city in the European Union with a population of over 8 million. The city is situated on the River Thames and covers an area of 1,572 square kilometers.
London is a major financial, commercial and cultural center. It is home to many world-famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament. The city also has a rich history dating back to Roman times.
No trip to London would be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace. This world-famous landmark is the official residence of the British monarch, and it is open to the public for much of the year.
Visitors can explore the magnificent State Rooms, which are used for royal receptions and ceremonies or take a stroll through the palace gardens. Another must-see attraction is Westminster Abbey. This Gothic cathedral has been the site of many royal coronations and funerals, and it is still an active place of worship.
For a taste of medieval history, visitors can also step inside the Tower of London. This fortress has served as a royal palace, prison, and armory throughout its long history, and it now houses the Crown Jewels. With so much to see and do, London is a city that should not be missed.
10 Most Stunning Sights To See In London
Big Ben: A British Icon
The Famous Big Ben Located in London, England, Big Ben is one of the most famous and recognizable clock towers in the world. Standing at 316 feet tall, this Gothic-style structure was completed in 1858 and has since become an iconic symbol of both London and the United Kingdom. If you’re planning a trip to London, be sure to add a visit to see Big Ben on your itinerary.
Big Ben was designed by English architect Augustus Pugin and built between 1843 and 1858. It is named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the First Commissioner for Works during the time when the tower was being built. The original plan was for the tower to be called “The Tower of Westminster,” but it was eventually decided that it would be named after Hall instead.
The original clock mechanism was installed in May of 1859 and was accurate to within one second per day. However, the original clock only lasted for about three months before it needed to be replaced due to design flaws. The current clock mechanism has been in use since September of 1859 and is accurate to within two seconds per day.
In 2012, a four-year renovation project began on Big Ben in order to repair cracks in the masonry, replace worn-out stonework, and install a new lift. The clock faces were also cleaned and repaired as part of the renovation project. The project was completed in 2017, and tourists can now once again enjoy visiting this world-famous landmark!
Interesting Facts About Big Ben
- Big Ben is actually the name of the massive bell inside the clock tower. The bell weighs 13.5 tons and chimes every hour!
- There are 334 steps leading up to the belfry, where the bells are located.
- The architecture of Big Ben is inspired by Gothic-style castles and cathedrals found throughout Europe.
- On December 31st, 2007, Big Ben’s hands were illuminated with red LED lights as part of London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Every year on Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday in November), a single bell is rung 58 times at 11:00 am to mark each year since 1918—the end of World War I—and remember those who have died serving their country.
Buckingham Palace has been the primary residence of the British monarch since 1837 and today serves as both the administrative headquarters of the Monarch and the Monarch’s ceremonial residence. The Palace is located in the City of Westminster and is surrounded by a park called Buckingham Palace Gardens. Let’s take a look at the history of this iconic building.
Buckingham House, which would eventually become Buckingham Palace, was built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. It was purchased by King George III in 1761 for his wife, Queen Charlotte, to use as a private residence. In 1820, King George III’s son, King George IV, commissioned architect John Nash to remodel and enlarge the building. The project was not completed until 1837, when it was renamed Buckingham Palace.
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to reside at Buckingham Palace and during her reign, the first wing of Nash’s classical facade was added. In 1847, Edward Blore completed a second wing that balanced Nash’s original work. During Queen Victoria’s reign, the palace became increasingly crowded due to an ever-growing royal family and staff; as a result, various additions and modifications were made over the years in order to accommodate everyone comfortably.
In 1902, following the death of Queen Victoria, her son King Edward VII undertook a major refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. This included re-roofing much of the palace, installing electric lighting throughout its interiors, and redesigning many of the public rooms. Today, Buckingham Palace is very much as it was during King Edward VII’s reign; however, it continues to be updated and modernized as needed to ensure that it can serve its purpose as both a residence and an administrative headquarters effectively.
Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in London. The bridge, which spans the River Thames, was built in the late 19th century and has become one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. But what many people don’t know is that Tower Bridge has a rich and fascinating history. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most interesting facts about this London landmark.
Construction of Tower Bridge began in 1886 and took eight years to complete. The bridge was designed by Sir Horace Jones, the chief architect of the City of London, and John Wolfe-Barry, a civil engineer. More than 11,000 tons of steel were used in the construction of the bridge, and its two towers are each 213 feet (65 meters) high.
Tower Bridge was originally built with hydraulic power in order to open its central bascules (the two sections that raise up to allow ships to pass through). However, this system proved to be unreliable and was replaced with an electrically powered system in 1976. These days, it takes just over a minute for the bascules to raise fully.
In 1982, Tower Bridge was given Grade I listed status, which is reserved for buildings that are considered to be “of exceptional interest.” In 2010, a major conservation project was undertaken to clean and repair the stonework on both sides of the bridge. This project took three years to complete and cost £4 million (nearly $5 million).
The Shard: The Tallest Building in Western Europe
Standing at a whopping 1,016 feet, the Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe. This London landmark is not only a sight to behold but also a popular tourist destination, with its observation deck offering breathtaking views of the city. But how did the Shard come to be? Let’s take a look.
The Shard was designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano and completed in 2012. It was developed by Sellar Property Group on behalf of LBQ Ltd and cost a total of £435 million to build. The skyscraper has 72 stories and is home to offices, residential apartments, a hotel, and the aforementioned observation deck.
The Shard has been both praised and criticized since its completion. Its unique design and size make it an impressive sight on the London skyline, but some have criticized its impact on the city’s skyline, calling it an eyesore. Nevertheless, it remains one of London’s most popular tourist destinations, with over two million visitors per year.
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in London, and for good reason. This royal park has been a site of recreation and relaxation for centuries, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In this blog post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of Hyde Park, from its days as a royal hunting ground to its current status as one of London’s most beloved parks.
Hyde Park was originally owned by the Abbey of Westminster, but it was seized by King Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. For centuries thereafter, it was used as a royal hunting ground. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I is said to have hunted deer in Hyde Park with her courtiers.
The park began to be open to the public in the 17th century, and it soon became a popular spot for Londoners looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. In 1820, Parliament passed an act that officially designated Hyde Park as a public space open to all.
Today, Hyde Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Visitors can enjoy horseback riding, boating on the Serpentine Lake, or simply relaxing on the lush green lawns. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Hyde Park.
St Paul’s Cathedral:
St Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic sightseeing destination in London, England for tourists from all over the world. The current cathedral, which was built in the 17th century, is the fourth church to stand on the site. St Paul’s is known for its massive dome, which dominates the London skyline. The cathedral has been witness to some of the most important events in British history, including the funerals of Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales.
The first St Paul’s Cathedral was built in 604 AD by the order of Pope Gregory I. The second cathedral was consecrated in 1087 but was destroyed by fire in 1089. The third cathedral, which was begun in 1245, took more than 200 years to complete. It was one of the largest churches in Europe at the time and remained standing for nearly 500 years. In 1561, however, it too was destroyed by fire.
Work on the current St Paul’s Cathedral began in 1675 at the order of King Charles II. The architect Sir Christopher Wren oversaw the construction of the cathedral, which took 35 years to complete. St Paul’s was declared a Church of England cathedral in 1708 and has been home to many important events in British history since then.
The British Museum:
The British Museum is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. Located in London, England, it houses a massive collection of artifacts from all over the globe. The museum began as a private collection of curiosities belonging to Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and collector who died in 1753. Upon his death, Sloane bequeathed his entire collection to King George II, on the condition that it be open to the public. And so, the British Museum was born.
The museum has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It has grown considerably in size and now houses over eight million artifacts from around the world. The museum is organized into a series of galleries, each devoted to a different civilization or time period. Some of the most popular galleries include the Egyptian Gallery, which houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo; the Greek and Roman Galleries, which contain some of the finest examples of Classical art in existence; and the British Gallery, which tells the story of Britain from pre-history to the present day.
The British Museum is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions and receives over six million visitors each year. Entry to the museum is free, although there is a charge for some special exhibitions. If you’re planning a trip to London, be sure to add the British Museum to your itinerary!
To many, Covent Garden is synonymous with the world-famous fruit and vegetable market that has been held there since the 17th century. But the area has a long and varied history, dating back almost 1,000 years. Let’s take a brief look at some of the most important moments in Covent Garden’s past.
The first record of Covent Garden dates back to 1086, when it was listed in the Domesday Book as being owned by Westminster Abbey. The name “Covent Garden” first appears in 1215, when it was given by the Abbey to the Canons of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is thought to derive from the word “convent,” meaning a community of religious women.
The Convent Garden Market Act of 1654 granted permission for fruit and vegetables to be sold in the area, and it soon became London’s primary market for such produce. The market relocated to its current site in 1826, and it remains one of London’s most popular tourist attractions to this day.
Covent Garden underwent something of a resurgence in the early 20th century, thanks in part to two rival ballet companies—Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and Dame Ninette de Valois’ Vic-Wells Ballet—establishing themselves there. This led to a boom in theatres and other entertainment venues opening up in the area, making it one of the liveliest parts of London.
More recently, Covent Garden has become known as a shopping destination, with high-end stores such as Burberry, Apple, and Louis Vuitton all having flagship stores in the area. It is also home to Neal’s Yard Dairy, one of London’s most celebrated cheese shops.
If you’ve ever been to London, chances are you’ve visited the world-famous Notting Hill neighborhood. But what is the history behind this iconic area? Read on to find out!
Notting Hill is a district in west London, located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The area is known for its fashionable streets, trendy shops, and lively nightlife. It is also home to Portobello Road Market, one of the largest and most famous open-air markets in London.
The name “Notting Hill” is thought to derive from a manor house called Knightsbridge, which was owned by a man named William Ewart Gladstone in the 19th century. Gladstone was a British politician who served as Prime Minister on four occasions. The manor house was originally known as “Notinga Hall,” but over time the name was corrupted to “Notting Hill.”
Notting Hill did not become a fashionable area to live until the late 20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, many properties in the area were converted into cheap housing for immigrants from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad. This influx of new residents helped to make Notting Hill a vibrant and culturally diverse area.
In recent years, Notting Hill has become one of the most expensive places to live in London. Property prices have soared, and many of the original residents have been priced out of the area. Nevertheless, Notting Hill remains a popular tourist destination, thanks to its unique atmosphere and abundance of things to see and do.
Portobello Road Market: A Portobello Road Market Primer
Portobello Road Market is one of the most iconic markets in London, if not the world. The market dates back to the 1800s and is now a designated Grade II listed site. Every day, hundreds of stalls line the street selling everything from fresh produce to antiques. In this blog post, we’ll give you a rundown of what you can expect to find at Portobello Road Market.
Portobello Road Market is split into a few different sections. The first section is the fruit and vegetable market, which is open from Monday to Saturday. This is where you’ll find fresh produce at unbeatable prices. If you’re looking for a bargain, this is the place to be.
The second section is the antique market, which is only open on Thursdays and Saturdays. This is where you’ll find everything from vintage clothes to antique furniture. If you’re in the market for something unique, this is definitely the place to check out.
The third and final section is the general goods market, which is open every day except Sunday. This is where you’ll find everything from books to souvenirs. If you’re looking for a souvenir to take home with you, this is definitely the place to look.
London is an amazing city with so much to see and do. I hope this list has inspired you to add some of these stunning sights to your travel itinerary. If you have any other recommendations, please share them in the comments below. Safe travels!