The City streets of London, England just bristle to and fro with all manner of delicious sights, sounds and tastes of a busy and thriving city. Many of the attractions are in central London but there are more just at the outer London areas. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to begin.
London England Attractions Travel Guide
Do you fancy charming, historic architecture to delight the eye, scary, melodramatic, pubs, or the ceremonial? Will you have children with you or not? There are so many questions to settle. Here is a selection of possibilities but be warned there are hundreds more.
1. The London Eye
Open from 10am to 6 pm (but these times can change) Jublilee Gardens, South Bank
This is the great new attraction in London. A giant wheel it gives you an amazing view of the vistas and landmarks of London. Yes you may have to queue but the lines have shortened greatly and you won’t have too long to wait – especially on weekdays.
Each capsule holds up to 25 people all with room to move around and there are 32 capsules. It’s a pleasant three to five minute stroll from Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment Tube Stations or by bus 211, 24 and 11. Tickets cost around £12 with reductions for children and seniors (but not at weekends during July and August. If you want to cut out any waiting you can get Fast Track tickets for about £25-£30
2. Kensington Palace
Kensington Gardens From UK Telephone 0870 751 5180 Outside UK tel +44 1865 324122
This was the home of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. It has been a Royal Residence since 1639. It is now open to the public and you can wonder through many of the historic rooms, look at the State Apartments, view the wonderful Court Dress collection as well as see many of dresses worn by Princess Diana. There is an audio guide to fill you in on all the exhibits. It can be combined with a visit to the Memorial Gardens and a stroll in Kensington Gardens. Tickets are about £11 for an adult with concessions for children and seniors. A Family ticket is about £35 and covers two adults and up to three children.
3. Tower of London
Right beside Tower Bridge, these are two of the most famous London Landmarks. The Tower is where many lost there heads (including three English Queens, and where the Crown Jewels are kept. Tickets are about £14-5 for adults and a family ticket for two adults and up to three children is £45.
4. Madame Tussauds
Marylebone Road Telephone +44 (0) 870 999 0046 Opening hours from 9.30 to 5.30 with 30 mins longer each end at weekends.
The original Wax Works is over 200 years old and this Marylebone Road attraction has hundreds of really life like models of famous people. The exhibits are constantly being updated and changed so even if you were there before, it will have become a new experience. Children love this, particularly when the wax models talk to them as they pass by. One separate exhibit is The Spirit of London. Here you travel through time in London and see aspects of life in the city from Shakespear to the 1960’s. The cost is about £25 for adults including the Chamber Live Exhibit or about £23 without. Children are about £5 cheaper. Baker Street tube station is the nearest.
5. Millenium Bridge
From St Paul’s Cathedral to the Tate Modern Gallery across the River Thames
It’s a lovely walk across this bridge. It doesn’t “sway” and move as it did when first opened but you do have a feeling of “walking on air”. A stroll across this 325m pedestrian bridge gives a lovely and unusual view of many of London’s famous sights.
6. Buckingham Palace
Credit card booking line: (+44) (0) 20 77667300
The home of Queen Elizabeth and her family, parts of the famous Buckingham Palace are now open to the public. The Palace has been the London home of the monarchs since 1837. The lavish state rooms and several other rooms can be visited during July and August. You can visit the State Rooms, the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery with a combined ticket costing £25. It’s wise to book in advance if your restricted on time, but most days if you go along and stand in the line you’ll gain admission. There are cheaper admission fees if you are only going to visit one of the attractions.
7. Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace 11.30 am on alternate days of the week
This happens on alternate days of the week at Buckingham Palace and also at Windsor Castle. The Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard is a massive tourist attractions and visitors gather quite early. It is a wonderful spectacle of pagentry. You’ll have to check out which days it is happening during your visit and maybe combine it with a visit to the Palace State Rooms. The Changing of the Guard is at 11.30 am.
8. Westminster Cathedral
Just off Victoria Street, this is the seat of the Catholic Church in England. As with other churches you are expected to be appropriately dressed and to visit quietly. Sometimes in the morning especially there are services and masses taking place and you will not be free to walk all round the Church. There is an information desk and a gift shop. It was built in 2003 and lacks the ornate splendour of many Catholic Churches in Europe but it has many interesting aspects. You can also take the lift to the top of the Bell Tower for a great view of London.
9. Westminster Abbey
This Church is more famous and was built for Henry III. It reeks with history – William the Conqueror was crowned here in 1308, and thereafter every other English monarch also had their Coronation here including the present Queen and you can see the Coronation Chair. Many famous people, royalty, painters, poets and statesmen and women are buried here. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30 to 15.45 and Wednesday to 18.00 and closed for worship on Sunday. On other days, a service may mean the closure of the Abbey to the public. Admission is £8 for adults with concessions for children and seniors. There is also a family ticket available and the admission includes admission to the Museum.