Top 5 Best Places To Visit In London
The Tower of London has served several purposes over the course of many years, including a castle during wartime, a king’s residence and a prison/execution site. William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1078, giving the complex its name. Visitors to the Tower of London can view the monarch’s crown jewels, featuring the world’s largest cut diamond. The Tower is also home to the Beefeaters, the 25 Yeoman Warders and their families, who entertain visitors and lead groups of tourists through the Tower. The gruesome history of the Tower can be explored, including the executioner’s block where Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More and countless others lost their lives.
As Europe’s fourth largest church, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the main cathedral of the Anglican Church and features an elaborate interior topped by a 365 foot dome. St. Paul’s Cathedral is England’s national church and many famous individuals are buried in the church including the Duke of Wellington, Horatio Nelson and Charles Cornwallis. Visitors to St. Paul’s Cathedral can climb to the top of the dome for fantastic views of London.
Westminster Abbey is considered Britain’s finest church, and is the church where England’s royalty has been crowned and buried since 1066. Since that time, Westminster Abbey has been the site of many royal events including the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. The church features beautiful stained glass and contains the remains of 29 kings and queens within its 3,000 tombs. There are also two small museums, the Chapter House and the Abbey Museum, in the cloisters of the church.
Buckingham Palace is Britain’s royal residence and features the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony. Sights of interest at Buckingham Palace include the State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews. The State Rooms have been Britain’s royal residence since 1837, and this area of the palace is only open when the Queen is out of town. The Queen’s Gallery features Queen Elizabeth’s personal collection of art, and the Royal Mews showcases the Queen’s working stables including 30 horses and a Gold State Coach from 1760. Buckingham Palace is conveniently located near the West End theatre district, including the lyric theatre.
The Houses of Parliament is London’s famous landmark, home of Big Ben and the legislative branch of the government. Parliament is open to the general public, and visitors can attend debates, watch committee hearings and tour the buildings.