Top 5 things to see in London…
Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA
Buckingham Palace is the official residence for the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. It’s located in the City of Westminster and often forms the backdrop to any official national event.
Originally the building was a large townhouse (Buckingham House) which was bought by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for his wife Queen Charlotte. The property was extended during the 19th Century.
When Queen Victoria moved into the palace she found the building was too small for court life and her family, so an extension was built across the front of the palace, creating a central quadrangle. The extension was later remodelled in 1913 to the current form.
During the summer months the Palace opens the state rooms to the public. The nearest tube stations are Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner
Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, London W2 2UH
The Albert Memorial is in within Kensington near the Royal Albert Hall. The memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria on the death of her husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861.
The building took over 10 years to complete and was opened in July 1872 by Queen Victoria. The corners of the central area have representations of four groups which depict Victorian industrial arts and sciences – Agriculture, Commerce, Engineering and Manufacturing. While the corners of the outer area represent four continents – Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
The memorial is free to visit – South Kensington tube station is around 12 mins from the Albert Memorial
Tower of London
Tower of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
The Tower of London was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman conquest of England. I’ts located in Tower Hamlets, which is on the edge of the City of London.
The tower served as both a royal residence as well as a prison. It’s played a role in many parts of British History and has become infamous for torturing and execution of prisoners.
During your visit you can view the priceless crown jewels. Although many of the crown jewels were destroyed, melted down or sold off during the English Civil War (1649) four items from the original set survived and are on show. The oldest being a late 12-century anointing spoon, which was probably made for Henry II or Richard I and has been in use for every coronation since.
The tower is open to the general public – the nearest tube station is Tower Hill
British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG
The British Museum was established in 1753 thanks to the collections of the scientist and physician Sir Hans Slone. The collection has grown over the centuries and several branches were set up including the British Museum of Natural history in South Kensington (known today as the Natural History Museum).
The museum holds the worlds largest collection of Egyptian antiquities (outside of the Egyptian museum in Cairo). The collection started since it opened after receiving 160 Egyptian objects from Sir Hans Slone.
It’s free to enter the museum (some exhibitions do charge an entrance fee). The nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road and Holborn.
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
St Paul’s Cathedral is arguably one of the most famous and recognisable sites in London. It’s an Anglican cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of London. It’s located in the highest point of the City of London (Ludgate Hill) and is a Grade 1 listed building.
There have been a number of cathedrals on the present site over the last few hundred years – the last being destroyed in the fire of London back in 1666. The present building was assigned to Sir Christopher Wren on 30 July 1669. It was consecrated just after 32 years after the original building was lost in the fire.
There is a charge to view the cathedral – the nearest tube station is St Paul’s.