London is one of the world’s greatest cities with history, culture and a capital of international trends such as in music, arts, fashion and neighborhoods such as the Westminster and Knightsbridge and the 2012 Olympics. London was once a Celtic village near the River Thames it did not really become known until 43 AD after the Roman invasion. It was during the medieval era that London started to become a prosperous country. It had it’s tragedies like other countries in that era, such as the 1665 Plague and the 1666 Great Fire. London became one of Europe’s largest and richest cities in the 1700’s Georgian era, but it was the Victorian era that London became rich with vast wealth that covered over a 1/4 of the earth’s surface. It’s huge mercantile wealth. In the 21st century, 2002 was the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics and in 2000 London had it’s first elected Mayor. And let’s not forget Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
Image courtesy of colinbroug at freeimages.com
Image courtesy of akivasha at freeimages.com
The West End is the heart of London. There you’ll find the Trafalgar Square this square is one of the world’s greatest public places, and the Nelson’s Column. National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden Piazza.
Sights that should be seen are:
- Tower of London this is the most famous sight it has a 900 year history of being a royal palace, holding the crown jewels at the jewel house, a zoo, prison, place of execution and arsenal. Need to book ahead of time tickets start at £22.
- The British Museum admission is free.
- National Gallery admission is free.
- Tate Modern this is Britain’s National Museum of Modern Art. Admission is free but there are some exhibits which you need to purchase tickets.
- Coca Cola’s London Eye here you can see 55 of London’s famous landmarks, there are 32 capsules, which hold 25 people and the ride takes 30 minutes, it’s like the American Ferris Wheel just bigger and slightly different. You need to book ahead and tickets start at £20.70.
- Victoria & Albert Museum this one is a museum of art and design you’ll find artefacts that are 3,000 years old. Admission is free for some exhibits.
- Madame Tussauds London this we all know as the wax museum of the famous. Tickets start at £20 and you must book ahead.
- Warner Brothers Studio here you take a tour of “The Making of Harry Potter.”
- Science Museum in this one you can touch things displayed. Admission is free for some areas.
- Natural History Museum this one is free.
- Royal Museum Greenwich this one is a maritime museum. Admission free for some areas.
- Other areas of interest are Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, HMS Belfast, Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge and Exhibition.
You can get tours in the Japanese, Spanish and German languages.
If you are interested in theme parks and you have children you can visit the following places:
- Cadbury World this is a park of chocolate, enjoy the history of the Cadbury Chocolate and have some too.
- Thorpe Park here you’ll find thrill rides, fright nights, have lots of fun and scream all you want there is also the Thorpe Park Hotel.
- Chessington World of Adventures this one is great for the whole family, it includes 10 theme lands, 40 rides and attractions, zoo, sea life centre and daily shows.
- Drayton Manor Theme Park here we have water rides and scary rides, over 100 rides and a 15 acre z00 and it also has a hotel with 150 rooms.
- Legoland great for children, there are water rides and they play with legos and build whatever they want. If you need to get there with your little ones there are buses that leave at different times of the day and these buses are called Greenline Coaches.
If you are traveling to London with babies and toddlers check with the individual attractions on where to take a toddler. Breastfeeding no problem London is very liberal about it you can feed anywhere. Children up to 5 years travel for free. There is a park called South Park where you can walk along with a stroller without having to worry about going up and down the steps. Parents in London download apps for parents such as: NCT’s babychange, wowmum, and London’s top 10 free apps. Check for family friendly restaurants, discos, there are discos where you can dance with your children on the dance floor and shows.
There is a pass you can buy called the “Sightseeing London Pass,” it gets you into at least 60 or more attractions for free. You get in faster and save money and if you want to save 10% go to visitlondon.com. These passes can be bought for 1, 2 3 or 6 days.
I must say if you plan on visiting London I suggest you take at least a two week vacation so that you can enjoy all the sights and not be stressed out for time. Whenever I take a European vacation I make sure to stay one (1) month, if not, longer.
Introduction Featured Photo on top courtesy of lullabelle at freeimages.com
Photo is the Thames River