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Best Places to Visit In London

            

Click to see our detailed map of the best places to visit in London Located in the southeast of England, London is the capital of the United Kingdom

 

 

 
Skip the Line: Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Day Trip from London

        From Viator Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over 900 Hotels in London at very smart prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                  Closest London Tube Station

Click here for our page on the London Underground (the Tube) that includes a map of the London Underground stations, Tube line service availability updated by the minute and a Journey Planner for getting between where you are in London and where you want to go using the Tube.

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The Horse Guards present an impressive image

 

 

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Best Places to Visit in the United Kingdom

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When in Westminster you can text the word "toilet" to the number 80097 to find the location of the nearest publicly available toilet.  The service by Satlav costs 25 pence (around 50 cents).

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Skip the Line: Buckingham Palace Tour

From Viator Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transport for London's Journey Planner

Click the button above to link to Transport for London's Journey Planner.  Fill in the form for the best transportation schedule to your destinations in London.  When finished, close the window to return to ThereArePlaces

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Westminster Abbey is a glorious building  and you will find much there to enjoy. If you are a fan of England's history, most of the country's monarchs and many of its noted citizens are buried here.

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If you like "pomp and circumstance", stop by the Horse Guards on Horse Guard Row to see their "Trooping of the Color" and "Beating Retreat" ceremonies each June.  For a photo of the ceremony, click here

At other times you may catch the unit practicing their routines in the Parade Grounds.

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The Tate runs a boat that connects the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and stops at  British Airway's London Eye.  The boat runs every 40 minutes.  Click here for more information.

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               Buckingham Palace and its "Changing of the Guards" is a popilar attraction in London

This section of our London City Guide describes the best places to visit in Westminster. Click the links to go directly to a specific place or just read the page below to explore this section of London

Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace, The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms,  Westminster Abbey, Tate Britain Art Museum, 10 Downing Street

Westminster

Buckingham Palace 

Closest London Tube StationVictoria, Hyde Park Corner, St. James's Park


Originally a townhouse owned by the Dukes of Buckingham, the residence evolved into the palace that is the principal home of the British Monarchy. Buckingham Palace is surrounded by ornate, black, wrought iron fences and gates emblazoned with gilded, royal medallions.

Most tourists are attracted to the Changing of the Guard ceremonies that take place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The event starts at 11.30 AM and lasts about 45 minutes. The ceremony, officially called the "Guard Mounting", does not occur during extremely wet weather. During the autumn and winter, Guard Mounting takes place on alternate dates. See the official government site for details about the event and its schedule can be found at the official website of the British Monarchy.

During the summer, when the Royal Family takes up residence in Scotland, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open for public viewing. Information on touring can be found here. The State Rooms bear evidence that it is “good to be a Royal” and are an interesting tour. In addition, you may want to see the Royal Mews, which were once the Queen’s Stable and now serve as the transportation center for the Royal Family.

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St. James's Palace 

Closest London Tube StationGreen Park, St. James's Park

Take a walk-by of the Palace on your trip down the Pall Mall to Buckingham Palace or during a walk through Green Park or Saint James's Park.

St. James's Palace, the Senior Palace of the Sovereign, is not open to the Public but is a building that exudes history and deserves a walk-by. Built in the early sixteenth century for Henry VIII, the somewhat modest Palace was the home to British monarchs for over three hundred years. It still houses some of the Royals but has been replaced by Buckingham Palace as the Official Residence of the Monarch.

Religious services in the Chapel Royal are open to the public between October and Easter.

St. James contains the official Royal Offices of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (HRH Prince William and Kate)

 

Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Closest London Tube Station Westminster


If you have an interest in World War II, a stop at Churchill-Cabinet War Rooms (including the Churchill Museum) is a must. The museum, which is part of the War Rooms complex, chronicles Churchill's life and focuses on his "finest hour" as Prime Minister during World War II.

The Map Room and the other War Rooms offer insights into Churchill's management of World War IIThe Cabinet War Rooms are a "moving" attraction. The appearance of this underground complex understates its importance to World War II, as Churchill and his ministers made many crucial decisions regarding the war strategies for campaigns in Europe and Northern Africa in these rooms.
The rooms are small, bleak, and perfectly preserved.

The Map Room and the Cabinet Room were the main centers of action. The Transatlantic Telephone Room (once a broom closet) contains a simple desk with a single telephone that connected London to Washington, DC. The telephone was connected to a computer (for scrambling the call) that was so large it was housed in the basement of Selfridges’ Department Store on Oxford Street.

Visit the  official web site of the Churchill War Rooms and Museum for visitor information.

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Westminster Abbey

Closest London Tube Station Westminster

Westminster Abby is an amazing structure that contains many treasure of the history of EnglandWestminster Abbey evokes thoughts of pageantry and royalty. The Abbey's grounds were the site of the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 (William and the Normans were the victors at the Battle of Hastings where they defeated the English Saxons in October of 1066). With the exception of two monarchs, every King or Queen of England was crowned in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The magnificent structure we see today was built from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. It was designed as a church for the Royals and the national site for the coronations and burials of monarchs, as well as royal weddings (most recently the 2011 marriage HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton  ( William's parents,  Princess Diana) and HRH the Duke of Wales, were married at Saint Paul's Cathedral in  1981)).

Details of the flying buttresses supporting Wesminster AbbeyThe architecture of Westminster Abbey is stunning and the building has several notable sections. Be sure to buy a good quality guidebook that describes the highlights of the building or purchase one of the pamphlets describing the Abbey that are for sale near the entry. Tours for individuals or families are available, as well as audio guides. Check on both at the Information Desk.

Take some time for an examination of the exterior of the Abbey. A fine view of its flying buttresses is visible from the Cloisters. The Abbey's Museum is, also, quite interesting.

Over three thousand people are buried in the Abbey but the focus is on the graves of royalty and the famous.  See Westminster's Poets' Corner for the burial sites of many of England's literary greats including Chaucer, Johnson, Dickens, Browning, Hardy, Tennyson, and Kipling. Also, buried here are famous musicians such as Handel and Purcell. Scientists include Newton, Darwin, and Lord Kelvin.

The number of monuments in Westminster Abbey is overwhelming but these statues and markers are incredibly interesting and reveal much about the history of the United Kingdom. Reserve some extra time to explore this incredible source of history. You will undoubtedly find many plaques and tombs that will capture your attention.

Be sure to see the stunning Lady Chapel, its tombs and its noted fan-vaulted roof. The Lady Chapel was built at the request of Henry VII who provided the funding for this beautiful addition. Finally, don't miss viewing the beautiful, octagonal Chapter House in the Cloisters.

Visit Westminster Abbey's official web site for information on opening hours and other information of interest to visitors.

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Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Closest London Tube Station Westminster

The chimes of Big Ben bring many to Parliament and the famous clocktower.The Houses of Parliament in Westminster (often called the Palace of Westminster) are one of the most striking sights in London. Containing the Houses of Lords and Commons, Parliament is where national laws are made in the United Kingdom.

The buildings of Parliament are intricately detailed and you should take some time examining this delightful architecture. The famous clock tower at the end of Parliament houses the bell Big Ben (and at thirteen and a half tons, it is big) that has become one of the most familiar symbols of the London and the United Kingdom.

Historically, Parliament was the site of the royal palace of Edward the Confessor and his successors. Its architecture evolved through the ages but was redefined after a calamitous fire in the nineteenth century when it was rebuilt in the gothic architecture that we see today.

Tours of Parliament for non - UK citizens are available only during the “Summer Opening” (when Parliament is out of session). To find out the dates and times you can tour Parliament, see the official website of  Parliament for more details on visiting. In addition, the Parliament website includes an interesting online tour of Big Ben.

10 Downing Street

Closest London Tube Station Westminster

Consider approaching Parliament from Whitehall where you will pass through the heart of British Government buildings and the venerable home of the Prime Minister at Ten Downing Street. Be Forewarned, you cannot see much of Number 10, due to security measure currently in force.

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Tate Britain

Closest London Tube Station Pimlico, Vauxhall

Follow Millbank south from Parliament and you will come to Tate Britain, an art museum that holds a large collection of British art ranging from the sixteenth century to the present. Works by Blake, Bacon, Constable, Gainsborough, Hockney, and Turner are among the highlights of the collection.

Information on visiting hours and special exhibitions can be found at the Tate Britain web site..

Next: Other sections of our London Guide

Or, Return to our list of London's best

Best Places to Visit in the United Kingdom

 

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