London sights and attractions are sorted in alphabetical order.
- Abbey Road Studios - St. John`s Wood, London, NW8 - since the Beatles lived in London for much of the 1960`s it is hardly surprising that the capital is riddled with Beatle associations. The prime Beatles landmark is, of course, the Abbey Road zebra crossing featured on the album cover, located near the EMI studios, where the group recorded most of their albums. To get there, walk up Grove End Road, which runs along the west side of Lord`s cricket ground, until you come to the junction where it turns into Abbey Rd. Do not forget to bring your friends, cameras and to put your signature on the wall in front of the studios (everybody else does it, and you are perfectly safe to do it). More
- Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, London - This museum is situated just across Cambridge Heath Road from Bethnal Green tube station. The ground floor is best known for its unique collection of antique dolls` houses dating back from 1673. Model trains, cars, rocking horses, puppets, a vast doll collection including Native American representations of spirits, temporary exhibitions, antique accessories for babies, just to name a few of the thing that can be found here. Tel: 0208 980 2415 Exhibitions
- Brick Lane - As its name suggest once upon a time this was the main location for the brick kilns which helped rebuild the City of London after the Great Fire. Nowadays, Brick Lane lies at the heart of the Bengali community, and each step is accompanied by the smell of the spices from the numerous cafes and restaurants. If you are looking to purchase particular kind of Eastern music then this is the place to visit in London. Location - cross the eastern end of Fournier Street (near Aldgate East tube station).
- British Library - After fifteen years of problems and millions of public money spent, the library finally opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1998. The sheer number of books inside will take your breath away. This is actually the largest library in London. Location - Euston Road (near St Pancras Station). www.bl.uk | Hotels near King`s Cross or Euston
- Burlington Arcade - Located on the other side of the Royal Academy, and built in 1819 for Lord Cavendish this is London`s longest and most expensive nineteenth-century arcade. It is still illegal to whistle, sing, hum, hurry or carry large packages. If you want to spend your money quickly in London then this is the place that will take care of it. Hotels near Burlington Arcade
- Canary Wharf - Situated in the middle of the West India Docks (East London). Most famous building is Cesar Pelli`s landmark tower, officially known as One Canada Square, which at 800ft is one of the highest buildings in Europe. It is the world`s first skyscraper to be clad in stainless steel. Due to the high security measures in today`s world you will not be permitted to enter it. Hotels near Canary Wharf
- Chinatown - Located in between Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue, is a self-contained jumble of shops, cafes and restaurants that makes up one of London`s most distinct and popular ethnic enclaves. Gerrard Street, Chinatown`s main drag, has been endowed with ersatz touches - telephone kiosks rigged out as pagodas and fake Oriental gates - and few of a London`s 80,000 Chinese actually live in the three small blocks of Chinatown. The Chinese New Year celebrations, instigated here in 1973, are a community-based affair, drawing in thousands of Chinese for the Sunday nearest to New Year`s Day (late Jan or early Feb). Huge papier-mache lions dance through the streets of London to a cacophony of fireworks devouring cabbages hung from the upper floors by strings pinned with money. Hotels near Chinatown
- Changing the Guard - Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1. Take tube to Victoria, St James`s Park or Green Park tube station. There are actually two ceremonies at separate places. The more popular venue is Buckingham Palace where at 11.30am on most days The Queen`s Guard, accompanied by a band, arrives from Wellington Barracks having marched via Bird Cage Walk to the palace. The ceremony lasts about 40 min. and takes place inside the railings of the palace. A separate ceremony also takes place daily throughout the year at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall at 11am Mon-Sat and 10am on Sun. Here The Queen`s Life Guard - ride in to perform the ceremony via Hyde Park Corner, Constitution Hill and The Mall. For full details of times call 0891 505452. More | Hotels near Buckingham Palace
- Cleopatra`s Needle - Incredible as it is this is an original Egyptian obelisk. Situated at the Thames Embankment, Cleopatra`s Needle was made in Egypt for the Pharaoh Thotmes III in 1460 BC and brought to London from Alexandria by sea in 1878, to commemorate the British victory over Napoleon. Hotels near Embankment
- Covent Garden - What started out in the seventeenth century as London`s first luxury neighbourhood is once more a highly desirable place to live, work and shop. Based around Inigo Jones`s piazza - London`s oldest planned square - the area had for years been a market centre for fruit and vegetables. That was closed in 1974 and for a while it looked as if the developers would move in on this prime central real estate and demolish it all for unwanted new office blocks. These plans collapsed and now we have the elegant old market hall, and shops, restaurants and arts-and-crafts stalls. It has become one of London`s major tourist attractions, which now boast some of the trendiest clothes shops, cafes and restaurants in London. Hotels near Covent Garden
- Downing Street - It is an office for the prime minister, a meeting place for the Cabinet, a venue for state events and a home for the prime minister's family. While in office, prime ministers traditionally live with their families in Downing Street in the private flat on the second floor. www.number10.gov.uk | Hotels near Downing Street
- Eltham Palace - Eltham Palace is the only English Art Deco house open to the public. Initially a moated manor house bought by Edward II in 1305, additions such as the impressive hammerbeam-roofed Great Hall in the 1470s created one of England's largest palaces for a succession of royals. Most famously, Henry VIII grew up here. After the Civil War the palace fell into decline for over 200 years and the Great Hall, once the scene of lavish feasts, was even used as a barn. www.elthampalace.org.uk
- Elephant Man - Joseph Merrick, better known as the `Elephant Man`, was discovered in a freak show by Dr Treves, and subsequently admitted as a patient to the Royal London Hospital on Whitechapel Road. He remained there, on show as a medical freak for four years until his death in 1890. The hospital still owns his skeleton (it is not on public display).
- Fitzroy House - Set in the heart of Fitzrovia, famed for its writers and artists, Fitzroy House was built in 1791 shortly after development was undertaken of this area. Although it is well known that the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw resided in Fitzroy Square, it is a lesser-known fact that he also lived with his mother on the 1st floor of 37 Fitzroy Street from 1881-1882. 75 years later, writer and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard made 37 Fitzroy Street his London base. Ron Hubbard wrote many of his best-known works whilst in London. With a number of New York Times bestsellers and the Guinness Book of World Records Title for Most Published Author, he is one of the most prolific writers of his time. You are welcome to visit Fitzroy House. Admittance is free. Open daily 11am-5pm by appointment. Call 0207 255 2422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.fitzroyhouse.org
- Florence Nightingale Museum - Located on Lambeth Palace Road, this is the London museum that celebrates the woman who revolutionized the nursing profession by establishing the first school of nursing at St Thomas`s in 1859. Exhibits include the white lantern that earned her the nickname `The Lady with the Lamp` and many others. Telephone No: 0207 620 0374. Exhibitions
- Fortnum & Mason - Very old food emporium which was established in the 1770s by one of George III`s footmen, Charles Fortnum. The shop has been serving delicacies to the Royal Family and ordinary public ever since. It is most famous for its picnic hampers, an upper-class institution, first introduced as "concentrated lunches" for hunting and shooting parties. Location - Piccadilly No.181. If you have a little treasure full of money set aside then please go there for a treat. www.fortnumandmason.com | Hotels near Fortnum & Mason
- Greenwich area - The most famous thing about London Greenwich is the Old Royal Observatory from where time all over the world is measured. Another delightful sight for your eyes is the world`s last surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark. Among the historical sights that await you are Sailors` bunks, old cutlery, and dolls dressed as people. The tourist information office, at 46 Greenwich Church St, (open daily: April - Oct 10am - 5pm; Oct - March 11am - 4pm; Tel:0208 858 6376) should be your first place of call; they can answer most queries and supply maps and guides. Picture
- Guy Fawkes - Ever wondered why do English celebrate Fawkes night with a huge bonfires and fireworks? Here is why. Fawkes was a Catholic caught in the cellars at Westminster Hall trying to blow up the House of Lords on November 5, 1605. Later on, he was hanged, drawn and quartered in Old Palace Yard. You see, we celebrate his unsuccessful attempt in burning the place down.
- Ham House - This suggestion comes from one of our New Zealand readers. With such passion and vigor he has described this one. The first Earl of Dysart was granted a peerage and the estate of Ham for enduring Charles I`s punishments when misbehaving. It was his daughter, Elizabeth, very ambitious lady who had with help of her second husband, the Earl of Lauderdale built it even bigger and more grandeur. Unfortunately, her lifestyle was too expensive so the family was left heavily in debt. It was Horace Walpole who described Ham House as a `Sleeping Beauty`. Today the house boasts one of the finest Stuart interiors in the country, lavish plasterwork, silverwork, tapestries, silk damasks, etc. Located - Richmond Park. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
- HMS Belfast - Permanently moored near Tower Bridge, this ship was a World War II cruiser in the Royal Navy. Armed with six torpedoes, and six inch guns with a range of over fourteen miles, the Belfast spent over two years of the war in the Royal Navy shipyards. Decommissioned after the Korean War, it is now an outpost of the Imperial War Museum. You can see it for yourself what it was like working in the airlocked BoilerRoom or scrambling up and down various ladders. www.iwm.org.uk
- Jack the Ripper - In the space of just eight weeks between August and November 1888, five prostitutes were stabbed to death in and around Whitechapel. Their innards were removed. To this day the killer`s identity remains mystery. Many films and many novels have been written but nobody knows for sure who it was. At the time, it was assumed by many that he was a Jew and for a while it was risky for Jews to walk the streets at night for fear of reprisals. The most celebrated suspect is the Duke of Clarence, eldest son of Edward VII: easy target since he was involved in scandal involving a male brothel.
- London Aquarium - The £25 million London Aquarium is the first attraction of its kind in the capital, and is one of Europe's largest exhibitions of global aquatic life, displayed in over 2 million litres of water.
- London Bridge - ...The first London Bridge was built by Romans almost 2,000 years ago... More
- Neasden Temple - Situated off the North Circular Road in Neasden is truly one of the best places in London. We have to admit that it is awkward to reach it by public transport, but if you have a car or a minicab service is not expensive - please go there. You can go by tube to Neasden or Stonebridge park tube stations but from there it is a fair walk. It is worth the effort though because you will be mesmerised by this exotic building. Just looking at the outside facade of the temple is enough to leave you speechless. Visiting this place men and women have to dress decently, i.e. No short skirts, shorts, see through garments etc. Admission is free. The whole process of building this temple is astonishing; five thousands of tons of limestone and marble from different parts of Europe was shipped out to India, carved there and brought back to London. This is truly a place that you have to visit. Open from: daily 9am-6:30pm; free. Tel: 020 8965 2651. Picture
- Nelson`s Column - Raised in 1843 and now one of London`s best-loved monuments, commemorates the one-armed, one-eyed admiral who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, but paid for it with his life. The statue which surmounts the granite column is more than triple life-size but still manages to appear minuscule, and is coated in anti-pigeon gel to try and stem the build-up of guano. The acanthus leaves of the capital are cast from British cannons, while bas-reliefs around the base - depicting three of Nelson`s earlier victories as well as his death aboard HMS Victory - are from captured French armaments. Edwin Landseer`s four gargantuan bronze lions guard the column and provide a climbing frame for kids to clamber over. 14 stonemasons held a dinner on top of Nelson`s Column before the statue was placed there. Every year, London receives as a gift huge Christmas tree from Norwegian city of Oslo. Picture
- OXO Tower - An old power station that was converted into a meat-packing factory in the 1930s by Liebig Extract of Meat Company. The company was very clever in incorporating the letters into the windows of the main tower to get round the local council`s ban on illuminated advertisement. Today, OXO Tower contains flats, workshops and shops and one of the best restaurants in London. Every Christmas there is a long, long waiting list to book a table just so that you can enjoy the magnificent view over the Thames.
- Parliament Square - Parliament Square is a square outside the north-western end of the Palace of Westminster. It was laid out in order to ease the traffic around the Houses of Parliament. It is an traffic island that is surrounded by splendid architecture.
- Pollock`s Toy Museum - Its collections include a fine example of the Victorian paper theatres popularized by Benjamin Pollock, who sold them under a slogan "a penny plain, twopence coloured". The other exhibits include vintage teddy bears, puppets, Red Army soldiers, wax dolls and many other items. More
- Piccadilly Circus - During the weekend this place is absolutely packed with people. Nightlife is in abundance here, especially with nightclubs like the Hippodrome, MGM Cinema, local pubs and bars, people trying to draw your picture and the Trocadero centre. Inside the Trocadero is Segaworld the world`s largest indoor theme park, spanning seven floors and offering you all kinds of 21st Century games. Picture | Hotels near Piccadilly Circus
- Royal Festival Hall - The Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the hall is one of the world’s leading concert venues, presenting concerts by the finest international orchestras, operas, and a wide spread of contemporary music events, from jazz to world, to rock and pop music. www.southbankcentre.co.uk
- Within strolling distance of Trafalgar Square stands the RSA, (The Royal Society of Art) one of London's hidden architectural treasures. The House was designed especially for the Society by Robert Adam in the early 1770s. Today the Georgian façade conceals many unexpected delights of both contemporary as well as traditional architecture including a series of intriguing interconnecting subterranean Vaults. The Library features a particularly interesting Adam ceiling incorporating panels by the school of Angelica Kaufman. The Great Room is famous for the renowned allegorical series of paintings by James Barry entitled `The Progress of Human Knowledge`. The House is now open to the public for free on the first Sunday of every month (except January). For pre-booked groups catering can be arranged.
- St Pancras Station - This London train station has to be one of the most impressive and best looking stations in Europe. This masterpiece of neoGothic architecture has languished as underused British Rail offices since 1935.
- In the City of London you will come upon St Paul`s Cathedral. The present structure is the fifth cathedral to be built on the site. The weddings of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and many other occasions have graced this spiritual centre. Built of Portland stone with a Dome that rises to 365 feet and with Great Paul, the largest bell in England, this has to be one of THE MUST SEE sights in London. After four years obscured by scaffolding the interior of St Pauls Cathedral was fully revealed on Thursday, 9 June 2008 at 9.30am after a £10.8 million programme of cleaning and repair. Work began in May 2001 and has seen the dome, stonework, gilding, mosaics and sculptures painstakingly restored. During the monumental project over 1,000 containers of dust (each containing around a cubic foot of dust) were removed and over 11,000 square metres of plain stone and 4,500 square metres of carved stone cleaned. Amazingly, the Cathedral has remained fully functional throughout. Open from: Mon-Sat 8:30am-4pm. Tel: 0207 236 4128. More
- Selfridge`s - Another London shop worth your visit if not to buy then just to glaze upon its window arrangements is Selfridge`s. The store was opened in 1909 by Chicago millionaire Gordon Selfridge, who flaunted its 130 departments under the slogan, "Why not spend a day at Selfridge`s?", but was later pensioned off after running into trouble with the Inland Revenue. Located - Junction Orchard Street and Oxford Street. www.selfridges.com | Hotels near Selfridges
- Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre - The biggest crowds currently to be found along Bankside are milling around this place, a spectacular reconstruction of the polygonal playhouse where most of the Bard`s later works were first performed. (The original site of the Globe, marked by a blackened plaque on a brewery wall on Park Street, lies beneath a listed Georgian terrace.) The theatre, which boasts the first thatched roof in London since the Great Fire, uses only natural light and the minimum of scenery, and currently puts on shows from mid-May to mid-September. Also on site are a restaurant, cafe, cinema and, inevitably, a shop selling lots of Bard merchandise. Form more information please call: 0207 902 1500. www.shakespearesglobe.com | Hotels near Globe Theatre
- Sicillian Avenue - Created in 1910 this Continental promenade is sliced diagonally across the former slums on the corner of Bloomsbury Way and Southampton Row, Holborn. It houses a couple of cafes and one of the city`s largest secondhand bookshops. Go there for a nice and pleasant Mediterranean feeling.
- Sir John Soane`s Museum - Soane a bricklayer`s son who rose to be architect of the Bank of England, gradually bought up three adjoining Georgian properties, altering them to serve not only as a home and office, but also as a place to store his collection of art and antiquities. His home remains the best example of what he dubbed his `poetry of architecture`, using mirrors, domes and skylights to create wonderful spatial ambiguities. Located - North side of the Lincoln`s Inn Fields, Holborn. Telephone No. 0207 405 2107. Current events
- The South Bank - In 1951, the South Bank Exhibition, held on derelict land south of the Thames, formed the centrepiece of the nationwide `Festival of Britain`, an attempt to revive postwar morale by celebrating the centenary of the Great Exhibition (when Britain really did rule over half the world). The most striking features of the site were the ferris wheel, the saucer-shaped Dome of Discovery and the cigar-shaped Skylon tower. The great success of the festival provided the impetus for the eventual creation of the South Bank Centre, though this has singularly failed to capture the imagination of the public in the same way. Instead, the South Bank has become London`s much unloved culture bunker. On the plus side, the South Bank is currently under inspired artistic direction and stands very much at the heart of the capital`s arts scene. The nearest tube is Waterloo. www.southbankcentre.co.uk
- Thames Barrier - The brief boat trip from Greenwich or Westminster passes drab industrial landscapes before gliding towards the gleaming fins of the Thames Barrier. London has been subject to flooding from surge tides since before 1236, when it was reported that in "the great Palace of Westminster men did row with wherries in the midst of the Hall". One of the worst recorded floods took place as recently as 1953, when more than three hundred people were drowned in the Thames Estuary alone. Finally it was agreed to build a barrier, and it was done between 1972 to 1984. It is a mind-blowing feat of engineering, with its ten moveable steel gates weighing from 400 to 3700 tones each.
- Topolski Century - The artist Feliks Topolski’s 600 foot long mural which snakes beneath the railway arches on the South Bank. He travelled the globe extensively witnessing several historical events and meeting people who shaped 20th century history such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Chairman Mao, George Bernard Shaw, Black Panthers and HG Wells. He was in London during the Blitz, in New York during the Harlem riots and was present at the freeing of Belsen concentration camp. He settled in London and put the exhibition together depicting the 20th Century as witnessed by him. Topolski Century, 150-152 Hungerford Bridge Arches, Waterloo, London SE1 8XU. http://topolskicentury.org.uk
- Wimbledon - If you have missed the tournament itself (held every year in the last week of June and the first week of July), the next best thing for tennis fans is a quick spin around the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, situated by Gate 4, on the east side of the All England grounds, on Church Road. The museum traces the history of the game, which is descended from the `jeu de paume` played by the French clergy from the twelfth century onwards. www.wimbledon.org
- Vinopolis - City of Wine - 1 Bank End, Bankside, SE1. Take tube to London Bridge. Dedicated to the pleasures of good food and drink, visitors can spend an afternoon sampling and learning about wine and spirits from around the world. Vinopolis Classic package includes a tour, 5 wine tasting tokens and the chance to sample a perfectly prepared Bombay Sapphire cocktail. Upgraded packages offer guests the chance to sample a variety of other unusual wines and spirits from around the world or have an introduction into the secrets of wine tasing. Tickets from £11 per person. Open from 1200 until 2100 - Monday, Friday and Saturday, 1200 until 1800 all other days (last entry 2 hours before closing time). Call 0870 241 4040 for further information and up to date opening hours. www.vinopolis.co.uk
- And now we have come upon one of the most famous London sights, Westminster Abbey (more information) - it has been so closely connected with the Crown and the nations history. The coronation of every king and queen (apart from two) spanning 900 years has been held here. The magnificent Gothic building seen today dates from the 11th century. www.westminster-abbey.org
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