Here is the London This Weekend list of top 20 attractions in London.
St Paul’s Cathedral
For well over 1,400 years there has been a Cathedral in place on the site of the present St Paul’s Cathedral, a place of sheer beauty designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 and the Cathedral was finally completed 35 years later in 1710. The now famous Dome upon the Cathedral contributes to the memorable London skyline, impressive as the Dome is it is inside where the Cathedral really shows off its true glory! Once inside you simply have to take in some of the outstanding views of the capital, three galleries offer you stunning views each higher than the one before it, so don your hiking gear and climb your way to the top.
Visitors to London simply have to add Windsor Castle to their itinerary, it’s not every day one gets the chance to walk around the largest occupied castle in the world. Of course this is the residence of her majesty the Queen. Furnished to a Regal standard the opulent State Apartments are home to some quite exquisite and historic Royal Collection pieces.
Back in 1992 Windsor Castle experienced a severe fire and almost taking out over 900 yrs of British history. However, after the fire came a restoration fit only for Royalty and the face lift has seen the castle attract more visitors than ever before! A 30 minute train ride from Central London’s Paddington station is all it takes to see some of England’s finest Countryside.
Each and every year Westminster Abbey attracts well over one million people all looking to experience its rich and glorious past and with 700 years under its belt this building does not disappoint! Previous buildings date back more than 1000 years and this is where the tradition of daily worship (dating back to the tenth century) was first established, a tradition still carried out to this day!
Back in 1245 Henry III built this stunning yet somewhat haunting Church and With over 3000 bodies buried within, of which 17 are monarchs, it only enhances the overall Gothic tone! Words alone can not do it justice, this is a ‘must see’ on your trip to the Capital.
Tower Of London
Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London is situated on the north bank of the Thames and back in the 1100’s this historic castle was actually used as a prison! The now fully restored chambers can be explored and enjoyed by visitors as well as a guided tour of the Yeoman Warders (AKA Beefeaters), take a look at the famous St Edwards Crown, Scepter and Sword and also see the Crown Jewels. If you are a ghost hunter you will most likely already be fully aware of the groups of visitors who try to feel the presence of Queen Anne Boleyn!…will you? MMWWWAAAHHHHH 😉
Royal botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens)
Over centuries Kew Gardens has been developed lovingly by many landscape architects, visionary scientists and with the continued help of more than a few collectors.
The Royal Gardens now boasts over 25,000 species spread over 300 acres of land! Head down to the South West of London on a bend of the River Thames (see map left) and along with other visitors you can climb the Treetop Walkway and take a guided tour through the Forest, failing that you can take a civilised stroll through the gardens glasshouses, which house some of the worlds most exotic plants. Quite simply one of the most quintessentially British things to do in London.
Now a permanent fixture on the River Thames, the HMS Belfast once had a more active life, when this former Royal Navy light cruiser served Britain well during the Second World War. These days though the Belfast is part of the Imperial War Museum and visitors can embark upon a tour of this vessel, which sadly is now the only one of it’s type to have seen and survived the action of WWII. This tour is guaranteed to shed some light upon Britain’s 20th Century naval heritage, and offers a chilling reminder of a time that should never be forgotten.
National History Museum
Within the Borough of South Kensington, London, are three large museums, The National History Museum being one of them along with the Victoria and Albert Museum (more commonly known as V&A Museum) and the Science Museum. On your visit to the National History Museum you will find fascinating collections, Palaeontology and Zoology, Mineralogy, along with Botany and Entomology. The main hall is dominated by a ginormous cast of a Diplodocus which entices visitors from all around the world to view its dinosaur exhibitions.
When mentioning sea life and London in the same sentence you might be forgiven for thinking cockles, mussels and jellied eels. However due to the lack of Octopi, Sea Turtles, Sea Horses and other more exotic sea life around the shores of London, the London Aquarium has brought inside over 2 million litres of water that is now home to more than 500 species! Visitors can Interact with the Aquarium’s animals with a diving display, touch pools, and public feeding. The highlight though has to be the Shark Walk, where you are suspended on a glass platform and can see these much feared and loved predators of the sea swimming just beneath your feet.
The local Chinese community can be found in Soho, London, with it’s many businesses and diverse restaurants being ever present it is affectionately known as China Town. Visitors and lovers of Chinese food are in for a real treat here! With more than fifty restaurants to choose from you will experience all that Chinese cuisine has to offer, and witness how these mouth watering dishes are put together.
Looking for souvenirs of your trip to London? look no further, China Town offers a whole range of gifts for you to take home as a reminder of your trip.
Over the last few years ‘Bankers’ have been at the top of most peoples thoughts and conversations!! love them or hate them, they need to be housed somewhere 😉 and Canary Wharf with its 14 million square feet of office space is home to approximately 90,000 workers! If you like tall buildings Canary Wharf also has the tallest that the UK has to offer. As mentioned all of the big banks have set up camp here and use the Wharf as their European headquarters, Barclays, Citigroup and HSBC to name but a few. Feel free to look and stare but please do not feed them.
The bridge is located near to the Tower Of London and is where the name of the bridge originates from. Tower Bridge is in full use and continues to help keep the two parts of London moving. The suspension and drawbridge is certainly one of the more recognisable London landmarks and although I would not recommend sitting and waiting for the drawbridge to do its magic, if you are lucky enough to see it, it will make for an enviable photo! On a daily basis a little over 40,000 pedestrians, cyclists and motorists use this crossing from one side of the Thames to the other as they go about everyday life. As you look at the image (on left) you can see the top walkway of the bridge, while up there you can see photos and films along with explanations of why and how the bridge was built.