London is full of hot tourist spots. There is so much to see and do in London that you could spend weeks visiting the city and everyday finding something new. There is so much to see and do that unless carefully planned you may not see it all.
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are among the top of the list. You couldn’t travel to London and not see Big Ben. Big Ben is the world’s most famous clock. The former Palace of Westminster is home to both the Hose of Lords and House of Commons. The houses have been located here since the 11th Century. Visitors can see the inside of the palace, however, the wait is long and tedious. The best sight is from outside where you can see the magnificent architecture of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Across the street from Big Ben is the Jewel Tower. It is one of the oldest buildings from the Palace of Westminster. The Jewel Tower offers a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament and explains the history behind them.
Down along Whitehall Street you will find one of the most famous addresses in the world- No. 10 Downing St. If you take a left down Downing St. you will find the official residence of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. It has been home to not only Tony Blair and his family but to Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
On the North side of Trafalgar Square, you will find the National Gallery. It is home to all the famous artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. There are awesome panoramic galleries that cover the art history of eight centuries. You will want to devote at least an hour and a half to visit this marvel site. The gallery also offers a computer system that will map out visit when you pick your favorite pieces of art you want to see.
Covent Garden is located near Trafalgar Square as well and offers “The Piazza,” which was London’s first square. St. Paul’s Cathedral is also nearby as well as the Jubilee Market and the London Transport Museum. The gardens are great for an afternoon walk and you can even grab a bite to eat. Porter’s English Restaurant is a Covent Garden favorite with old English pies and steamed pudding.
St. Paul’s Cathedral doesn’t have a lot of art or history, but you can climb to the top of the dome for a breathtaking view of the city. At 259 steps you will be at the Whispering Gallery, at 530 steps you will see the Stone Gallery and if you make it to the top you will see the Inner Golden Gallery and a panoramic view of the city.
Next stop is the Tower of London. In 1066, William the Conqueror became King of England. William had the Tower of London built. The castle would provide William a home, but would eventually be used as a royal prison. The tower is most notably known for the many executions that occurred outside and inside the tower grounds. Those executed included William Hastings (1st Baron Hastings), Anne Boleyn, Margaret Pole (Countess of Salisbury), Catherine Howard, Jane Boleyn (Viscountess Rochford), Lady Jane Grey and Robert Deveraux (2nd Earl of Essex). Elizabeth I was also imprisoned in the tower during her sister Mary’s reign. The tower is also home to the crown jewels since in 1303.
The Salisbury is a great last stop as you will be in the heart of theater district. London is known around the world for its famous theatrical shows. You must see a show while in London. At The Salisbury you can grab some dinner and a drink before heading to your show at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The theatre is a replica of the original. They hold man Elizabethan style shows and features many of London’s best actors and actresses