Whether you are visiting London for the first time or you are having a repeat visit, the thrill is still the same. There is something about London that fills the visitor with an excitement and anticipation that is hard to achieve in other cities. Maybe it is its vast history, the awe-inspiring grandeur of some of the world’s most famous landmarks or the frenetic pace of life. Whatever it is, a visit to London whether for the day or for a holiday will always leave you wanting more.
London is the largest city in Europe and stretches for over 30 miles from east to west. It is a culturally diverse city and its 8 million inhabitants come from across the globe make it a real melting pot of culture, languages and heritage.It is a city that has so much to do and see that you need to decide before you arrive on what you plan of action is.
From the gothic splendour of the Houses of Parliament to the towering dome of St Peters there is so much history to see that it can be somewhat overwhelming.
London which sits on the River Thames has been a major settlement for over 2’000 years. Founded by the Romans it has grown over the years to be a global leader in Finance, Arts, Culture, Fashion,Entertainment, Tourism and much much more. Its is the world’s most visited city and has often been voted the top tourist destination.
Top Holiday Destinations for 2016 – London
What to See.
If it is your first visit to London a good place to start is in the middle. Trafalgar Square is often viewed as the centre and so this is often a good place to begin. There you will see Nelson’s Column and The National Gallery. Just south of here you can discover Westminster and The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Downing Street. This part of London is a very easy place to explore by foot as there are so many landmarks virtually side by side.
Travel a couple of miles down from Westminster and you come to The City – the original heart of London. Though a great part of the city was wiped out in The Great Fire of London in 1666, this part has gone from being mainly residential to now housing the Finance centre. Looking upwards now you will see hi-tech skyscrapers dominating the landscape but just a little distance away there is the spectacular dome of St Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London.
If you are interested in galleries and museums then London has some of the best in the world. The British Museum houses collections dating back over 2 million years. It is here that you can visit The Rosetta stone which was the key to deciphering the Hieroglyphics or take a walk around the Parthenon sculptures from Athens and view the Elgin Marbles.
The Tower of London, although having a somewhat grim past is now a place to discover the priceless crown jewels, the workings of a castles life and take a tour with a Beefeater and discover the tales of days gone by.
For galleries you can venture back in time to places such as The National Gallery where there are such famous works as Van Gough’s Sunflowers or you can go down to the river and discovery the contemporary masterpiece that is Tate Modern.
If you want to get away from the fast paced life within the city centre there are a number of amazing parks and green spaces to walk through. Hyde Park is one of the world’s greatest city parks. Take a stroll through and discover The Serpentine Bridge and Joy of Life Fountain and if you are staying at the weekend then head to Speakers corner to hear some of London’s more colourful characters give their views of the world.
The other Royal Parks such as Kensington, St James’s, Regent’s and Richmond to are also well worth a visit. If it is something more private and secluded that you are looking for then head to Russell Square in Bloomsbury. This was once a private garden for residents only but is now open to the public.
For those looking for some thrills and scares whilst in the city then take a trip on down to The London Dungeons. Now down on the south bank the Dungeons tell the darker stories from London’s past. Come face to face with the gruesome duo of Jack the Ripper and Sweeny Todd and prepare to be thrilled on the scary rides.
For an exhilarating view of London take a ride on the London Eye. Whilst on the eye you can take in 55 of London’s most iconic landmarks. The 30 minute experience will give you a bird’s eye view of some spectacular buildings. Standing at 135 metres tall this wheel is the largest in the world and gives you a 360 degree view of London.