London: Sights And Sounds!
[In Part 1, we wrote about London -- its beginnings and how the city evolved through the ages.]
London is lucky enough to have such a rich and defining history. Pieces of this great city can be found throughout the city; London is home to more than 300 historical sights, each representing a different part of London’s background. Westminster Abbey is one of the best places to start — almost all kings and queens of England have walked the very halls of this hauntingly beautiful church for their coronations and/or weddings.
Several iconic British figures have been buried here, including Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Charles Darwin. If famous people aren’t your thing, go to Westminster Abbey anyways to marvel at the incredible architecture and the lifelike statues surrounding the Abbey – it will be a truly amazing experience. St. Paul’s Cathedral is another must-see; this alpine building is an essential part of the London skyline, and has one of the greatest views.
The palaces are always worth a visit. Buckingham Palace, the Duke of Buckingham’s abode, is best known for its incredible gardens and powerful Changing of the Guards ceremony. Windsor Castle, the Queen’s official residence, is the oldest occupied castle and one of the most picturesque. The Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, and Eltham Palace are all beautiful and have been constantly improved by kings and queens over the centuries.
For historic guided tours, nothing can beat Churchill’s War Rooms and the Benjamin Franklin House. The former provides a unique insight into the life of England’s most famous prime minister and their World War II effort, while the latter does the same with Benjamin Franklin. Although an American, the Benjamin Franklin house is said to be the center of his scientific studies, and is Franklin’s only remaining residence.
One cannot visit London without stepping foot on the structure most found on English postcards. The Tower Bridge, the structure most iconic of London itself, is an impressive suspension bridge that spans across the Thames River, and is located close to the Tower of London, my personal favorite. The Tower of London is one of the most well known fortresses in the world, famously known to have held Princess Elizabeth I during her sister Mary’s reign. Built during the Norman Conquest, the Tower is one of the oldest structures in London. It still is home to her Majesty’s crown jewels.
London is the only city in which one can view every single building within the span of fifteen minutes. Impossible? Just ride the most popular Ferris wheel in the United Kingdom, the London Eye.
These notable attractions are only the beginning— there are hundreds and thousands of buildings of architectural and historical import that make London the incredible city that it is today.