Your personal tour guide for London travel adventure!
1) London Overview
2) National Gallery & Portrait Gallery
3) St. James's Palace & Park
4) Buckingham Palace
5) Westminster Cathedral
6) Westminster Abbey & Gardens
7) Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms
8) Household Cavalry Museum
9) Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
10) Tate Britain Museum
11) Imperial War Museum
12) London Eye
13) Tate Modern Museum
14) Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
16) Southwark Cathedral
17) Tower Bridge & Thames River
18) Tower of London
19) St. Paul's Cathedral
20) British Library
21) British Museum
22) Regent's Park & London Zoo
23) Hyde Park
24) Kensington Palace & Gardens
25) Science Museum
26) Victoria & Albert Museum
28) Wembley Stadium
31) Somerset County
32) Dorset County
33) Paris Day Trip
London. Just saying the name conjures up an array of iconic images: Big Ben, the London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the London Underground, and more. The 2012 Summer Olympics represent the third time it has been selected for the Olympics and with good reason: it seems everywhere you look in the nearly 2,000-year-old city there is something new to see. Noted essayist and literary critic of the eighteenth century Dr. Samuel Johnson had this to say about London: "Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts." While this may not be everyone's opinion of this capital city, it certainly illustrates how much London has to offer both seasoned travelers and first-time visitors. Located in the southeast corner of Great Britain, Greater London covers an area of 1,579 square kilometers, but it is relatively easy to navigate via the Underground, also known as "the tube." The city hosts a wide variety of things to see and do, including many kid-friendly and free options. To get an idea of the true London, pop into a corner pub or take in a football match, just don't be caught calling it soccer! Since you are in London, where the weather can change drastically in a moment, take an umbrella and jacket on every outing. Come to explore the past, revel in the present, and peek at the future, but be sure to "mind the gap"!
London is a universal city home to a vast array of people from various cultures, many of whom came to avoid persecution elsewhere. It is an intriguing blend of ancient history, modern sensibilities, and promise for the future. Advances in art, architecture, science, politics, and religion all have root in London's history. A trip to London can satisfy anyone, regardless of age, nationality, or interest. This city is the only place in the world where you can walk in the footsteps of a Roman emperor, kings and queens, famous authors, and modern pop icons all before afternoon tea. With an illustrious history rooted in the past and one hand always reaching for the future, London keeps reinventing herself.
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About the Author
One of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the world, Westminster Abbey has been the site of coronations for all English monarchs since William the Conqueror in 1066 and is thus known as England's Coronation Church. Westminster Abbey, formally known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, is a Royal Peculiar. This means it is a free chapel of the Sovereign, exempt from any ecclesiastical jurisdiction other than that of the Sovereign. And many a sovereign has been made here, 38 kings and queens to be exact, including the first, William the Conqueror, and the most recent, Queen Elizabeth II (in 1953). In fact, Queen Elizabeth II was also married here in 1947 to His Royal Highness Prince Phillip. Theirs was one of 14 royal marriages to occur at Westminster, with the most recent being the wedding of her grandson, Prince William, to Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. Declared a national holiday, and eagerly watched around the world, it was a momentous and beautiful occasion held in a most befitting location.
More than just royalty is commemorated at Westminster. As you walk through the Abbey, you will no doubt recognize many of the names adorning the numerous tombs and placards paying homage to famous Britons. Edward the Confessor originally built this Norman-style church as a Benedictine Monastery. In 1245, Henry III tore everything down, except the nave, and rebuilt it in the Gothic style you see today. The nave received its own makeover beginning in 1376 and continuing through the Tudor reign. The last additions to the Abbey were the western towers in 1745. Today, you will see the typical cross-shaped layout of an Anglican church. Everywhere you go, transept to Quire, nave to cloister, shrine of St. Edward to the ten twentieth-century martyrs, including Maximilian Kolbe and Martin Luther King Jr. above the western door, history, heroes, religion, and royalty permeate the Abbey.