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London, United Kingdom

Touring the City's Famous Spots

A tour around Central London seeing all the famous sights

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4.4 miles / 7.1 km
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: A nearly five-mile sightseeing trip, this walk around London will enhance your knowledge of the city and allow you to see many famous sights.

The trip could last anywhere between three hours or a day, dependent on how long you decide to stay in each location. It's an unmissable trip--many have enjoyed it before--and I'm sure you will too. A great oppurtunity to take wonderful pictures of a lovely city--beautiful, romantic and enjoyable.

Tips: This is a perfect trip whatever the weather. In the winter months, the snow drapes all the wonderful monuments and in the summer the walk through St.James' Park is a sensory experience.

Popular London events that one may encounter include Trooping of the Colour (the second Saturday in June), shows in many famous theaters (24/7) and VE Day (May 8).
One can get around London via train, bus, car or by foot.

Points of Interest


Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial was completed in 1911. It sits facing north-eastward toward the Mall (the road that connects Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square) in front of Buckingham Palace. It features a large, gold-plated statue of Queen Victoria. The other sides of the monument showcase patinated bronze statues of the Angel of Justice and the Angel of Truth and Charity.

St. James' Palace

This magnificent brick palace became the principal royal residence in 1702 when Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire and Queen Anne moved to St. James. Even today, it's still the "official" residence of the sovereign, even though Buckingham Palace became the new chief residence after Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. Many ceremonial court functions continue to be held here.

Admiralty Arch

Admiralty Arch is found at the end of the Mall. The middle gates of the arch are opened for events that lead up the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Admiralty Arch incorporates the government offices and an archway providing road and pedestrian access between the Mall and Trafalgar Square. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb and constructed by John Mowlem & Co. and completed in 1912. It adjoins the Old Admiralty Building.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square was built in honor of Lord Nelson after his victory at the battle of Trafalgar, where he was killed in the battle with Napoleon's army.

The square was built in the early 19th century and designed by the prince regent's favorite architect, John Nash. The site previously had been a royal stable yard.

Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate the dead British naval hero Horatio Nelson, who was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar.

The column was proposed immediately after Nelson's death and the Committee of the Patriotic Fund raised £1,330 from public subscriptions. Thanks to interest this had swollen to £5,545 in 1838 when another fundraising drive occurred.

Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge, a road and pedestrian bridge, crosses the River Thames between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. It was named in memory of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Thanks to its location at a strategic bend in the river, the views of London (Westminster, the South Bank and London Eye to the west; the city and Canary Wharf to the east) from the bridge are widely thought to be the finest from any spot at ground level.

TS Queen Mary

The TS Queen Mary is a 1930s pleasure steamer converted into a floating pub and conference venue on the River Thames. Built in 1933, she was capable of carrying 1,500 passengers and in trials achieved a top speed on 19 knots.

Royal National Theatre

The Royal National Theatre now stands on London's South Bank, one of the most culturally significant areas of the capital. The first production ever performed by the Royal National Theatre was "Hamlet" in 1963 with Peter O'Toole as Hamlet and directed by Sir Lawrence Olivier. The Royal National Theatre spent the first 13 years of its life at the Old Vic before moving to its current address in 1976. The building was designed by Sir Denis Lasdun and consists of three auditoriums. The largest of the auditoriums is named for Olivier.


The largest cinema screen in the United Kingdom is the British Film Institute (BFI) Imax located on Waterloo Road just as you come off the Waterloo Bridge on the south side of the River Thames.

The screen is 20 meters high and 26 meters wide and the auditorium has stadium-style seats for 477. The whole thing was paid for with a £15 million grant from the National Lottery Fund. The BFI opened it in 1999.

London Eye

The British Airways' London Eye, to give it its full title, has quickly become one of London's most popular visitor attractions since it opened to the public in March 2000. At 443 feet (135 meters) it's the world's tallest observation wheel. It is located in a fantastic position on the south bank of the River Thames next to County Hall, just across Westminster Bridge from the Houses of Parliament.
Daily 10am-8:30pm
Daily 10am-9pm
Daily 10am-9:30pm
Daily 10am-8:30pm
Adults £17
Kids 4+ £9
Various options, including flexible and fast-track admittance, are available on the website

County Hall

The London County Hall was the headquarters of London County Council and later the Greater London Council. On the bank of the Thames, it is north of Westminster and close to the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Bridge

This bridge is considered one of the most complete and elegant structures of its kind in the world. It is built entirely of stone and extends over the Thames at a place where it is 1,223 feet wide, which is more than 300 feet wider than at London Bridge. On each side is a fine balustrade of stone with shelters for escaping rain.

Palace of Westminster and Big Ben

On the night of the Oct. 16, 1834, the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. Legend has it that architect Charles Barry was returning to London from Brighton, where he had designed a church, and saw the glow of the fire in the distance; he realized that the houses of parliament were on fire. Following the destruction of the buildings, a competition was launched for designing the new palace. Barry's design won.

Westminster has been the home of the British government for more than 900 years. This Gothic-inspired collection of buildings covers approximately eight acres of land and has 1,100 rooms, 11 courtyards and 100 staircases. The House of Lords occupies the southern wing and the House of Commons is located at the north wing.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a large church in the Gothic style (due to renovations over time). Edward the Confessor built the abbey (an abbey is where monks or nuns live and pray) in A.D. 1050 in the Romanesque style. William the Conqueror was crowned in the abbey, a tradition that continues to this day.
Tour hours
(Last admission an hour before closing)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30am-4:30pm
Wednesday 9:30am-7pm
Saturday 9:30am-2:30pm
Sunday Worship only
Adults £16
Students 19+ (with ID), seniors (60+) £13
Kids 11-18 £6
Kids 10 and younger Free accompanied by an adult
Family £32 (2 adults and 1 child)
Family £38 (2 adults and 2 children)
+£6 per extra child
The first (chargeable) child with two adults is free


Downing Street

Nos. 10 and 11 Downing Street are the official London residences of the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer, the first and second lords of the treasury. Nos. 9 and 12 house the offices of their key staff and colleagues.

The street's links to the government date back to 1732, when King George II offered No. 10 as a gift to Sir Robert Walpole. Walpole is recognized as Britain's first prime minister but his official title then was first lord of the treasury, a title every prime minister still holds. He declined the gift, but agreed that it should be the official residence for the first lord and subsequently moved in. In 1828 No. 11 became the official residence of the second lord, the modern chancellor of the exchequer.

Horse Guards

North of Downing Street, on the west side of Whitehall, is the Horse Guards building, headquarters of the British Army. The real draw here is the Horse Guards themselves: the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, a combination of the oldest and most senior regiments in the British Army.

St. James' Park

Adjacent to the Green Park is St. James' Park. Inside the park you can see St. James' Palace, originally built on the site of a lepers' hospital. Just before his execution, Charles I decided to spend his last night there. It is the home of Duke and Duchess of Kent as well as offices for various other royals. You are not allowed to go inside, except for Chapel Royal, which is open for services only.

The Royal Mews

The Royal Mews are at the side of Buckingham Palace near Buckingham Gate. The royal stables were established on this site by George III in 1762; in 1825 George IV commissioned John Nash to redesign the Royal Mews to accommodate the horses and coaches used on state occasions.

Buckingham Palace

Built in 1705 as Buckingham House for the Duke of the Buckingham, this palace has provided the royal family's London lodgings since 1837, when St. James's Palace was judged too old fashioned and insufficiently impressive.

In the early 1990s the royal family decided to open the doors of Buck House to the public for the first time.
Pictures in this guide taken by: sathha123, brt, Wallsy, John Shum, davpol, rjohnsen1, rcasadom, tatsuyasuzuki, dariocasell, hiroi

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