The name "Big Ben" commonly refers to the tower as a whole, but it's really just the clock (13 tons)at Westminster Palace, the home of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It is, in fact, the world's largest four-faced clock, and is the third highest clock tower in the world. The clock became operational in 1859, and due to Metro construction, the tower has been experiencing almost 1mm/yr. sinking since 2003. The metro stop is "Westminster". Once you exit, you'll have an opportunity to take the typical picture of the metro sign out front. It is also across the [poi = 684] London Eye [/ poi], crossing the River Thames. So you have good photos of Big Ben from the "big wheel" and vice versa. I was able to spend much time in this area, thanks to my Erasmus year in London, so if you are in doubt, here we are :)
Excuses about the long queues or prices aren't welcome, although they may seem unfair at first glance. The lines go fast and prices for an unforgettable experience is bearable. The wheel rotates so slowly that you barely sense movement and have the constant feeling of being in an almost motionless viewpoint. It is perfect for visiting at sunset, as was my case, and watch the lighting change at Parliament, for example, or the sun reflect off the Thames. There are exceptional views that can not be replicated by any other. The glass capsules provide a clear view of the environment and opportunity for taking pictures. Better make the visit at the beginning of the trip, as you can discover some architectural landmarks that you may not have considered.
After visiting the impressive engine room, our guide told us that Tower Bridge would soon open. When boats need to pass the bridge, but they are too large to go under, they need to inform the administration with 24 hours' notice. Passage for the boats is free. In general, the bridge rises just enough to let the boat through, and is only lifted to its full extension out of respect for the royal family or, for example, when the body of Winston Churchill was brought to London for his state funeral. The bridge raises in less than 30 seconds, and traffic is stopped for 5 minutes while the bridge lifts, the boat passes, and then the bridge lowers again.
Camden Town is a district in north London, home to a huge, vibrant and colorful flea market which draws a hundred thousand people on the weekend! This is a favorite among tourists visiting London. There are several parts: Camden Lock, which is on the edge of Regent's Canal, is very nice in the summer with its small restaurant terraces serving America, Caribbean, African and Latin cuisine. The canal also allows visitors to come to Camden by boat! Or, you can get off at the Camden Town metro station. Camden Lock was a craft market, but now there are beautiful pictures, vinyl, souvenirs for tourists and hippie objects. The other part of the market is Camden Stables, the largest market, which was built on the former stables of the Midlands railway company. There are stalls selling trendy clothes, furniture, bric a brac, jewelry, and small gadgets. The market burned down on February 9 but there were no deaths (though about 400 people lost their jobs). Now the market is open normally as Camden Lock and Camden Stables were not burned.
This square, in the center of London, was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the busier Piccadilly Street. Today it is more than that as it is a tourist attraction, meeting point and a party and shopping area. It links to Leicester Square (Chinatown and Soho), is home to many prominent buildings such as the London Pavilion (1859) and the Criterion Theatre (1874) and has its own Metro stop (Piccadilly Circus, of course). It never sleeps and is like Times Square, New York. The neon billboards are illuminated day and night. In between, there is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (1893) and the statue of Eros. During my time in London I had the opportunity to pass through this square many times. So if you are in doubt, ask. From Buckingham Palace you walk perfectly to Piccadilly - cross Green Park to Piccadilly Street, turn right, and at the end of the street you will see the square. You'll also pass the famous Ritz Hotel.
As far as superlatives go, this takes the cake: the largest palace in the world, the largest private gardens in London, and is the most obvious target in the UK. It's found at St James Park and Green Park, at the Hyde Park tube stop, and was built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. Queen Victoria was the first to live there and, since then, it has been home to the English royals.
The changing of the guard is a daily happening where 20 senior guards with tall fur hats march(11:00 h)and it's recommended to go an hour early if you want to have a good look. If the queen in the palace, the flag flies in the front and the changing of the guard is daily, and in summer the queen is vacationing in Windsor, it's performed twice a week and 161 rooms are open for viewing.
The Ancient Egyptian section is one of the most popular parts of the British Museum. This is one of the largest collections in the world outside of Egypt. The explanations are very clear, outlining the manufacturing process of mummies, the embalming of the dead, burial, beliefs associated with death, the afterlife, and the various Egyptian gods. After the French were defeated and driven out of Egypt, the British army confiscated many of these objects which Napoleon had collected. This included the Rosetta Stone, one of the most important exhibits in the museum, a transcript of an Egyptian text in Greek and Latin that subsequently allowed scholars to understand and decipher hieroglyphics for the first time. It is estimated that only 5% of the objects are on display to the public. Apart from the Rosetta Stone, there is the bust of Ramses II, the head of Amenotep II, a piece of temple of Ramses II with an engraved list of kings, and even 3000 years old mummies.
This is the perfect starting point for first-timers in London. You take the underground until Charing’s Cross (the brown or black lines), step out, and you’re right in the center of London! You’ve got the National Gallery (which has a world-class collection of Renaissance and Impressionist works), Nelson’s Column, and a fun atmosphere of people coming and going. It’s a good place to start off, and then explore the Strand, Westminster (Big Ben!!!), and Whitehall St., which is where a lot of the city’s monuments and official buildings are located. Also, keep an eye out for an events calendar because it’s a popular meeting point for art installations, protests, festivals, and gatherings of all stripes.
A fascinating place in the heart of London. If you are lucky and it's sunny out, you should spend as much time as you can. Londoners lay out on the green and enjoy the chance to spend the afternoon there walking, running, cycling, playing soccer, rowing, cycling ... You can do anything in this green paradise.
The Abbey is the premier Anglican church in the world. It's a Gothic church the size of a cathedral, and is the priamry place for coronation and burial ceremonies of the English monarchy. The Abbey is stunning from the outside. The fever of the "Roses" in television dramas has had a noticeable impact on this monument,now world-famous for the televised broadcast of Princess Diana's funeral. Since then, visitors increased 300% according to the official stats.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the 10th century. At that time, most of the Christians of Europe accepted the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. In the 16th century, the Reformation created many changes in the organizational structure of churches across Europe. The Church of England became independent from Rome, but still retained a lot of its traditions, while developing its own unique forms of worship, performing services in English, rather than Latin, and taking the holy scripture and tradition as their authority.
It is one of the most mythical places in London. Definitely a place to visit. Walking its streets, you see that it is full of people, artists, tightrope walkers, mimes, musicians ... and if you are here in this British city, you must enjoy a drink or a snack on a terrace. Be sure to visit the Covent Garden market and spend a night with British entertainment. A truly great spot.
"St. Paul's Church" is a small church where something unnoticed happens amidst the bustle of Covent Garden. It's on the west side of the market, just behind the area used by mime artists, charlatans and other characters that entertain the crowd with their antics. The church was begun in 1631 with the intention of having input from the market (from the east). But the Bishop of London insisted that the altar should be in the east wall. Thus the great portico was never used and the entrance is through the western part of the church which is much more modest and more in line with the church, providing a calm and peaceful entrance to the religious building. West of the church is a rectangular garden with shrubs and trees that meets Bedford Street through a road that narrows between two buildings. Apart from the faithful who visit the church regularly enough people, especially workers, take a break for lunch or take a picnic in the park next to the church.
We visited London's Parliament in November and, despite the cold, the magic of the Thames enveloped us. The absolute calm water reflection shows Big Ben. It's also a perfect place to take pictures, especially for photography enthusiasts who will find that the most beautiful photos are in black and white.
The price is a little steep (17pounds), but worth it to take you back to the Middle Ages. Over the years, it has been many things: an armory, treasury, menagerie, mint, public archive, and home of the Crown Jewels. For many years, it was also a jail where people such as Elizabeth I (before she was Queen), Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, and even 11 World War I German spies were kept, and where prisoners like Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn were executed. Today, 6 crows live there which legend has will leave the tower one day and the the tower and monarchy will fall ... They have clipped wings now and there is always a guard who watches over them. It's been considered UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
The spectacular Edinburgh Castle dominates the city from the top of a large, volcanic rock. The silhouette of this medieval fortress against the blue sky or overcast by violet clouds is unforgettable. It is, without a doubt, the symbolic heart of the beautiful city of Edinburgh. The castle, still in use, and very attractive, has a long history, full of legends and fairy tales. Protected by cliffs, access to the fort is only possible via the High Street, located in the Old Town. During the summer months you can visit between 9.30 and 18 pm. During winter, the opening times are from 9:30 am to 17 pm. I recommend that you buy tickets in advance (the website has a virtual box office), as Edinburgh Castle is the most visited castle in the whole of Scotland.
A lovely park to get lost in, right in the heart of London, close to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. It has a central lake inhabited by swans, ducks, etc. It is also quite common to see squirrels. It's a beautiful place full of life. The park has been featured in scenes of Match Point and 007.
Harrods is the most famous shop in London. It is located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, near [poi?3529]Hyde Park[/poi]. Harrods dates back to 1834 when Charles Henry Harrod opened a small grocery store. In 1849 the store moved to its current location where, over time, it was expanded by purchasing nearby shops and houses. In December 1883 Harrods was the victim of a major fire and collapsed. Soon after, it was rebuilt on a larger scale. Currently the owner of Harrods is the Egyptian, Mohamed Al Fayed. As a tourist, Harrods offers luxuriously decorated shop with statues, fountains and rooms decorated with different motifs. There's an Egyptian room and memorials to Diana. Harrods is one of the most luxurious shops in the world and, therefore, their prices are quite high. Many tourists choose to buy souvenir tea pots, teddy bears, chocolates or other cheap items for presents. The world's first escalator was installed in Harrods in 1898. In its early days the ladder troubled customers and the mall's promoted brandy.
Another must-see in London is the Natural History Museum. There are lots of skeletons of various species of animals, including prehistoric and stuffed animals, or even life-size models of large animals such as the white whale or the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The building itself is wonderful. Admission is free and the museum is open until 6 pm.