London has an astonishing number of tourist sites to visit and explore on a holiday to the city. These range from the historic to medieval and modern attractions, all of which make it one of the best holiday destinations in the world. Testimony of this is the millions of tourists who visit London every year. The city offers a wide variety of activities that include great shopping, entertainment, culture and arts among others.
In terms of Luxury Hotels London offers a number of options to choose from. So whether you are a budget traveller or want to stay in luxury and comfort there is a diverse range of accommodation to suit all types of budgets. From London City Suites By Montcalm to B&Bs there is something that caters to all types of travellers to the city.
Whether you plan to spend time at any of its wonderful museums or art galleries, or want to visit any of the 10 best parks in London you will be overwhelmed by the many options available. Just a few of the many sites to explore on a holiday in London are:
The London Eye
One of the more modern attractions to the London skyline the London Eye also known as the Millennium Wheel was installed in 2000. It is one of the highest observation wheels in the world at 135 meters in height. The wheel has 32 capsules that offer an incredible skyline view of the city. It is out of the most popular paid-for attraction in the city with close to 3.5 million visitors annually. On a clear day visitors who ride the capsules can see as far as 40 kilometres in every direction.
The Plexiglas capsules are a marvel of modern engineering that are suspended at a mind boggling angle which offers a 360-degree view from the top of the wheel. The best way to ride the London Eye is to book your tickets online, as it is convenient and saves time. Don’t be dismayed looking at the long queues upon arrival as they dissipate quickly with each visitor issued a timed ticket. It offers a great opportunity so bring along your camera!
Another alternative is to opt for the London Eye River Cruise that covers a circular route and starts from close to the London Eye. Another great way to get a bird’s eye view of London is to board the London cable car partnered by the Emirates Airline that connects the O2 to the Royal Docks and takes visitors across the Thames. While it is not as exciting as the view from the London Eye it still offers a great view of the city that lies below.
The Tower of London
One of the most iconic of attractions in the city, The Tower of London is where the Crown Jewels are stored. The tower is synonymous with its famous Beefeaters and ubiquitous ravens and has played a key role in the history of the city over the centuries. It also has the dubious distinction of being the site where three of England’s queens were executed! In fact the tower was a former royal residence of many of the monarch’s of England over the centuries. It has served a variety of purposes over its long history which includes serving as a prison for a number of famous political prisoners, notably Sir Walter Raleigh who was held here for 13 years. In fact this was where he penned his famous “The History of the World”! And the strange part is there are no dungeons to be found, as all the prisoners who were confined here belonged to the upper or middle classes of English society. Its Tower Green was the spot where public executions were carried out, which included that of Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn.
Visitors to the tower can also drop in at The Tower Bridge Exhibition which is just a short distance away. The architect of this landmark was Horace Jones, and its engineer John Wolfe Barry. The tower bridge took close to 8 to complete and opened to the public on June 30, 1894. In fact it was the sole river crossing east of the London Bridge until the Dartford Crossing was inaugurated in 1991.
It is the official residence of the Royal family and has been home to the ruling monarchs from 1837. It was originally just a townhouse that was the property of the Duke of Buckingham in the 18th century. It was King George III who purchased the property from the Duke of Buckingham in 1761, as a present for his royal consort Queen Charlotte. It was used primarily as a family residence being close to St James’s Palace. It is one of the most visited public attractions in the city with millions visiting this magnificent palace every year.
Its grand State Rooms only became accessible to the general public from 1993 onwards. This was after a fire gutted Windsor Castle in November 1992. It was initially planned to open Buckingham Palace in the summer months of August and September, as a way to generate income to pay for the immense costs of restoration to Windsor Castle. However it received such an overwhelming response that later the Queen decided to allow the palace to be opened to the public every summer. When it is opened in the summer Her Majesty is not in residence, as she moves to one of her country homes! While there one of the most popular events not to miss is the ceremonial Changing of the Guard. It happens on certain scheduled days so check the official website and arrive early to get the best vantage point!