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Historic Sites In London That You Need To See

Where to go and what to do.

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, has a rich history spanning over two millennia, showcasing political, economic, and cultural development. 

Founded by the Romans in AD 50, London has been a hub during monarchs’ reigns, a site of groundbreaking scientific discoveries, and a hub for cultural and social movements.

Here’s our list of historic sites in London that you need to see and experience.

Tower of London

One of the city’s most recognizable symbols, the Tower of London, is rich in mystery and history. This medieval stronghold, which William the Conqueror first constructed in 1066, has had several uses, including a zoo, armory, and royal residence.

The Crown Jewels are among the Tower’s most captivating features. This collection is a stunning exhibition of royal regalia, featuring the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown. 

A sight to see is the Tower’s medieval architecture, with its towering walls and towers symbolizing the might and authority of the crown. 

The Yeoman Warders, often known as Beefeaters, who stand watch over the Tower, provide engaging tours replete with ghost stories, murders, and conspiracy theories.

The Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms offer visitors a unique insight into London’s role during World War II.

This underground complex, preserved in its wartime state, allows guests to immerse themselves in history through interactive exhibits and tours. It’s a popular stopping point on many guided WW2 tours through Britain.

During the war, Winston Churchill and his war cabinet oversaw military campaigns and planned the country’s defense from the War Rooms, which served as the central command post for British government activities. 

The Cabinet Room, where important decisions were taken, and Churchill’s office are among the restored chambers that visitors may tour. 

Westminster Abbey

One of the most important religious structures in the United Kingdom is Westminster Abbey. 

Since William the Conqueror’s coronation in 1066, English and British kings have been crowned in this Gothic abbey church, which was established in 960 AD.

Westminster Abbey is a wonder of architecture, with its soaring spires, elaborate brickwork, and exquisite stained glass windows. Along with many other noteworthy people, the Abbey is the final resting place of politicians, scientists, poets, and monarchs. 

The interment sites of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth I are among the most well-known. 

The Abbey still plays a significant part in British ceremonial life by serving as a venue for state funerals and royal weddings.

The British Museum

With a vast collection of items from all around the world, the British Museum is a veritable gold mine of human history and culture. Established in 1753, it provides free entry and draws millions of tourists annually.

Among the most well-known displays at the museum are the Egyptian mummies, which provide light on prehistoric burial customs, the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, and the Rosetta Stone.

The holdings of the British Museum cover more than two million years of human history, providing a thorough understanding of human civilization.

The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Two of London’s most famous sights are the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The Palace of Westminster, the location of Parliament, has magnificent Gothic Revival architecture.

One of the most recognizable images of London is Big Ben, the colloquial term for the Great Bell of the famous Clock at the north end of the Palace. 

The ancient chambers of the Houses of Parliament, where laws are discussed and decided, are open for visitors to explore during guided tours. 

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, Sir Christopher Wren created the architectural marvel that is St. Paul’s Cathedral, with its imposing dome. 

Numerous important occasions, such as Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 wedding, have taken place there.

Equally magnificent are the internal features of the cathedral, which include an amazing nave, elaborate mosaics, and the well-known Whispering Gallery, where whispers are audible through the dome. 

Notable funerals, such as that of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Nelson, have also taken place in St. Paul’s.

The Globe Theatre

Shakespeare’s heritage places a unique value on the Globe Theatre. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Shakespeare’s acting troupe, had the first structure constructed in 1599.

Shakespeare’s works come to life in the intimate setting created by the thrust stage and open-air architecture of The Globe. 

Frequent performances provide guests with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the timeless stories of the Bard within an authentically historical setting. Consider taking a train and catching one of the shows. 

Kensington Palace

The official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace has been a royal house since the 17th century. Queen Victoria was born and raised at the palace, adding to its illustrious past.

The State Apartments, which are replete with magnificent furniture and artwork, are open for exploration by guests today. 

In addition, the palace features exhibitions on the lives of its previous occupants, such as one honoring Princess Diana’s style. 

The palace’s beauty is enhanced by the lovely gardens and neighboring parks, which combine to provide a tranquil haven in the middle of London.

The Roman Wall

One relic from the city’s historic history is the Roman Wall, often known as the London Wall. Constructed around 200 years ago by the Romans, it functioned as a protective barrier for the Londinium town.

A few of the wall’s segments are still intact today, offering an insight into London’s Roman past. 

Remarkable remnant areas may be found close to the Tower of London and the Museum of London, where guests can discover more about the history and evolution of the city throughout the ages.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich

An important location in the annals of astronomy and navigation is the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. 

King Charles II founded it in 1675, and it was essential in the advancement of precise timekeeping and longitude determination.

The Prime Meridian, which separates the eastern and western hemispheres, is a place where visitors may stand and see historical displays on timekeeping. 

The telescopes and astronomy tools at the observatory provide amazing insights into the scientific discoveries that have influenced our perceptions of the Earth and the cosmos.

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