One of London’s most famous landmarks, the Westminster Abbey is a must-see when you visit the capital city of England! Throughout the years, the 700-year-old church has held burials of many historical figures, as well as royal coronations and even weddings. Most recently, it was the site of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding on 19 April 2011! Read the entire story here…»
The picturesque neighborhood of Bloomsbury is often associated with learning, literature, and the arts – and for good reason. The neighborhood is home to many London attractions: the world class British Museum, University of London and it was the home of many famous writers in the early 20th Century such as Virginia Woolf.
The area is best-known among visitors for housing the British Museum, which is a site not to be missed. Founded in 1753, it is the oldest public museum in the world. It famously (and controversially) holds the Elgin Marbles, the sculptures taken from the Parthenon in Athens. It also contains countless artifacts from almost any period in the history of human life on earth, from the Rosetta Stone to giant Egyptian sculptures and other priceless pieces of history. Read the entire story here…»
Just south of the Thames is one of the oldest and most interesting parts of London. Over the years, Southwark has been everything from a Roman settlement to the home of Shakespeare. In recent times when it is the center of rebirth along the water in London.
Southwark first became important as the ending point of the Roman London Bridge, constructed around 50 A.D. The area was abandoned when the Romans left in the 5th century and reoccupied around 886. During the middle ages it was home to monasteries with Southwark Cathedral being the oldest remaining place of worship from this time. Read the entire story here…»
While most visitors to London spend the majority of their time in West London, East London is about to be put in the spotlight with the Olympics coming this summer. But East London is more than just the Olympics. It has a fascinating history and if full of a wide range of experiences.
East London historically has been home to the working class immigrants starting around the 19th century working in the factories and docks in the area. During World War II, it was devastated by the Blitz, with the area targeted for the docklands and railways. This is also home to the Cockney rhyming speak. But in the last few decades, the area has undergone a dramatic change, starting with Canary Warf and the O2 Arena and now continuing with the Olympics. Read the entire story here…»
The excitement for next year’s summer Olympics is in full swing in London, even though many of the venues are still being finished.
The Olympic Park is in the East End of London in Stratford where most of the venues will be held. As mentioned, many aren’t completed yet and you can’t access the on foot. But there are several ways to see the stadiums being built.
The only way to get inside the Olympic Park is to take a free tour on a bus. This takes you for a guided sneak peek at the Olympic site as construction carries on. The tour lasts an hour, but there’s no opportunity to get off the bus, but it moves slowly to allow for plenty of photo opportunities. Reservations are required and can be arranged for through the London Olympic 2012 site.
If you can’t snag a reservation for the bus tour, seeing work progress on the site is still possible. The View Tube has been much more popular than expected. Built from recycled shipping containers, the View Tube gives great views from above the Olympic Park with detailed maps and information about the site. It’s open every day from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Read the entire story here…»
For the last 406 years Londoners have held one of the biggest celebrations of the year on November 5.
Known as Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night, the holiday celebrates the survival of the king and Parliament from an assassination attempt.
In 1605 Guy Fawkes and a group of five main conspirators attempted to blow up the House of Lords with gunpowder on State Opening Day, the opening of Parliament, when the king and the entire government would be in the House of Lords chamber. This would become known as the Gunpowder Plot. As Catholics, they were persecuted and hoped to install the King’s daughter as a Catholic ruler.
Supposedly a letter was sent to Lord Monteagle warn the fellow Catholic not to be in attendance the next day. A search was made of the storage cellars below the House of Lords and the 36 barrels of gunpowder, along with Fawkes who was keeping watch of it, were discovered. Every year now in Westminster the Houses of Parliament are ceremonially searched. Read the entire story here…»
Halloween in London is a relatively new holiday. For years, it was mostly a North American holiday. But recently, the British have joined in on the scary fun. Kids like to dress up and go tick-or-treating while the adults will don costumes and party as well. And there are few cities that can party like London.
And with London’s long and often ghoulish history, it makes for a great place to spend the scariest night of the year. Whether you are looking to party or visit the sites of some of the most horrifying moments in history, London has it all on All Hallows’ Eve.
One of the most frightening places to spend Halloween is at The London Dungeon, an interactive horror experience and every year they put on a themed Halloween show. The scary Dungeon is located in the neighborhoods of Southwark and Bermondsey.The rest of the Dungeon takes you through some of the darkest times and places in London’s history, like the Great Fire of 1666, the plague, Bedlam, and Jack the Ripper. There are shows led by a group of actors and there are three rides, including the new Vengeance 5D ride where you shoot lasers at ghosts while on the fast-moving ride. Read the entire story here…»
It was recently announced Price William and Princess Catherine will be moving into the historic Kensington Palace in London. It’s a place familiar to William and his brother Harry as they both grew up with their mother, Princess Diana, in the palace.
But the palace has a long history and is open to the public for tours. It is located at the west edge of Hyde Park, in the neighborhood Kensington and Holland Park.
The first building, the Nottingham House, built in 1605 was acquired in 1689 by William III as a residence away from the smoky London for the asthmatic king and later added on by famed architect Sir Christopher Wren, Kensington Palace became the home to the monarchs for years, up until George II in 1760.
Afterwards it was used for various members of the royal family. Queen Victoria was born and grew up in the palace and Queen Elizabeth II’s mother was born in the palace, and in 1981, it became home to Prince Charles and Princess Diana and remained Diana’s home until her death in 1997. Apartments 8 and 9 were combined to create a home for Charles and Diana, however the new Prince and Princess will not be living in that space, as it is currently occupied by offices. Read the entire story here…»
In the city William Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, and Andrew Lloyd Weber called home, it’s only natural a visitor to London would want to see a play or musical while in the city.
Although the idea of seeing a West End production may sounds like a daunting experience, it’s much more laid back than you’d think – and better yet – cheaper.
The West End theater district is located in central London, mostly around Leicester Square and the Covent Garden neighborhood, making in simple to reach from the Tube. Covent Garden is home to numerous restaurants and pubs, and the ones located near theaters will frequently offer a special for before or after the shows.
Dress at West End shows is very causal. You wouldn’t be out of place in anything ranging from a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to a suit or dress. It’s really up to the attendee to wear what they feel comfortable in. But no need for anything too fancy – leave that for the opera or ballet. Read the entire story here…»
This is great news if you are a kid, dinosaur fan or a T-Rex! Opening April 22 and running through September 4th in London, the Natural History Museum’s big exhibit is The Age of Dinosaurs. The exhibit tries to recreate what the world looked like 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs ruled the earth. By making elaborate background and animatronic dinosaurs, you’ll feel like you are actually walking among the dinosaurs during their own time.
The Natural History Museum has a long history with dinosaurs. In fact, its first director, paleontologist Richard Owen, coined the term ‘dinosaurs.’ In the main hall is a 105-foot long diplodocus, known affectionately as ‘Dippy,’ which debuted in 1905 to huge crowds. The dinosaur hall is the most popular attraction at the museum, drawing young and old to see skeletons of Triceratops, Albertosaurus, Stegosaurus and many other dinosaurs.
The Museum of Natural History, located in the neighborhood of Knightsbridge in London, was finished in 1880 and the building itself is an architectural marvel. With a huge collection, its well worth a visit for a day or two. Read the entire story here…»