Get lost in royal London 2

William

Feb 12, 2019

In the last article we started a tour around London and saw many landmarks the capital of the United Kingdom has to offer. However, we still have many others to explore. So without any delays, let’s dive into what to see in London part 2.

Kensington Palace

The Palace, located in the heart of Kensington Gardens, was the main residence of many British monarchs from the 17th century until Buckingham palace took over the role in the 1820s. It is open to the public while still being home to other members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The ticket price is around £19.

Kensington Gardens

There are several landmarks in the Gardens surrounding Kensington Palace including the Albert Memorial built in memory of Prince Albert, a statue of Peter Pan and more. You can take a short walk around a pond to explore the area and escape from the busy streets of London.

Pro Travel Tip:

They sell delicious ice cream in the Broadwalk Café in the north part of the Gardens. Especially the mint one! 🙂

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is the largest of four Royal Parks in central London. It has become popular for many concerts and festivals held here since the late 20th century.

The Serpentine lake features nice promenades with cafés and you can also rent a pedal boat to relax on tiny waves.

The Speaker’s Corner shown in the picture above is a key feature of the Park. Being a place of free speech and debate, many people go there to discuss current problems and affairs.

Oxford Street

Leaving Hyde Park on its northeast side, we are taking a photo of Marble Arch, which is an entrance to Oxford Street. With around half a million daily visitors, it’s the busiest shopping street in Europe. It’s home to more than 250 shops and a few malls or department stores such as Selfridges. If you need anything from clothes to souvenirs, you can find it on this street.

Madame Tussauds

The wax museum on Baker Street is another major tourist attraction in London. However, you have to catch the underground to get there from Oxford Street. Take a photo with about 250 figures of celebrities from all around the world or with characters such as Shrek and E.T. The ticket price is around £30.

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Abbey Road Studios

After taking a bus from the museum we are close to Abbey Road Studios. It’s a recording studio in North London especially famous thanks to The Beatles who recorded most of their songs there.

Band’s eleventh album, called Abbey Road as well, has a cover taken at a crossing in front of the Studios. It has become a popular tourists attraction no one would leave without a photo on the same crossing. Most of the drivers are tolerant and stay calm while waiting for the tourists to take a photo, which is quite rare in busy London. 😀

Tower Bridge

Back in the centre of the metropolis, this remarkable Victorian Gothic landmark was completed in 1894 and became a great example of Britain’s quickly evolving engineering. The Bridge features lifting roadway to allow ships conveniently pass underneath it. The lift times are approximately 3 per day, the complete timetable can be found here.

The Tower Bridge Exhibition shows a history of this structure and enables visitors to get an intriguing insight into the engine rooms or get nice views of London from the walkways. The ticket price is around £10.

St. Katharine Docks

These docks mark the starting point of London’s Docklands and were once used to import luxury goods such as spices, tea, rum and more.

Nowadays you can walk around private boats or eat in one of the restaurants or cafés.

Tower of London

Overlooking the River Thames is the Tower of London. Throughout its history, it has been a fortress, a royal residence, a prison and an armoury. The White Tower in the centre was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to provide accommodation, later the fortress was widened and several other buildings where added. Nowadays you can explore the Tower of London for approximately £25.

An entrance leading from the river to the Tower (barely visible in the right picture), through which prisoners were transported into the fortress, is called Traitor’s Gate.

The Jewel House is home to the Crown Jewels and entrance is included in the ticket price.

I recommend you to visit the Tower of London just after its opening at 9:00 Tuesday-Saturday or 10:00 Sunday-Monday and get into the queue immediately or you will have to wait dozens of minutes until it becomes your turn to get inside.

Monument of the Great Fire of London

Walking through London’s financial district The City, we are meeting the Monument. This 62-metre high column was designed by Christopher Wren commemorates the Great Fire of London in 1666. Lasting 4 days, it destroyed large part of the city.

There is a viewing platform on the top from where you can get a nice view of London.

I will not discourage you from going up, but the place with the best panoramas is still waitng for us 🙂

St. Paul’s Cathedral

The Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, was built at the same spot where St. Paul’s Church stood until the Great Fire. Surviving landings of multiple bombs, it’s been rising its cupola majestically above surrounding buildings for centuries.

Doors are open to the public as well as its galleries.

Millenium Bridge

Crossing the River Thames, we are walking on the Millenium Footbridge, which is one of three sights (among the London Eye and The Dome) built in London to celebrate the new millennium. Like a bridge connecting the past with the present, it leads you from the St. Paul’s Cathedral just in front of Tate Modern Gallery.

Globe Theatre

In the shadow of Tate Modern is Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. This is a reconstruction of William Shakespeare’s playhouse which stood nearby but unfortunately burned during a performance of Henry VIII. Many of the plays of the British playwriter premiered here. Today you can enjoy open-air plays during the summer.

Golden Hind

The boat is known thanks to captain Francis Drake, who travelled around the world on this vessel in the 16th century. The original boat was broken up a couple of years later after he finished the journey and this reconstruction was made containing original pieces. 

The Shard

The skyscraper is a 21st-century addition in London’s skyline. Reaching 310 metres, it became the tallest building in western Europe after its completion in 2012. It has 72 floors filled with offices, apartments, restaurants and a hotel. Other 15 floors on the top are empty, except for the viewing place.

A high-speed lift will get you to the top floors, to an observatory called ‘The View’. Where you can enjoy the best possible views of London in my opinion. A small bar provides refreshments including champagne, which you can enjoy on comfortable chairs, let a breeze play with your hair and just enjoy these stunning views. On a fine day, you can see up to 50 kilometres.

Here I pointed out some of the capital’s landmarks we have seen in this short series as they are visible from the very top of the skyscraper.

The ticket costs around £32 and requires online booking here.

You can bring your own portable binoculars to take out most of the view.

The very top is also a great place to see aircraft landing at or taking off from London Heathrow airport in the west part of the city 🙂

Greenwich

Despite located outside of the city centre, Greenwich gives you many reasons for visit indeed. Alongside the river, a 19th-century ship stands in a dry dock. The Cutty Sark was severely damaged a bit more than ten years ago because of a fire. However, thanks to an extensive reconstruction we can today admire this tea-clipper in Cutty Sark Gardens.

Royal Observatory sits on a hill in Greenwich Park and offers visitors great views of London’s Canary Wharf from nearby.

Trip summary

Time (d)

Price (GBP)

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Aforementioned time and price are only approximate.

Useful Tips

  • Always book your tickets online. You can save up to 10 %.

 

  • Some attractions offer discounted tickets when purchasing combined with another sight. Search for what you want to visit online to find the best deals together.

 

  • Get an Oyster Card for travelling around London. It’s a quick and easy-to-use smartcard offering special transportation deals.

 

So we have come to the end of this journey around the capital of the United Kingdom. I hope you enjoyed this trip and hope this article will help you when visiting the city and exploring its beauties.

Have you been to London yet? If so, what did you like the most? Let me know in the comment section down below.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more photos.

 

Safe Travels

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