…IDEAL for your weekend break in the capital.
Should you be in the Big Smoke for a weekend city break and you’re looking to fill your itinerary with only the most iconic London sites, then fear not; the must see attractions are eminently doable on a flying visit. From royal residences to celebrity waxworks and historical landmarks, it’s all here and it’s all within reach, thanks to quick and accessible transport options in Central London. With that in mind, here’s 5 sights and attractions you must see on a flying visit to London, IDEAL for your weekend break in the capital.
Republican or royalist, if it’s iconic you’re after, you can’t take a trip to London without seeing the magnificent sight that is Buckingham Palace. The home of her Majesty the Queen herself, the Palace is, as expected, highly guarded, but visitors can see the entrance and see the Royal guards at the door from the other side of the gates. Be sure to check whether your visit coincides with the changing of the Guard; this is a fantastic sight that you can see free of charge, lasting around 45 minutes in total and emblematic of the UK’s weird obsession with ritual and royalty.
THE TOWER OF LONDON
Speaking of long and interesting histories, The Tower of London has a story spanning hundreds of years, and at times the script gets just a little bit gruesome. The Tower was used as a prison and for executions throughout history, but today, it’s a popular tourist attraction and home to the dazzling Crown Jewels; a collection of diamonds and gems that are sure to wow you if you’re a fan of bling. Do make sure you take a tour around the Tower with a Beefeater guide who’ll explain everything you need to know about this historic London landmark.
Another unmissable London landmark that you’ve probably seen before in photos, Tower Bridge is often mistaken for its more foodie focused cousin, neighbouring London Bridge, but it’s a much more regal affair, and one of the most famous landmarks in Britain.
You certainly shouldn’t miss walking over Tower Bridge when you visit the city, and the best part is that it’s completely free to do so. That said, by taking a guided London tour, you’ll be able to learn more about the fascinating history of this landmark, including its construction, intricate suspension structure, and seedier past as a haunt of pickpockets and women who worked as prostitutes.
THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
In world famous Westminster, the Houses of Parliament is the place where all UK laws are passed, for better or for worse. And while the majority of this country’s politicians aren’t worthy of a visit, the impressive building definitely is an essential part of a Central London tour.
It’s also home to Big Ben; the most famous clock in the UK – but do bear in mind that it’s expected to be under construction for the next few years, so your view is likely to be marred by scaffolding. Regardless, the surrounding area gives an interesting insight into the architecture of the 19th century (the original Palaces of Westminster were destroyed by fire in 1834).
Finally, what would a trip to London be without a visit to one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world? London’s main shopping street is one seemingly untroubled by the downward turn afflicting other major high streets across the country, and is buzzing with activity every day of the week.
There’s something for everybody here, including the UK’s largest Primark which is fab for bargain hunters. You can also find several fantastic souvenir shops; perfect for picking up something to take back home as a reminder of your trip. What’s more, just off Oxford Street, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to eat, providing the perfect lunchtime recharge before continuing your afternoon shopping.
Thanks for listening to our tips; we hope you can fit it all in. Do send a postcard to let us know how you got on!