Away and across from the familiar world that I grow up with, I am sitting at a busy local cafe right in the main hub of Trafalgar Square in central London, enjoying a cup of coffee and a thick filled chocolate muffin, saying to myself, “Isn’t this gorgeous?” As I set there listening to the sound and voices of people around me, while watching people from all over the world walking by, shopping, dancing and simply enjoying themselves with excitement. It is definitely the perfect London experience.
London, situated in the South-East of England in the Thames Valley is home to almost 9 million people. It is the capital of England and the United Kingdom and is regarded as one of the world’s most populous city in the world. London is the centre of finance, education, trade, politics, fashion, shopping and cultural centre for hundreds of years. This city still remains and seen as one of the most visited best city by international tourists in the world. This is a city where it is hard to pin down just one must-see attraction in London.
This world city is filled with iconic symbol like the London Tower Bridge which is easily recognisable, the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben’s reassuring chimes peal across the city every hour, on the hour, the Buckingham Palace, regarded has one of the most famous palace and best-known structures in the world, West Minister Abbey, London Eye ride and the iconic list just never ends. With London’s historic architectures, monuments, castles, museums and theatres are some of its main draws, which are best seen in and around the area. Some of the several museums and historic buildings highlight the city’s colourful history and culture.
After experiencing different taste of incredible attractions in and around London, I have come to realised that this city of London is enormous, a city as modern as the 21st century yet a history dating back to Roman times, is a place that has fascinated me and without a doubt many travellers from all around the world for decades.
This city is noisy, vibrant, multicultural and still contains many famous landmarks. I have found that London is very easy to navigate around and is compact enough to explore on foot which is the best way to enjoy this mega city. The famous London Underground, also known as the Tube, is one of the most extensive subway networks in the world. With its endless list of sight-seeing and attractions from beautiful gardens and parks to historic buildings and monuments makes London one of the most popular visited place in the world. With its city parks, gardens, zoos, aquariums, museums and amusement parks certainly present idyllic place for family fun and recreation.
For any honeymooners and visitors, taking a river boat cruise along the River Thame offers romantic and exciting ways to experience the splendour of London. However, outside this bustling city, it offers boundless of unforgettable experiences like the Windsor Castle, Stone Henge, Bath and many more areas that are yet to be explored just in a day or even weeks.
London, a city with endless of tourist attractions can be over-whelming and with its numerous attractions can quite literally engulf you. Therefore, planning is the number one priority when visiting London. My experience in London gives an overview of some of the top attractions in London that are worth visiting and seeing at no cost, as well as paid tours.
Parks and Gardens
After enjoying London’s cafes and restaurants, the following day, it was time to stroll along the parks and gardens. It is incredibly amazing that London is a city where gardens and parks are very much part of London’s free leisure attractions for its visitors and residents to enjoy. They are perfect for relaxing. One of the most noticeable and London’s most loved park as you first step into the heart of the city is the Hyde Park.
This park is set right in the heart of London and is one of the greatest city parks in the world. It offers both world-class events and concerts together with plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind. London’s parks have plenty of activities to enjoy and very family friendly place. This is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. The park is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes. In history, these parks were once reserved as private hunting grounds for the royal family, but now a days, they’re open for everyone to enjoy. As you take a stroll along these parks, you certainly won’t miss some of the breathtaking views.
Feeling like a royal, it was time to visit the Buckingham Palace. It is one of the most liked London sights that many visitors come to see and I wasn’t going to leave London without visiting the area. Buckingham Palace, perhaps the most famous palace in the world and is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attraction and most visited palace by millions of visitors to London.
It is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth and offers tours of staterooms and gardens. Visitors to London don’t have to go far to find this palace for photograph opportunities and was definitely one of the sights that I had to tick off my bucket list. One of the other amazing thing about visiting the palace is watching the “Changing the Guard” ceremony. It is colourful and well synchronised ceremony that will leave you amused.
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall, opened in 1871 is one of the London’s most iconic venue and world’s most famous stage. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in London. Over the years, it has staged almost 200,000 performances – from Sinatra to Wagner, The Beatles to Beyonce, Muhammad Ali to Adele and many of Britain’s own talented and most famous musician like Robbie Williams, Elton John, George Michael, Susan Boyle and many more. It is home to the celebrated BBC Proms.
It is interesting to know that whilst the venue is most famous for its shows by night, by day this treasured building is open for coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and guided tours of the building which I have done and thoroughly enjoyed. The stunning hall and magnificent interior will absolutely blow your mind away and it is highly recommended for any visitors to London.
From visiting parks and gardens to Buckingham Palace and Royal Albert Hall, it was time to head a little out of the city area to Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years and it is used for state occasions and is one of the Queen’s principal residences.
Nestled in a quiet town filled with English history, Windsor Castle dominates the landscape. History states that this castle was built by William the Conqueror after he invaded England in 1066. Today, this castle is both a museum and a royal residence. It is the largest working castle in the world located very close to London.
A visit to this castle not only gave me the impression of the feature of the building but the history of the past, present and the future. Visitors to the area can see the magnificent State Apartments, decorated with some of the finest works of art in the Royal Collection, as well as Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, the Drawings Gallery and St George’s Chapel. These are some of the rarest art collections in the world.
Moving further away from central London, I headed to modern-day city of Salisbury to visit the Stonehenge. Stonehenge is one of the popular sites in the world. Stonehenge is a massive prehistoric stone monument which is located on a chalky plain north of Salisbury, England. History states that, this structure was built between roughly 5,000 and 4,000 years ago and this form just one part of a larger and highly complex scared landscape. Research shows that the site as continuously evolved over a period of about 10,000 years. It is one of the most mysterious monuments in the world and unfortunately, archaeologists have not been able to find a data supporting any one purpose for the construction and use of Stonehenge. It may look very ordinary in the eyes of many visitors but it is history that you take away that puzzles your mind.
The city of Bath arguably the most picturesque is located in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It is rich in history and heritage. As the name implies, Bath is a spa town and this town quickly grew around this complex. History dating back that this England’s West Country has Roman roots and many of its ancient Roman-built baths and structures still stand today and are available for tours. No trip to Bath would be complete without visiting the namesake Roman Baths, which are hot springs that are over 2,000 years old. Yes, I have fall in love with Bath – a unique, feel-good city combining vibrant contemporary culture with a rich history.
Museums, Shopping and Markets
Like many metropolis town, in central London, there are some noteworthy streets and places to go to fulfil your shopping urge especially in big malls, outdoor markets and visiting museums from history to modern. A city as big as London, things can be overwhelming so the last day in London it was best to keep it simple and light. I started the day with a visit to various museums, markets and shops. To finish of the afternoon and London experience, I went to Tate Modern which is on the Southbank of the River Thames which is lined with bars, pubs, restaurants, shops and coffee shops. I took some time to stroll the riverside and pick a venue for the last meal and drinks in the city. You will be really spoilt for choice here.
From personal perspective: It is always fascinating to me that wherever I am travelling to I always have different experiences, feelings and vibes about the area and the people. These feelings differ from place to place and area to area. There are places where I have the WOW factor and there are other places where empathy and sympathy are felt at the same time.
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