Staying in London just one time should be on the check list of any person who likes to see the world. Staying in one area for the majority of your vacation? You may want to consider renting a home instead of camping out in the cheapest hotel room you can find. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a vacation rental that perfectly suits your needs, and may even be cheaper, in the long run, than staying in a hotel. Most UK vacation rentals average from $50-150 a night, and come fully furnished with all the essentials. Save a great deal on food by cooking from the comfort of your own home-away-from-home.
One of Britain’s most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London’s most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard. Drawing crowds at 11:30am in every season, this colorful and free display of precision marching and music also takes place at St. James’s Palace where you can follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites. Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria’s accession. If you’re wondering whether the Queen is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, she’s at home. On special state occasions, she and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony.
A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic London Eye. Originally constructed to celebrate the millennium, the Eye is a giant ferris wheel offering gorgeous views across the city. At night, the wheel is lit up in seasonal colors and is the centerpiece of London’s annual New Year’s fireworks display. You can share one of the spacious pods with other keen visitors, or splurge on a private pod for you and someone special. Team your visit to the Eye with a trip to the adjacent London Aquarium to see aquatic creatures from around the world, including jellyfish, seahorses and crocodiles.
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The glass-like dome shape of this botanical garden looks like a transparent train terminal. It’s a safe haven for exquisite plants and flowers. The Royal Botanical Garden has a historic palm house that is home to its very own tropical rainforest, an 18-meter-high treetop walkway that gives visitors an experience like never before, and a charming glasshouse for alpine plants. It’s a sanctuary of green bliss and calm.
The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that was built across the River Thames at the beginning of the millennium. The name of the bridge was derived from the time of its construction. This pedestrian bridge stretches across for a total of 1,066 feet and links two famous London landmarks, the Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral. A stroll along the bridge is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and get amazing photographs of some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in London.
How could you miss one of the capital’s most iconic areas? Come and marvel at Nelson’s Column and the four huge lion statues. Feeding the pigeons is now discouraged (due to the spread of diseases), so please don’t bring them any treats. On the north side of Trafalgar Square, you can visit the National Gallery and just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have free permanent displays and regular special exhibitions. Trafalgar Square was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations. Look out for the George Washington Statue and the World’s Smallest Police Box, as well as the London Nose.