Top 10 London Sights – Part 1
Top 10 London Sights (part one)
Westminster Abbey – visit the great Abbey where its Kings and Queens are buried in magnificent tombs. This is my favourite spot in the entire world. You can visit the Royal Tombs, Poets’ Corner, the Cloisters and the Nave.
I recommend skipping the guided tour and picking up an audio guide which is free with your admission entry tickets. These hand-held devices are easy to use and you get to hear Jeremy Irons’ lovely voice. How can you say no to that? 🙂
Don’t forget to visit the Museum where you can see the effigies of Edward III, Henry VII, Charles II, William III, Mary II and Queen Anne. Effigies or tombs: I love both!
I have popped in here three times, every time I come to London, and cannot wait to return someday soon.
The Abbey is across from Big Ben and Parliament so you can visit all three in a morning and have plenty of time left to to see other sights on my list.
As you walk from Westminster Abbey, you will Big Ben and Parliament across the street. This photo is taken from across the bridge, near the London Eye. The Abbey is behind Big Ben.
Big Ben, officially called the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, was completed in 1858.
The Palace of Westminster, or better known as The Houses of Parliament, is where the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet.
Big Ben and Parliament are one of the most well-known landmarks in London and the world. All visitors can visit Parliament but only UK residents can book a tour of Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben.
I have been here three times and I simply love walking around this area of London. It can be quite touristy so go early in the morning.
Highgate Cemetery is in the north of London. I have a particular fondness for cemeteries, tombs and graves so this was one of the highlights of my London travels. Basically, I’ve never met a tomb I did not love. 🙂
The best grave is that of Karl Marx who spent the last thirty years of his life living in London. Originally just a simply grave, this spectacular tombstone was added in 1954 (many years after his 1883 death) by the Communist Party of Great Britain.
Whatever your beliefs, Karl Marx was a revolutionary writer who played a key role in the upcoming century. As a Russian historian, Marx’s impact cannot be understated. His Communist Manifesto was written in 1848 and along with Das Kapital in 1867, these two books left a huge impact on most subjects than I can list.
I do think a visit to Highgate Cemetery is worth it as you can as there are 170,000 buried in around 53,000 graves. Karl is buried in the East Cemetery, and vistors can roam freely after paying the entrance charge, while you can see the West Cemetery by guided tour only.
Don’t forget to bring your copy of the Communist Manifesto! 🙂
Tower Bridge is another one of those iconic images of London. It is located near the Tower of London and crosses the River Thames.
It was completed in 1894. It is often mistaken for London Bridge, the next bridge upstream.
This is a lovely area to go for a stroll along the river banks.
Tower of London is just across from the Tower Bridge. You’ll need a good afternoon to see everything here. Join a Yeoman Warder tour (it is included in your ticket admission).
Originally founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 as a Castle, known as the White Tower. It’s primary purpose was not as a prison but as a royal residence. It was also the starting point for the procession to Westminster Abbey for the coronation of the monarch from the 14th century until the 17th century.
It is most well-known as a prison. From the murder of the Princes in the Tower to the executions of many people under King Henry VIII including two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Other notables executed include Lady Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and Sir Walter Raleigh.
Come back tomorrow for part two of my London top ten! Click here for Part Two!