It would be easy to write a list of the top 100 things to do in London as there is so much to see in the UK’s capital city but for a short city break or weekend away, you may only have time for a few things,
so here are our top 5 must-see sights and attractions in Central London.
5. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is another icon of London and was one of the most innovative pieces of Victorian engineering ever seen when it was built in 1884. Commonly confused with London Bridge, the Tower Bridge was designed to lift up and let through large ships to pass unobstructed along the Thames. The bridge is still in perfect working order and is lifted two or three times a day to let ships pass further upstream on the River Thames. There is a visitor centre within Tower Bridge which will guide you through its history and the engineering involved.
4. The Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre was originally built for the Festival of Britain in 1951, a way for Britain to showcase its talents and resilience after the Second World War. Today it is one of the most important social and entertainment venues in the UK. An epicentre for classical music, arts and jazz to name but a few, the Southbank Centre holds an eclectic range of exhibitions and events. You can visit the Queen Elizabeth Hall or the Purcell Rooms where the main performances and exhibitions are held or simply just dine in the Skylon restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere.
3. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral has stood in Central London for over 300 years and was one of the few buildings (some may say miraculously) to withstand the Blitz. The architecture is accredited to Christopher Wren and has become a figure symbolising the resilience and determination of London and its residents in World War II. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral and see Nelson and Wellington’s tombs in the crypt. You can climb the steps up to the top of the dome for magnificent views of London and try out the mystifying acoustics in the Whispering Gallery.
2. The Tower of London
As far as landmarks go the Tower of London is pretty impressive but it also has a dark and sinister past which adds to its appeal. The grisly history includes the beheading of Anne Boleyn and you can see the white tower where Richard III locked up his nephews. The Tower is still used today to keep the Crown Jewels and other impressive artifacts safe. You may want to get a guide; a fully dressed Yeoman Warder (commonly known as Beefeaters) can take you round and give you all the bloody details of the Tower of London.
1. The London Eye
The Merlin Entertainment London Eye is a big wheel by the Thames that gives you spectacular views of the city. You can sightsee in style; while the rest of the city rushes around below you, you will be moving leisurely around the big wheel so that you have time to take in the views and capture those photo opportunities. The wheel is actually taller than Big Ben and offers views of up to 40 km on a clear day. The London Eye was originally a temporary feature but due to its success as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the capital, as well becoming an iconic element of London’s skyline, it celebrated its 10th birthday in March 2010.
When you book into one of the hotels in London city, make sure you take this as a checklist and tick off the top five places to go. Of course there are many other worthwhile places to visit as well so you may want to book some extra nights to see as much of them as you can.
Article by: Frederick Lemm
Frederick Lemm works for an agency and writes about hotels in London City for a hotel offering meeting rooms in London City. This content is not promotional, but should be considered professional content.