Visiting London’s Historical Landmarks- 13 Things to do in London
Updated: Jan 15, 2022
Source: | Luna Marina / StockPhotoSecrets
Touring Tokyo and a Journey through Japan-- these are two books I have written about my travels in Japan. Check these out!!!
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. The city was founded by the Romans under the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius around 50 CE after their invasion of Britain in AD 43. The “Londoniun” as it was called was eventually altered to “London.” London is a treasure house for artifacts; the city is a historical masterpiece that uncovers the richness of London’s pageant British History—a history that traces back to many centuries. People all over the world flock to London to soak up the historical richness. In London there are many things to do. This article will cover 13 things to do in London. If you would like to BOOK A FREE WALKING TOUR CLICK HERE.
Some posts on this site may contain affiliate links. If you purchase or book something through these links, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
Visiting London’s Historical Landmarks- 13 Things to do in London
2. Tour the Changing of the Guard at Buckinham Palace
3. Tour the Queen's Life Guard
8. View the St. Paul's Caledral from the River.
10. View the Gherkin from the River
13. Tour London In A Helicopter
1. TOUR THE WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Source: | Claudio Divizia / StockPhotoSecrets
The first thing to do in London is visit the Westminister Abbey in London. The Abbey probably rings a bell to you when you think about the spectacular and elaborate wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Westminister Abbey was founded by Benedict monks and it has become a unique architectural masterpiece that has fulfilled many historical roles. Not only is the Westminister Abbey a prominent place of worship, a venue for Royal weddings, but is also a burial place for famous kings and queens, statesman, and even popular figures like Charles Dickens and Isaac Newton. Additionally, the Abbey holds the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor and the place has been the site for every coronation since 1066. While there you will learn about the ancient orders of chivalry and much more about British history.
Growing up, you probably read about two famous people—Issac Newton and Charles Dickens. Did you already know that they were buried at the Westminster Abbey in London? I had no clue.
TOMBS OF PEOPLE
Who was Issac Newton? He was considered the most prominent scientist of his era. He created the principles of modern physics. As a mathematician and English physicist, Issac Newton studied gravity and light. In fact, his best works focused on the theory of gravity and light composition. It was after 41 years of his famous work Principia, which speaks about the laws of motion, that he took a job as a Warden of the Mint in 1696. It was at the Mint that he produced coins and located counterfeiters who produced fake coins, and made sure they were brought to justice. As a highly motivated scientist, Newton took his mint job very seriously. At the end of the 3 years of being employed at the Mint, in 1699, Isaac Newton received a promotion to Master of the Mint. He died on March 31, 1727, and he was buried at the Westminster Abbey.
Another famous person who was buried at Westminster Abbey was Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was a famous English writer, British Journalist, and critic who contributed greatly to English literature. He is famous for writing Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and Christmas Carol. He died in 1870 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. After touring the Westminster Abbey and learning about the British history of the Abbey, you then travel to St. James Park.
Book tickets for Westminster Abbey here.
2. TOUR THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Source: | Marcus Gann / StockPhotoSecrets
The second thing you can do in London is observe the Changing of the Guard. The Wellington Barracks is situated near Buckingham Palace and it is designed for five Calvary regiments to protect the palace. You can observe the changing of the guard, which involves the guard currently on duty at Buckingham Palace relieving the new guard who meets at Willington Barracks. The new guard is accompanied by a musical band of soldiers who are wearing red tunics and bearskin hats. The guard who protects Buckingham Palace is called the Queen’s Guard. This ceremony usually takes place for about 45 minutes. Following that is the Queens change of the Guard, which is separate from the Changing of the guard.
3. TOUR THE QUEENS LIFE GUARD
The third thing you can do in London is observe the Queens change of the Guard. It is the Queen change of the guard that takes place in the horse guard’s parade, which is a ceremonial parade and it is the official entrance to St. James’s Palace and Buckingham’s Palace. Both Palaces are constantly protected by Calvary troops mounted on elaborate and well groomed horses. The Calvary Regiment are part of the British Army and they are identified by two groups. First, you have the Life Guards which wear white helmets and red tunics. Second, the Blues and Royals wear red helmets and blue tunics. The Queen’s change of the guard takes place every Monday to Saturday at 1100 and 1000 on Sunday.
Book Tickets for the Changing of the Guard Here.
4. TOUR BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Source: | Marcel Ibold / StockPhotoSecrets
The fourth thing you can do in London is tour the impressive Buckingham Palace. You have the opportunity of observe Queen Elizabeth II's official residence, tour the 19 beautiful hall staterooms that are utilized by the Queen for official receptions as well as see popular art masterpieces such as Rubens, Canaletto, Dyck, Rembrandt, and more. Additionally, you can enjoy an audio tour of the Buckingham Gardens, where more than 30 bird species reside and the place where over 350 wildflower species can be found.
Book Tour for Buckingham Palace Here.
5. TOUR THE TRALFAGAR SQUARE
Source: | Tono Balaguer / StockPhotoSecrets
After the change of the guards, the fifth you can do is visit the bustling and energetic Tralfagar square, which is located in the center of Westminster, London. In the 1820s, an architect named John Nash designed the square and completed it in the 1830s. Constructed inside the square is a 169 feet column called Nelson column, which commemorates the demise of a war hero named Admiral Horatio Nelson who audaciously fought in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Situated at the foot of the Column are Lion Sculptures.
Book Tickets for London Tour Including Tralfagar Square Here.
6. TOUR THE THAMES RIVER
The sixth thing you can do in London is embark on a Thames River dinner cruise. The Thames River, which stretches an amazing 215 miles long, is the longest river in England. It is a popular passageway for boat tours. You can marvel at the beauty of London by going on a Thames River Dinner Cruise and observe sights such as the London's Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Shard, and so forth. This 3 hour cruise features a 4 course meal including a half bottle of wine and live music. The meal consists of a savory king prawns mesclun salad and lemon, a delicious smoked salmon mousse with dill centre and mustard, basil, roast pepper, and tomato soup, roasted supreme of chicken wrapped in Parma ham along with delicious potato and mushroom with red wine sauce and thyme as well as seasonal vegetables. Then for dessert, you can enjoy a mouthwatering dark, white, and milk chocolate truffles cake dazzled with raspberry sauce. Along with that you can enjoy some delicious tea or coffee.
Book Tickets for 4 Course River Thames Dinner Cruise Here.
7. RIDE THE LONDON’S EYE
Source: | Michael Bednarek / StockPhotoSecrets
The seventh thing you can do is ride the London's Eye, which is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe. The London’s eye, standing at a staggering 443 feet can give you a bird’s eye and panoramic view of the beautiful landmarks in London including the spectacular and dazzling Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Palace of Westminster, Big Ben,Houses of Parliament, and Tower Bridge.
Book Tickets for London's Eye Here.
8. VIEW THE ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL FROM THE THAMES RIVER
Source: | Unknown / StockPhotoSecrets
The eighth thing to do is observed the St. Paul's Cathedral from the Thames River. This Anglican cathedral was destroyed four times. The first church erected from wood was dedicated to the Apostle Paul in the Bible since 604 AD. What is astounding about this structure is its massive 366 feet dome, which is considered the second largest dome in the world.
Book Tickets for Dinner Cruise Here.
9. TOUR THE SHARD
Source: | Luna Marina / StockPhotoSecrets
The ninth thing to do is view the unbelievable 1016 feet or 95 storey iconic skyscraper named the Shard. Having 11,000 glass panels and towering above the London Bridge Station, the shard was first constructed in 2009 and completed in 2013. It was designed by an Italian architect named Renzi Piano. The shard is the tallest skyscraper in the United Kingdom and the 7th tallest in the Europe. You have the great opportunity to have a tour the Shard. On the tour, you will ascend to the 68 floor in about 60 seconds. On the 69 floor, you will have a breathtaking and marvelous view of the city of London. After marveling over the scenery, you can ascend to the partially covered terrace located on the 72 floor. If you tour the Shard in the summer, you will be able to relax in London's highest garden.
Book Tickets for the Shard Here.
10. VIEW THE GHERKIN FROM THE THAMES RIVER
Source: | Author unknown / StockPhotoSecrets
The tenth thing to do is view the Gherkin, which is an elaborate bullet shaped and swirling striped skyscraper. Standing at an astounding 590 feet, the monumental structure essentially is a city of office workers. The Gherkin is recognized as a prominent skyscraper in London and it is regarded as the second tallest building in London and 3 times the Niagara Fall’s height.
11. TOUR THE TOWER BRIDGE
Source: | Anshar / StockPhotoSecrets
The eleventh thing to do is tour the Tower Bridge. Located on the Thames River between Southwark and the City of London lies the stunning and eye-catching suspension tower bridge-- a famous landmark in London. In 1886, the Tower Bridge was designed by Horace Jones, the city architect at the time. The Tower Bridge has two Gothic like towers and two walkways.
Book London Tour Including Tower Bridge Here.
12. TOUR THE TOWER OF LONDON
Source: | dglavinova / StockPhotoSecrets
The twelfth thing to do is tour the London Tower. The Tower of London has significantly drawn an influx of people all over the world. As an iconic historic site, the tower swims in a diverse sea of history. The 1,000-year-old castle guards the dazzling Crown Jewels, which you will learn more about in the article. In the past, the Tower gained the reputation as being a guarded fortress, arsenal, a royal palace, a zoo, treasury, and unfortunately an infamous prison. At the Tower of London, you will be able to observe the three sides of the Tower- (1) Palace, (2) Fortress, and (3) Prison.
It was 1066 when victory was declared at the Battle of Hastings under the reign of William the Conqueror, who founded the Tower of London. The project commenced with the construction of a wooden castle, which eventually turned into a white tower. Later on the tower was called the “Tower of London.”
It is estimated that more than 30 people have observed the fabulous crown jewels. For over 600 years, Kings and Queens have stored their robes and crowns in the Tower of London.
Much of the pristine crown jewel accumulation was ravaged by Oliver Cromwell in 1649. However, the crown jewel was recreated when Charles II took the throne. Interestingly, there is an 800-year-old piece of valuable and precious history that survived Cromwell. That is the coronation spoon. The remaining accumulation though genuine was integrated after the reign of Cromwell and Charles II, and so forth. The Crown Jewels have been heavily secured in a vault on the ground floor since 1994.
Book Tickets for the London Tour Here.
13. LONDON FROM THE AIR
The thirteenth thing to do is take a helicopter tour of London. After exploring London from the ground, you have the opportunity to explore London from an aerial viewpoint. This 10 minute helicopter ride will hover over London's magnificent landmarks allowing you to see London from above.
Book Tickets for the Helicopter London Tour Here.
OTHER LONDON TOURS
Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath Day Trip
Leed's Castle, Canterbury Castle, and White Cliffs of Dover