London: A Visitor’s Guide
Have you seen our guidebook? Honest reviews of 200 London attractions with money-saving tips, opening times, prices and maps
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If tourists only take one photograph in London then it’s invariably of Big Ben. ‘Big Ben’ is actually the name of the bell, rather than the tower. You can actually get permission to climb up Big Ben, and stand in the belfry whilst the bell goes off. (Don’t worry, ear-plugs are provided!) Read Craig’s review here.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is arguably London’s most beautiful building, by the country’s greatest-ever architect – Christopher Wren. Every tourist should definitely make sure they visit the famous Whispering Gallery. We also recommend a Choral Evensong service. 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon-Sat); Closed (Sun, except for worship); Last entry 30 mins before closing – Cost: Adults £18.00; Children £8.00 (6-17); Infants free (under-6); Family ticket £44.00
Tower Bridge should be a pure piece of kitsch… a mock-gothic building built in the 19th-century. But its two castle-like towers have become synonymous with London around the world. If yoiu’re lucky then you might be able to see Tower Bridge open and close. 10 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Sun, Apr-Sep); 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (Mon-Sun, Oct-Mar); Last entry 30 mins before closing – Cost: Adults £9.00; Children £3.90 (5-15); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £20.30
Nelson’s Column celebrates the life and death of the country’s greatest naval hero – Horatio Nelson. He stares down on Trafalgar Square from his lofty pedestal 185-feet above the pigeons, guarded by four huge bronze lions.
The London Eye is one of the capital’s newest landmarks, built for the millennial celebrations in 2000. As one of the largest observation wheels in the world, it offers visitors a 360 degree view up to 25 miles, in a trip that lasts for half-an-hour. You can read Craig’s review here. 10 AM to 8.30 PM (last week of Jan-3rd week of Mar); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (3rd week of Mar-1st half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (2nd half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (Sun-Thu, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Fri-Sat, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Jul-Aug); 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Sep-1st week of Jan); Closed (middle 2 weeks of Jan) – Cost: Adults £21.20; Children £16.95 (3-15); Infants free (under-3)
The Houses of Parliament are home to the UK government. It is made up of two chambers, the Lords and the Commons, and both are open to the public. As well as touring the entire building, you can also attend debates when the MPs are sitting. The public can attend debates on Mon-Fri, and take tours during Aug/Sep, and most Saturdays
The Tower of London is one of London’s most important and historic landmarks, begun by William the Conqueror in the 11th-century and added to ever since. Don’t miss the Ceremony of the Keys and the Yeoman’s Tour. 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Mar-Oct); 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Mar-Oct); 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Nov-Feb); 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Nov-Feb); Last entry 30 mins before closing – Cost: Adults £25.00; Children £12.00 (5-15); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £63.00
No.10 Downing Street is the traditional home of the British PM . The shiny black door is one of the most famous front doors in the world, but unfortunately the street has been sealed off since 1989. You can only see it now through a big black iron gate.
Piccadilly Circus is famous for the huge neon advertising signs, and the statue of Eros on the central fountain. Most people think that he represents the Greek god of Love, but he is actually the Angel of Christian Charity.
Have you seen our guide to London events yet? It has lots more ideas about things to do