10 ICONIC THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN LONDON
When a friend recently asked what there is to see in London we decided we’d make a list for them, about 20 minutes and 2 pages later we realised the infinite possibilities that makes up London. It really has it all, heart throb hipsters, suave suits, primadona princess’s, tacky tourists, celebs, politicians and then just everyday people. With so much variety in the people that frequent London, it’s no wonder that there really is something to tickle anyone’s pickle.
Once you’ve worked out what you want to see consider the London Pass especially if everything you’re going to is covered on the card, you’ll save yourself a pretty penny. The other way to see it all is the hop on hop off bus companies which charge a fee for unlimited stops. An excellent idea if you’ve just arrived and want to see it all and get your bearings.
So we've gone and broken it down to some of the most Iconic London sights that you surely won't want to miss:
1. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace seems to ring loud and clear on the top of many tourists’ lists as they arrive into London. With the traditional changing of the guards’ ceremony taking place as well as tours of Buck Palace you can tailor your visit. During the winter months the changing is on alternative days so check out all the information via their website. You can also visit certain areas of Buckingham Palace in a guided tour, advance booking is recommended and can be done via their website.
2. Westminster Abbey
If you’re one of those peculiar royal fans then Westminster Abbey means a fair bit to you, the chance to visit could even be a life time goal. For most tourists it’s a great place to tick off the tourist trail list before moving onto another attraction. Church fans or Royal fans might like to invest a little more time into this beautiful abbey with a tour. If it free to worship at a daily church service at Westminster; however if you’d like to do the guided tour it will set you back £15 for adults.
3. London Eye
Most people get quite the kick when they see the London Eye and why wouldn’t you? It’s a giant ferris wheel attraction that gives you some amazing views of the bustling London. A real attraction just to look at, the London Eye offers half an hour rotations in a variety of packages. Take the basic spin or amp it up with wine or whiskey tastings, for the best value get your tickets online and save 10%.
There is nothing more amusing for Londoners to see tourists furiously snapping photos of Tower Bridge knowing that they think it’s London Bridge. Most professionals working in the London Bridge area will have at one point been asked by a tourist where London Bridge is as they stand on it. It’s true that Tower Bridge is a much more impressive sight and it shines both day and night. If time allows it, make sure you get to see it in both lights as it really is beautiful. Have a look on the website’s schedule for a really special treat of seeing the bridge lift.
5. Big Ben
Big Ben is a well recognised landmark in London, despite this I stood directly in front of it trying to find it. By no means is this a reflection of how impressive Big Ben is, mainly it reflects my IQ, it truly is impressive to look at and photograph. It is possible to visit the House of Parliament whilst you’re checking of the big B. If you’re lucky enough to be a resident a letter to your local MP can get you an all access tour up to where the bell inside is rung.
6.St Paul's Cathedral
For those looking for something a bit more spiritual St Paul’s Cathedral should tick all boxes. Although it’s not London’s biggest attraction it is a very impressive structure with a lot of see and do; explore the underground crypt or enjoy an impressive view from the Golden Gallery. If you’re not keen on forking out your hard earned cash then just take a few photos in front of St Pauls.
You know its summer when London’s Hyde Park is filled with people sporting shorts or swimming wear and carrying makeshift picnics of cheese and wine. It really is a beautiful park perfect for running around, bike riding or just wandering aimlessly. Summer is preferred and the lake is picture perfect in the afternoon. Speaker’s Corner is perfect to listen to the thought provoking or plain weird opinions of others. Borrow a Borris bike a scope it all out for free, just keep in mind that some tracks are walking only.
8. Abbey Road
Abbey Road is the big pilgrimage for all Beatles Fans with the infamous zebra crossing image being world famous. It’s super easy to get to via the London Tube. Just get off at St John’s Wood tube station and walk about five minutes to reach it. Worried you won’t see it? Never fear there will be numerous tourists trying to dodge traffic to get their perfect snap. Yes, that’s right it’s a public road with real traffic that gets a bit frustrated with idiots running onto the road. Be safe and be courteous to traffic and other fans. We recommend you stand at the monument in the middle of the road and try and get a shot from there, it’s the right angle and it’s the safest way. Abbey Road studios has a live web cam that takes photos but it’s from the opposite direction from the album cover and isn’t amazing.
9. The Tower of London
The Tower of London is another must see for tourists, especially if they wish to view some rare royal items such as the crown jewels. There is a lot to see and learn at the Tower, including the medieval palace and the wall walk. If you’re into something a bit more sinister learn about torture methods that were used, don’t worry they’re not used anymore! Like most attractions it’s a bit cheaper to get tickets online, you’ll save a pound or two.
10. Harrods Department Store
We’ve been good to all those shopping hating husbands and boyfriends out there and have left all the major shopping districts off this list. However if you’re going to see one department store then it may as well be the infamous Harrods. Whilst most things are ludicrously priced here, you can pick yourself up a popular Harrods bag in one of their many colours and styles. Check out the toy department from a bit of jaw dropping at prices and the beautiful and wonderfully displayed food hall, where you should be able to afford something small to take home.