London, England’s capital, set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
London Things To Know
This gigantic revolving wheel was known as the Millennium Wheel when it was erected in 1999. Originally set to last only a month, its instant popularity set in motion plans to make it a permanent fixture and it’s now hard to imagine the London skyline without it. Traveling in a climate-controlled capsule at a casual 26 cm per second, this 30-minute ride above offers a constantly shifting perspective of London. At the start of your trip it’s a great way to orient yourself. At the end of your trip it’s a great way to see all the places you’ve covered.
New York has Broadway, London has the West End, and… well, there is no third place; London is one of the two best places in the world to see theater (or as Londoners say: “thee-ah-tre”). Highlights include the evergreen Lion King (20+ years and counting), award-magnet Matilda, and the raunchy (yet heartwarming) Book of Mormon. Most of the restaurants in the Theatre District have a ‘pre-show menu’, designed to get you well-fed and out the door in time for the curtain to drop.
Tower of London
The Tower of London has served at the center of royal power struggles for almost a thousand years. The power it holds is so great that there are six ravens that guard the tower at all times. Legend has it that if they fail to keep dutiful watch, the kingdom (as in United Kingdom) will fall. And that’s just one of the fascinating doom-mongering legends attached to this place. What else would you expect from a place that’s haunted by (among others) Henry VI, Anne Boleyn and a polar bear?
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