London - Extract from the Rough Guide to London

"For the visitor, too, London is a thrilling place ... the city is in a buoyant mood, particularly after winning the right to stage the Olympics in 2012. The facelift that the capital has undergone over the last decade or so has seen virtually every one of London's world-class museums, galleries and institutions reinvented, from the Royal Opera House to the British Museum. The city now boasts the world's largest modern-art gallery in Tate Modern, the tallest observation wheel in the London Eye, and two fantastic new pedestrian bridges that have helped transform the south bank of the Thames into a magnet for visitors and Londoners alike."

 

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Windsor Castle

 

Is the official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years. The Castle covers an area of about 5 hectares (13 acres) and contains magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, St George's Chapel (one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of 10 monarchs), and Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature.

 

 

Big Ben

 

Big Ben the 320 foot high Clock Tower is named after the largest bell, weighing over 13 tons, and was cast in 1858 at the White chapel Bell Foundry in East London. To this day one of the largest bells they have ever cast. Each clock face is over 7m in diameter. When the Houses of Parliament | sits by night a light in the Clock Tower burns above Big Ben. Old pennies act as counterweights to ensure Big Ben keeps time to the nearest second.

The Gothic masterpiece that are the present Houses of Parliament, were constructed between 1840 and 1888 .

 

 

Tower Bridge Experience

At the Tower Bridge Experience visitors can see one of the most famous bridges in the world and spectacular views from the high level walkways 140ft above the Thames. In the two towers, there's an exhibition which explains the history of Tower Bridge.

Address: Tower Bridge, SE1 2UP
Telephone:020 7403 3761
Opening Hours: open daily 09:30-18:00 (Last admission 5:00pm)
Admission: adult £4.50, child (5-15) £3.00
Nearest Station: Tower Hill Tube

 

 

British Airways London Eye

The British Airways London Eye is the world's highest observation wheel and its 30-minute slow-moving flight gives unrivalled views over London. From its steel and glass capsules, you can peek into the back garden of Buckingham Palace and, on a clear day, see across seven counties.

Booking/information line: 0870 5000 600
Admission: £13 (adults), £6.50 (children), Free(under 5s)
Nearest Station: Waterloo / Westminster Tube

 

 

Tower of London

At The Tower of London, guarded by the celebrated Beefeaters, visitors can see Traitors' Gate, the priceless Crown Jewels and the famous ravens. Over the centuries, this amazing building has been a fortress, prison, palace and even a zoo. The carefully restored medieval part of the Tower is brought alive by costumed guides. There is also exhibitions of armour and swords and you can see the spot where the notorious second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded.

Address: HM Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
Telephone:0870 756 6060
Admission: adults £12, kids £7.80, concession £9
Nearest Station: Tower Hill Tube

 

 

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon is setting the streets on fire with a brand new 'hot' attraction - The Great Fire of London. You can also take a barge trip down the River Thames on the Judgement Day ride to face a firing squad, after being sentenced to death by a sombre 18th century judge! There's also a torture chamber and the chance to unmask Jack the Ripper - the infamous serial killer. It's not suitable for very young children or those of a nervous disposition!


Address: 28/34 Tooley Street, SE1 2SZ
Telephone:020 7403 7221
Admission: £14.50 adults, £10.45 children
Nearest Station: London Bridge Tube

 

 

Madame Tussaud's

Madame Tussaud's Waxwork Museum is the world famous collection of wax figures of the notable and notorious, everyone from Sigmund Freud to Madonna. Recent additions include their new interactive experiences section where you can try out as a Pop Idol, be snapped by the paparazzi, get up close and personal to serial killers and explore the galaxy. Relive David Beckham's moment of glory as he scores against Greece to qualify in dramatic fashion for the World Cup and squeeze Brad Pitt's beguiling biceps.

Address: Marylebone Road, NW1 5LR
Telephone:0870 400 3000
Opening Times: Weekdays 09:00-17:30
Weekends 09:00-18:00
Admission: £19.99 adults, £15.99 children
Nearest Station: Baker Street tube

 

 

London Zoo

London Zoo is one of the world's most famous zoos and is home to over 12,000 animals. Meet the Animals shows are held daily, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the animals from their keepers. Rare and beautiful animals can be seen in the Aquarium, Elephant House, Penguin Pool, Snowdon Aviary and the new Web of Life exhibition. Highlights include glimpses of the Gaint Anteater, Sloth Bears and cub on Bear Mountain.

Address: Regent's Park, NW1 4RY
Telephone:020 7722 3333
Opening Times: 10:00-16.00 (Nov-Feb) and 10:00-17:30 (Mar-Oct).
Entrance: Adult £12.00, Students £10.20, Child £9.00
Nearest Station: Baker Street / Camden Town.

 

 

London Aquarium

The London Aquarium features hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, displayed around two huge tanks representing the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Come face-to-face with sharks, and watch divers feeding gigantic conger eels. Seahorses, rays, starfish and piranhas are on show, too.

Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB
Telephone:020 7967 8000
Admission: £8.75 adult, £5.25 children
Nearest Station: Waterloo / Westminster Tube

 

 

Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens)


At Kew Gardens, there are 300 acres containing living collections of over 40,000 varieties of plants. The Palm House is world-famous and there are other magnificent tropical, alpine and temperate houses. The Princess of Wales Conservatory recreates ten different kinds of environments, with appropriate plants in natural settings.

Address: Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
Information:020 8332 5655
Opening times: Open daily 09:30-17:30, 18:30 (March-Sept)
Nearest Station: Kew Gardens tube/rail

 

 

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral is one of the world's most famous cathedrals, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. This classical cathedral represents inspiration and craftsmanship on a grand scale. The Light of the World by Holman Hunt is its most famous work of art, but it also contains fabulous carvings, statues and mosaics.

Address: Ludgate Hill, EC4
Telephone:0 20 7236 4128
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 08:30-16:00
Admission: £7 adults, £6 concs, £3 kids
Nearest Station: St Paul's Tube

 

 

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is open to the public from 30 July until 27 September 2005. This is the official London residence of the Queen and you can visit the magnificent State Rooms, where over the centuries, the wealthy and the powerful have walked. Open daily in summer.

Address: Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA
Information: 020 7321 2233
Entrance: £13.50 adults, £7.50 children
Tube: Victoria or Green Park Tube

 

 

 

Quick links

 

London Theatre London Eye River Cruises Buckingham Palace
National Theatre Madame Tussaud's Walking Tour of London Kensington Palace
London Guide London Zoo Tower of London Hampton Court Palace
British Tourist Authority Cabinet War Rooms Westminster Abbey Windsor Castle

 

 

 

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