London is a city built from icons, from its buildings and places to its residents you’re never too far from an incredible thing! Movie sets, architectural gems, government palaces, the Royal Family- the list really does go on and is very extensive.
So how do you go about choosing the best ones on your next visit? Well, hopefully this list of London’s absolute best locations will help you to take full advantage of the best London hotels deals for your next trip. Make the most of having the best accommodation Paddington has on offer at the Park Grand Paddington Court London and explore the city to its fullest extent! Let’s take a look at the places you simply can’t miss.
The Houses of Parliament (& Big Ben)
The Palace of Westminster is perhaps one of the most recognisable buildings anywhere in the world. The home of the British Government, and one of the most stunning buildings in the entire city. It was originally constructed in the 11th century and has withstood multiple fires, bomb strikes and revolutions. Elizabeth Tower (more commonly known as Big Ben) sits on the North end of the structure, and has recently been restored; so it looks better than ever! If you want the best view of Parliament, then wait until the sun sets. The building is lit from foundations to roof, and looks simply incredible.
Buckingham Palace is another one of London’s incredible buildings- and once again is probably known by people around the world; even if they’ve never been! The Royal Guard standing firm at the gates, the tree lined Mall and of course the palace itself all make this one of the city’s most beautiful spots, you can even tour the inside of the palace. Used by the Queen as her London office and weekend residence keep an eye out for the Union Flag flying atop the building, signifying the Queen’s presence!
Not to be confused with London Bridge, Tower Bridge is an incredibly impressive structure. Completed in 1894 it stands tall above the river, connecting the North and South of the city. The walkways connecting the two towers are open to the public, so you can cross the glass floors almost 250 feet above the Thames. Make sure you try and time your visit to see the bridge opening, it is truly a magnificent and elegant engineering marvel.
The Tower of London
Just across Tower Bridge is the Tower of London, an imposing castle-like structure and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the whole city. At over 1,000 years old it was originally constructed by William the Conqueror and has been used as an armoury, a prison, a King’s menagerie, an execution ground and as the home of the Crown Jewels. There are numerous resident ghosts; most notably Guy Fawkes and Anne Boleyn, who can be seen walking the grounds at night. It is one of London’s most fascinating buildings full to the brim with history and intrigue.
St’ Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is an architectural gem, and one of the most beautiful and imposing buildings on London’s skyline. The dome is actually one of the largest in the world, joining the likes of the Pantheon. It stands at an incredible 366 feet high, and you can actually climb to the top for a stunning view of the city. Inside there is a whispering gallery that allows even the faintest of whispers to be heard from an incredible 30 metres away!
The London Eye
The London Eye is a great modern addition to the city, and has actually become one of the city’s most well known landmarks. Essentially a giant ferris wheel, the London Eye allows you to take a ride and get perhaps the best view in Europe of any capital. It stays open after sunset, and riding it after dark is an entirely different experience. The capital will be lit below you, and you’ll have half an hour to find the city’s iconic buildings, glowing in the dark. Truly magical.
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone isn’t really a place, so this one is a bit of a cheat… But bear with me; this stone is one of the most important historical artefacts ever discovered. Rightly or wrongly, it has found a home in the British Museum which is one of the best museums in the world and is absolutely worth a visit too. The Stone is the only reason we can decipher ancient Egyptian, and has unlocked so many secrets and allowed so much insight into their ancient world. Its importance really can’t be overstated, and it almost gives off an eerie sense of knowledge.
221B Baker Street
Yes you read that right. The home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth Sherlock Holmes is a real place. In fact it’s more than just a real place; there is a museum dedicated to the detective and his loyal partner Dr. John Watson. For fans of the TV show ‘Sherlock’, and fans of the original novels, this place holds a bit of magic.
Platform 9 ¾
Harry Potter and London have become synonymous, you can’t have one without the other; so it would be impossible to write this list without including the famous Platform 9 ¾. Kings Cross train station has actually embraced the magic by building the entrance to the platform, complete with a luggage trolley half embedded in the wall! There is an incredible Harry Potter bookshop and gift shop here too, so you Potterheads won’t be disappointed!
So there we have it, 9 locations without which no trip to London would be complete. All the locations on this list are within the city, and easily reached via public transport. So for those of you with hotels near Paddington Station it will be amazingly easy to visit all of these places and more in just a few days. Make the most of your time in the city and visit the most impressive and exciting London icons!