Ultimate Travel Guide For London!
As soon as one sets foot in London, one feels that it was once in the capital of its giant empire. For centuries, England has accumulated an enormous splendor, culture, wealth and brain. A beautiful synthesis of the new and the old, the past and the future has emerged. So let me take you on a journey to London and give you the ultimate travel guide for London.
PLACES TO VISIT
HISTORICAL PLACES & EVENTS
The palace, the White House of the United Kingdom, has been the official address of the British Royal since 1837, following Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne. In fact, the Duke of Buckingham built it here in 1702 as his mansion in London, but gradually changed hands and expanded into a royal residence. When Albert, the wife of Queen Victoria, passed away in 1861, the Queen began to mourn and moved to Windsor Castle with worldly pleasures. For a while, the palace was left empty, but in 1901 King Edward and the palace were revived again.
The famous balcony where the royal family greeted the people was added in 1914 during King George the 5th. During World War I, the inhabitants of the palace, King George the 5th and Queen Mary were forced to flee. During the Second World War, the palace was bombed 9 times. In these bombings, the biggest loss is given in the chapel of the palace. Even during a bombardment, Queen Elizabeth was also in court.
The palace is open to visitors only during the summer season and the Queen’s Gallery is visited by royal items and rooms. Of course, since this is the official residence of the Queen, most parts of the palace are closed to visitors. For those who come outside this period, it is a must for London to look at the palace from the outside and watch the famous soldiers change.
Changing the Guard at the British Royal Palace Buckingham
The exchange of soldiers takes place every day between April and July at 11.30, and between August and March in front of the palace. The change clock can change periodically from time to time. You can check the current exchange times day by day month by month at http://changing-guard.com/dates-buckingham-palace.html. It is recommended that you be in the area just before the time of the change because there is an incredible crowd.
Palace of Westminster (Parliament House)
This is the heart of politics in the United Kingdom, and also home to the royal family at the time. Built in the 11th century, the palace received a considerable share of fires from time to time. The palace, which was the main camp of the kings of England until the great fire of 1512, was damaged after the fire, and then began to host the British Parliament and the Court of Justice.
It is in this building that the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which we will all remember from history lessons, were gathered. In 1834, a much larger fire broke out than the first, and the last medieval parts of the building were destroyed. One of those days was Westminster Hall, St. Petersburg. The arches of St. Mary’s Chapel, the monastery of St. Stephen’s Church and the Jewel Tower survived.
Of course, the renovated palace of today is much more comprehensive and larger, including the remaining parts of the old palace. The 300-meter-long façade and 32,375-square-foot giant building with 1000-odd rooms were rebuilt in the 19th century in the Gothic style by architect Charles Barry. Another symbol of London, the famous Big Ben, the Elizabeth Tower, is one of Barry’s additions. In 1987, UNESCO took over the event and included it in the World Heritage List.
Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower)
Another iconic structure in London is undoubtedly the Elizabeth Tower, or Big Ben, the most widely known name. Actually, Big Ben is the name of the huge 13-ton bell in the tower, but eventually became the name of the entire tower. When the Palace of Westminster was damaged by fire in 1834, Charles Barry, who lifted the palace complex again, added this famous 96-meter clock tower to its design in 1844.
When it was first built, there was another bell instead of Big Ben, but it cracked beyond repair. Then the metal of the cracking bell was melted and replaced by Big Ben. Big Ben played for the first time on May 31, 1859. In fact, after Big Ben was hung, a cracked but lighter rammer was installed, and the damaged area was returned. It’s been the same Big Ben that day.
So why Big Ben? There are two theories about this. The first theory is “Big Ben en dedicated to the large size of Sir Benjamin Hall, one of the names behind the post-fire reconstruction process, and the second is dedicated to heavyweight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt of his time. Because Benjamin Caunt’s nickname was Ben Big Ben.
Everyone will remember it as the place where the wedding of Prince William of England and the Duchess of Cambridge took place with his wife Kate Middleton. We all watched the wedding on April 29, 2011, live on the screen. In fact, 400 million clicks on the internet wedding records had broken records. This is the place where 700-year-old historical monasteries, royal weddings, funerals, and coronation ceremonies are held.
In fact, before the present structure, it was founded as a monastery belonging to the Benedictine sect of Christianity. In other words, the known history of the monastery dates back more than 1000 years to the 10th century. Since the coronation of William, in 1066, the coronation of the British Royal family has been held here, as well as the graves of the 17 dynasties. Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, one of the most important scientists in the world even though they are not royal members, are among the famous names buried here.
In addition, the monastery has so far performed 16 royal weddings, including those of Kate and William. Built-in 1245 by the order of King Henry the Third, the architecture of the building seen today is Anglo-Saxon in Gothic style. It’s like a living museum. The place is full of oil paintings, stained glass, and other valuable objects
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral, which belongs to the Anglican sect, is both the largest religious building in London, the Episcopal center and one of the most popular tourist attractions. Although it was from the 17th century, it had to be reconstructed many times due to the damage it had suffered in the battles it had seen. At the time it was built, it was the tallest building in London with 111 meters. Now, after Liverpool Cathedral, the UK’s second largest religious structure.
It is said that the dome is the largest church dome in the world. Some of the major events that took place here were the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, the celebration of Queen Victoria’s anniversary, the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the 80th and 90th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth. 500 years of traditional church music.
Almost every week there are different concerts, church choir events, church organ performances. The entire music program is available on the church website: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/worship-music/music/concerts-and-events
Within the Kensington Gardens, this modest palace has been home to the kings, queens, dukes, and Duchess of England since the 17th century. As King William had an asthma problem, King William and Queen Mary bought the palace in this garden, far from the fog and moisture of the River Thames, in 1689 and lived there for the rest of their lives. The most beautiful part of the palace he gained was the Orangery built in 1704.
In time, this Orangery ceased to be an ordinary greenhouse and became a socializing place for royal members to enjoy. In 1837, when Queen Victoria of Great Britain ascended the throne, she moved to Buckingham Palace but settled her family and relatives there. Queen Mary was born here in 1867.
Now it’s the home of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate and her children, the most popular couple in the world since 2013. He also lives in an apartment here. The touristic sections of the palace are run by the non-profit organization Historic Royal Palaces. While you are in there don’t miss the royal family-style tea at the Orangery, which is used as the café of the palace.
The Windsor Castle, which is over 900 years old, is the oldest and largest in use in the world. Even today it is one of the UK’s official accommodations. Especially the favorite residence of Queen Elizabeth, especially at weekends. The castle, located in Windsor, Berkshire, is about 20 kilometers from the capital, London. The most famous dollhouse in the world, Queen Mary’s doll house, chapel, government offices, such as tours can be visited.
9. Tower Bridge
We will remember the song “London Bridge is falling down my fair lady,, we are talking about London’s iconic swinging bridge scale. The twin-tower bridge, which connects the two sides of the city, was built in 1894, using 11,000 tons of steel, in 8 years for 432 workers to work every day. The bridge used to be powered by steam, but now with electricity.
Nevertheless, every detail of the old system has been preserved and transformed into an exhibition. On the River Thames, you can visit the old Victorian engine room, where the bridge is open and close and you can watch the view from the later glass walkway. For opening and bleeding times of the bridge: http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/lift-times
Tate Modern is one of the most prestigious modern art museums in the world, exhibiting works by modern masters such as Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol. A few years ago, he moved to his new building called Switch House, formerly used as an energy station, with a beautiful view on the banks of the River Thames. Thus, the museum increased its capacity by 60%.
The British Museum is one of the most prestigious museums in the world with a collection that has witnessed more than 2 million years of human history. In fact, rather than a museum, it is more like a conservation center where concrete cultural elements from all periods and civilizations are gathered under one roof.
Founded in 1753 and having 6 million visitors a year, the museum features statues from the Parthenon, the temple of Athena, mummies from Egypt, Roman remains objects from the cultures of North American Indians, permanent art collections from the modern era and temporary exhibitions. there is. Also, if you ask me to make five tea, the cafe in the museum is also very convenient.
The reading room in the museum is very important. Karl Marx wrote the book Das Kapital, which shook the world, in this room when he was exiled to London. However, he passed away without seeing the publication. After his death, a friend compiled his writings and published the book.
The V&A Museum
Referring to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the Victoria and Albert Museum, in short V&A, is one of the most valuable art collections in England. The museum, which has 5000 years of artifacts, was founded in 1852 and has grown to date by adding new pieces to its collection. The museum, which has been restored in recent years, has 2.3 million pieces from the Medieval and Renaissance galleries, jewelry, architecture and design galleries that testify to British history.
National Gallery is a comprehensive museum where you can find the most important examples of painting in Europe from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner, Renoir to Van Gogh’s more than 2000 works of important masters are exhibited in the galleries here. In addition to its permanent collection, there are also temporary exhibitions of many important modern masters. As with other museums, both entrance and tours are completely free.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous detective, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of the novel. In all the adventures of the series, Sherlock Holmes’s roommate and his caretaker Dr. Watson and his house are housed in the book as a museum. The museum features Sherlock Holmes’ adventures of wax sculptures, Victorian items, and a souvenir shop.
The London Eye
Located in London’s South Bank, overlooking the River Thames, also known as the Millennium Wheel, the Ferris wheel is the largest in Europe with 135 meters in height and 120 meters in diameter.
In fact, it is difficult to follow the current name like the names of various brands come before the name from years to years. Since 2015, its name has been funded by Coco-Cola and the London Eye. The history is not very old. The Ferris wheel, built in 1999, was London’s highest panoramic viewpoint until 2013. The Shard fell to second place when it opened in 2013, but is still the UK’s top tourist destination with 3.75 million tourist visitors a year.
I think that if we are not toured the city without going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York, we cannot have a tour of the London Eye in London. For those who wonder, the entire tour takes about half an hour in glass capsules made with high-security technology. As you have a view of up to 40 meters on a beautiful day on the London Eye, each capsule provides guidance on the surrounding historical buildings in several languages. The first round starts at 11.00.
Sea Life London Aquarium
London Aquarium is one of the biggest tourist attraction centers in London with its glass tunnels where you can see interesting sea creatures together and sea turtles and sharks. So much so that it is competing with museums with its 1 million visitors per year. The biggest share in this is to carry out awareness-raising education programs, conservation and preservation activities on the importance and value of the living organisms in the seas, rather than an ordinary city aquarium.
The Dungeon of London
The London Dungeon tour, inspired by the chilling stories of history, urban legends, and truly experienced events that appeal to the five senses behind its awful walls, is one of the leading tourist attractions in London. From the wife of Jack to the killer barber Sweeney Todd, many famous horror characters come here with various events and shows. Even though Madame Tussauds wax sculpture is an attraction designed by museums and even by their creators, we cannot say that it is appealing to every segment even though it is one click above the production of the classic horror tunnels in the amusement parks.
Hyde Park is London’s royal park spread over an area of 142 hectares. Originally organized by Henry Vlll in 1536, the park was originally dedicated to the deer hunting of the inhabitants of the palace. It was first opened to the elite by James I during the reign of Charles I and then to the public in 1637 together with Charles I. The most important event in 1851 took place in the park, is the first exhibition with the participation of Turkey in the overseas and then held in a huge fire in the ash Crystal Palace Great Exhibition (The Great Exhibition – London agricultural and industrial products exhibition)
Now, this is the biggest and busiest park in the city where there are many activities such as cycling, horse riding, eating and drinking areas, hosting concerts of living legends such as Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones and hosting the triathlon at the London Olympics in 2012.
For Hyde Park, however, Harrods is more than just an ordinary park. Because we are talking about the place where the heart of luxury shopping in the city has been beating for more than 160 years, the most privileged collections of the most prestigious brands are exhibited and even the Queen is shopping. It is possible to find products that can attract the attention of everyone in many segments from food-drink to fashion, from cosmetics to personal care, from home decoration to technology in the center with 330 stories with 7 stories dominated by British nobility.
There is no limit to luxury service, especially in Harrods, where international giant brands are the only boutique stores. The store’s 1903 Eclectic style building is just as elegant and worth a visit.
We will say more than a square for Trafalgar Square is not a lie. The square is named after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 when England defeated the French and Spanish navy. The monument to the Commander Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in the Battle of Trafalgar, the iconic stone lions and the famous statue pedestal number four dedicated to various installations of contemporary artists are the symbols of this square.
The square is adjacent to the gate of the National Gallery from the north side. Taking photographs at the most perfect angle against the high stairs of the museum is a must. Trafalgar Square, has witnessed many cultural and political events throughout history.
Especially in 1887, the Bloody Sunday, which was held against the British rule in Ireland, which was held for many demonstrators, the day of the opposing demonstrations are among the important political events in the history of the square. The square is the place where the biggest pine tree was established and other cultural events took place during the Christmas period of the year, as well as political demonstrations and rallies throughout the year. It is literally a real public space.
Well, it was quite a long post for London and we talked about tourism, history, city life and much more. Hope you will have a complete experience in London. It is literally one of the most livable cities on earth!