Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
Among Britain’s more iconic buildings and from where London’s most well-known display, the Changing of the Guard, takes place. At 11:30AM, and in any season, crowds attend this free and colourful display of music and marching. It occurs at St. James’s Palace where the band marches between sites alongside the Mall.
Buckingham Palace was constructed in 1837. Since the accession of Queen Victoria, it has been the Royal Family’s London home. To know when the Queen is at home, look up at the top of the building. If the flagpole is flying night and day, she’s in. On a special state occasion, the Queen and other Royal Family members may even appear on the balcony. When the Queen is staying at her Scotland summer home, visits can buy tickets to tour the Royal Mews, the Queen’s Gallery, and the State Rooms. A great way to experience the palace, as well as see the Changing of the Guard, is to take a 4 1/2 hour tour, which includes afternoon tea. It’s a great way to see as much as you can in the shortest possible time.
The British Museum
Showcasing one of the finest antiquities collection in the world,, The British Museum holds over 13mn ancient world artefacts. With priceless objects from Europe China, Assyria, and Babylonia, it’s difficult to know where to even begin. Most visitors, however, first visit the more famous exhibits in the museum including the Egyptian mummies, the Ramesses 11 bust, and the Rosetta Stone.
One of the world’s top art museums, the National Gallery represents an almost complete survey of English painting between 1260 and 1920. The strengths of the museum lie in its collections of works from the Italian schools and Dutch masters of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Its highlights include Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond, The Entombment by Michelangelo, Sunflowers by Van Gogh, Venus and Mars by Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci’s the Madonna and Child (preliminary cartoon sketch).
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
Two of the best-known spots in London, these iconic Monopoly-board squares are close to each other. They also mark the gateways to Soho, the city’s lively entertainment and theatre district. Trafalgar Square was constructed to commemorate the 1805 victory over the Spanish and French at Trafalgar. The 183-foot Nelson’s Column overlooks the bronze reliefs and fountains. The square is surrounded by the National Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and Admiralty Arch.
Piccadilly Circus marks an intersection of a number of busy streets: Shaftesbury Avenue, Haymarket, Regent, and Piccadilly. Overlooking an untidy pocket of traffic sits the best-known sculpture in London, the winged and bow-poised Eros. The London EConstructed to mark the capital’s millennium celebrations, the London Eye is the largest observation wheel in Europe. Its glass capsules provide the city’s most magnificent views as you go around and as high as 443ft above the Thames. The 30-minute journey is often less time that you spend queuing for it. Try and reserve a slot in advance if possible.