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The Best London Attractions for Tourists – Part 3

The Two Tates: Tate Modern and Tate Britain

What used to be collectively termed ‘the Tate Gallery’, the two Tates are now called Tate Modern and Tate Britain, and together feature the most significant art collections in the world. In 1987, the national collection opened before the gallery made more acquisitions to the point where it needed additional space in order to properly display its collections. This led to Tate Britain, which was established in Millbank and housed the gallery’s permanent historic British paintings collection. A former power station became home to one of the modern art collections. Art enthusiasts can view both sites over a day thanks to a high-speed ferry.

Churchill’s War Rooms

Among the more evocative and curious historic sites in London is the wonderfully preserved nerve centre from which PM Winston Churchill ran the military campaigns for Britain, along with the defences of his country during WW11. Their cramped conditions and Spartan simplicity highlighted England’s desperate position as the Nazi group strengthened throughout Europe.

Visitors can see the cubicle where Churchill slept, along with the radio studio from where he gave his iconic wartime speeches. Details like Clementine Churchill’s knitting wool that marked the front lines on a European map, which give life to an era that no other museum could do.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden’s market halls are just one part of the neighbourhood that encompasses the restaurants and shops of Long Acre and other nearby streets, those of Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard, in addition to the Central Square, home to the iconic street performers.

Covent Garden Market’s arcades and halls are lined with kiosks and specialist shops selling tacky souvenirs, fine handicrafts, and more. The London Transport Museum in the one-time flower market is filled with historic trams, trolleys, and buses. You’ll also find the Royal Opera House here. And if you want to be taken to nearby area by bicycle, you’ll have that option, too.

Hampton Court Palace

Another wonderful attraction Thames-side, Hampton Court ranks among Europe’s most iconic palaces. The Great Hall has existed since the days of Henry VIII and it’s also where Elizabeth 1 was told that the Spanish Armada was defeated.  Among the other features that may interest you include the King’s Apartments, the Chapel, the Haunted Gallery in the State Apartments, and the 1540 astronomical clock. It’s also worth paying a visit to the gardens, which include the famous maze, the Wilderness, the Pond Garden, and the Privy Garden.

Hyde Park

Stretching some 350 acres, the latest open space in London has been a go-to attraction for tourists since 1635. Among the highlights is a man-made lake from the 18th century known as the Serpentine that’s popular for swimming and boating.

There’s also a free speech forum called Speaker’s Corner and a one-time home of the first Duke of Wellington, Apsley House. The Duke purchased the home after his Waterloo victory. It’s now home to the Duke’s collections of paintings, along with presents from appreciative European emperors and kings.