London attractions have an irresistible allure for the visitor, with the old sitting comfortably beside the new as cultures come together in the vibrant streets. A great example of this is the West End, where places of interest such as the National Gallery rub shoulders with shops and nightclubs.
Sightseeing boats heading up the Thames take in many top London attractions; going west, they head past Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral, before stopping at Westminster Pier near the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. From here tourists can cross Westminster Bridge to take a trip on the London Eye. This thirty-minute ride provides a fantastic vista that includes many other London attractions.
Shoppers are spoilt for choice in London's streets, and a show and a meal are the perfect way to round off a busy shopping day. For night owls London has a mouth-watering array of bars and clubs, including the renowned EGG, Fabric and Cargo, while those after a few laughs will find the Comedy Store just the ticket. Even the mundane aspects of city life have become iconic thanks to stylish design and long familiarity; taxis, buses, phone boxes and post boxes are seen as London attractions in their own right.
Westminster Abbey is one of those UK attractions that has often found itself at the centre of the country’s history; the names of kings, queens, writers, warriors and other eminent figures connected with, or buried in the 700-year-old structure reads like a who’s who of British history – Darwin, Newton, Chaucer, but to name a few prominent historical figures, plus a litany of kings, queens and consorts.
Conveniently located near a wealth of other very popular London attractions, Westminster Abbey welcomes over one million visitors a year, yet still functions as a working place of worship that hosts everything from lectures to musical recitals; from daily services to state occasions such as royal funerals and coronations.
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most instantly recognisable and popular UK attractions. Sitting atop Ludgate Hill looking over the City of London and the nearby South Bank and Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral’s Baroque design and dome has made it an integral part of London’s latter and present day skylines.
Designed and built in the 17th century following the destruction of the original cathedral in the Great Fire of London, 1666, St Paul’s is an historical focal point for much of the British nation’s celebrations and mourning, including the funeral of Great Briton Sir Winston Churchill, and the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana.
A must see UK attraction for any visitor to London, St Paul’s is within walking distance from other major attractions including: the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, South Bank, and Tate Modern.
West End - London
London’s West End is an undefined area that takes up much, if not all of the London Borough of Westminster. While it would be incorrect to call the West End a London Attraction, it is true to say that it contains large number of top London attractions in the form of palaces, abbeys, theatres, markets, shops, nightclubs, cinemas, bridges, galleries and museums.
West End can apply to the shopping areas around Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. West End can also be referred to as the areas of entertainment around Leicester Square and Covent Garden, with their rich reputations for theatre, cinema and nightclubbing.
The London Dungeon is an interactive UK attraction based around the British capital’s gruesome history. A hybrid of actor-led exhibits and rides takes visitors back through time to the 17th century to a time of filth-drenched streets, urban and social decay, and ultimately the Fire of London. As the circuit brings visitors forward in time to Victorian London, the fictional Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, and the rather real reincarnation of mystery murderer Jack the Ripper are encountered before visitors are herded into their own trial and ‘execution’. A popular London attraction that seems to delight all who go (no matter how sceptical), The London Dungeon is a great day out for all the family.
The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, stands on the River Thames, right at the heart of historic London. Offering fantastic aerial views of the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and Westminster Bridge, this is a must see London attraction for any tourist.
Trafalgar Square is situated in the heart of London – hemmed in by Charing Cross, Strand, Whitehall, The Mall and the National Gallery. The Square is dominated by Nelson's Column which was erected to commemorate the famous victory (masterminded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson) over the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. In the 20th century Trafalgar Square became known as a place of protests, with most marches and demonstrations either terminating here of passing through. The situation of Trafalgar Square makes it a favourite UK attraction and London Attraction for visitors to British capital.
The South Bank
The South Bank is a post-war concrete labyrinth devoted to the arts, with theatre, music, painting, sculpture and even graffiti all richly represented, making it a leading attraction for lovers of the arts from the UK and abroad. With the Hayward Gallery, National Theatre, London Eye, Tate Modern and an IMAX cinema all packed into a small area, the South Bank can be a day out in itself, or make the perfect start or end to a visit to the UK's capital.
Madame Tussauds waxwork museum has always been a premier London attraction and UK attraction ever since it opened its doors way back in 1836. Today, Madam Tussauds in London keeps its fingers firmly on the pulse of modern culture with waxworks of contemporary pop and TV stars, such as Amy Winehouse and Zac Effron, ensuring generation after generation is drawn to the oddly captivating spectacle of the famous and infamous captured in wax.
Possibly London's most instantly recognisable tourist attraction, Tower Bridge straddle the Thames and acts as a gateway for tourists to the exhaustive list of attractions between here and Windsor Castle . With the bascules of the Bridge raised for shipping over 1,000 times a year, there's every chance visitors will see Tower Bridge in all it's working Victorian splendour.
Leicester Square is the spiritual home of the British movie industry, and regularly plays host to film premiers in some of the UK's largest cinemas. Since its conception in the 17th century, the Square has always had a reputation as a leisure zone. Still a top London attraction, Leicester Square is a great place to catch the latest blockbuster, spot a famous face, or simply sit and relax in the small public garden.