London is packed to brim with iconic and monumental structures. It is one of the most iconic cities in the world, and its skyline is a thing of pure beauty.
It seems like everywhere you look there is something pretty special to see in this wonderful city- so how on earth are you supposed to see it all on your next trip?
Well, make sure to take full advantage of the stunning central London hotel deals currently available and book a room in the Park Grand London. Hyde Park, one of the city’s best loved parks, is quite literally across the road and you’ll be perfectly situated to explore the very best that the city has to offer.
Now let’s take a look at some of the most incredible places that can be found in London.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is probably London’s most visited and iconic location.
It was built after Norman’s conquest of England in 1066 and was supposed to dominate and intimidate London’s working classes.
The Tower acted as a prison, torture chamber, Royal apartments, a menagerie, an armoury, the Royal Mint and many more things during its thousand year reign.
Now you can visit this stunning structure and explore the battlements, meet the resident ravens that decide the fate of the city and get a tour with the Yeoman Warders who keep a watch over the tower and its treasures.
Rather conveniently, another of London’s greatest icons is located immediately next to the Tower of London- Tower Bridge.
This gorgeous bridge is the perfect example of engineering and design coming together harmoniously. It is arguably one of the most beautiful bridges in the world- and absolutely the finest example of a bascule bridge anywhere.
Watch in awe as it opens to let ships through, explore the engine rooms and walk the glass bridge that connects the two towers 43 metres above the Thames, and discover inner workings of the bridge.
Buckingham Palace is much more than an iconic building- it is a symbol.
People from all over the world travel to visit this amazing palace and admire its grandeur. You can tour the stately rooms inside, explore the adjoining parks and gardens and view the world famous Changing of the Guard ceremony outside the palace.
The Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
Otherwise known as the Palace of Westminster, this stunning gothic building was once a home for the Royals. In 1295 the Government moved in and has met there ever since. British citizens can tour the interior of the building for free, and even sit in on some government sessions.
On the north end of the gorgeous building is the Elizabeth Tower, often mistakenly called ‘Big Ben’; when in fact Big Ben is the bell housed within the tower. This jaw dropping clock tower looks better than ever after a recent rejuvenation project.
Westminster Abbey is another conveniently located icon of the city, sitting just behind the Houses of Parliament.
This stunning church is perhaps one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the world. The gigantic monument has played host to royal coronations and weddings, and many of the UK’s most important public figures have been laid to rest here.
St. Pancras International Station
A train station may seem like an unusual place to include on a list of must visit destinations- but bear with me.
St. Pancras Station is an architectural gem. The Victorian roof of steel and glass looms high above you, and the modern shops and restaurants below really give this building a unique feel.
Despite it being a train station it is a great place to visit even if you’re not looking to board a train. There are some great shops and fantastic bakeries and restaurants- the architecture is worth the trip on its own.
The building has actually been referred to as the ‘most beautiful train station in the world’.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s is another one of London’s world renowned icons. Its current form was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most influential architects in England’s history, after the previous iteration was destroyed during the Great Fire of London.
The 111 metre tall dome is one of the largest in the world and the interior contains art galleries, an amazing crypt and the Whispering Gallery where the slightest sound can travel 30 metres!
The highlight has to be the Golden Gallery at the very top of the dome, where you can score one of the absolute best views in the city.
The Shard is one of the newest additions to the city’s skyline- and perhaps the most striking building in London.
The design was inspired by the sail of a yacht and fractured glass shards- hence the name.
It’s an extraordinary example of modernist engineering and is home to several restaurants, bars, private apartments and even a hotel.
Most people will be interested in the viewing gallery on the 72nd floor offering stunning views across London and beyond.
Covent Garden is another of London’s most popular destinations- drawing millions of tourists each year.
The old fruit and veg market has been transformed into a modern, beautiful example indoor/ outdoor shopping. The Victorian steel and glass roofing covers an incredible mix of boutique shops sandwiched between the world’s largest international brands.
You’ll also find amazing food, and if you like street performance there is nowhere better than the Piazza for a world class display.
Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
London has plenty of very well known parks but Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens have to be the best and most well known.
They sit, joined at the hip, slap bang in the centre of the city and offer a shot of nature and greenspace to those who are seeking refuge from the bustling city streets.
You can explore the wooded areas, row on the lake, explore the manicured gardens or simply chill on the grass- it really is one of the best spots in the city.
The best part is, it’s only a five minute walk from the best Shaftesbury Hotel Paddington has to offer; The Shaftesbury Premier Hotel!
Use the amazing proximity of your Westbourne Terrace hotel to explore the city that surrounds you.
You’ll find jaw droppers everywhere you go in London- this list just scratches the surface. Get out there and explore for yourself!