The frenetic and lively capital of the United Kingdom, London, can be a bit daunting when you are travelling alone. The rich history, stunning architecture, cosmopolitan atmosphere, fast pace of life, and numerous wonderful attractions, however, make any London trip a delight.
With the extensive London Underground metro system, known as The Tube, travelling around the city is very easy. Many attractions are within easy walking distance from each other, and you can obtain visitor maps in many outlets. For those who really don’t want to brave the wilds of London completely alone, a hop on hop off sightseeing bus can be the perfect solution; a day ticket allows people to ride around key sights, getting off and on as they wish.
Boat trips along the River Thames are another good way to see parts of London with no fear of getting lost, and organised walking tours are available, catering to a variety of different interests. You may like to join a historic walking tour, soaking up some of the well known sights, a night tour that hits the supposedly haunted spots, or even walk in the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper. Whether you want to see London completely independently, join tours, or find a middle ground between the two options, the choice is entirely yours.
Some of the top sights in London that you really should try and see include the following:
An iconic London institution, Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Queen. The large, impressive, and grand building really does emit a regal air. Stroll along The Mall, and watch the famous changing of the guard ceremony.
Houses of Parliament
The gloriously decorative and attractive Houses of Parliament is an absolute must see when in London. The large clock tower, famous around the world as a symbol of London, stands proudly next to the parliament building. Interestingly, although the clock tower is often referred to as Big Ben, this is actually the name of the large bell contained within the tower.
Number Ten Downing Street
With a police officer stationed outside, this is the home of the British Prime Minister. It is fairly innocuous, apart from the police presence and the high railings. The cenotaph war memorial is nearby.
Westminster Abbey is a large, impressive, and imposing Gothic building that can lay claim to having over 1,000 years of interesting and colourful history. Combining stained glass windows, a large nave, wall paintings, ornate floors, and fabulous statues, it is a visual feast.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
One of London’s finest religious buildings, Saint Paul’s Cathedral is interesting, historic, and beautiful.
Tower of London
The Tower of London has worn many hats and fulfilled many roles since it was built. It has been a protective fortress, a grand palace, and a gloomy prison. Today it is a premier tourist attraction, and is home to the fabulous and sparkling crown jewels. Beefeaters keep guard, and the famous ravens live in the grounds.
Actually names Tower Bridge, this bridge in the city is a common sight on postcards and other images of the city. Spanning the River Thames, it is a magnificent looking bridge that affords great views along the river.
Shopaholics will love the many delights to be found in Knightsbridge. A visit is not complete without perusing the various goods in the globally known Harrods.
Home to the giant Nelson’s Column, pigeons, and street performers, Trafalgar Square is also a great spot to indulge in a little people watching whilst taking a well earned rest.
You can ride on this large observation wheel and enjoy terrific bird’s eye views of the sprawling city at your feet.
The Square Mile is the financial heart of the city, and is home to a rich blend of architecture. Old and new sit side by side, with Roman ruins, the Guildhall, Medieval churches, numerous banks, and modern constructions, such as the so-called Gherkin, all within a close proximity to each other.
Art aficionados will love the pieces on display in this fantastic gallery. It is easy to stay longer than planned!
Go underground for a scary glimpse into London’s dark, gloomy, and sinister past. Come face to face with shady characters, and feel the shivers running up your spine.
With so much on offer, it is difficult to feel bored or lonely in London, and it is a great city for solo adventurers.