With its rightful reputation as one’s the world’s leading metropolises, London’s known not just for its modern appeal and amenities, but also its many centuries of history. As such, visitors flock to the UK capital to discover all the fruits of its eventful history, as much as they do to explore all its modern attractions.
So, should you be booking a forthcoming break at the best hotel rooms in London, what have to make your must-visit list, blending the best of the city’s present and the finest of its past…?
(Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster)
One of London’s most famous, most visited and most renowned attractions, Buckingham Palace is The Queen’s official residence. Recognised for its grand, early 19th Century architecture and opulent interior décor, it’s the ultimate of exemplar of British royal grandeur and heritage.
Open to the public for visits in spring and summer (make sure to book well in advance!), there’s so much to see, including glorious state rooms and utterly beautiful fine detail, as well as parkland-like gardens, which – yes – host invitation-only garden parties on select summer days. If you don’t manage to visit the Palace itself, be sure at least to make it to its grounds at around 11am (especially if you’re staying nearby at hotels near Marble Arch) to witness all the pomp and circumstance of the Changing of the Guard.
(Southbank, Westminster/ Waterloo)
Probably the best known of the many and various (and all of them excellent) attractions along the Thames-side family-friendly tourist-trap that’s the Southbank, the London Eye is, essentially, a gigantic always-revolving, hop-on-and-off Ferris wheel. It affords ticketed visitors perfect panoramas of the entire London skyline, standing 135 meters (443 feet) tall.
Viewed from any of its ‘pods’, in which visitors are encased as they ride the ‘Eye’ for an hour-long full revolution, the sensational views are entirely 360-degrees, too, and equally as spectacular at night as they are during the day. In fact, they’re so perfect that, technically, you’d be able to see the accommodation you’ve booked at to enjoy London hotels special offers – along with everything else in the capital, of course!
The Tower of London
(Tower Hill, City of London)
The history of London is long and eventful and, at its heart, is the Tower of London. Renowned for its role in England’s bloodthirsty medieval era, it’s been variously used as a fortification, a castle, a palace, a prison, a place of execution, a zoo for exotic animals and – its major purpose today – a globally-respected tourist attraction.
Indeed, the Tower’s historical resonance is due not just to its multi-purpose past but also its age; its earliest incarnation dating back to the reign of the first Norman king, William the Conqueror – actually, it dates all the way back to the legendary year in which William took the crown, 1066. Highlights to be experienced and discovered within its walls include the iconic Crown Jewels and a suit of armour designed for and worn by King Henry VIII.
The jewel in the crown of London’s nightlife, Soho is the eclectic, somewhat alternative and edgy yet often stylish and sophisticated district located in the heart of the West End. The absolutely ideal destination for a night out following a delicious meal at one of the chic restaurants near the Arch, Soho offers so many different entertainment options.
Brimming with bars, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and more, Soho’s also packed with terrific eateries and curious boutiques; ideal venues for day-visitors. No question, then, it’s an unmissable location for travellers on a city-break in London – an experience once had, definitely never forgotten.