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London - Capital of the United Kingdom

The City of London is an extraordinary place. Established soon after the Romans invaded Britain in AD43, the City is where London began – the “original” London – the place from which today’s thriving metropolis grew.

Vast, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is one of the world's great cities. Located in the southeast of England, on the River Thames, it is the capital of the United Kingdom and has been the heart of its political, cultural and business life for centuries.

As the British capital gears up for the Olympics being held here in 2012 there’s everything to play for and the city has rarely felt so exciting and full of reasons to visit. Whether it’s the history, art, fashion, music, food or nightlife that attracts you here (or a heady mixture of all the above), it’s hard to imagine you’ll come away feeling cheated.

www.visitlondon.com

Top 10 things to do in London

Westminister Abbey/Parliament

Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Benedictine monks first came to this site in the middle of the tenth century, establishing a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day.

The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart.

Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The House of Commons and House of Lords each play an important role in Parliament's work.

www.westminster-abbey.org    London Houses of Parliament

St Paul 's Cathederal

A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood on this site since 604AD, and throughout the Cathedral has remained a busy, working church where millions come to reflect and find peace.

St Paul’s is not only an iconic part of the London skyline but also a symbol of the hope, resilience and strength of the city and nation it serves.

The cathedral sits on the highest point of the City of London, which originated as a Roman trading post situated on the River Thames and is one of London's most visited sights.

www.stpauls.co.uk/

Tower of London

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London (and historically as The Tower), is a historic monument in central London, England, on the north bank of the River Thames.

It is located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and is separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It is the oldest building used by the British government.

The Tower is an iconic symbol of London and Britain, and one of the world’s premier tourist attraction.

www.hrp.org.uk/toweroflondon/

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, at the heart of London, is one of the city’s most vibrant open spaces. Home to Nelson’s Column, the square is rich in history and provides a platform for new artistic performances and event.

The northern area of the square had been the site of the King's Mews since the time of Edward I, while the southern end was the original Charing Cross, where the Strand from the City met Whitehall, coming north from Westminster. As the midpoint between these twin cities, Charing Cross is to this day considered the heart of London, from which all distances are measured.

www.london.gov.uk/trafalgarsquare

Tower Bridge

London Bridge was originally the only crossing for the Thames. As London grew, so more bridges were added, although these were all built to the west of London Bridge, since the area east of London Bridge had become a busy port.

When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed ("bascule" comes from the French for "see-saw"). These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines.

The lifting of Tower Bridge has become a must see event for visitors to London.

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www.towerbridge.org.uk

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen, as well as the administrative headquarters of the Royal Household. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. 

Today the State Rooms are used extensively by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. During August and September when The Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland, the Palace's nineteen state rooms are open to visitors.

www.royal.gov.uk

British Museum

The British Museum's collection of seven million objects representing the rich history of human cultures mirrors the city of London's global variety. In no other museum can the visitor see so clearly the history of what it is to be human.

As with all other national museums and art galleries in the United Kingdom, the Museum charges no admission fee, although charges are levied for some temporary special exhibitions.

www.britishmuseum.org

National Gallery

The National Gallery in London, founded in 1824, houses a rich collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900 in its home on Trafalgar Square.

The Gallery aims to study and care for the collection, while encouraging the widest possible access to the pictures.

It is on show 361 days a year, free of charge.

www.nationalgallery.org.uk

London Eye

Since opening in March 2000 The London Eye has become an iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain. The London Eye is the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year.

A breathtaking feat of design and engineering, passengers in the London Eye's capsules can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions.

www.londoneye.com

Hyde Park Gardens

One of London's finest historic landscapes covering 142 hectares (350 acres). There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more it is easy to forget you're in the middle of London.

Hyde Park has a wide range of facilities. There are cafes and restaurants offering everything from ice creams and sandwiches to three course meals There is a children's playground and the Lookout, a former police observation point which is now an education centre where children learn about nature and wildlife.

www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde_park

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Temperature & Rainfall Guide for London

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Great Airfare Deals to London

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Travel Essentials

Hotel Deals in London

London has many great hotels and accommodations. Make sure you get the best price for your hotel or accommodation in London

Car Hire

Make the most of your holiday and hire a car in London.Find out who has the best car hire deals.

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Ensure you and your family are covered in London for any mishaps with some great travel insurance deals.

Travel Extras

Make sure you check out our handy travel extras section for useful information to help you plan your holiday.

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