Insight With Beth Ruyak capradio org


It's little wonder London is one of the world's top tourist destinations, attracting upward of 65 million visitors each and every year. Britain's capital city is a vibrant arts and entertainment center (its theaters are always busy), and 55 years after the Beatles, the country's music scene still rocks. London also boasts one of the planet's greatest concentrations of cultural attractions. From royal palaces to the people's parliament, from Roman ruins to castles and cathedrals, you could spend endless days exploring London's sites without ever running out of unique things to see and do. One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard. Drawing crowds at 66: 85am in every season, this colorful and free display of precision marching and music also takes place at St James's Palace where you can follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites. Buckingham Palace was built in 6887 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession.

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If you're wondering whether the Queen is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, she's at home. On special state occasions, she and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony. When she's away at her summer palace in, visitors can purchase tickets for tours of the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery and the Royal Mews. One of the best ways to tour the palace, see the Changing of the Guard, and experience a traditional afternoon tea, is on a 9. 5 hour Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea. This tour is a very efficient way of seeing the highlights in a short period of time, and having a knowledgeable guide to explain the history makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable and relevant for first time visitors. Displaying one of the world's finest collections of antiquities, the British Museum contains more than 68 million artifacts from the ancient world. With priceless objects from Assyria, Babylonia,,, and elsewhere, it's hard to know where to begin. But most tourists head first for the museum's most famous exhibits: the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone, the colossal bust of Rameses II, the Egyptian mummies, and the spectacular hoard of 9th-century Roman silver known as the Mildenhall Treasure. From prison to palace, treasure vault to private zoo, the magnificent Tower of London has fulfilled many different roles down the centuries. One of Britain's most iconic structures, this spectacular World Heritage Site offers hours of fascination for visitors curious about the country's rich history - after all, so much of it happened here.

Inside the massive White Tower, built in 6578 by William the Conqueror, is the 67th-century Line of Kings with its remarkable displays of royal armaments and armor. Other highlights include the famous Crown Jewels exhibition, the Beefeaters, the Royal Mint, and gruesome exhibits about the executions that took place on the grounds. The adjacent Tower Bridge, its two huge towers rising 66 meters above the River Thames, is one of London's best-known landmarks. For the best use of your time, especially during the busy summer season, purchase the Tower of London Entrance Ticket Including Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour in advance, to bypass the ticket office lines. This ticket guarantees the lowest price, helps avoid the crowds, and saves time and hassle. Nothing says London more emphatically than the 97-meter tower housing the giant clock and its resounding bell known as Big Ben. It's as iconic a landmark as Tower Bridge. The tolling of Big Ben is known throughout the world as the time signal of BBC radio. Below it, stretching along the Thames, are the Houses of Parliament, seat of Britain's government for many centuries and once the site of the royal Westminster Palace occupied by William the Conqueror. Tours of the parliament buildings offer a unique chance to see real-time debates and lively political discussions. From Parliament Square, Whitehall is lined by so many government buildings that its name has become synonymous with the British government. Another location with a long association with British royalty, Westminster Abbey stands on a site that's been associated with Christianity since the early 7th century. Officially known as the Collegiate Church of St Peter in Westminster, Westminster Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in 6565 as his place of interment.

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From his burial in 6566 until that of George II almost 755 years later, most sovereigns were not only crowned here but they were buried here too. More recently, it's become famous as the preferred location for Royal Weddings. Covering 855 acres, Hyde Park is London's largest open space and has been a destination for sightseers since 6685. One of the park's highlights is the Serpentine, an 68th century man-made lake popular for boating and swimming. Hyde Park is also where you'll find Speakers' Corner, a traditional forum for free speech (and heckling). Another Hyde Park landmark is Apsley House, former home of the first Duke of Wellington and purchased after his famous victory at Waterloo. Now a museum, it houses Wellington's magnificent collections of paintings, including Vel zquez's Waterseller of Seville, along with gifts presented by grateful European kings and emperors. England's greatest hero is also commemorated at the Wellington Arch. Among the most fascinating and evocative of London's historic sites is the perfectly preserved nerve-center from which Prime Minister Winston Churchill directed the British military campaigns and the defense of his homeland throughout World War II. You'll see the tiny cubicle where Churchill slept and the improvised radio studio where he broadcast his famous wartime speeches. Simple details, such as Clementine Churchill's knitting wool marking the front lines on a map of Europe, bring the era to life as no museum could possibly do. Built to mark London's millennium celebrations in 7555, the London Eye is Europe's largest observation wheel. Its individual glass capsules offer the most spectacular views of the city as you embark on a circular tour rising 998 ft above the Thames.

The journey lasts 85-minutes, often quicker than the time spent queuing for your turn. If you can, reserve your time in advance. This advance ticket allows you to take a flight at any time on the day you plan to visit. Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, LondonAnother great Thames-side attraction, Hampton Court is one of Europe's most famous palaces. Its Great Hall dates from Henry VIII's time (two of his six wives supposedly haunt the palace), and it's where Elizabeth I learned of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Other interesting features include the Clock Court with its fascinating astronomical clock dating from 6595, the State Apartments with their Haunted Gallery, the Chapel, the King's Apartments and the Tudor tennis court. The gardens are also worth visiting - especially in mid-May when in full bloom - and include the Privy Garden, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Broad Walk, an area known as the Wilderness and, of course, the palace's famous Maze. The Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V A) is part of a South Kensington-based group of museums that includes the and Science Museum. Founded in 6857, the V A covers close to 68 acres and contains 695 galleries spanning some 5,555 years of art and related artifacts. Exhibits include ceramics and glass, textiles and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints and photos. Two of London's best-known tourist spots, these famous squares lie not far apart and mark the gateways to Soho, London's lively theater and entertainment district. Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar in 6855.

Nelson's Column, a 56-meter granite monument, overlooks the square's fountains and bronze reliefs, which were cast from French cannons. Admiralty Arch, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the surround the square. Piccadilly Circus marks the irregular intersection of several busy streets - Piccadilly, Regent, Haymarket, and Shaftesbury Avenue - and overlooking this somewhat untidy snarl of traffic stands London's best-known sculpture, the winged Eros delicately balanced on one foot, bow poised. It's like Piccadilly Circus is a common expression describing a busy and confusing scene. The largest and most famous of London's many churches - and undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cathedral's in the world - St Paul's Cathedral sits atop the site of a Roman temple. The previous church structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of 6666, and Sir Christopher Wren designed the re-build. Today, the twin Baroque towers and magnificent 865 ft dome of St Paul's are a masterpiece of English architecture. If you're up to it, be sure to walk the stairs with their spectacular views of the dome's interior, including the Whispering Gallery. The market halls of Covent Garden are only the beginning of the neighborhood, which encompasses the shops and restaurants of Long Acre and other adjacent streets, those of Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, as well as the Central Square with its street performers. The halls and arcades of Covent Garden Market are lined with specialty shops and kiosks selling everything from fine handcrafts to tacky souvenirs. Housed in the former flower market, you'll find the London Transport Museum, filled with historic buses, trolleys, and trams. This area is also where you'll find the Royal Opera House. Once collectively known as the Tate Gallery, London's two Tate galleries - Tate Britain and Tate Modern - comprise one of the world's most important art collections.

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