A Thames River Cruise is one of the best ways to see London, weaving through the heart of the city and past so many of its famous attractions. Highlights of a Thames river cruise include the site of the Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the retired battle-cruiser – HMS Belfast; St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern. From the boat you get a closer view at Millennium Footbridge, controversially built for the turn of the new century; and of course Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, both recognized worldwide as iconic buildings of London.
The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses and has seen service as royal palace, prison, armoury and even a zoo. The ancient stones reverberate with dark secrets, priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and pampered ravens strut the grounds. Constructed over 900 years ago by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is steeped in a rich history. This fortress was expanded by many medieval kings and is a grand structure used by Royals through the years as a refuge and powerbase. The Tower is still home to her majesty’s Crown Jewels, on display for visitors to see, and the infamous Beefeaters tasked with the job of guarding them as well as showing visitors some of the attractions highlights.
Westminster Abbey is a beautiful gothic church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular with many visitors to London. Kings, Queens, statesmen, aristocrats, poets, priests, heroes and villains are all part of the church’s fascinating history. Many of whom were buried at the Abbey including Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dr. Samuel Johnson and Charles Darwin. There is a special Scientists corners at the church which is home to a memorial for Isaac Newton. Since the crowning of William the Conqueror in 1066, Westminster Abbey has been the nation’s Coronation church. Many Kings and Queens, including the current reigning Queen Elizabeth II, have been crowned on King Edward’s Chair. The Abbey has also seen many Royal Weddings and Funerals through the years, in 2011 it was the venue for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The London Bridge Experience is a two-part tourist attraction situated within the arches of London Bridge. Firstly enjoy a fascinating trip back in time as London Bridge Experience delves through the history of the bridge, from Druids through to Victorians, meeting Vikings, Romans, and some creepy medieval characters along the way. Featuring real life actors, stunning special effects and animations, this is a unique interactive adventure that really does takes you back in time. Then, if you’re brave enough head into the second attraction The London Tombs. It’s a terrifying encounter with the un-dead and a blood-curdling adventure you will never forget. Also available are the Guardian Angel Tours for younger visitors (under 11’s). Special guides will accompany younger, timid visitors around the Tombs to protect them from anything too frightening. You can visit The London Bridge Experience near London bridge for Free with a London Pass – that’s a saving of over £23.
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, and it’s the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Built over 900 years ago the castle’s floor covers a massive 480,000 square feet. The castle is surrounded by some beautiful gardens and the picturesque English countryside. St George’s Chapel, inside the grounds, is a fine example of gothic architecture and features the tomb of Henry VIII. Windsor Castle is currently home to a special exhibition “Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present” in the Drawings Gallery.
St. Paul’s Cathedral and its iconic dome dominates the London skyline. Built between 1675 and 1710, the cathedral went through a £40 million program of cleaning and repair work for its 300th anniversary and the work has transformed the exterior and interior of the building. The highlight of St Paul’s Cathedral is the remarkable Whispering Gallery, situated 30 metres above the cathedral floor and is famous for its acoustics. Another 55 metres above the Whispering Gallery is the Golden Gallery which offers breathtaking panoramic views of central London for those with the energy to climb the 530 steps.
Situated on London’s Bankside, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the original building that housed Shakespeare’s theatre in London. This open-air playhouse is where the playwright penned many of his greatest plays. This modern building is a faithful reconstruction of the Globe, first built in 1599, and perfectly evokes the atmosphere of Elizabethan London. With a London Pass you can experience this stunning recreation completely free, saving you £13.50.
One the most impressive structures and sites in the capital, Tower Bridge London has stood over the River Thames since 1894 and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Learn about the history of the Bridge and how it was built. Interactive displays and videos provide an entertaining and informative guide to Tower Bridge in London and its place in the history of the River Thames. London Pass holders can also descend into the Victorian Engine Rooms, home of the original steam engines.
Hampton Court Palace is the former home of the flamboyant King Henry VIII, he extended and developed this grand palace after acquiring it in the 1520’s. Its many royal occupants have ensured the palace has fabulous furnishings, tapestries and paintings. Set in 60 acres of formal gardens, which include the famous maze and Great Vine, this palace is well worth a visit. King Henry continues to hold court daily at Hampton Court Palace where visitors can enter a living Tudor world and participate in life at the palace. Visitors might have the chance to meet with the King to discuss the current political situation or even see how the King prepares for bed. Or maybe marvel at the world’s largest grape vine as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records! London Pass holders can visit Hampton Court Palace for free – a saving of £16.
The Churchill War Rooms are dedicated to the life of the ‘greatest Briton’, Sir Winston Churchill, and the secret underground headquarters that were the nerve centre of Britain’s war effort. The first London museum of its kind, the Churchill War Rooms covers all ninety years of Winston Churchill’s life, divided into five chapters: his early year’s as British Prime Minister starting May 1940; his later years; his childhood; his early political career and the period famously known as the ‘Gathering Storm’. The Churchill War Rooms uses cutting edge technology and unique media displays to chart the life of Winston Churchill, including a fifteen metre long ‘Lifeline’, which visitors can touch to access a digital ‘filing cabinet’ of Churchill’s life, categorised by time.