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Travel Guide to London, Great Britain

The capital of the UK is visited by millions of tourists a year. There is nothing strange in that as London is home to an incredible number of attractions, wonderful old houses, fantastic museums, large and beautiful parks and, of course, the unique British charm. London is a very old city. In 43 AD Romans established a settlement on the River Thames. Over the centuries the settlement has grown and has turned into a real metropolis with a population of 7.5 million people (if counting together with London suburbs, then the number is 12 million). Only visits to numerous traditional English pubs, which are so famous in London, will prevent you from estimating the size and glory of the city.
Cultural sights in London
London features a huge selection of most diverse attractions - historical and architectural sites, beautiful streets and squares, museums and exhibition centers. Trafalgar Square is a perfect place...
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Tower Bridge.
Without a doubt, Tower Bridge across the Thames is the most famous drawbridge in the world. Contrary to a popular opinion, the bridge has got its name not because of the two towers that adorn the bridge, but because of the nearby Tower of London. Tower Bridge (show on map ) (view photos ) was built in 1894. Even though the main traffic artery of the city crosses the bridge, traffic on the Thames is still preferred. When particularly large ships pass behind the bridge, both wings of the central span of the bridge are raised. In this case, the height of the draw of the bridge strictly corresponds to the parameters of a particular vessel. The bridge is fully raised only on special occasions, such as a sign of respect to a person, as this was done in honor of Winston Churchill. Tower Bridge is, of course, one of the main attractions of London. The upper part of the bridge is a pedestrian area. From here you will be able to enjoy the magnificent view of London roofs. One should not forget to visit the museum that tells the history of construction of Tower Bridge. Tourists can even enter the old engine room.
Buckingham Palace.
Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace is a popular performance that attracts numerous tourists. The crowd watches how the royal infantry marches from St James's Square to the residence of the British monarchs. King George III inherited the palace in 1762 as a private residence. Every year the building was expanded. When Queen Victoria ascended the throne, Buckingham Palace was declared the official residence of the British Crown. By this time the marble arch, which was used as an entrance to noble guests, was dismantled and re-installed in Hyde Park. Therefore, Buckingham Palace received its modern look. Behind the palace you will find the largest private garden in London. In fact, this is almost a park. Both the palace and the garden have become home to a huge number of works of art, such, for example, the large Waterloo vase. Visitors are also welcome to visit Queen's Gallery, which exhibits a collection of paintings that belong to the queen. The royal vehicle park (Royal Mews) is located nearby.
London attractions & nightlife
Fans of nightlife and those, who want to save money on visiting local restaurants and cafes, are recommended to walk to the district of Soho. In addition to numerous nightclubs and bars here are...
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St. Paul's Cathedral.
St. Paul's Cathedral is the fifth church dedicated to St. Paul, the patron saint of London, built on this site. The first wooden church stood here back in 604 BC. Today's St. Paul's Cathedral was raised after its predecessor was burnt down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The construction lasted about 40 years. Even when finished, the church was renewed periodically and decorated with new details, such as, for example, the mosaic on the ceiling above the choir that was ready only in 1890. Quite often, St Paul's Cathedral is chosen as the venue for various public ceremonies. In 1981, TV broadcasted the wedding of Charles and Diana that took place in the cathedral. When observing the cathedral, do not forget to visit Whispering Gallery, a round balcony located at the base of the dome. A word spoken in a whisper here is clearly audible on the other side of the canopy.
British Museum.
The British Museum, which exhibits more than 6 million items, is one of the largest museums in the cultural history of the mankind. This is the place where you will be able to see exhibits from around the world that throw light upon history and culture from ancient times to the present. Every day, the British Museum attracts a lot of visitors, and the reason for this is not only its rich collection. The large building made in the neoclassical style is also the location of the famous reading hall of the former British Library. The grand opening of the courtyard of the museum took place in 2000. Thanks to the projects by the architect Sir Norman Foster the courtyard has become the largest glazed square in Europe. The British Museum was established in 1753 on the basis of the collection of Sir Henry Sloan. Ordinary people have become able to visit the museum since 1759. Today, the British Museum is known primarily for its collection of mummies, the Rosetta stone and the exposition of antique Elgin Marbles.
Cuisine of London for gourmet
Holidays in London would not be complete without visiting local restaurants. Many dining facilities here have received top awards and attract gourmet visitors by their unique signature dishes. In the...
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Tower of London.
Tower of London is a whole complex of buildings. During its long history the complex has performed a variety of functions – it was an arsenal, a royal palace, a prison, an observatory and even a mint. These days, the Tower of London is above all known for the fact that its walls keep the jewels of the British crown. The construction of the White Tower was started in 1078 by order of William the Conqueror. Over the centuries, the fortress has grown and expanded, and new buildings have appeared in it. Then a moat with water was dug around it. White Tower in the center of the fortress seems to have a square shape, but in fact all of its sides have the same length. During its long history the Tower of London has seen many famous prisoners and horrible crimes. Nowadays, the Tower of London is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors by the jewelry collection of the British Crown and a large collection of weapons and armor.
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London: Major facts

Number of inhabitants 7.5 mln.
Local currency British pounds, £1 = 100 pence
Working hours Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm A lot of supermarkets are open till 6pm some till 7pm or 8pm on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Larger shops are also open 10am-6pm on Sundays.
Related sites http://www.thisislondon.co.uk
http://www.visitlondon.com
http://www.londontown.com
http://www.discount-london.com
Major newspapers and journals The Times
Telegraph, Guardian
Daily Mail
Time Out (event listings)
London Planner (visitors information)
Emergency telephone numbers 999

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Travel guides to neighbouring cities of London:


Luton - 47.6 km
Luton is a relatively small town in England, which is located not far away from the capital of the UK, London. This fact makes Luton attractive to tourists. The population of the town estimates...
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Reading - 58.4 km
This is an ancient city, first mentions of which belong to the 8th century. At that time this was a small village, which was mostly developing due to the foundation of the Abbey. However, just...
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Cambridge - 80.8 km
Cambridge is a large linguistic center of England. It attracts tourists by elegant architecture style and wide choice of tourist routes. The number of sights here is so big that it’s hard even to...
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All about London, Great Britain - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture and cuisine. Prepare your trip to London together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the things to do in London, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Travel guide by OrangeSmile B.V.