A Quick Guide To Royal London

If you are planning on visiting London to discover all of the different connections that the city has with royalty, there are a few essentials that you really need to know. These are the things that will take you from the beginnings of the city, to the chopping block where many heads rolled and beyond.

Photo by Jimmy Harris
Photo by Jimmy Harris

Westminster Abbey

This building is not only important in the history of the city, it is also of major significance in the history of the country. This is where both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were crowned, in fact since 1066 all British monarchs (bar two) were crowned here. It is also the final resting place of many monarchs. The abbey was constructed in the 11th century and a visit today will allow you to take in much of the history of the place, from the coronation chair which dates back to the 13th century and Edward the Confessor’s sacred chapel. Guided tours of the abbey are available throughout the day.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace as the name suggests, was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham. The palace has a staggering 661 rooms. Though most people visit to watch the changing of the guard, some parts of the palace are accessible on a guided tour during the summer season when the queen is not in residence.

The Tower of London

The Tower is a must see location for everyone that comes to London. The Tower has a grisly past which seems to attract visitors in their thousands. Guided tours of this impressive castle, which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror are well worth taking. Aside from the crown jewels you will also see the site of the scaffold where Henry VIIs wives lost their heads.

The Banqueting House

This is the last remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, as the palace succumbed to a great fire in 1698, and is the location where King Charles I lost his head at the command of Oliver Cromwell. The ceiling in decorated with exquisite Rubens paintings and entry here is cheap when compared to the other royal residences.

St Paul’s Cathedral

Built on the site of the original church which was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, this impressive building was the site of the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, and was the place where Price Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married. Don’t leave St Paul’s without climbing the 530 stair to the impressive dome, you will be able to see one of the best views of the city from here.

Kensington Palace

This royal residence was built in 1605, and was the home of Princess Diana after her split from Charles. It houses an impressive art collection, and is the place where Queen Victoria was born and christened in 1819.

The King’s Road

More well known as being the hub of all things fashionable during the 1960’s the road actually gets its name from all of the frequent visits made to the area by Charles II. This is the original farmer’s track that he used to travel in order to visit his infamous mistress Nell Gwynn.

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