We love London. Which means us creative folk at Trafalgar are pretty lucky to have an office in the city. Take a short stroll and you find yourself standing outside the Queen’s humble abode (we’ve not popped in for a cuppa yet).
A walk in a different direction leads you to the green, open space of Hyde Park – a sanctum from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
With these gems on our doorstep and more, we decided it’s unfair to keep them all to ourselves. So we grabbed our camera, lifted our jackets (and brollies) off the coat stand and snuck out into the Big Smoke to capture a few of its hotspots.
It’s Queen Elizabeth II’s principal home and one of London’s biggest tourist attractions. If you drop by and the Royal Standard flag’s flying, you’re in luck: Her Majesty is in residence. Not that you’ll get to see her, of course – though it’s worth hanging around for Changing the Guard. Every day at 11.30am sharp on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, you’ll see the guards relieved of their duty while a military band plays music. Sometimes it’s even one of Abba’s hits!
The London Eye
This giant wheel on London’s South Bank has become an iconic landmark. Its 32 passenger capsules, which each hold up to 25 people, rotate at 26cm (10 inches) per second – that’s one full revolution every 30 minutes. The 360° panoramic views are highlighted by icons like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, The Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral. But some simply love the way it lights up London’s night sky with its pretty blue hue.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s is the Cathedral of the Diocese of London and is a centre for Christian worship. It’s dominated the city’s skyline for more than 1,000 years and, unsurprisingly, is dedicated to St. Paul. The present cathedral is not the original structure, owing to fires, bombing and architectural adaptations in the past. The first building on the site was in the year 604 and the current cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
Tower of London
This 11th-century fortress has a dark background full of torture and death. Fortunately, all of that’s in the past and today you’ll just hear about its history. Inside, you’ll learn about The Royal Mint – the body who manufactures the UK’s coins, see instruments of torture, explore the White Tower, and treasure the sight of the priceless Crown Jewels.
Trafalgar Square was constructed in the 1840s on what was originally the Royal Mews, then the royal stables. It’s home to Nelson’s Column, the Fourth Plinth and an overabundance of pigeons! On the north side of the square, it’s dominated by the National Gallery, which houses works by Raphael and Rembrandt. And during the festive season, it’s hard to miss London’s largest Christmas tree!
The good news is you can see all of this too on our 7-day London Week trip. It kicks off with a Local Expert, who shows you all the highlights during a walking tour. Then London’s yours, with the bonus of bus and underground tickets and a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ sightseeing pass.