In the days around July 4th in the United States, we’re all about beating the U-S-A! U-S-A! drum – and there’s nothing wrong with citizens celebrating their country’s independence. But for all our chest-thumping about how happy we are to be free from our one-time royal overlords, those royal attractions are top on our must-see list whenever we visit London.
There are, of course, plenty of reasons to visit London that have nothing to do with the monarchy – stunning collections in art galleries, spectacular cathedrals, top-notch theater offerings, countless pubs, and perhaps the world’s most famous clock, to name but a few – but a simple poll of Americans to find out how many of them got up pre-dawn to watch televised coverage of Prince William’s recent marriage (or, for that matter, his parents’ wedding) shows just how highly we still think of the British royal family.
When you’re planning a London itinerary, then, it’s likely to include plenty of royal attractions.
Travel Tip: No matter what your itinerary includes, don’t forget to plan your accommodation ahead of time – especially if you’re visiting during the summer high season. The hotels in London can book up well in advance during the city’s busiest months.
There are the obvious ones that will probably be on your must-see list already. There’s Buckingham Palace, the royal residence, part of which you can visit when the royal family is on vacation. One of the Buckingham Palace attractions, however, is outside and year-round – the famous changing of the guard ceremony happens every day during the summer, and every other day during the rest of the year.
Then there’s the Tower of London, combining the monarchy with history. The Tower is an 11th century castle that’s most commonly known as a prison and the site of more than a few executions, but since many of the prisoners and those sentenced to death were members of the royal family it’s an historic site in London that’s impossible to visit without reflecting on royal history, too.
Beyond the obvious royal attractions, however, there are things like the Queen’s Walk – a lovely, tree-lined walking path along the South Bank of the Thames that was built for the Queen’s “Silver Jubilee” in 1977. Westminster Abbey has clear royal ties as the site of coronations as well as royal tombs, but don’t overlook St. Paul’s Cathedral’s royal relations – it’s the cathedral where Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981.
What’s your favorite royal attraction in London?
– by Jessica of BootsnAll
Download mTrip’s London Travel Guide!