As far as modern and historic landmarks are concerned, London has more than its fair share for visitors to explore. In this short article, I am going to take a quick look at some of the most famous and equally importantly, most interesting landmarks that tourists can head for when they first arrive in the city. Whether you have been to the capital dozens of times already or you are in the process of planning your first visit, I sincerely hope that you will find my suggestions useful.
Landmarks to Visit in England’s Capital City
Once you have unpacked your suitcase and settled into your hotel or hostel room, take a look at the list below and pick a building to use as the starting point for your tour of famous London landmarks. It doesn’t matter which order you tackle them in as they are all fairly centrally located.
- Tower Bridge – It is difficult to pick just one iconic landmark that says “London” more than any other but if I were pushed, I would be tempted to go with this one. Tower Bridge has spanned the Thames since 1894 and nowadays you can take a look at the opening and closing machinery to be found in the base of each tower when you visit. It’s a fantastic landmark for keen photographers and all your friends will be disappointed if you don’t come back with at least one shot of yourself standing on this world famous bridge.
- Tower of London – Right next to the bridge (hence its name) is the Tower of London, officially one of the royal palaces in Britain. The most famous structure in the complex is the White Tower, which was built by William the Conqueror in 1078.
- Westminster Abbey – Staying close to the river but moving a few miles westward, we come to this exceptional gothic church. The setting for the coronation of numerous English and British monarchs, as well as their burials, the construction of Westminster Abbey in its current form began in 1245 but the site has been home to a church since at least the 7th century according to historical records.
- The Shard – A far more recent addition to the London skyline, the Shard is located in Southwark and is a 95-storey, pyramid-shaped skyscraper clad in glass. Having only been completed in 2012, it’s obviously not a historic monument but it is one of the most recognisable landmarks in London today.
- St Paul’s Cathedral –Perched atop Ludgate Hill, this is the one building in the city that could possibly rival Tower Bridge for the title of most recognisable London landmark as far as I’m concerned. Designed of course by Christopher Wren, the present-day cathedral was completed in the early 1700s and replaced the one that was damaged beyond repair in the Great Fire of London, in 1666.
Be sure to take a camera with you when visiting the above landmarks as you are sure to want a visual record of each one.