Traveling To London, England
London is the capital of England and is one of the most famous cities in the world. It has many landmarks and monuments which you need to see if you are there. No trip to England would be complete without a full tour of London.
London wasn’t always the capital of England, this is only a development that happened in the late middle ages. London became important because of its proximity to the sea by following the Thames River and the trade that developed along the river with the rest of Europe across the English Channel.
A tip about traveling in London, you’ll need a few days to figure out what people are saying! Especially the local bus and subway drivers. They speak a variation of English called Cockney and it’s very difficult to understand for the untrained ear. They don’t usually get upset though, so just keep asking politely for slower instructions!
London has many beautiful buildings to see. There is of course Buckingham Palace, which is the main home of the Queen and the Royal Family. She can often be seen if she is giving a speech and you can also watch the changing of the guards, which is a magnificent event.
Big Ben is the famous clock with the famous chime that everyone knows. Be there on the hour! London Bridge is of course another landmark that has many songs written about it.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in the world and is the resting place of the three great Charles’ from English history – Charles Dickens, Charles Wesley and Charles Darwin. London has many other churches, some dating as far back as the 9th century. It is also home to The Temple, which was the center of power for the Templar Knights in the middle ages.
Punting on the Thames
London’s famous river is the Thames, and punting is a form of boating in which a rower will pull your boat along the river using a pole to steer. You can either hire a boat with a punter or hire your own boat to punt. People often have picnics along the Thames as well – this is a tradition that goes back to Victorian days.
You can also take paddleboats along the Thames and rowboats.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London served as a prison for political prisoners for many centuries. Many famous rebels and traitors to the kingdom were publicly executed here. In addition, the Tower of London also houses the Royal Mint, which makes the money for the United Kingdom. Sir Isaac Newton used to be the Master of the Mint in his spare time when he wasn’t discovering gravity or figuring out how the universe works and some say he was also an alchemist and his secret laboratory is located somewhere in the Tower behind secret passages and chambers.
London is truly an amazing experience and any trip to England would be sorely incomplete without spending at least a few days there!