Must-See Sights in Britain`s Capital City
Covering a total area of a mere 50,000 square miles, the United Kingdom would fit almost 20 times into the United States. Yet these tiny isles have a culture, history and natural beauty that leaves visitors excitedly puzzling over where to go, what to do and how they can fit the wealth of sights and attractions into a vacation of just one or two weeks.
House sitting is a great way to have an affordable Holiday in London without the huge accommodation costs. Londoners are always looking for responsible housesitters (especially cat sitters) who will release them to get away
Tussaud's waxworks of famous people, past and present, can now be seen in major cities across the globe, but the Baker Street museum, opened in 1850, is the original and still the best. See lifelike figures of everyone from Queen Victoria and Mahatma Gandhi to President Obama and The Beatles. Shake hands with Albert Einstein, stand shoulder to shoulder with Brad Pitt and say hello to Charlie Chaplin, among dozens of other celebrities from every era in world history.
Tower of London
This historic castle stands on the northern bank of the River Thames, and literally a few feet from the equally majestic and instantly recognizable Tower Bridge. Although it has at times been used as a royal residence, this grand fortress is most famous for the many prisoners it has housed throughout the centuries and for the Crown Jewels, kept there since the 13th century and under the watchful eye of the red-garbed Yeoman Warders - commonly known as the Beefeaters - since the 15th.
To visit the Tower of London is to step back into time and experience the excitement of Britain`s regal past.
With over seven million objects in its collection, the British Museum could occupy curious visitors for weeks. However, a day or an afternoon spent walking around its halls still gives you chance to take in an array of fascinating cultural and historical artefacts, from ancient Egyptian mummies to antique clockwork galleons. Entry is free, although some temporary exhibits - such as the 2011 invitation to `journey through the afterlife` with the Egyptian Book of the Dead - have an admission charge.
Natural History Museum
London's famed Natural History Museum has showcased the wonders of the natural world since 1881 and now welcomes over four million visitors a year. Forget dry facts and figures - the whole family will love exploring the history of living things through up-close exhibitions of dinosaur skeletons, age-old fossils, bugs and creepy crawlies, and life-size animal replicas. Entry is free to the main museum, although you have to pay for special exhibitions, such as 'blockbuster' Age of the Dinosaur.
The museum is open 363 days a year.
The Science Museum completes the trio of world-class museums - along with the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum - situated in the stylish and historic South Kensington district of Central London.
Tourists of all ages, including the very youngest, can spend hours touring the museum's interactive exhibits for free. Navigate the planets of the Solar System, witness the evolution of the industrial age before your eyes, discover the workings of the human mind and body in the hands-on Who Am I? exhibition and get a glimpse into the very latest in emerging technology.
St. Paul's Cathedral
The dome of architect Sir Christopher Wren's St. Paul's Cathedral, remarkably spared from destruction amid the chaos of World War Two, takes pride of place on London`s skyline as one of its most iconic structures.
Visitors can stroll around St. Paul's ornate interior to take in the breathtaking architecture or, if they've a head for heights, ascend the 350 steps to the summit, viewing the capital from a height of over 350 feet. The dome`s Whispering Gallery affords a unique birds-eye view of the cathedral interior.
Houses of Parliament
The Tower of Big Ben, with its gold features and world-famous clock face, dominates the Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament, the center of parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom.
A walk around the exterior to admire the magnificence of Sir Charles Barry`s 19th-century design is a must for visitors to London.
Guided tours of the interior, which includes the House of Lords and the House of Commons, are available on Saturdays year-round and on some weekdays during August and September, when parliament is in recess.
A boat trip down London`s River Thames is the perfect opportunity to take in some of the city`s best-known sights. Several companies run river tours, starting from the Victoria Embankment, a stone`s throw from the Houses of Parliament.
A cruise down the Thames
A cruise takes anything from 20 minutes to an hour, takes you past such monuments as the London Eye, Cleopatra`s Needle, the South Bank arts and culture complex, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre and a stunning replica of the Golden Hinde, the warship in which Sir Francis Drake navigated the globe during Tudor times.
The old rhyme goes: `Kitty cat, kitty cat, where have you been? I've been to London to visit the Queen. No tourist can venture into the UK`s capital city without taking a few moments to stop by Buckingham Palace, the English monarch`s main residence since the days of Queen Victoria. The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11.30am every day throughout May, June and July, and on alternate days at other times. No trip to London is complete without visiting the home of Britain`s Royal Family and experiencing this inspiring historic ceremony.
House Sitting in UK - Resources