London is a notorious English city that provides a visitor many opportunities to experience unique arts, history, and culture.
The most famous attractions include Picadilly Circus, the Tower of London, and London Bridge.
However, if one finds themselves short on time, the area of St. James Park holds many of London’s fascinating sites. This area includes Buckingham Palace and several museums that showcase much of London’s history.
Begin the day by watching the ceremonious Changing of the Guards. This does not happen every day so be sure to check the schedule. From there you can then set about on foot and spend an afternoon exploring the Queen’s neighborhood.
Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the monarch since 1837. Most of the year visitors can only view the outside of the palatial home, but during the Queen’s annual retreat to her summer castle in Balmoral, Scotland, the lavish state rooms of Buckingham are opened for tours. You can tell if the Queen is home by the color of the Royal Standard flying above the building.
The Guards Museum
A stroll through St. James Park brings you to the Guards Museum. The museum is small but rich with the history of ‘Her Majesty’s Household Division’ which has the responsibility of guarding The Sovereign and The Royal Palaces. As regal as the guard traditions are, it is interesting to learn that these regiments are more than just ceremonial guards. They are first and foremost combat soldiers who support the UN, NATO, and protect the British people.
Westminster Abbey is the largest Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales; this 700-year-old building also serves as the official Coronation Church of England. The church is a living landmark as thousands of people attend daily worship services inside its hallowed walls. The coronation church has also been the burial ground and memorial site for many historical British figures for the past thousand years.
Churchill War Rooms
Located across St. James Park and Buckingham Palace is a unique museum, the Cabinet War Rooms. This interesting display appeals to war historians and Anglophiles alike. The museum is the site of underground rooms used by Winston Churchill to direct the British troops during World War II.
The rooms have been left in place as they were during the war and the Blitz of the city of London. The furniture, the maps, and the Transatlantic Telephone Room that connected directly to American President Franklin Roosevelt present visitors with the realistic feelings of the time.
One cannot go to London without visiting Trafalgar Square. Located in central London, Trafalgar Square was named for the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory over France. At the center is the impressive statue called Nelson’s Column, guarded by four tremendous lions at its base. Trafalgar Square is used as a meeting place for many locals; it also holds many celebrations for London, such as New Year’s and Christmas ceremonies. When in Trafalgar Square, you will be able to get a taste of what the modern city contains, along with getting the feel of popular London history.