Landmarks - Sights
Find out about some of Britain's and London's most famous landmarks and sights, read a short description about each one of them and watch relevant videos.
Stonehenge is the most famous prehistoric monument in Britain. It is a circle of stones. It is located in the English county of Wiltshire.
* Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of The Queen of England. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.
* Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was built on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian. The primary function of Hadrian's Wall was to keep the 'barbarian' Picts from Scotland out of Roman Britain. It is 117 kilometers long and is built in stone. In places it is six meters high and three meters wide.
* Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is the best known and most visited of Historic Scotland's buildings. It is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. It is visited annually by approximately one million people. Edinburgh Castle is also the home of the One O'Clock Gun. This is fired every day except Sunday at precisely 1.00pm to provide everyone with an accurate check for their clocks and watches.
* White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs which form part of the British coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs have great symbolic value for Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. Because crossing at Dover was the primary route to the continent before air travel, the white line of cliffs also formed the first or last sight of the UK for travellers.
* Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the Queen's official and main royal London home. It has been the official London residence of Britain's monarchy since 1837. When the Queen is at home, you can see her royal flag flying from the flag pole on top of Buckingham Palace. This flag is called the Royal Standard. Five regiments of Foot Guards guard the Palace. They wear red jackets and tall, furry hats called bearskins. The Palace has around 600 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, a cinema and a swimming pool. It also has its own post office and police station.
* Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) - Big Ben
The Palace of Westminster is the place where laws governing British life are debated and passed. The Queen rides in a State coach to Westminster to open each new session of Parliament, usually in the second week in November. The Palace of Westminster contains the bell Big Ben that is struck each quarter hour. Big Ben is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The clock tower is situated on the banks of the river Thames and is part of the Palace of Westminster. The Great Bell was first struck on September 7, 1859.
* St. Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral seen today was built between 1675 and 1711 by Sir Christopher Wren. The dome of St Paul's Cathedral is the second biggest dome in the world, after St Peter's in Rome. For the fit, you can climb 530 steps to the Golden Gallery, an observation platform atop the dome of the cathedral. From there you can look out over the modern skyline of the city of London.
* The London Eye
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. The London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, was officially called the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye.
* Trafalgar square
Trafalgar Square, designed by Sir Charles Barry, was constructed in the 1840s on the site that was originally the Royal Mews for hawks and then royal stables. The Square is named in honour of the British victory, led by Admiral Lord Nelson, at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Dominating the square is the 56 m (171 feet) column, Nelson's Column, with its 5.5m (18 feet) statue of Nelson on top. It was erected in 1843. Nelson's column is guarded by four huge bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer in 1868.
* Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is located to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the oldest buildings in London and one of the most important religious centres in the country. Every King and Queen has been crowned in Westminster Abbey since William the Conqueror in 1066. Its founder, Edward the Confessor, was made a saint after his death and he is buried in a special chapel dedicated to him.
* Tower of London
The Tower of London was originally built by William the Conqueror, following his successful invasion of England in 1066. For over 900 years, the Tower of London has been standing guard over the capital. As a Royal Palace, fortress, prison, place of execution, arsenal, Royal Mint, Royal Zoo and jewel house, it has witnessed many great events in British history. The responsibility for looking after the prisoners was given to the Yeomen Warders or Beefeaters. In the centre of the Tower of London is the famous White Tower. The Tower, or Bloody Tower as it is known, has been host to many famous executions and imprisonments, including that of Anne Boleyn. Ravens have lived at the Tower of London for hundreds of years. Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London the White Tower will crumble and a great disaster shall fall over England. Today the Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels and is open to the public as a museum.
* Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge has stood over the River Thames in London since 1894 and is one of the finest, most recognisable bridges in the World. Its middle section can be raised to permit large vessels to pass the Tower Bridge. It used to be raised about 50 times a day, but nowadays it is only raised 4 to 5 times a week.
* British Museum
A large museum housing one the world's largest collections of art and antiquities from cultures and continents all over the globe for the past two million years. It is here that the Elgin Marbles, Benin Bronzes and the Rosetta Stone are displayed. These artifacts are among the most disputed objects in the museum's collections, and organisations have been formed demanding the return of these artifacts to their native countries of Greece, Nigeria and Egypt respectively.
* Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse in the London Borough of Southwark, located on the south bank of the River Thames. The modern reconstruction is an academic best guess, based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. It was founded by the actor and director Sam Wanamaker and built approximately 230 metres (750 ft) from the site of the original theatre. The theatre was opened to the public in 1997, with a production of Henry V. It is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education.
* Madame Tussauds museum
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud and was formerly known as "Madame Tussaud's", but the apostrophe is no longer used (though it still appears in some signage at the New York location). Madame Tussauds is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying waxworks of historical and royal figures, film stars, sports stars and infamous murderers.
* Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as "Covent Garden". Covent Garden restaurants, pubs, shops, opera, theatre and street performers make it the entertainment centre of London.
* Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner, an area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion are allowed. The park is divided in two by the Serpentine, a 28-acre recreational lake. Hyde Park is the largest of four parks which form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park (19 hectares), past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace and then on through through Saint James's Park (23 hectares) to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. Hyde Park has also been the venue for some famous rock concerts.
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. The tournament takes place over two weeks in late June and early July, culminating with the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Final, scheduled respectively for the second Saturday and Sunday. It has been held since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and it is the only Major still played on grass, the game's original surface, which gave the game of lawn tennis its name. Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage. The tournament is also notable for the absence of sponsor advertising around the courts.
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