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Buckingham Palace in London
Things to See in London
London is an exciting city with lots of history, artwork, and an English culture that is important to many Americans. Some small cruise ships sail up the Thames and dock right in the heart of the city. Other cruise ships embark or disembark from Harwich, Dover, or Southampton, which are on the coast a couple of hours from the city. London also makes a perfect cruise extension since there are frequent flights between London and the United States.
Let's look at some of the tourist sights in London you can see in just a couple of days.
Buckingham Palace is the home of Queen Elizabeth. It is open to tourists in August and September. Don't miss the famous changing of the guard!
If you happen to be in London the second Saturday in June, be sure to attend the Trooping the Colour ceremony, parade, and flyover by RAF planes held at Buckingham Palace.Continue to 2 of 51 below.
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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, London
The Princess Diana Memorial Fountain is a series of gurgling brooks in Hyde Park.Continue to 3 of 51 below.
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Hyde Park in London
London has numerous parks such as Hyde Park. All are very green and filled with people on summer weekend days.Continue to 4 of 51 below.
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Albert Memorial - Monument to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-GothaContinue to 5 of 51 below.
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London Stoop in Knightsbridge
Walking the narrow streets of the Knightsbridge area south of Hyde Park, we saw many pretty little stoops like this one.Continue to 6 of 51 below.
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Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in LondonContinue to 7 of 51 below.
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Thames River and the Golden Jubilee Footbridge in LondonContinue to 8 of 51 below.
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Big Ben and Parliament on the Thames River in LondonContinue to 9 of 51 below.
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London Eye Capsule
These capsules move very slowly, and there is no sense of motion. The London Eye never stops; you just hop into the capsule.Continue to 10 of 51 below.
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Riverboats on the Thames River in front of Parliament and Big BenContinue to 11 of 51 below.
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London County Hall from the London Eye
London's former County Hall now contains the London Aquarium and the Saatchi Gallery.Continue to 12 of 51 below.
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Downtown London from the London EyeContinue to 13 of 51 below.
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London Eye - British Airways London Eye
The London Eye provides a bird's eye view of London from its egg-shaped capsules.Continue to 14 of 51 below.
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Tower Bridge in London near the Tower of London
The Tower of London and nearby Tower Bridge are must sees for most who visit London.Continue to 15 of 51 below.
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Gherkin Building in London
The "Gherkin" Building got its nickname from its pickle-shape. The Gherkin is more properly known as the 30 St. Mary Axe.Continue to 16 of 51 below.
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Big Ben in LondonContinue to 17 of 51 below.
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Dome of St. Paul's Cathedral in LondonContinue to 18 of 51 below.
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St. Paul's Cathedral in London
St. Paul's was designed by Christopher Wren and was completed in 1710. St. Paul's survived the WW II blitz of London and was significantly refurbished in 2005.Continue to 19 of 51 below.
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Tower Bridge in London and the Thames RiverContinue to 21 of 51 below.
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City Hall, Office of the Mayor of London
This modern City Hall was designed by Foster and Partners for the Mayor of London and his administration.Continue to 22 of 51 below.
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London Theater "tkts" Booth at Leicester Square
The London theater is exceptional, and the "tkts" booth in Leicester Square has good discounts on same day seats.
The London theater challenges Broadway for excellence in theater. Going to a play in London is one of the few good values found in the city. Like many tourists (and locals) I head to the "tkts" booth on the edge of the park in Leicester Square, which sells discounted same-day seats. The booth opens at 10 am, but the line queues up before then, with patrons checking the board for which tickets are available that day. While standing in line, you will see people from all over the world looking for a good deal on a great play.Continue to 23 of 51 below.
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National Gallery on Trafalgar Square in London
The National Gallery has one of Britain's top collection of European paintings. It's a must see if you love European art history, and it's free.
The National Gallery is located in Central London on Trafalgar Square, just a short walk from the Charing Cross or Leicester Square Tube station. Anyone interested in European art will enjoy the quiet National Gallery, but no photos are allowed inside.Continue to 24 of 51 below.
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St. Martin in the Fields Church in London
St. Martin in the Fields Church is located on Trafalgar Square, and was built in the 1720s.
The first church located on this spot dates back to the 13th century, and was literally "in the fields". St. Martin in the Fields is famous for its concerts, and the noontime concerts are free.Continue to 25 of 51 below.
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Lion Statues in Trafalgar Square, London
The four lions surrounding Admiral Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square are a popular photo spot or meeting point in London.
The sculptor of the four lions on Trafalgar Square had never even seen a lion when he cast the statues. He used his dog and a cat as the models. That is why the lion has his tongue out, much like a dog!Continue to 26 of 51 below.
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Admiral Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London
Admiral Nelson's 170-foot tall column, which celebrates Nelson's sea victory over the French at the battle of Trafalgar, is the centerpiece of the square.
Admiral Lord Nelson tops the column that shares his name in London's central Trafalgar Square. Lord Nelson led his ships in the fight with Napoleon's French fleet off the coast of Spain at Trafalgar in 1805. The British fleet won the battle, but Nelson was killed. Many believe that this victory over the French prevented Napoleon from invading Britain and contributed to his loss at Waterloo.Continue to 27 of 51 below.
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London Double Decker Bus - Red Routemaster Bus
The familiar red Routemaster buses were retired from regular bus service in London in December 2005, after serving the city for over 50 years.Continue to 28 of 51 below.
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London Traditonal Red Telephone Booth
These wonderful old red telephone booths in London always remind me of the British television show, "Dr. Who." Do you remember it?Continue to 29 of 51 below.
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A visit to London is not complete without a visit to a London pub for fish and chips (and a pint).Continue to 30 of 51 below.
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Royal Guardsman on Horseback at the Horse Guard Barracks in LondonContinue to 31 of 51 below.
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The London Eye Watches Over Historic London
The very modern London Eye wheel contrasts with the historical buildings of the city.Continue to 32 of 51 below.
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Guard on Duty at the Horse Guard Barracks in London
Love those boots!Continue to 33 of 51 below.
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Inspection of the Guard at the Horse Guard Barracks in London
The Inspection of the Guard Ceremony at the Horse Guard Barracks in London takes place each day at 11:00 am.
The Inspection of the Guard at the Horse Guard Barracks in London is a smaller ceremony than the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, but it is just as impressive, and there are no crowds. The guards on horseback and the inspection process was very fascinating. The Horse Guard Barracks are just down the street from Buckingham Palace on Birdcage Walk next to St. James Park.
Those who love to see the pomp and circumstance of London should plan to visit on the Trooping the Colour day in June.Continue to 34 of 51 below.
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Horse Guards at the Horse Guard Barracks in London
After the inspection and changing of the guard at the Horse Guard Barracks, the retired guards and their horses walk back to the stables.Continue to 35 of 51 below.
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Cabinet War Room in London from World War II
Churchill's underground headquarters in World War II are well-preserved and worth the tour.
Winston Churchill's World War II underground Cabinet War Rooms are a fascinating look at how Britain's senior leaders lived and worked during World War II. The 27 rooms were used by Churchill and his men from 1939 to 1945. A 60-minute audioguide is provided for the tour, and the War Rooms are open from about 9:30 or 10:00 (depending on the time of year) to 6:00 each day. My mother and I felt like we had walked back in time to the early 1940s when we toured the War Rooms.Continue to 36 of 51 below.
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Chiefs of Staff Conference Room -- World War II Cabinet Rooms in LondonContinue to 37 of 51 below.
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Reinforced Bunker Walls of the Cabinet War Rooms in London
The underground Cabinet War Rooms were reinforced to protect Britain's senior leaders from the Nazi bombs during the battle of Britain.Continue to 38 of 51 below.
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London's World War II Cabinet War Rooms
The Cabinet War Rooms are preserved just as they were in 1945. Note the old telephones and maps used to track troop movements.Continue to 39 of 51 below.
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London's Marble Arch
The Marble Arch was built in 1827 and stood at Buckingham Palace until it was moved in 1851.
The marble arch is built of white Italian Carrara marble, and the design was taken from Rome's triumphal arch of Constantine. The marble arch once stood at the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but when Queen Victoria enlarged the palace in 1851, she moved the Marble Arch to the entrance to Hyde Park.Continue to 40 of 51 below.
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Madame Tussaud's Museum in London
Yes, that's spiderman high atop Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in LondonContinue to 41 of 51 below.
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London Street Scene
London street scene near Madame Tussaud's Wax MuseumContinue to 42 of 51 below.
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London's Tower Bridge and the Thames RiverContinue to 43 of 51 below.
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Guards at Buckingham Palace in London
The changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace is a must see event for tourists.
The changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace is crowded and difficult to see the whole event unless you get there early. However, it's one thing that your friends back home will ask if you attended when visiting London! The changing of the guards happens at 11:30 every day in the summer and about every other day the rest of the year. The band does not march if it is raining. The best views are from the Victoria Monument just outside the gates.
Although it looks like one of the guards in this photo is going the wrong way, he just had not yet turned around.Continue to 44 of 51 below.
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Victoria Monument Outside Buckingham Palace in London
The Victoria Monument give the best view of the changing of the guard parade at Buckingham Palace, but you will need to get there early for a good spot.Continue to 45 of 51 below.
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Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Even with a front row viewing point, you have to observe the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace through the iron fence.
These band members at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace do not seem quite as focused and serious as the guards. I love those beaver hats, but I am sure they are difficult to keep balanced.Continue to 46 of 51 below.
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Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London
Not all the guards at Buckingham Palace wear red coats and beaver hats.Continue to 47 of 51 below.
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Victoria Monument Outside Buckingham Palace in LondonContinue to 48 of 51 below.
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Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed Memorial in Harrods Department Store in London
Memorial to Princess Di and Dodi at Harrod's in London is found in a quiet escalator lobby.
Harrod's Department Store in the Knightsbridge district of London is a shopper's wonderland. The owner of Harrod's is Mohammed al Fayed, Dodi Al Fayed's father, and he has a quiet memorial to Princess Di and Dodi in one of the escalator lobbies. The memorial in this photo was replaced in September 2005 with a permanent statue of Diana and Dodi.Continue to 49 of 51 below.
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Dale Chihuly Glass Chandelier at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
The main entrance of the Victoria & Albert Museum features the 30 foot V&A Chandelier designed by glass artist Dale Chihuly and completed in 2000.Continue to 50 of 51 below.
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Tower of London with Poppies
The Tower of London displayed 888,246 porcelain poppies in 2014--one for each British soldier who died in World War I, which started in 1914.Continue to 51 of 51 below.
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Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Sometimes the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace is so packed with visitors that you can get a better look a the soldiers by watching the parade rather than the ceremony.