Attractions Not To Miss Out On In London This Year!
London is already a top destination when it comes to romance, architecture, culture and fashion. But if you’re visiting for the first time – on your own or with company – you’ll need a heads up of which attractions you should not miss out on. One great thing about London, is that there are almost too many things to see, a lot of which are free to the public, making sightseeing and touring affordable as well as exciting. It is the perfect place to soak up some history and culture, among many fascinating things, and below, we’ve listed some of the attractions that you should definitely check out during your visit.
St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church isn’t just a historical landmark, but it also has one of the most interesting stories behind its creation. Long ago, the Earl of Bedford tasked an architect to design the simplest possible church – nothing that would surpass a barn’s aesthetic standards. In response, the architect created the “handsomest barn in all of England”. The church had been known as the cathedral of actors, because of its theatrical associations, and it now houses memorials of personalities like Charlie Chaplin and Vivien Leigh. In 1662, the very first Punch and Judy show happened in this very church.
Just under the Waterloo Bridge’s arches, you will find the British Film Institute and its four cinemas, which show films by the thousands every year. Also, a gallery is dedicated to moving pictures as well as the Mediatheque (here, you watch TV and movie highlights from the institute’s National Archive). There is a fully stockedbook and film shop, and visitors can also sit and relax at its cafe. More importantly, the BFI is a major art-house and repertory theater, and hosts the Times BFI London Film Festival (screening 300 films from 60 countries all over the world) every October.
Museum of London
This museum offers tourists a perspective on the various incarnations of London – from the Anglo-Saxon era to today’s modern metropolis. Its first gallery shows “London Before London”, where ancient settlements are shown, followed by the interesting models and displays of the Roman era.
The rest of the space shows the other periods – the Saxon, medieval, Tudor and Stuart – which culminate in the 1666 Great Fire. Exquisite jewelry and fashion adorn the galleries here, showing a prison cell’s walls filled with graffiti (from 1750) as well as the famous Rhinebeck Panorama – a depiction of London in watercolor from the early 1800s. Finally, tourists spin through the beautiful Pleasure Gardens and are led to the recreation of a typical Victorian street.
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National Portrait Gallery
A day at the National Portrait Gallery can be likened to stepping into a picture book of England’s colorful history. The gallery was founded back in 1856 and has since showcased over 11 thousand works. On the second floor you will see the Tudors, and will then descend towards the more contemporary pieces (ranging from scientists to pop stars). Included in the array of works here is Marc Quinn’s ‘Self’, which is the artist’s self portrait of his head – cast in blood and is recreated every 5 years. For £3, visitors can see the gallery’s most popular pictures with an audio-visual guide.