London Journals

This Sceptred Isle and all that Jazz

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A March 2000 trip to London by phileasfogg

Tower of London Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: Two thousand years and more of extremely eventful history is nothing to be sneezed at- and Britain’s so chockfull of castles, cathedrals and palaces that it’s virtually a bonanza for any lover of history.

This Sceptred Isle and all that Jazz

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Overview

Quote:
London’s crowded with history, and it extends to way beyond the many statues of generals, poets, kings, and queens you’ll see looking down on you from pedestals across the city. If history interests you, whether political or otherwise, this is a great city to go sightseeing - and among the sights to put on your itinerary are Westminster Abbey, St Margaret’s, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London .Watch the changing of the guard (if you can bear the crowds of tourists who throng the area!) at Buckingham Palace ; spend a while amidst the gardens and halls of Kensington Palace; and go strolling along the Thames to Cleopatra’s Needle.Among the ...Read More

Westminster Abbey

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Attraction

Westminster Abbey Photo, London, England
Quote:
Originally a Benedictine abbey, Westminster Abbey’s the church where all the monarchs of England- since William the Conqueror (in 1066)- have been crowned. It’s nearly a thousand years old, and heavily decorated with carved stone, marble, wood, stained glass, and paintings. It’s really huge- so much so that we got pretty nearly lost in it. Besides being the place where coronations have been held for the past millennium, Westminster’s also the place where most of England’s kings and queens of England are buried- in heavy, ornate tombs with carved stone statues (usually likenesses of the monarch) lying supine on top. Our tour through the church took us past the tombs of a number of monarchs and th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Westminster Abbey
20 Dean's Yard
London, England SW1P 3PA
+44 (20) 7222 5152

St Paul's Cathedral

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Attraction | "St Paul’s Cathedral"

Quote:
Situated amidst appropriately ecclesiastical environs (Ave Maria Lane and Paternoster Row are right next door), the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral definitely merits a visit. There’s been a church at this site ever since 604 AD, although the present building dates back to the 17th century- it was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and took all of 35 years to build. The high, ornate white dome of the cathedral is the second largest in the world and looms up above the surrounding streets- all of them crowded with modern office buildings. It’s so imposing and large, you can see it even when you’re too far away to see the rest of the church. St Paul’s is spectacul...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

St Paul's Cathedral
The Chapter House
London, England EC4M 8AD
+44 (20 7) 236 4128

Tower of London

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Attraction | "The Tower of London"

Tower of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
Back in 1078, the White Tower - the earliest building in what is today the Tower of London - was built. In the centuries since (and tumultuous years they’ve been), many buildings have been added, many sieges broken, and many histories written. This is the ultimate in historical castles, and it’s worth a visit.A moated fortress with 3 lines of defense, the Tower’s best seen on a guided tour led by a `beefeater’ (strictly speaking, a `yeoman warder’). We took the last tour of the day - at 3:15 pm - and found our guide immensely entertaining and informative.The Tower of London’s been, at various times, a castle, an arsenal, a storeroom for records, and a prison. Beginning at the gate, the tour ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Tower of London
Tower Hill
London, England EC3N 4AB
+44 (207) 709 0765

Windsor Castle

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Attraction

Windsor Castle Photo, London, England
Quote:
Just 22 miles from London, Windsor’s a lovely little town - and home to not just one of England’s first-rate schools ( Eton ), but also one of the world’s most high-profile and historic castles.The Royal Station at Windsor is almost right next to the castle, a huge stone fortress which stands on a hill and towers over the entire area. We arrived at Windsor from London on a clear spring day, and walked uphill to the castle (the Queen was in residence that day - the Union Jack was flying above the castle). Within the solid stone walls of Windsor, we first visited the absolutely adorable Queen Mary’s Doll’s House . Six feet high, and a faultless replica of an actual house, the Doll’s Ho...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2002

Windsor Castle
Windsor
Berkshire, England SR4 1NJ
+44 1753 869 898