London Journals

London icons

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to London by MagdaDH_AlexH

Big Ben Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: Squares, circuses, bridges and vehicles - all the London most-wanted and most-depicted, sometimes not the most-deserving.

London Bridge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Fallen down icon (London Bridge)"

London Bridge Photo, London, England
Quote:
The current London Bridge dates to 1970s and is a functional, efficient construction that links The City to Southwark (near to Southwark Cathedral and the Monument) and replaced a Victorian bridge that lasted for 140 years until it was sold to an Arizona oil magnate. The most famous of the London Bridges - the one that quite possibly the song referred to - was the stone one built in the end of the 12th century by Peter de Colechurch. That one consisted of 19 small arches and included a drawbridge, but it was particularly well known for tall houses that were built on it (to raise revenue). These, despite causing a lot of problems and contributing to several disasters (including fires and co...Read More

London Bridge
Over the River Thames
London, England

St Paul's Cathedral

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Domed icon"

St Paul's London Photo, London, England
Quote:
St Paul's Cathedral is quite possibly the most beautiful building in London. We lived within a half-hour walk of St Paul's for several months, and on some days I ended up walking home from the bus-stop near the Cathedral, I can't recall why, now, but I do remember seeing that building in all weathers, at all times of day (and night) and in various seasons. At first I wasn't sure: I am not that fond of monumental buildings, and Rome's St Peter's, although both impressive and fascinating, left me aesthetically less-than-awed. But, imperceptibly, St Paul's beauty crept up on me. I remember seeing the silhouette of the church one evening, almost-black purple on the background of almost-purple eveni...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 1, 2012

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

Big Ben

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Big icon"

Big Ben Photo, London, England
Quote:
In my hunt for the ultimate icon of London I somewhat wavered between several structures – I think you probably can't find a single one as representative of London as let's say Eiffel Tower is of Paris – but the area around the Parliament Square is probably unique in being a location of several candidates (and within a view of another one, the London Eye): the Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben. For visitors, especially the foreign ones, the contest for the most iconic icon of London would be probably a toss-up between the Tower Bridge and the Palace of Westminster (aka Houses of Parliament) with its landmark clock tower, commonly known as the Big Ben. The Big Ben has been v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 31, 2012

Big Ben
Parliament Square
London, England SW1A 2NE

Tower Bridge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Crossing icon"

Tower Bridge, London Photo, London, England
Quote:
Eiffel Tower is the icon for Paris, the Statue of Liberty for New York, the Colosseum – for Rome. London doesn't have one dominant landmark like that, but many of those looking for one would probably pick the Tower Bridge, whose characteristic silhouette is recognised the world over. It's not actually, objectively, a beautiful a structure: an eminently Victorian structure, unselfconsciously over-the-top, with mock-Gothic, virtually Baronial castle-like towers and elaborate ornamentation. And yet, it's strangely attractive. I am not sure if it is because it's such a well known building, or because it fits the location so well, but it somehow transcends the Victorian pretentiousness. I am n...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 31, 2012

Tower Bridge
Tower Hill
London, England SE1 2UP
+44 (207) 403 3761

Number 10: Official Residence of the British Prime Minister

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Gated icon"

Quote:
Downing Street is probably one of the best known place-names in London, maybe in Britain. UK's equivalent to the ''White House'', it stands as a metonymy for the Prime Minister and in his figure, the entire government of the United Kingdom (and the Prime Minister is indeed quite a powerful figure in the British political system which gives an enormous amount of power to the ruling party executive). The physical Downing Street is located very near to the former Palace of Whitehall, Henry VIII's flashy residence created from the extended York House that Henry had confiscated from Cardinal Wosley. The main terrace of the current Downing Street was constructed in the late 17th century to the ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 29, 2012

Number 10: Official Residence of the British Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Westminster, London

Trafalgar Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Central icon"

Trafalgar Square Photo, London, England
Quote:
Trafalgar Square is one of the most iconic places in London and despite being crowded, busy, still traffic-filled (though the removal of the lanes that used to separate the National Gallery from the middle bit definitely helped) and polluted, a definite must-see. In fact, it's an excellent placed to start a one-day (or a first-day) tour of London. The Square is centred, appropriately for its name, on the Nelson's Column, flanked by four bronze lions. The northern side of the Square is filled with the imposing but attractive building of the National Gallery (fabulous collection of classic art, and free to enter) to which the traffic-free Northern Terrace raises. To the east one can admire...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2012

Trafalgar Square
Northumberland Avenue
London, England WC2

Piccadilly Circus

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Traffic icon"

Piccadilly Circus Photo, London, England
Quote:
I am not sure if calling Piccadilly Circus and unexpected icon is completely accurate. It is an icon, certainly, one of the most famous and best-recognised places in London. It features on postcards, guide-book covers and in countless tourist photos. It is actually is a horrible place – heaving with traffic, noisy, dirty, with no greenery, and with nowhere to sit (apart from the bird-poo and one fears to think what else stained steps of the Eros statue). It is also misleading: one of the Circuit's chief claims to fame are its huge neon advertisments on the corner building on the northern side. Before coming to London one tends to imagine that the city will be full of such ads, but in fact ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 29, 2012

Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
London, England W1