St Paul’s Cathedral – One of my favourite buildings in London
Time in the UK is moving along pretty quickly. Seems like time always is these days. After the quick jaunt up in the ‘midlands’ it was back to London for a couple of days before heading out to Paris.
We had spent a couple of days in London before heading out to the countryside but it was mostly spent catching up with friends and family which meant that a far amount of beer and wine was consumed.
This time around I decided it was time to get my tourist act together and hit the sights of London. We have been so fortunate with the weather for this trip and this particular day was no exception. Late October wanderings around London in a t-shirt and sunglasses make for a pretty exceptional day.
Big Ben & the houses of parliament
I love the city of London, I think I mentioned in a previous post that it’s amazing to see all the old architecture mixed in with the new. For this sight-seeing adventure I decided to focus on the old sights however I did slip in a quick stop at the London Eye.
The London Eye or Millennium Wheel
The London Eye, officially opened in 2000AD, stands out in a big way and it is really just a glorified Ferris Wheel. It is 135 metres (443ft) tall and has a wheel diameter of 120 metres (394ft).
It was ridiculously crowded around the ‘Eye’ and even more so around Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament so I didn’t stay too long. I was there right on midday though, so I did get to hear Big Ben chime 12 times.
Big Ben – The nickname for the bell in the clock tower which is called Elizabeth Tower. It was completed in 1858.
The next stop on the tour was the Tower Bridge. And shockingly this is another sight that impresses me. Is it easy to see why?
Tower Bridge was opened in 1894AD and is both a bascule & a suspension bridge. When closed it has a clearance of 8.6 metres (28ft) however when open it’s clearance can reach 42.5 metres (139ft).
A view of Tower Bridge & a wall surrounding the Tower of London
The Tower Bridge leads up to the Tower of London. The Tower of London is a relic from William the Conqueror’s successful campaign in 1066AD and the tallest tower, ‘The White Tower’ (in the middle) was completed in 1078AD with expansions coming at later dates. It has had many prominent uses over time including being a prison and home to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
The final building I managed to get to on my big day out was St Paul’s Cathedral. A definite favourite, a building with an incredible history as well as incredible architecture.
Original churches dedicated to Paul the Apostle on this site date back as far as 604AD, the cathedral that sits on the site today was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1720AD. It sits atop Ludgate Hill which is the highest point (not man-made) in London.
There is so much more to London that I wish I had seen, but unfortunately it’s a tall, perhaps impossible, task. Oh well it leaves me plenty of things to do next time!
All the little facts about the sites on this page were found at Wikipedia. http://www.wikipedia.org