Exploring the most beautiful parts of England with pictures, history, attractions

The River Thames divides Greater London in half, with the old city and most of the attractions of historical interest located to the north of the river.

There was a Celtic settlement here before the Romans came in the early first century AD, but it was the Romans that turned London into a major trading centre. The old Roman walls helped define the city for over a thousand years, and today the financial district ("The City") fills much of the space between those walls.

In 1066 the Normans came calling. William the Conqueror began building the Tower of London to keep the Londoners in line, and the Tower has been expanded and added to many times since. It has seen executions, murder, and dramatic escapes over the centuries. A list of the prisoners who have been held within its walls reads like a who's who of English history.

Not far from the Tower of London is domed St. Paul's Cathedral, built by Christopher Wren in ebullient classical style after the previous St. Paul's was destroyed in the Great Fire of London (1667).

Within St. Paul's is the Whispering Gallery, so named because a whisper against one side of the dome can be heard clearly on the far side of the dome some 112 feet away. Within St. Paul's are the tombs of the Duke of Wellington, poet John Donne, and Wren himself, as well as artists such as Joshua Reynolds and JMW Turner.

London is blessed with some of the finest museums in the world. Choose from the National Gallery, Britain's national collection of European art, or the nearby National Portrait Gallery, with likenesses of the famous and infamous in British history. The National Gallery fronts on Trafalgar Square, famous for the statue of Admiral Nelson atop his tall, slender column - and the pigeons which gather at his feet.

The elegant district of Kensington houses several more excellent museums. The Victoria and Albert (affectionately known as "The V&A") is devoted to arts, crafts, and design from around the world. The nearby Science Museum explores the marvelous world of science through hands-on exhibits and the Natural History Museum showcases Britain's natural world, with dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and exhibits on human biology.

The familiar clock tower of Big Ben (the name actually refers to the bell within the tower itself) soars above the neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Just behind the Parliament buildings is Westminster Abbey, begun by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century.

The Abbey can claim to be Britain's national church; certainly it contains the tombs and memorials of more famous Britons than anyplace else. From authors such as Shakespeare, Hardy, and Keats, to politicians like Winston Churchill and most of the kings and queens of England since the medieval period.

Visitors willing to venture further afield than the city core have abundant choices for an enjoyable outing. To the east lies Greenwich, where you can straddle 0° Meridian and stand with one foot in each of the east and west hemisphere.

6Days 5Nights

Day 01: London
Arrive London Heathrow Airport where you will be met by a representative, and taken by taxi transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city independently.

Day 02: London
Today you will be met at your hotel by your professional private blue badge guide who will take you first to visit Tower Bridge as well as the exhibition there on the historic tube (underground). After this you will visit the Tower of London where you will have the opportunity to see the crown jewels as well as the world famous Koh‐I‐Noor Diamond. From here you will have lunch in a nearby restaurant or café (not included in price but we can book this for you). After lunch you will visit the East London Mosque. Later in the day you’ll take a cruise on the River Thames. After this you’ll visit the London Bridge Experience before returning to your hotel for another overnight stay.

Day 03: London
Today your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to visit Buckingham Palace via the tube transport, which will also include the changing of the guard. After lunch you’ll take a trip to the British Museum where you will see some of the greatest wonders of the world all under 1 roof.

Day 04: London
Today you will be met by your guide who will take you on the sightseeing bus tour in London – the Original Tour. This morning you will see all of London’s most popular sites and after lunch you will visit Trafalgar square and the world famous waxworks museum ‐Madame Tussauds. Today you will also take a ride on the greatest viewing platform in London – the London Eye.

Day 05:  London
Today you’ll have the day to see any other sights, or spend some time shopping along the main shopping areas Oxford Street and also Harrods in the Knightsbridge area of the city. Today is an Independent day where you will travel and see the sights you wish to see yourselves.

Day 06: Departure
After breakfast take your taxi transfer to the airport.