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London – first quick look


Visiting London

big ben londonThe capital of England and United Kingdom London has many interesting and even unique sites, but I will start with bridges. There are 24 bridges across the River Thames in London.

The oldest is London Bridge, which was made from wood initially, but afterwards rebuilt in 1209, 1831 and 1973. Probably, the most famous is Tower Bridge, which was built in 1894 and is known around the world.

kensington gardensOne of the most interesting bridges, in my opinion, is Millennium Bridge what is pedestrian bridge, connecting St. Pauls Cathedral and Tate Modern Art Gallery. Very beautiful scene appears if you look at bridge from art gallery to St. Pauls Cathedral. However, you can cross the river using any of other bridges (except a few railway bridges) and every time panoramic view will be different and equally interesting.

Parks and gardens

Despite being large city, London is very green. There are lots of small gardens and large parks even in the city centre. The largest parks in central area are The Regent’s Park (166 hectares), Hyde Park (142 hectares) and Kensington Gardens (111 hectares). Those are also called Royal Parks because initially they were created for the recreation of the royal family. Many people are using parks for running and walking every day.

Birthday of the Queen

london streetIf you decide visiting London, every year there is a big public celebration of Queens Birthday; a crowd of people watch parade. It is called Trooping the Colour – a tradition coming from 17th century. It is held annually in London on the second Saturday of June.

After parade of British Army, Queen travels down from The Mall to Buckingham Palace in a Royal Procession. It is very interesting to watch Mounted Troops and Horse Guards. At the end of the event, Royal Air Forces fly over the palace.

Pubs and events in London

In my opinion, English pubs are something special. You can enjoy excellent beer having lunch or without it. You can get very special traditional dish on Sundays – Sunday Roast. But most amazing picture you may see on Friday evenings. Before coming home from work, lots of people after working week are gathering, making crowds outside centrally located pubs.

This is like a forecast that weekend is coming and people start celebrating end of hard working week. And this celebration often ends only when pubs are closing around midnight.

tower bridgeEvery weekend, during summertime, there are events and various celebrations all around the city. One of the most popular and populated event is Notting Hill Carnival. This event is held each August Bank Holiday since 1966 and is the largest festival celebration of its kind in Europe.

There are lots of costumes, lots of noise from sound systems all around and much more public watching these activities. All together, around one million people are participating in this carnival. One of the most interesting attractions during this event is steel band competition.

London sightseeing

Visiting London offers huge amount of different attractions. For example, river Thames is very busy public transport route. If you wish to have a river trip, it’s worth to choose Greenwich as destination and use very comfortable services of Thames Clippers. These high speed catamarans are fast and services are frequent, have many stops and you can watch from the river many sites during the trip. Greenwich is one of the last stops of Thames Clippers.

london landscapeAfter visiting Royal Observatory and surrounding area in Greenwich, you can return to the city centre using DLR – Docklands Light Railway. This is one more thing to be experienced – DLR is one of the first light rail systems in Britain and has one of the world’s most advanced automatic train control systems.

All DLR trains from Greenwich arrive at Bank Underground Station. These are just a few tips of how you can spend your time in London for an extended weekend. In reality, even 10 years of living in London might be not enough to get familiar with everything what offers this city.