Laura Comben is a writer from Brighton. Her passions include art, the summer sunshine and London.
The great city of London has experienced plagues, fires, wars, attacks and terrorist threats over its 2,000 year long history. London has now grown to become the UK’s financial, entertainment and cultural centre. Even with all this modern upheaval, many key historical landmarks can be visited today to really capture London’s heritage and character.
The Tower of London
Standing at London’s Tower Hill, The Tower of London is recognised by many as one of London’s key historical points of interest. As one of the world’s most famous fortresses, millions visit its maze of turrets every year. The tower began its history in Norman times under the ruling of William I in the early 1080’s. Over the years, the building has seen several functions including a residence for royalty, a prison and even a zoo. The Tower still houses her majesty’s Crown Jewels which are on display during visiting months, guarded and shown off by the famous Beefeaters. The beautiful White Tower also houses a spectacular collection of armoury including pieces belonging to King Henry VIII.
Royal Albert Hall
Since its opening in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall at Kensington Gore has seen more than 150,000 performances and shows. Highlights of its annual calendar this year include the BBC Proms and the International Ballroom Championships on 3 October. Visitors can take a one hour tour around the buildings amazing architecture and discover the history of the building and their charity work. It was initially built to meet the visions of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, to promote the Arts and Sciences, which is why it was placed in the center of museums and places of learning in the South Kensington area.
London boasts a spectacular array of some of the world’s best museums. All are free to enjoy to the public and offer a glimpse into the history of Great Britain through the centuries. Head to the National Portrait Gallery to find classical pieces of historical figures or go to the Tate Modern to discover what the modern British art world has to offer. The V&A is home to collections of interior design pieces through the years whilst the Natural History Museum houses creatures from Mammoths to birds and creatures found today. Alternatively, head to the London Science Museum just round the corner, on the aptly named Exhibition Road, to celebrate the history of past and present scientific wonders.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace was first acquired by The Knights Hospitallers of St John Jerusalem in 1236. Back then it was known as the manor of Hampton and was used as a centre for their agricultural produce where goods were stored and accounts kept. Over the years, the building was developed in the Tudor era by Cardinal Wolsey then later by Henry VIII in the 1520’s. A baroque palace was placed alongside the original building which was built by William III and Mary II. Today visitors can walk around its 60 acres of formal gardens and its famous maze and the world’s longest grape vine, according the Guinness Book of World Records. Inside, visitors can also discover its many fine rooms once occupied by Britain’s most famous royal figures.
If these historical buildings have brought London to life, so much so that you wish to indulge in it all year long, head to https://www.rentify.com/ for listings of rented London accommodation.