London has always delighted visitors with its splendidly laid out city and the historical significance that lie behind them. The London cityscape is a mix of buildings and its key attractions towering above. It makes London a truly unique city in Europe and is the favored destination for tourists from around the world. Among the major places in London, Westminster is the most popular destination for tourists, as it is the hub of many popular attractions in the city such as the Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St. James Park, Westminster Abbey, and many others.
Westminster is the seat of the still thriving aristocracy and the various governing bodies. Besides its numerous tourist attractions, Westminster is also known for its array of high end and designer shops that offers a splendid shopping experience. Most of the attractions are located in proximity, making it easier to cover them while visiting the place. Below are 5 major attractions to visit in London’s Westminster District.
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament is also known as the Palace of Westminster is another notable attraction in the Westminster area of London. Initially a royal residence, it was later converted into the seat of the government. The Houses of Parliament is known most famously for the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 when Guy Fawkes tied to blow up the building. The House of Parliament is located near to the Westminster Abbey.
It is constructed in a neo-gothic style and the lavishly laid out palace is an incredible sight in itself. Visitors can enter the palace, especially during the periods when the Parliament attends and view the process as well as participate in the debates help at the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Located near the House of Parliament is yet another notable attraction of London, which is the Big Ben.
St. James Palace and Park
The St. James quarter is located west of the famous Trafalgar Square and includes some of the prominent attractions like the Waterloo Palace, Pall Mall, and the St. James Square. Situated here is the St. James Palace that is a major part of the Clarence House and Lancaster House. It was the primary areas for hosting several important events of the Royal Family. Previously, the St. James Palace was a place of residence for the kings and queens until the rule of Queen Victoria.
Covering an area of 57 acres, the St. James Park is one of the eight royal parks in London. It includes The Mall and Horse Guards Parade and is situated near it are famous attractions like the Clarence House, the Buckingham Palace, and Whitehall. It is a major visitor attraction in Westminster with its vibrant flowerbeds and an impressive lake.
The Buckingham Palace is Westminster’s notable tourist attraction with a large visitor turnout. It is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. It was built in 1703 for the Duke of Birmingham and is the few remaining houses of the monarchy in the world today.
Visitors can enter the Buckingham Palace during the summer months to see many of its prominent areas such as the State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery, Royal Mews, and witness the spectacular Changing of the Guard ceremony. Besides, the spectacular gardens of the palace are a great place to take a stroll.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Westminster Abbey is a must-visit attraction in Westminster. This gothic church offers a peek into the rich British History. It is the site of coronations of the British Monarch since 1066 and holds many national events too. It is the burial ground of kings and queens as well of prominent figures such as Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Dr. Samuel Johnson.
Westminster Abbey holds a valuable collection of monumental sculpture in London. It has several paintings, stained glass windows and religious artifacts that are highly valuable and testify to the grandeur of the church itself. It is open for visitors daily and offers several audio guides during the tour to help guide them.
The London Eye
The London Eye is yet another incredible modern attraction located in the Westminster District of London. It is situated on the Southbank of the River Thames and is a major tourist attraction drawing millions of visitors every year. The London Eye is actually a huge Ferris wheel 135 meters tall that offers an exhilarating ride and spectacular view of the London cityscape.
It has 32 glass passenger capsules that have a capacity of about 25 people. Besides, they have interactive guides inside that offer information about the major landmarks in the city in various languages. The London Eye is truly a feat of modern engineering and design, and taking a ride in it is an experience unique only to London.