Sunday was “on our own” for independent sightseeing. CIE Tours provided each of us with a ticket for the Tootbus. We caught the “Underground” to Marble Arch, and after a brief walk caught the Tootbus. Regrettably, the ticket had expired 30 days ago; a CIE Tours faux pas! However, Tootbus gave us credit and we hopped onboard the open-top double-decker buses with a recorded commentary in English and several other languages which can be listened to with headphones.
We “explored” London’s famous sites including the Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards, Tower Bridge, and many more.
Centrally located in London, the Coca Cola London Eye can be termed as the heart of the city. It rotates gracefully over the River Thames, opposite the Houses of the Parliament and Big Ben.
A historically relevant 1000-year old World Heritage Site, Westminster Abbey in the City of Westminster is one of London’s most regal and noteworthy religious churches. Located along the western bank of the River Thames, it is known for having hosted coronations, weddings, and for being a burial site for the English and British monarchs back in the day.
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, England, and the name is frequently extended to refer also to the clock and the clock tower.
Buckingham Palace is a London royal residence and the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the center of state occasions and royal hospitality. Regrettably, we couldn’t get anywhere near the palace.
A central and prime location in the city, Trafalgar Square is located in the city of Westminster and is a public square with many cultural spaces, museums and galleries around the square. Distances to other places are measured from Trafalgar Square, which was initially designed by famous architect John Nash in the 1820s.
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894, designed by Horace Jones and engineered by John Wolfe Barry with the help of Henry Marc Brunel. Tower Bridge is famous because it’s London’s most striking bridge thanks to its Neo-Gothic architecture and lifting central sections. When it opened, it was the most sophisticated bascule bridge in the world.
The heavily guarded 10 Downing Street, also known colloquially in the United Kingdom as Number 10, is the official residence and executive office of the First Lord of the Treasury, usually also the Primer Minister of the United Kingdom. Along with the adjoining Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall, it is the headquarters of the governments of the United Kingdom.
Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognized as the center of Parliament Square, thus the center of Government of the United Kingdom. It is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including Ministry of “Defence,” Horse Guards, and the Cabinet Office.
A couple other photos are shown below of our London sightseeing.