Going to the Olympic Games? Don’t Forget to Tour London

The London Eye overlooking the Thames with Westminster in the background.

The 2012

Olympic Games will be taking place in London between July 27th and August 12th. If you are planning on flying across the pond for these amazing events, make sure you also see some of the iconic sights London has to offer. A recent visit there proved that seeing London on foot, or occasionally using the underground (tube) or the big red buses, is totally doable.

Start your walking tour in Westminster, at the Thames with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. It’s an easy stroll to Westminster Abbey (there is a fee to enter). Then proceed down Birdcage Walk viewing the Royal Mews on one side of the road and St. James Park on the other. This takes you right to Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial, recent site of the Jubilee Concert.

Westminster, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on the Thames

The gates of Buckingham Palace.

 

Walk down the mall, a broad avenue that flows from the Victoria Memorial and is often the scene of royal parades. You’ll pass royal residences on the left (St. James Palace, Clarence House and Marlborough House) and proceed through the Admiralty Arch to Trafalgar Square. There amid many red buses you’ll find the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery. It’s just a short walk back down Northumberland near Whitehall, the Horse Guards Parade Grounds, and pleasant gardens along the Thames. You can cross the Golden Jubilee bridge to the southbank and go up in the London Eye, a giant wheel that provides great aerial views of the city. On another day, walk along the southbank, where there is much to see, to the notable Tower Bridge. Across the Thames at the Tower Bridge is the Tower of London where Beefeater guides provide interesting history of the Traitor’s Gate and the Bloody Tower.

The Tower Bridge

The Tower of London

From Tower Bridge you can easily see The Shard, a 1,016 ft. vertical city, London’s tallest building. Still being constructed, it will house offices, a hotel, residences and shops. Don’t miss the dome of St. Paul’s and the Memorial to the London Fire which can also be seen from the Tower Bridge.

The Shard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic events will take place throughout London in the main Olympic park in Stratford as well as such iconic locations as Hyde Park, the Millenium Dome, and Horse Guards Parade. The interactive map (link below) of the main Olympics site in Stratford will be updated regularly as building work continues. So check it out. And have an amazing time in an historic and wonderful city.  http://www.mylondonmap.com/london-olympics-map.php

Photos courtesy of John M. Havey

Another post for London Lovers  http://boomerhighway.org/can-boomer-anglophiles-keep-the-love-going/

10 thoughts on “Going to the Olympic Games? Don’t Forget to Tour London

  1. Was that a member of the “Royal Family” standing outside of Buckingham Palace?

    • You recognized her! Yes, formerly Princess Elizabeth–in my dreams. Thanks for writing! Beth

  2. Hey! Fun blog! Looks like you saw it all. London is lovely, and I wish we could be there for the Olympics. But no complaints. Having just left you and John and the cruise, Ann and I decided that we would walk everywhere we went in London. We burned off a few pounds and got to see a lot of sights we would have missed down in the tube. Still sorting through hundred of photos. John certainly got so great shots
    Miss you guys. Come to see us!

    • Thanks Ed. One day we walked all along the southbank from Waterloo Station to the Tower Bridge and then back!! It was fun, and I am sure we burned off some calories. John took photos all the way and we learned more and more about the history of this great city. Now on to places in the great U.S. Beth

  3. I truly enjoyed reliving my times in London and the great editorial and photos courtesy of Beth and John. Great job, both of you!!!!! Anyone who is lucky enough to attend the Olympics should make it a point to bring along this version of Boomer
    Highway and see these great sights!!!!! Bill

  4. Wish we could do those walking tours together! What a city. It has changed so much since the 80s and the people are lovely and they speak English. Love that as I am very language-challenged. Thanks for the shout out!! Beth

    • I remember fondly going to see the Tower Of London with John and Mom in the 80’s. Of course John and I got to Abbey Road and walked across the famous zebra stripe in front of the studio. But walking through London is amazing and it has a very similar pace to New York city…… And yes, it is great to be able to speak the same language as the people on the streets, and in the pubs!!!!!! 🙂

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