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  https://boomerhighway.org/can-boomer-anglophiles-keep-the-love-going/