Bloody Brilliant – London’s Monuments & More

London’s monuments are some of the best on earth. We are talking everything from castles to cathedrals, folks! London has as much beauty and history as just about any place on this planet we call home. Here is lolglobetrotting’s guide to the best monuments, and other things to do, on your own trip to London.

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Tower Bridge

A lot of people think this is called the London Bridge. The fact that you’re reading this makes you smarter than all those people. Congratulations!

There’s a reason Fergie went crazy over this one. First off, the Tower Bridge is HUGE! So much bigger in person. It fits two lanes of rush hour traffic, 2 packed sidewalks, and 2 museums! Name another bridge that can do that…

Second, Tower Bridge has our vote for the most beautiful bridge on earth. It is a freaking castle, and has been standing strong over London since the 1800s! A definite must-see on your trip through London.

Tower of London

At the end of the Tower Bridge, you’ll come to the world famous Tower of London. This place has some history, from being the location of London’s most gruesome executions, to being the current home the royal family’s Crown Jewels! No, not the ones between William’s legs, you perverts…

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to go inside the tower, but our friends at Sidetracked did and they have some top notch advice:

When I first looked at the Tower of London, I thought the White Tower (the central tower built by William the Conqueror) was the only thing that could be visited, and in all honesty it seemed rather small (at least in comparison with many other European castles).

But don’t be fooled by the exterior! The inside areas of the Tower of London contain tons of walkways, as well as various buildings and exhibits that you can tour. To explore everything at a leisurely pace give yourself at least four hours. However if you’re strapped for time, you can get still get an overview of the Tower of London in about two hours.

In order to get a head start on the tour groups, school classes, and the general masses that visit the Tower of London every day, be there right at opening time (9 am Tuesday to Saturday and 10 am on Sundays and Mondays ) to avoid the bustle. This way, you’ll have about an hour or so before it gets really packed.

Big Ben

Fun fact, Big Ben is actually not the name of this tower! It is the name of the big ol’ bell that sits in the top of the hour and rings every hour on the hour. Like Julie during her period when she is shouting from the living room for pickles and chocolate. I think I’ll take the bell…



 

Photography Equipment

 

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In our opinion, there is no better view of Big Ben than from across the Thames. You get a full shot of the entire building, which is actually a LOT larger than you’d imagine. Afterwards, you can walk right up close and stand under Big Ben as it announces the time to the entire city 24 times per day.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral was our favorite monument in London, for two reasons. First off, because of the whispering gallery.

About half-way up the climb to the top of the cathedral, right at the base of the dome, there is a special section called the whispering gallery. You are not going to believe me, but you can literally stand on opposite ends of the dome and have a conversation with someone entirely in whispers. No joke. a football field away and you can hear someone whisper to you that they like your butt.

Second, because of the history that surrounds St Paul’s. This bad boy withstood the best that World War II could throw at it! It is the centerpiece of one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century, St Paul’s Survives, shown below. The photo depicts the cathedral standing strong as an air raid carpet bombs the city surrounding it. St Paul’s withstood the attack and is a monument to the Allied victory in the war.

Third is because of the view you get from the top! A 360 degree panorama of London is truly a sight to see. Only takes a quick 528 steps up the cathedral to earn the view…

Bopping Around the City

Our favorite activity in London was really to just walk around! Might seem kinda stupid, but it really was a hoot! An EXTREMELY helpful tool can be to check out these London Apps to help you find everything you need on your trip!

So many things you can stumble upon as you peruse the city. Here were some of our favorites:

  • Admiralty Arch – Ceremonial entrance to Buckingham Palace as the road going through the arch leads right to the royal gate.
  • Abbey Road – Take a walk across the street where the Beatles took their famous cover shot, and take a look at the studio where the magic took place!
  • Hang out in Hyde Park – Kick your feet up and relax in the middle of one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in the UK.
  • Hang out in a little red phone booth!
  • Trafalgar Square – We especially loved the Lion Statues, and the monument to the namesake of Admiral Nelson’s Rum. You HAVE to hear the story of Admiral Nelson, here is a sneak preview from the number one source of internet knowledge, Wikipedia:

 Admiral Nelson was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar by a French sniper while topside his ship, Victory. Following his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson‘s body was preserved in a cask of brandy, or rum, to allow transport back to England. Upon arrival, however, the story goes that the cask was opened and found to be empty of brandy/rum. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, it was discovered that the sailors had drilled a hole in the bottom of the cask and drunk all the brandy/rum.

Where We Ate

Three things you absolutely have to try in London:

  1. English Breakfast – Zach ordered this every. single. day. Here’s what makes up your typical English Breakfast: Grilled tomatoes, sausages, beans, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, (bangers), black pudding, and toast. It is heaven on a plate, and will fuel you up for a full day exploring the city.
  2. Fish and Chips – An Absolute must in London. Fried cod caught straight from the ocean with a hearty helping of fries on the side. Our favorite spot for fish and chips was Poppies.
  3. Beer – Beer and London go together like peanut butter & jelly, peas & carrots, and Forrest & Jenny. You don’t get one without the other. There are over 3,500 pubs within the city limits, and no I did not make that up. Google it and see for yourself.

And More

We had so much fun doing our thing all over London, and you will too! Reach out if you’re looking for any advice!

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Travel Accessories

 

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