Westminster Abbey Tops Our List For London ‘Must Sees’
London is one of my favorite cities in the world. Like most large cities, it is busy, crazy and oh so ridiculously expensive, but the richness of history and British culture leaves you feeling as though you came out of a Pride and Prejudice movie.
Every time the holidays roll along, my mind starts filling with memories of London. Everyone says there is nothing like New York City during the holidays, well, I would beg to differ. London is stunning during the Christmas holidays and one of the best times to go if you are looking to save a buck.
When you mention ‘London’ to a child the first thing that they usually relate the city to is Big Ben and those double-decker buses. For me, the top must-see is Westminster Abbey – hands down. It may not be the first attraction that comes to mind when traveling with children, however I can assure you the gothic architecture and beautiful monuments will take your family’s breath away. When I visited the Abbey in my teens, I was quickly drawn to Poet’s corner. My favorite writers, poets and classic authors were all honored on stone tablets. It was something I will never forget.
Westminster Abbey is open 6 days a week (closed on Sunday for service), be sure to check their hours before planning a trip, because they tend to close early on Saturdays. Also, if you are heading there at the end of April, I suggest skipping this historic spot as rumor has it Prince William and Kate Middleton will be wed on April 29, 2011 at the Abbey.
Piccadilly Circus is a fun place to check out (think New York’s Time Square). Close by you’ll find Soho, Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Leicester Square – all great places for shopping and site seeing.
Kensington Gardens is stunning to say the least. The area covers over 275 acres filled with beautiful gardens, trees and shrubs. Kids will love visiting the Peter Pan statue! The gardens are close to Hyde Park and you can make a full day of it, by visiting Knightsbridge (my all-time favorite shopping spot), and of course a trip to Knightsbridge would not be complete without visiting the world’s most famous department store, Harrods. There is plenty to see!
Covent Garden is an open market filled with the most delectable and delightful things. I’ve never seen anything like it. If dad isn’t the shopping kind, he is sure to enjoy the London Transport Museum located in the Covent Garden Piazza. Depends on the kind of guy is though because the piazza is so beautiful, you will probably end up going together, there is just so much for everyone to see!
Buckingham Palace is fun for kids – especially if they want to test out the guard theory. My sister and I spent quite a bit of time trying to get these serious dudes to laugh, but alas no such luck!
The London Zoo, London Aquarium and Madam Tussaud’s are all wonderful for kids, but if you aren’t spending more than a week, don’t try to do it all! We were there for 3 weeks and had a comfortable, never rushed vacation. If you try to fit too much in you don’t really have time to appreciate the city for what it is. London is an experience all in itself!
London’s Tourist Board is a great source of information, if you are looking for more tips on planning your trip to London.