England

Tourist attractions near Buckingham Palace

London houses probably the largest number of tourist attractions in the UK. The city has an enormous number of places to explore both in terms of landmarks and of historical significance. All of this makes it a very attractive tourist destination to spend a holiday in.

While London is a lovely city to spend a holiday in at any time of the year, the tourist off-season is a good time to drop in for those who have a limited budget. That is when the Central London hotels special offers are available, which are a great way to save on accommodation.

A good place to stay in the heart of the city is the Paddington Court Executive Rooms, which apart from being moderately priced offer the best in facilities and comfort. Another benefit is its location that offers convenient access to the numerous attractions in the centre of London. These include top attractions like:

Clarence House

Behind two black imposing gates are visible two soldiers of the Queens Guard that guard the entrance to Clarence House. It was built in the early 19th century for the Duke of Clarence and its architect was John Nash. Clarence House has been the residence of members of the royal family with it being home to the Queen Mother for past half a century. Now it is the official residence of the Prince of Wales and his spouse. The house is only accessible to the public for one month every year, when the prince and his wife are away for the holidays.

St. James’s Palace

The construction of the palace began in 1531 and it was completed in 1536. It was commissioned by Henry VIII who made it his home with Anne Boleyn in 1533. Since then it has served as home to several British monarch’s including Queen Mary I, King Charles II, Queen Elizabeth II and James II among many others.  The Royal Chapel at St. James’s Palace served as the venue for the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840 and also served as the location for the christening of Prince George, son of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2012.

Now the palace primarily serves a different purpose with the offices of the Royal Collection Department being located here. It is also used by the Accession Council that meet here to officially announce a new monarch after the demise of the previous monarch. Its state rooms are also used to welcome guests on state visits. It also serves as the Household Office for Prince William and Prince Harry, even though neither stay here. It could be safe to say that St. James’s Palace is the work place of the Royal Family.

St James Palace in Pall Mall

Trafalgar Square

It was built to commemorate the famous naval victory of Admiral Horatio Nelson over the combined naval armada of the French and the Spanish. It is the most famous Square in London and has been as a site for celebrations as well as protests all through the years. It also hosts numerous events through the year like opera and ballet shows and even showing American football games. Along with Nelson’s statue other statues of battle scenes along with King George IV are to be seen here. Only the statue in the northwest corner changes regularly. It is part of the Fourth Plinth project for which the works of different artists are chosen to be displayed here temporarily for a certain period. To the north is the National Gallery with the South African embassy in the east and the Canadian embassy to the west.

Street view of Trafalgar Square

Admiralty Arch

These form part of a ceremonial entrance to Buckingham Palace. They were commissioned to be built by King Edward VII during the early 20th century. The centre arch is only used for ceremonial occasions with the remaining two arches that flank it used to allow traffic to pass. The presence of the arches is the reason why the Mall Road is red in colour and not the traditional black. This is because the Mall Road is symbolic of a red carpet that is used to welcome guests up to Buckingham Palace.

St. James’s Park

It initially was the site of a leper hospital during medieval times. In the 1500s it was used as a hunting site by King Henry VIII and stayed in the hands of the Royal Family till the late 1700s. It was King Charles II who decided to allow the public to gain access to St. James’s Park in the 1660’s. It was decided to be used to keep the King’s exotic collection of rare birds at the park. Even now there is a family of pelicans in the park that are descendants of the original birds. It is charming place to relax, have a picnic or even to feed the birds here. The swans in the area are owned by the Queen. St. James’s Park is out of the most scenic and beautiful of all of the city’s Royal Parks.

Westminster Abbey

It occupies a prominent position as probably the most recognised and famous churches on the planet. It is built on a site that has served as a place of worship for about 14 centuries.  The Abbey that is built of stones dates back to the last 10 centuries with additions in the 11th, 15th and also in the Victorian era forming part of it. Westminster Abbey has a strong link to the Royal Family. In fact the Abbey was built upon instructions from King Edward the Confessor, who was monarch of England in the 1100s. It has also played host to royal weddings including that of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip and recently that of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It is the coronation venue of all the monarchs of Britain (except two) and also the place where most of the monarchs lie buried.  It also contains the tombs of prominent British public figures of the likes of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Sir Laurence Olivier to name just a few of the luminaries laid to rest here.

Westminster Abbey

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