London has so many attractions and things to see and do that organizing your day trip can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, though, many of them are very close together in central London, and it’s easy to spend a day on foot walking between iconic, world-renowned attractions and still have time to get several of them in.
South Kensington’s Museums
London has so many museums and galleries that you could spend days on end going between them and exploring them all. Happily, many of the most internationally renowned are within a stone’s throw of one another in the high-end suburb of South Kensington. First, head to the Natural History Museum, the most renowned centre of natural history in the world housed in one of the most stunning buildings in London. ‘Dippy’, the diplodocus skeleton cast which hangs over the huge vaulted entrance hall, sends shivers down the spines of adults and kids alike, and the museum is particularly renowned for its dinosaur collections. Afterwards, head down the road to the Science Museum, which is dedicated to education and has a range of interactive displays, films and exhibitions to help you and your kids learn more about the scientific world. 3D and 4D simulators can even help you feel what it’s like to fly with the Red Arrows or blast off into space. Finally, check out the Victoria & Albert Museum for the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, from ancient times to the present day.
The Westminster area is home to some of London’s most iconic old buildings and state institutions. These include the Palace of Westminster, which covers the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, which is one of the most famous symbols of London. These buildings have survived the ravages of fire (twice) and the Blitz to remain at the heart of British politics and democracy.Westminster Abbey is also nearby, a beautiful Gothic abbey church which is probably – along with St. Paul’s Cathedral – the most iconic religious building in the United Kingdom. 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace are also a short walk away from this area, making it very much the hub of London’s state buildings. Westminster is easily accessible from two Montcalm properties, The Montcalm at Brewery London City and London City Suites by Montcalm, both luxurious hotels in the heart of London.
Not far from the Westminster area is Trafalgar Square, which is one of the most iconic and photographed spots in London. Dominated by the vast Nelson’s Column, there are four other plinths in the square: three of them feature statues of dignitaries and military figures, while the Fourth Plinth has famously stood empty for most of its history. Debate rages about why this is and who should fill the spot, with many speculating that it is being saved for a statue of Queen Elizabeth II. In recent years, the plinth has been used as a platform for an ever-rotating rota of contemporary artworks. Beyond the statues, Trafalgar Square is home to two of London’s very best art galleries, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. The cultural hubs of Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Garden are just up the hill, and the shops of Oxford Street aren’t far away either.