Attractions Near Us

London Eye - 1.9 miles
The British Airways London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, opened in 1999 and is the largest observation wheel in the world. It stands 135 metres (443 feet) high on the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in Lambeth, London, England, between Westminster and Hungerford Bridges. The wheel is adjacent to London's County Hall, and stands opposite the offices of the Ministry of Defence. The London Eye is officially the world's most popular tourist attraction in terms of yearly visitor numbers ahead of the Statue of Liberty, La Torre di Pisa and the Eiffel Tower.

Buckingham Palace - 2.5 miles
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building forming the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King George III in 1762 as a private residence. It was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the large east wing facing The Mall was added, and the former State entrance, Marble Arch, was removed to its present position near Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. The east front was refaced in Portland stone in 1913 as a backdrop to the Victoria Memorial, creating the present-day public face of Buckingham Palace, including the famous balcony.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London, England. The Palace is a setting for state occasions and royal entertaining, a base for many officially visiting Heads of State, and a major tourist attraction. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing, crisis or grief. "Buckingham Palace", "Buck House" or simply "The Palace" commonly refers to the source of press statements issued by the offices of the Royal Household.


Tower Bridge - 2.5 miles

Tower Bridge is a bascule bridge in London, England over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London and is sometimes mistakenly called London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream. The bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the Corporation of London.

Construction started in 1886 and took eight years, employing five major contractors and 432 construction workers. Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the river bed to support the construction. Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. This was then clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance.

Jones died in 1887, and his chief engineer, Sir John Wolfe-Barry, took over the project. Wolfe-Barry replaced Jones' original medieval style of facade with the more ornate Victorian gothic style that makes the bridge a distinctive landmark.

The bridge was opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark.


The Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, in London, England is where the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet to conduct their business. The Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other government buildings in Whitehall.

The Palace of Westminster was strategically important during the Middle Ages, as it was located on the banks of the River Thames. Buildings have occupied the site since at least Saxon times. Known in mediæval times as Thorney Island, the site may have been first used for a royal residence by Canute the Great (reigned 1016 to 1035). The penultimate Saxon monarch of England, St Edward the Confessor, built a royal palace in Thorney Island just west of the City of London at about the same time as he built Westminster Abbey (1045 to 1050). Thorney Island and the surrounding area soon became known as Westminster (a contraction of the words "West Monastery"). After the Norman Conquest (1066) King William I established himself at the Tower of London, but later moved to Westminster. Neither the buildings used by the Saxons nor those used by William I survive. The oldest existing parts of the Palace (Westminster Hall and the Great Hall) date from the reign of William I's successor, King William II.

The bridge was opened on 30 June 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark.


Bank of England

The Governor and Company of the Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom, and as such it convenes the Monetary Policy Committee, which is responsible for the monetary policy of the country. It was established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, a role which it still fulfils today. The Bank's building is located in the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, and hence it is sometimes known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street or The Old Lady. The current Governor of the Bank of England is Mervyn King, who took over on June 30, 2003 from Sir Edward George.

The bank was founded by the Scotsman William Paterson, in 1694 to act as the English government's banker. He proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government; in return the subscribers would be incorporated as The Governor and Company of the Bank of England with banking privileges including the issue of notes. The Royal Charter was granted on July 27, 1694. Public finances were in so dire a condition at the time that the terms of the loan were that it was to be serviced at a rate of 8% per annum, and there was also a service charge of £4000 per annum for the management of the loan. The first governor was Sir John Houblon, who is depicted in the £50 note issued in 1990. The charter was renewed in 1742, 1764, and 1781. The Bank was originally constructed above the ancient Temple of Mithras, London at Walbrook, dating to the founding of Londinium in antiquity by Roman garrisons. Mithras was, among other things, considered the god of contracts, a fitting association for the Bank. In 1734 the Bank moved to its current location on Threadneedle Street, slowly acquiring the land to create the edifice seen today. Sir Herbert Baker's rebuilding of the Bank of England, demolishing most of Sir John Soane's earlier building was described by Pevsner as "the greatest architectural crime, in the City of London, of the twentieth century".


Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is a famous traffic intersection and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster. Built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly (the "circus" refers to "circular open space at a street junction"), it now links directly to the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue as well as the Haymarket, Coventry Street (onwards to Leicester Square) and Glasshouse Street. The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in a central location at the heart of the West End. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting point and a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Circus is particularly know for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side, as well as the Shaftesbury memorial fountain and statue known as 'Eros' (sometimes called 'The Angel of Christian Charity', which would be better translated as 'Agape', but formally 'Anteros' - see below). It is surrounded by several noted buildings, including the London Pavilion and Criterion Theatre. Directly underneath the plaza is the London Underground station Piccadilly Circus.