Bridges, Buildings and Dungeons – London’s Historical Gems

London is one of the busiest and most interesting cities in the United Kingdom and having been a city for two millennia it certainly has a lot of history. Founded by the Romans, who called it Londinium, London showcases both the modern and the historical side by side in perfect harmony. And with so much history on offer, any trip to London should include a trip to at least one of the following fantastic historical attractions in the city.

London Dungeons

This attraction showcases London’s history across the ages, with actors re-enacting many of the historical events across the years. Jack Ripper will terrify you, the bubonic plague will leave you reeling, and actors will illuminate the great Fire of London for your viewing pleasure. Tickets for the London Dungeons start at £18.60.

Tower of London Photo by Mark Bridge on Flickr

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses; having been seen in a number of films and cited in several historical accounts of the reigns of British kings and queens. The tower has had a number of uses, including being used as a royal palace, prison, armoury and even a menagerie. The tower was also home to the Royal Mint at one stage, and has been adapted many times over the years to adapt the building to the needs of the times.

Tower bridge in London Photo: Anirudh Koul on Flickr

Tower bridge in London

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge takes its name from the famous nearby Tower of London. When the East End began to expand in the latter half of the 19th Century it became obvious that another bridge, south of London Bridge, should be constructed. Building work began in 1886 and took eight years with five major contractors. The bridges current colour scheme is owed to the Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977.

St Paul's Cathedral in London Photo: Gary Knight on Flickr

St Paul’s Cathedral in London

Saint Paul’s Cathedral

The seat of the Bishop of London is one of the most visited places in the city, and is often the first stop on many people’s tours of the city. Built by Christopher Wren between 1675 and 1711, this cathedral is heavily based on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The site of many royal weddings and events, the cathedral has played a large role in many of the lives of kings and queens since its inception in the late 17th century.  The building has been adapted and built on throughout the years, and has only become more impressive over the years.

More things to do in London

06 Weekend in London at the Mandarin Oriental – Podcast
To Kensington Palace and tea at the Orangery – in London
A River trip in London up the Thames to Greenwich – Video

Photo credits. Tower Bridge by Anirudh Koul, Tower of London by  Mark Bridge St Paul’s Cathedral by Garry Knight

My thanks for this article to Smartsave UK

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  • Reply
    Annette | Bucket List Journey
    March 5, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I am planning a trip to London for next month and with all my hours of research I missed the London Dungeons! Sounds like scary fun 🙂

    • Reply
      March 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

      @Annette – The London Dungeons is ultra scary – I didn’t dare publish a picture of some of the stuff in there as it’s far too gory

  • Reply
    Sage 50 Accounts
    March 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    london is a great place espcially to see the old modern look a growing city filling up with many different nations a best place to study and work .

  • Reply
    Megan Jones
    March 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    One great thing about Saint Paul’s is the look out at the top of the dome. There are two viewing decks, one at the base of the dome and one is at the top of the dome. There you can take in great panoramic views of the city. It is quite the hike, but totally worth it!

    • Reply
      March 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      @Megan – thanks for the tip, I’ve been up the dome of St Peter’s in Rome but not the dome of St Pauls so must give that a try

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