15 tourist spots in Central London, in 4 hours, at 4 degrees Celsius, with 6.40 pounds.
Call me crazy? Bite your tongue!
We left Canary Wharf at 11:05 am. Five minutes late, Filipino time. Yep, old habits die hard.
THE OYSTER CARD
Travelling around London is very easy, riding the tube is a breeze, you will have to do a lot of walking though to get around.
You get an Oyster card, top it up and you are off. Prices per entry differ depending on the line and if it is during peak hours or not.
Fortunately, they do have have what is called the “daily cap,” it is the maximum amount you can be charged if you are travelling in the tube for more than 3 times in 1 day. The price depends on what zone you are travelling to and from. For the day, we traveled within zones 1 and 2, which made our travel expense only 6.40 pounds per person. This is not bad if you compare it to the Hop On Hop Off bus which charges 21 pounds per adult.
1. LONDON BRIDGE
We took the Jubilee line from Canary wharf to London bridge, a quick 6 minute ride.
2. RIVER THAMES
The River Thames is a river that flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.
8 Interesting facts about the River Thames:
- The River Thames may take its name from the Sanskrit Tamas meaning “dark” as its waters are often dark and cloudy; another school of thought is that it is named after the Roman Tam meaning “wide” and Isis meaning water.
- Henley-on-Thames is famous for its regatta which started in 1839 and gained royal patronage in 1851. The first Oxford and Cambridge boat races were held here and finished at Henley bridge.
- There are 45 locks on the non-tidal River Thames.
- Buscot Lock, just east of Lechlade, is the smallest lock on the river.
- Pangbourne, where the river Pang flows into the River Thames, is famous as the home of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows and also as the place where Jerome K Jerome’s three men in a boat finish their journey at the Swan Inn.
- Just downriver from Pangbourne is Mapledurham House, dating from 1588, and thought to be the model for Toad Hall.
- The non-tidal River Thames is home to over 25 species of coarse fish.
- The Thames Path follows the river for 296km (184 miles) from its source, making it the longest riverside walk in Europe.
3. THE QUEEN’S WALK
The Queen’s Walk is a promenade located on the southern bank of the River Thames in London, between Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge.
4. HMS BELFAST
8 mins walk from London bridge, on the River Thames you will find the HMS Belfast. This magnificent ship, is a museum, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser. It was permanently moored in London on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum.
Entrance into the war museum is 14.50 pounds for adults, and 7.25 for kids. They are open from 10 am until 5 pm.
5. THE SHARD
From the Queen’s Walk, we turned right and walked towards the direction of the Shard. It is also referred to as the Shard of Glass, is London’s highest viewing platform. It has 95 storeys and was constructed in March 2009 but was finished in November 2012.
6. TOWER BRIDGE
The Tower Bridge was built 120 years ago to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy Pool of London docks. Built with giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, it is to this day considered an engineering marvel and beyond being one of London’s favorite icons, it is arguably one of the most famous and instantly recognizable structures in the entire world.
You can actually go up to see the exhibition for 8 pounds. Since 1982, the Tower Bridge Exhibition has told the history of the bridge and why it came into existence through fascinating exhibition content. Visitors can also experience the exciting new glass floor and spectacular panoramic views from the high-level Walkways as well as the Victorian Engine Rooms, which house the beautiful steam engines that once powered the bridge lifts.
7. TOWER OF LONDON
You won’t miss the Tower of London. Walking from the south side of Tower Bridge, you will see it on your left. Here is where they hold the precious Crown Jewels. It is a part of the Royal Collection, which are the most powerful symbols of the British Monarchy and they hold deep religious and cultural significance in the British nation’s history.
It costs 24.50 pounds to go in the Tower of London, 1.40 pounds cheaper if you book it online. They are open 7 days a week, 9am to 4:30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 10am to 4:30 Sundays and Mondays.
8. BIG BEN
We took the District line from the Tower Hill tube station until Westminster, 7 stops in 11 minutes. We ascended out of the station to find the majestic 95 meters high clock.
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower.
Big Ben was opened in 1859 and was eventually renamed to the Elizabeth Tower to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. It is a part of the Palace of Westminster originally started in 1020. The palace was burnt down in 1834, so the Gothic architecture you see today is comparatively recent.
9. THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Palace of Westminster or otherwise know as the Houses of Parliament, symbolizes Great Britain. The decisions made in its corridors of power have shaped Britain, past and present.
10. WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. It has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart.
A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the United Kingdom.
To tour the abbey, entrance fee is 20 pounds and they are open from 9:30 am until 6 pm.
11. LONDON EYE
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. In January 2015, it has been known in branding as the Coca-Cola London Eye, following an agreement signed in September 2014.
The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). When erected in 1999 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. The Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”.
We decided to take our group foto from this vantage point instead.
Cowards? I think not. 😉
12. GREEN PARK
Comprising just over 40 acres of mature trees and grassland next to Buckingham Palace, the Green park is the peaceful triangle between Piccadilly and Constitution Hill.
13. BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and principal workplace of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality.
14. VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
The Victoria and Albert Museum, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The museum is open everyday from 10 am until 5:45 pm.
Here we are posing with David.
The sculpture is Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece created between 1501 and 1504. It is a 5.17-metre marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence.
*MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
This is right next to the V&A but we didn’t go in. Marco and I have have been inside last summer 2015.
The Natural History Museum in London is the world’s most prestigious and pre-eminent museum of natural history, exhibiting a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. They are open 7 days a week from 10 am until 6 pm, admission is free.
15. BROMPTON ORATORY
The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, better known as Brompton Oratory, is home to the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London, a community of priests living under the rule of life established by its founder in the sixteenth century. The Oratory also serves as a parish church in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster.
A few minutes walk from the Brompton Oratory is Harrods. Marco and I were there a week before to see the Christmas window displays, which were very entertaining. https://kymalupa.com/2015/11/17/12-hours-of-frolicking-in-the-rain/
This is where our 4 hours mark stops. 15 sights! It was a very tiring day but it was not yet over.
Michail and Bartek stayed at the V&A while Marco and I headed to the Brompton Oratory to listen to the Sunday 3:30 pm Latin Vespers. Which was followed by mass at 4:30.
After mass, Marco and I went back to the V&A for a quick coffee fix. I’ve been to this museum countless times and that was my 1st time to go to the cafe. It was gorgeous!
After coffee, we headed to the Museum of Natural History to meet with our good friend, May, for an hour of skating on the museum’s Swarovski ice rink. The link to which I will post here once I’ve written it 😉