The build up to the London 2012 Olympics are well under way. At the beginning of 2011 London held a test event to make sure everything will run smoothly during the games. If you are one of the lucky ones to be visiting London during August of 2012 you will not be disappointed with the number of attractions and events available in the city. And for those that plan to visit London before or after the Olympics you can be kept entertained for days with what London has to offer.
Main Attractions when visiting London
The London Eye which first opened in the new Millennium has become quite a landmark of the city. One of the best ways to get that bird's eye view and to take some pictures. At a remarkable 135 metres high it is the World’s largest observation wheel. Each of the 32 capsules can contain up to 25 people.
Once at the top of the wheel you can enjoy the panoramic views over the city. Points to look out for whilst riding on the eye are the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Canary Wharf and on clear days Windsor Castle can be seen. It is a hot spot for any visitor to London.
Tower of London
For over 900 years the tower of London stands guard over the capital city of London. Orginally built by William the Conqueror, It has been used as a Royal Palace, fortress, place of execution, prison, Royal Zoo and jewel house which over the years has witnessed some great events in Britians history.
The Tower of London was originally home to the kings and queens of England for many years until 1837. Today you can explore the Tower and of course the famous Crown Jewels, on display for visitors to see.
How could you not visit the most famous clock in history. Big Ben has stood in it's place and fully fully operational since September 7, 1859. Known for it's impeccable time keeping and new year celebration parties. The bell weighs around 14 tons, and has its name from the man who first ordered the bell, Sir Benjamin Hall.
Known as the official residence of the queen. The palace is also the place where formal announcements are made by her Majesty. Throughout 8 weeks of the year and by special appointment you can enter Buckingham Palace and be shown around on a tour. One of the features that draws many people to the Palace is to see the changing of the guards. Changing of the Guard happens once a day at 11:30am, all year long. Whilst there take a walk through Hyde Park and see the flower displays of the season.
London Bridge was originally designed by Horace Jones in collaboration with John Wolfe Barry and was completed in 1894. Around 450 work men were involved in the construction of the 265 meter long bridge. You can tour inside the bridge, where you get a magnificent view over London. Inside the bridge is the Tower Bridge Exhibition, a display area where you can observe the Victorian engine room. Visitors can learn about the history of the bridge via photos, films, and other media.
One of my favourite all times is London Zoo. From been little the Zoo was always a hit with the children. Over the years the Zoo has adopted quite a number of mammals including African hunting dogs, Okapi, Sumatran tiger and Aardvark as well as the usual lions, monkeys and Giraffes. The reptiles house and aquariums includes Giant Asian pond turtle, Komodo dragon, Short-snouted seahorse and Snouted cobra.
Around the park there are numerous coffee bars, Kiosks and restaurants. There is even a fish and chip shop should you want to try the UK's most famous dish. Daily events include talks and walks with the parks staff. And you can even adopt your own animal should you have a favourite one.
London Museums and Attractions
London has and always will be a hot spot for museum lovers. The most popular museums that people go to London to see are The British museum, The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, The Museum of London, The National Gallery and St Pauls Cathedral.
London also offers free entry into many attractions including;
Natural History Museum
National Portrait Gallery
The Tate Britain
Victoria and Albert Museum
Bank of London Museum
Imperial War Museum
Museum of Garden History
Museum of London
National Maritime Museum
Petrie Museum of Egyption Archaeology
RIBA Architecture Gallery
Sir John Soane’s Museum
A huge amount of space to enjoy a day. Covent gardens is packed with shopping, historic theatres, over 1000 places to eat or drink and some fascinating street entertainment for all to enjoy. Head inside the Jubilee market for those antiques, arts and crafts and general market shopping.
Covent Garden has been around for over 2000 years and there is a tremendous amount on offer. Entertainment can be found day and night with street performers guaranteed on a daily basis. The art around Covent Gardens displays some of the world’s most famous sculptures and paintings and the Museums show collections from all around the world
London is again top of the field for theatre acts and plays. Some of the most remember-able and well known shows such as Cats, Les Miserables, Chicago and the Phantom of the Opera are all worth while going to see in the west end.
London has to be every shopaholic's best city. From the outskirts to the city centre the streets are packed with top named brands and unique boutiques. London certainly has the wow factor for a shopping spree. Just make sure you take plenty of money.
Oxford street is in the heart of London and has over 300 shops and designer outlets. Moving onto Regent Street and Jermyn Street where you can find Hamleys, Liberty and The Apple Store.
Bond Street and Mayfair are for those who want to burn some money in shops like Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Visitors come from around the world to Knightsbridge where it is best know for Harrods and Harvey Nichols. And finally stop off at Notting Hill and take a walk down Portobello Road which has market stalls for over 1.6 kilometres.