Sights of the UK
London Hut London has lots to offer including stunning attractions, beautiful parks and gardens and is the venue of many world famous sporting events, exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Start your journey here.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses and has seen service as royal palace, prison, armoury and even a zoo. The ancient stones hold within them dark secrets, as fortified vaults shine with priceless jewels and historic uniformed Beefeaters stroll the grounds. Situated in Central London, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames, the Tower of London is one of the city's premier attractions.
- Rich history dating from the Norman Conquest
- It has undergone amazing restoration over the centuries, including damage from the Blitz
- Used by Royals through the years as a refuge and powerbase
- The Tower is still home to her Majesty's Crown Jewels, on display for visitors to see
- The Beefeaters are tasked with the job of guarding the jewels, as well as acting as tour guides for the attraction
Did you know:
- There are 12 acres of land within the walls
- It was initially resented by the people of London when it was built, as it stood as a symbol of oppression by the new ruling forces
- It has been used as an armoury, a menagerie, a treasury and a prison
- The term ‘sent to the Tower’ was coined during the 16th and 17th century when those who had fallen into disgrace were sent there
- The prisoners entered through the water gate, called ‘Traitor’s Gate’
- The White Tower is a fortified tower, called a keep and houses the crypt of St John’s Chapel
- The Tower is said to be haunted by the ghost of Anne Boleyn walking the chapel of St Peter and Vincula.
The White Tower
One of the most famous keeps in the world, this Tower is so renowned that it was referred to by Shakespeare in many of his plays. It contains the impressive Royal Armouries collections and even an 11th century Romanesque chapel. You can take daily tours of the White Tower at 10:45, 12:45 and 14:15.
The Royal Mint
Explore the Coins & Kings exhibition which depicts the story of the Mint at the Tower between 1279 and 1812. Learn about what life was like on Mint Street through outdoor installations and interactive displays, even fun facts about Isaac Newton and his thief catching skills.
Take a walk through history and learn about some of the most important symbols of our culture and monarchy. Try and count the 23,578 gems that make up the Crown Jewels and marvel at the stories of how the collection was nearly destroyed through history. You can even see the crown Elizabeth II wore to her coronation!
For 600 years the Tower was kept as a menagerie of wild and exotic animals; gifts that the King and Queen were donated by their visitors and admirers. Everything from ostriches to elephants, lions and polar bears were kept in the confines of the Brick Tower.
If the six resident ravens ever leave the court, legend has it that the court and the tower will fall. The ravens who inhabit the Tower are named and are replaced if they are badly behaved! Currently the Tower has seven ravens, in case one goes missing, and they are looked after by the Raven Master. A word of warning: don’t approach the ravens as they’re known to eat 170g of raw meat a day, as well as blood-soaked bird biscuits!
Yeoman Warder Tours
Yeomen, aka Beefeaters, were so called because centuries ago as part of the Royal Bodyguard they were allowed to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king’s table. Nowadays, the Yeomen Warders qualify for the privilege after serving in the armed forces for 22 years.
The Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in honor of her husband, Prince Albert after her death. The love story between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is one of the most well known in history. Queen Victoria herself, officially opened the memorial in July of 1872.
The Albert Memorial is located in Kensington Gardens just North of the Royal Albert Hall. The Memorial consists of an ornate altar with a pavilion on top. A seated Prince Albert sits under the pavilion. The Memorial is a truly beautiful sight. It’s building supposedly cost £120,000. to build in 1872, which would roughly work out to cost around £10,000,000 today.
This is perhaps one of the most iconic London landmarks and has stood in that spot for over 150 years. It is a wonderful excuse to take a stroll through the beautiful Kensington Gardens. There are also guided tours that you can take of the Memorial. We highly recommend going to see this Memorial, from a wife to her beloved husband.
City of Magic: A Brief Guide to Harry Potter’s London
Besides Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, London is perhaps the most featured location in the Harry Potter films. Unlike the first two locations, London is a place that isn’t dressed up to look like somewhere else, as Alnwick Castle has filled in for Hogwarts or the Goathland train station has played the role of Hogsmeade. In London, real locations are featured as themselves more than they are dressed up to resemble fictional locales, though many play fictional roles as well.
Perhaps one of the most well-known Harry Potter locations in London is King’s Cross Station, where the magical Platform 9 ¾ acts as a way station for students on the train route to Hogwarts. Platforms 4 and 5 were used for filming the scenes in the station, while King’s Cross has placed a sign for the fictional platform and a half-disappeared trolly that you can use for photos. Nearby is also the Harry Potter Shop where you can purchase any number of movie souvenirs. The exterior of St. Pancras International Station was used as King’s Cross in Chamber of Secrets, outside of which Harry and Ron “borrow” Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia to get to school.
Meanwhile, a mixture of the real and the fictional can be found at Leadenhall Market. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hagrid takes young Harry through the market to arrive at the door of the Leaky Cauldron, itself a portal to the wizard’s shopping districts of Diagon and Nocturne Alleys. The Glass House optician’s shop in the Bull’s Head Passage was used as the door for the Leaky Cauldron. In the novels, the entrance can be found on Charing Cross Road. Borough Market also fills in for Diagon Alley in Prisoner of Azkabhan, when the Knight Bus drops Harry there.
Madame Tussauds London
Madame Tussauds in London is perhaps one London’s most famous attractions. Tourists flock to this landmark to see the wax recreations of famous celebrities, dignitaries and historical figures. There are all sorts of wax statues. The collection is broken down into clearly marked exhibitions. From sports stars to the Royal Family past and present there is sure to be something to delight everyone. Madame Tussauds is so popular due to the life like look of the replicas that make up the collection.
Tom Daley Dives into Madame Tussauds