Think of an image of London and the first things that come to mind are Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. All are set within a short distance of each other, and represent the centre of British Government.
Buckingham Palace is the home of HM the Queen. When she is in residence, her royal standard flies high above the palace. During the summer, the state rooms including the Throne Room are open to the public but you have to book on a guided tour. Such bookings have to be made well in advance as the tours are extremely popular. Visitors traveling to London often seek nearest Aparthotels London to avoid travel heck.
At other times of the year, you can visit the Royal Mews adjacent to the Palace and see the State Coaches used at occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Close by is the Queens Gallery containing some of the many famous paintings and drawings held in the Royal Collection.
Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace while a resident at Holiday Apartments London as this is always great fun to see. Bands play, and soldiers march to take up their positions on guard outside the Palace.
Stroll across the pretty expanse of St James Park to reach Horse Guards Parade where the annual Trooping of the Colour ceremony takes place. Pass through the archway to Whitehall and Downing Street where the Prime Minister has her official residence.
A short walk down Whitehall will bring you to Westminster Square and the Houses of Parliament. This massive building contains both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as the historic Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the building. Visitors can book tours of the Houses of Parliament, but these tours only take place on Saturdays. Booking is recommended. The guided tours take you round all the main rooms of the Houses of Parliament explaining just how Parliament works. You can see the throne on which the Queen sits when she comes in state to open parliament as well as statues of famous prime ministers, and some stunning artwork.
Then of course there is Big Ben – this name actually refers to the bell inside the great tower at one side of the Houses of Parliament. It is this bell which tolls the hour. It is a sound which is instantly recognizable across the world, as it has been heard so many times on national and international occasions and has been seen on many films.
Another famous building not too far from Presidential Marylebone Mayfair and just across the road from the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Abbey. This is the place where kings and queens have been crowned for over a thousand years. It was originally built on the orders of King Edward the Confessor in the tenth century and has been a centre of public life ever since. Nowadays, it is also the place where many public events take place such as royal weddings. HM the Queen and Prince Philip were married here in the 1940’s and only a few years ago, their grandson Prince William married Kate Middleton in this same Abbey church.
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