Is there an end of historic things to do in London?
Is there an end of historic things to do in London?
London, England is one of the biggest most historic metropolises in the world. Yes there are bigger, older, or whatever adjective you’d like to use to argue my opinion, but the fact will remain…no there isn’t an end to the things to do in London.
There’s just such a large population in London by the time you’ve tried something there’s two more places opened up to try something else. Sure this is probably the same for a lot of big cities, but this is my post and I’m going to talk about London. So here’s what I think.
If you’re going to London for the history, you’re going to have an eventful time. London dates back almost 2000 years to Roman times. To put that into perspective for everyone reading in North America, there are buildings in London older than your continent. No not the actual continent itself, but the discovery of it; the discovery of it by Europeans anyway. Native Americans clearly discovered it long ago by I guess just being born on it? But this is getting way off topic!
So what kind of historic things should I check out in London?
Well first, if you haven’t read my post on Chislehurst Caves, check that out! It’s super cool, family friendly and very reasonably priced!
If you’re looking to stay close to the core of the city then there’s still tons of stuff you can check out.
The Tower of London is an old castle where kings ruled the English empire from for centuries. It’s also pretty cheap and family friendly. You can spend a whole day here if you try to take everything in. There’s dozens of old buildings that have displays on how they were built or what they were used for. There’s lots of interesting facts if you’re into facts.
There’s the White Tower from which the Tower of London gets its name. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the castle, but what makes it really cool is what it currently houses. It’s currently set up as kind of an armory throughout the ages. There are actual weapons from over a thousand years of history. You can see how knights were actually armed and what weapons they used to combat foes. There are some really cool bizarre designs that you wouldn’t normally see in the history books or in movies.
If you’re not into the whole history of warfare and how England became an empire, you’ll probably at least want to check out the crown jewels. They definitely caught me off guard with exactly how many jewels there are in this collection. I’m sure most of you know about the crowns and the scepter with the Cullinan Diamond. What a lot of you probably may not know about are things like the royal punch bowl and serving trays…I’m not making this up. There’s a whole dish set of gold and silver trays, platters and dishes. It’s all a bit silly but pretty impressive to see.
Once you’re done at the Tower, you should probably take the short walk over to the Tower bridge, at the very least get your picture taken with it in the background. It’s a must have photo according to everyone who’s ever taken a picture in London on my facebook feed.
If that’s not your style, might I suggest a much more multicultural stop at the British Museum. To sum up the British museum as simply as I can; it’s the place where the British Empire kept all of their cools historic artifacts from other nations that they went out and conquered. That’s a very simplified version of it of course. Luckily for the rest of the world we can now see so much history in one stop! They have artifacts and exhibits from every continent.
There’s so much to do in the British Museum, I’d recommend going early morning and probably not making many other plans for the rest of the day. Oh and if you’re on a tight budget for entertainment, it’s a no brainer, it’s free.
To round out your day or day(s) of history, might I recommend something a little more modern with the Churchill War Museum. Kind of shows you how shitty the human race can be when the majority of our history is filled with wars but that can be a whole other post by someone that isn’t me.
The Churchill War Museum is the actual bunker that was used to command a lot of the Allied troops in World War 2. It’s actually kind of crazy to see where people lived and how the rooms were set up. There’s a a large map on the wall of the main command room that is covered in colored thumb tacks with pieces of yarn strung up between some. The yarn denoted the lines of territory under different armies control, or supply lines. It’s surreal walking through this bunker.
There’s also a large room at one end of the bunker that is the actual museum. It contains tons of war time propaganda from all sides. There’s also one of the enigma machines the Germans used to encrypt their messages with. The code breaking of this device was recently featured in the movie The Imitation Game which was a fantastic movie if you haven’t watched it.
The best part about the history in London is that it’s almost never ending. You can walk through neighborhoods which are older than most cities in North America. I haven’t even scratched the surface for things to do, but hopefully I got you started on planning your next trip!