Best 10 London Sights. Long-time local resident recommends absolute best of London

Best 10 London Sights. Long-time local resident recommends absolute best of London

I lived in London for over 30 years, and in
this video I want to show you the 10 must-see sights. The iconic postcard
sights of London. What’s important about them is that they will cost you
absolutely nothing to see them. The first one is the Palace of
Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. Inside is the House of
Commons and the House of Lords. It’s a very beautiful building. One of the big
misconceptions of course is about Big Ben the clock tower. Big Ben is actually name of the bell
inside the tower that chimes, and the tower is called the Queen Elizabeth
Tower. Named after Queen Elizabeth the Second when she entered her 60th year of
reign. Just across from Big Ben you’ll see the South Bank which is a popular
tourist stretch with SeaLife Aquarium and you’ll also find the London Eye,
which is that massive ferris wheel that become such an iconic sight –
particularly at New Year. Just behind me is Admiralty Arch and behind that is one of the most famous sights of London: Trafalgar Sqaure. The square
was named after the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars when the
British were fighting the French and Spanish just off a place
called Trafalgar. Of course it has Nelson’s Column, and there’s lions guarding it. It also has a number of plinths with statues. The fourth one
remains empty and has different rotating pieces of artwork on it. And, of course, no trip to London would be
complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace. This is the official home of the
monarchy, and they spend a lot of time here or at Windsor Castle about 20
miles outside London. It is a real big favourite. You can tell if the Queen is
in residence because the Royal Ensign, which is a gold and red flag,
will be flying above Buckingham Palace. If it’s just the Union Jack it means
that the monarchy is not in residence. During the Changing of the Guard, the old guard is replaced by the new guard who arrive from Wellington Barracks,
normally accompanied by a band. And it’s lots of fun, lots of ceremony. If you are here
during summer you can also tour the State Rooms and the gardens, which
is a real must do. So if here in July or August it’s worth checking online and
search for Buckingham Palace tickets and I’d strongly recommend going on the tour
because you get great insight into the Royal Family’s way of live and (of
course) you get to see places that very few people actually get to see. Another really important part
of a visit to Buckingham Palace is the Queen Victoria Memorial, which just sits just
opposite the palace itself. And so after Buckingham Palace, our next
stop which is the Tower of London, so we head back down the
Mall. By the way two things that you’re going
to need if you want to do this tour of the best sights of London, one is a good pair of walking shoes and also one of these.. which is an Oyster card. It’s a prepaid
card that you use on all the buses and tubes. Just pick it up at the
Underground station and you load it up with money, and the great things is that it caps the fare and only charges you the lowest fare possible for all of the trips you do. And so once you
get to Tower Hill tube station you’re at some of the most important sights of
London: the Tower of London behind me and Tower Bridge. So let me tell you a little
about the Tower of London. Its official name is actually the Royal Palace and
Fortress of the Tower of London and it has a reputation for being a very violent
place. However not that many people were actually executed here because
executions used to take place on Tower Hill across the other way. However it has been used for all sorts
of things including, obviously, a prison. It’s been used as an armory and
as a public records office, the Royal Mint used to be here and still within
those walls are the Crown Jewels and they are a real must see. Now the Tower
actually held prisoners from about 1,100 right through until 1952. The Kray
brothers, which were famous Eastern gangsters, were apparently some of the
last people ever held here. The main period of holding prisoners was
in the 16th and 17th century when people like Sir Walter Raleigh were held right here and that’s what the expression “sent to the Tower”
came from. In the First World War and Second World
War it was also used to hold various enemies of the state and in fact people were actually executed in here for espionage. One of the more
famous sights of London is behind me right now, it’s the Tower Bridge. It opened
in 1895 and connects the north and the south side of London with of course the
Thames flowing underneath. It’s a magnificent building. Now walking across it’s going
to give you one of the most magnificent views you can possibly have of London right up the river towards London. What you can see behind me with the river behind me are many of the more recent and modern buildings of London like The Shard which is a massive tall building and has the
tallest observation platform in Europe. You’ve got the London
Assembly where the mayor has his office and HMS Belfast which was a old World War II Battleship. Behind me on the other side you have the City of London,
which is the heart of the financial center and you have buildings which are
known as the Walkie-Talkie, Cheese Grater and the Gherkin. In London as some of these
pictures show, is it’s very busy wherever you go. It’s crowded and crowds of people everywhere but it’s quite good fun so it’s still great. And so once you’ve had time
at the Tower of London it’s time for the next big site which is Saint
Paul’s Cathedral. So here I am in the gardens of St
Pauls. I’m doing this in the gardens at the back as it’s a bit quieter here.
It’s where major events take place like State Funerals and the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was held here and big celebrations
like Queen’s Jubilee. It’s built on the highest point in the City of London and until 1967 it was the tallest building in London. It was built by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of
London and during World War Two as bombs fell all around London
surprisingly the Dome survived and it became like a beacon of
hope through the whole of the Second World War. Unfortunately I cannot show you inside as videos or pictures cannot been taken inside. One of the challenges when you’re sightseeing in London is trying to find some where to go to the loo! And so that’s another big plus for
places like Starbucks as places like public toilets you have to pay about 50p to go and spend a penny, which is what I’m about to do. And the next stop, which is not that far away, is the Millennium Bridge which is
affectionately known as the “wobbly bridge”. When it opened in June 2000 it had to be closed the same day, because people found as they walked over
it be swayed and made them sea sick. It took two years to fix before was reopened. The Millennium Bridge has become a major tourist attraction and attracts lots of
people because it takes you from St Pauls on the one side and to the Tate Modern which is a free gallery on the other side. It’s in a very beautiful old Art Deco power station. Now along
this stretch of the river, which is the South Bank of the Thames, there’s
always lots of activity. Lots of people hanging around, lots of events and stores. So it’s always good if you want to stop and have something to
eat or just simply relax after this frantic sightseeing. And so my next tip in terms of must-see
sights is Hyde Park it’s a massive park and one of the big four parks in London.
These big Royal Parks are connected, so you have Kensington Gardens, you have Hyde Park, you have Green Park and that eventually leads to St. James’s
Park. Many people say that you can pretty much walk across London on
greenery, I don’t know that’s entirely true but there’s a lot of green space in
London and Hyde Park is one of the most important. There’s a couple of key things within
Hyde Park that you can see. There’s the Serpentine, which is a lake that’s splits the park. There’s Speaker’s Corner, which is very famous particularly on the weekend, when people gather and it’s a chance for free speech and to talk about
anything you want to talk about – getting heckled and cheered. Then
also down towards the Knightsbridge side of Hyde Park you’ll find two very important buildings. One of which is the Albert Memorial,
which Queen Victoria built in honor of her husband, and across the road
from that is the magnificent and circular Albert Hall, which is where big
concerts are held – in particular the Proms every year. And so as we head to our
next site, one of things I want to do is give you tips based on what I’ve been
seeing today as I have been traveling around. I’ve heard so much incorrect information
spoken about the history and what people are seeing, so what I am trying do is I try to give
you a short overview of each place. But I strongly recommend you get a good guide book or find a reputable site online. I’ll put
some links in the notes so you can make sure that you have a good sense of what
you’re actually seeing – and try not to listen to some of the bizarre ideas and
thoughts as you go around the city. The next site is the British Museum. It was established in the 1700s and over the last half-century it’s collected over 8 million items. It’s
focus is on human history, art and culture. It has a couple of controversial
pieces or areas within it, such as the Parthenon Statutes, where is a constant
discussion between Greece and the UK about their return. However the collection here is amazing,
and the two most popular areas are the Egyptian areas (including a display of
mummies) and also of course the “Elgin Marbles” as they used to be called which are the
Parthenon sculptures. Like all museums in the the UK, the British Museum is free. They do ask if you will make a donation but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Our next site is actually collection of three things. It’s a
collection of three amazing museum buildings – and of course the museum’s
inside them are also awesome and quite amazing. The first is the Natural History Museum.
It has over 80 million specimens and it’s better known for its dinosaurs
which are big hit with kids. Over 5 million people visit a year. Across the road the V&A is the world’s
largest decorative arts museum and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Both of these were opened in the 1850s. It’s a great museum and
probably one of my favorite museums in London. A little
bit up the road from that is the Science Museum which is very hands-on
interactive museum. It gets about three-and-a-half million visitors a year.
It’s great for kids because it really immerses them into science lets them get
their hands kind of involved and dirty, if you like. Just
going to look at the buildings themselves is amazing, they’re all
together in South Kensington in the west of London – and again you can get in for
free. All museums are free and you can spend days in them if you want to. No trip to London is complete without
a stop at Harrods. It is over five acres in Knightsbridge and has 330
departments, and apparently sells everything you could possibly want. It used
to be owned by Mohamed Al-fayed whose son Dodi was in a relationship
with Lady Diana when they both died in a car crash in Paris. It’s now a controlled by Qatar.
So as I said I’ve lived for over 30 years in London. I adore the city and hopefully you’ll
find those 10 must-see sights absolutely fantastic and really helpful. I tried to
choose the sites that are iconic sites and really represent London and also
that you can see without having to pay to see – other than (of
course) your transportation. A couple things that really like to do. First of all let
me know in a comment which of those sites you love the most
or are looking forward to seeing. Secondly it
be great if you left a thumbs up on the video and also be great if you could
subscribe and every week a new video with travel inspiration, advice
tips and money saving ideas to help you make the most of your precious vacation
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100 thoughts on “Best 10 London Sights. Long-time local resident recommends absolute best of London

  1. Wow…finally I found a video that explains everything so clearly. Thank u, you got a new subscriber. Can u tell me if I’m able to see all these beautiful places if I come in January? I’m planning to come in 30th December and staying 4 days then off to Netherlands. I’ve no option to come in different season, so I already booked my trip. Any suggestions would be great appreciated

  2. Great video! Do u recommend an all day tour to Stonehenge, the baths and Windsor Castle? It is worth it? It is a way to do it without a tour?

  3. Thank for an informative and enjoyable video. Really helpful for us when we plan our gopro walks. Best of luck with your channel and look forward to seeing more from you.

  4. Very good video. Just curious what kinds of transportation an Oyster card covers? Does it cover
    the fare for public water boats like route RB1? Can you explain how the public water boat work and its fares? Thank you very much.

  5. Very helpful. You might have mentioned the National Gallery on the North side of Trafalgar Square and National Portrait Gallery round the side. And personally I prefer Tate Britain to Tate Modern – but then my artistic interests start to dwindle as the C20th "progresses".

  6. Hi Gary, thanks for the video.  However,  westiminister abbey and St Pauls, Buckingham palace, tower of London, and tower bridge all  have admission fees.  I haven't looked at all of these sights, but you should revise your video and add what is free and what costs money.  thanks!

  7. I’m visiting London from the USA ?? in mid September. Really enjoyed your video. Looking forward to watching other ones.

  8. Love London. My favourite was the London eye. Actually I loved it all. Harrods is very impressive. We had fish and chips and champagne there for lunch. Awesome, but expensive. The thing is, you have to do it at least once. There are still a few on my list that I didn’t get to. For my next visit…

  9. Great video tour & beautiful blue sky! I saw all of those sites on my last tour which has been over 10 years now … I need to get back over …

  10. Visiting in May with my family,thank you so much,video is amazing,thank you you for taking time to make and share this video

  11. Note for tourists: It is NOT free to see inside St Pauls cathedral. As of 2019 online tickets are £17 per adult or £18:50 on the door.

  12. I love all things British. Would love to visit London. In the meantime I will enjoy the videos. Tks.

  13. I loved walking the Westminster area the most, and the London Eye and a river cruise from the South Bank.

  14. What about the palace in Greenwich and the park there not to mention the markets. Getting the boat down from Westminster has to be the finest way of seeing the city in my opinion

  15. Great video. Very helpful indeed. Clarifies a lot of things and extremely useful in planning a London trip. Thank you.

  16. Ive been living in london for almost two years now and is good to hear about these information. 🙂

  17. Thank you for a wonderful video. I appreciate the list of free activities, travel tips and history. I can't choose just one of the places to see. I plan to visit them all in July 2020!!

  18. I luv London we did most of the sights except for a couple of museums coming from Australia we didn't have a lot of time

  19. Beautiful sights in the video but unfortunately the commentary is littered with inaccuracies. But all and all good.

  20. I enjoy these tour guides of London I am from the Carribbean so it's great to learn about those Countries

  21. In April of this year I visited France and It was a beautiful experience but where we stayed was a little bit father to travel by metro (tube). What is the central part in which will be convenient to more around and visit all of these places that you mentioned on your video. How late it works transportation? thanks for sharing, great video.

  22. Loved this. Was in England last Feb. And wish I had watched this first. Did manage to take a bus tour and see some of these from a distance.

  23. Truly enjoyed watching your video. I particularly liked St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millenial Bridge walk, and I also loved your overview of the museums very much. On a separate note, I also enjoyed your video review on the Ngongorogoro crater in Africa on wildlife viewing. Thanks so much

  24. i love london,i have been to all your sights you recomended over the yeas,my kids love the musaems,the monument is an other place you can vist and take pictures(although there is a small charge to climb the 311 steps,st pauls is an other place you can vist and take lots of pictures(again there is an entrance fee if you want to go inside,but you cant take any pictures)the milliamum bridge is a great way to get from st pauls to the globe theature

  25. He missed the Globe Theatre and a few more things also a bomb landed on St Pauls but didn explode, it landed on the Dome. And he missed The Monument where the Great fire Started..

  26. As an American who's been to London a few times, I can say you're spot on! My three favorites were the British museum which was awesome then Tower Bridge and Harrods. But I also got to see many other sites and they are all great in their own way. I also recommend taking a tour on the Thames, Big Ben and the London bus tour which allows you to get on and off at your leisure at any destination you need

  27. London is finished, it’s nothing but a complete shit hole full of nothing but immigrants, now this is a fact, if anyone disagrees with me, go and take a trip up there, don’t forget your translator and bulletproof vest

  28. Amazing video
    Really good job
    I’m cuban and in my visit to London I visited a lot of the places you mention
    I would also recommend (I’m a designer so maybe a lot of the places I visited are design related jajaja)
    Batter sea power station
    The design museum
    A bike ride around the city
    The O2 dome
    China town
    Picadilly Circus
    Camden Town
    King cross station
    Canary warf
    Primorse Hill
    Marble arch
    Covent Garden
    Borough Market
    Barbican Centre
    And obviously the trip around the river

    At the end I liked the city so much that I’m moving there
    When people ask me what I like the most about london I always say the grass
    Parks are amazingly green I love it

  29. lol durng the war? dad who was n the REME was stationed in the tower armoury. afte arriving back from dunkirk. he told me he used to make keys out of scrap metal then flog them to tourists as old ones. did quite well . he was london born was in the terros 1938 so got sent over first op. with guards rgmt

  30. London is the best city in the UK all the other UK cities like Birmingham and Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool are shitholes boring ugly cities.

  31. Great trip.Thank you. I lived in London for twelve years and now visit from the USA. Cannot get enough of this great city and its people.

  32. That was probably the best video I have seen on the sights of London! Your quick visit to each site, referenced locations relative to other sites you mentioned, background information and the relevance of each site and why it made the list were all relevant and useful. Thanks for that and I have saved this video for my London trip. I will be going with my 19 year old grandson who still, for reasons I can’t explain based on my expectations, enjoys hanging out with his granny. He and I enjoyed going to science museums and I would love to take him into the one in London. It is the only time I can get away with going to something like that. Like everyone else, I want to see the Royal Museum. I would like to see the Greek stonework, an on the fence about the Egyptian section (although I really wanted to see that section for many years). Some of the pictures you showed such as the fashions of the 17th and 18th centuries, the busts, and something else I will need to rewatch to remember gives me the desire to spend a couple of days there. Being such an iconic location in London, I will want to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral but mainly to see the inside and look closely at the architecture. If they have any historic events documented and displayed, I would want to visit that, as well. I have had the Tate Modern on my list for some time but I don’t remember why. Unless there is something spectacular at the green parks, I don’t know if I will rush over. But after a week or two of concrete and people, I may sing a different tune. Buckingham Palace, I had wanted to see until I realized just how many people pile up to see the changing of the guard. But it is on my grandson’s list so we will be there. I think I will get access to the inside tour(s?) though I cannot tell you why. And you didn’t ask for a dissertation so we will stop here. Thanks again for posting this video and I am anxiously awaiting your next video. ? AND my London vacation.

  33. Thank you for your London overview. I am excited about my first visit to London and your video gave me great direction on what to highlight during my visit….

    but I have another question:

    I am a BIG James Bond fan. What would you suggest for a Bond fan visiting London? I know they are currently shooting the new Bond now. Is it possible to know where current shoots are happening or is it possible to visit the Pinewood Studios?

  34. Fantastic, informative Video thanks. If I may add a few tips .Waterloo Bridge , stand in the middle after dark .Its the best view in London! For musios Abbey Rd studios. Finally check Love is Murder by Al Ross and the Planets video ' great Thames views and iconic Battersea Power Station for Floyd fans.

  35. Amazing job Gary! Very informative yet very digestive guide that would be very useful for anyone. Thanks a lot and all blessings!!!

  36. Great vidéo. There are 3 spots which you mentionned and caught my attention. Will definitely see them before leaving.

  37. This is excellent. I would also suggest a visit to Westminster Abbey. There is a modest cost but it is breathtaking. Also, rather than Harrod's (too big!), I'd recommend a stroll along Piccadilly to Fortnum & Mason for an astonishing variety of teas and to F&M's neighbor, Hatchard's, arguably the nicest bookstore on the planet.

    As long as you are in Trafalgar Square admiring Nelson's Column, duck into the church of St. Martin in the Fields. They hold frequent free concerts at lunchtime and the Cafe in the Crypt, in the crypt of the church, serves very tasty English food. It's also the only place I know of where brass rubbing is on offer. It's a great way to entertain the kids for a half hour or so and for a modest price you will have a charming bit of art for the wall at home. Don't miss Churchill's War Rooms, where the Allies ran WW2.

    If you have a day to spare, go to Hampton Court Palace. It's about a half hour train ride away to see where Henry VIII lived. Magnificent!

  38. Visiting soon. The South Kensington museums weren't on the list, but they are now. Thanks for the overview. I'm feeling more at ease having seen this video.

  39. Hi Gary,
    You always present informative YouTube videos with plenty of research backing them. I've been to London twice (2015 and 2019) and found staying in the Southwark area was fairly central for me with hotel accommodations that didn't break the bank. Within a 5 minute walking distance, I had access to the Underground (tube) via the Borough Market entrance. Some of the destinations you highlighted, I have not yet had the opportunity to explore so it would seem I may just have to return again to London in a couple of years.

  40. I’m in London for sightseeing on my own and for the past two days I encountered two separate incidents consecutively whereby a group of young cyclists were shouting at me “fxxking (Asian)” from afar approaching me. Maybe they think I have blocked their way which after analyzed the circumstances It wasn’t. The locations are at guard memorial and Greenwich college way respectively. Sad to see some young british are being so racist and violent nowadays !

  41. Great video! I was just there over the summer and saw much of what you talk about here. Like you, I love the V & A. You didn't mention it, but the National Portrait Gallery is wonderful (& free), right near Trafalgar Square. If possible, people should see Westminster Abbey & take a trip out to Windsor Castle (both venues free admission with purchase of the "London Pass".) Next trip, I'm gonna do the boat cruise down the Thames and see Greenwich! Thanks for sharing!

  42. We've been to London several times & YES ,we LOVE the sites you've shown, what we like best Is to go Into the neighborhoods and mingle with the people who live there. In Leyton there Is a great pub called "The Hare & Hounds" We also love using the public transportation system, when we exit the airplane we add days to our Oyster Card and jump on the Tube and take It to our AirBnB, (We Recommend AirBnBs because you get to live with a real Londoner In their Home) then we head out on the town to Leyton to visit our friends at The Hare & Hounds Pub (Ask For Vlad, >>>Tell Him David & Vickie From Indiana Sent You<<<) My recommendation Is, YES see the Iconic sites of LONDON…But don't lose the opportunity to visit with the residents of London to get a real sense of a full London experience of visiting THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!!! P.S. On our next trip, I'm going to make a YouTube video to show people the side of London rarely seen by tourist!!!…

  43. Hi Gary, so glad I found this. I religiously follow all your cruise videos so this is great. I am taking my wife and 15 year old daughter next March, 2020. We will have 3 days in London but my daughter does want to go to Stonehenge one of those days so we are really looking at 2 solid days of site seeing. What are your thought's on the London Pass or any of those passes that claim to save you time and money. Are they worth it?

  44. Thank you for the video. I am so much more interested in the sites and what to see than I am what makeup and hair products the "influencers" are into. Getting harder all the time to find travel vids I can tolerate.

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