The Best Local Tourist Attractions
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – London is one of the world’s greatest cities and there’s so much to do that even if you were here for 10 years, you’d still not get time to do and see everything.
One of England’s greatest literary figures, Dr Samuel Johnson said ‘by seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show’ and it’s hard to disagree with him. We’ve picked some great things to see and do but when you stay at the Rathbone, the entire city is yours to explore.
Here is our list of the best tourist attractions in London and they are all close to the Rathbone so you won’t have far to travel to see some of the most famous sights in the world!
Madame Tussauds Locate on Map
Madame Tussauds is the world’s most famous waxworks museum and you’ll be able to get up close and personal with your favourite stars of stage and screen, sports and music as well as royals, Bollywood stars, cultural icons and even politicians!
The museum is a short walk from the Rathbone and inside you’ll find 14 interactive areas and over 300 incredibly-lifelike waxwork models including an amazing Star Wars exhibition, a taxi ride where you can discover London’s rich and vibrant history and a behind-the-scenes look at the sculpting process that takes months to perfect.
It’s a great day out for the entire family and one of London’s most popular tourist attractions.
Tower of London Locate on Map
Slightly east of the Rathbone is the Tower of London, one of the world’s most instantly-recognisable buildings. Come to the Tower and immerse yourselves in 1,000 years of London’s amazing history. Since it was built in the 11th century it has been used as a fortress, a home, a castle, prison, armoury, treasury, the Public Records Office, Royal Mint and even a menagerie!
The stars of the Tower of London are the priceless Crown Jewels and you can also join a Beefeater on a guided tour, learn about the legend of the ravens, walk through the King’s bedchamber, find out where the Two Princes were held and even visit Traitor’s Gate, the gate where prisoners would enter the Tower, perhaps for the last time.
The Tower of London is an incredible day out for all the family and one of the most famous places in the whole world.
Covent Garden Locate on Map
Covent Garden is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions because there’s so much to see and do. It’s 10-15 minutes’ walk away from the Rathbone and when you’re here you’ll find an amazing choice of quirky independent shops, restaurants, cafés, theatres and one of London’s most famous markets with its cool craft stalls, gifts and boutiques.
In the summer months you can sit outside and watch the world go by in the Piazza while enjoying the street performers entertaining the crowds. Covent Garden is next to Theatreland where you have your pick of the best plays and musicals in the world and in Seven Dials, you’ll find upmarket shopping.
You’re close to the Royal Opera House, the London Transport Museum and Trafalgar Square for a great day out exploring one of London’s most famous tourist spots.
British Museum Locate on Map
Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG
020 7323 8299
Under five minutes’ walk from the Rathbone is perhaps the UK’s finest museum. The British Museum is dedicated to the story of human history, arts and culture and the permanent collection houses some eight million works from all over the world. It’s free to get in (although some temporary exhibitions are charged so check the website before you go) and don’t just look at what’s inside. The building is one of London’s most magnificent.
The stars of the show are the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon Sculptures (also known as the Elgin Marbles), Mummy of Katebet and the Oxus Treasure and with two million years of human history to get through, it will take you a few hours to get round everything!
The British Museum is an interesting, fun and entertaining day out for the entire family – almost seven million visitors every year can’t be wrong!
The London Eye Locate on Map
The London Eye, South Bank, London SE1 7PB
0871 781 3000
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames from where you can get the best views of the iconic London skyline in the entire city. It is 135 m tall with 32 passenger capsules holding up to 25 people and each revolution of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes.
The world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel is open every day except for Christmas Day and certain days of the year for planned maintenance so check the website before you book. You get the most exhilarating views of London’s most famous landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and dozens more and on a clear day you can see for 40 km!
If you’re in London for a romantic break, there’s nothing better than booking one of the Champagne Experiences or even a personal Chocolate Tasting and if you ride at night, even better!
St Paul’s Cathedral Locate on Map
The Chapter House, St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
020 7246 8350
Another of London’s iconic buildings, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a magnificent Baroque-style church designed by Britain’s most celebrated architect, Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1720. St. Paul’s holds a special place in Britain’s national identity and some of the most famous services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill as well as the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
You can walk through the main cathedral seeing the spectacular High Altar as well as, should you want to, climb the 528 steps up to the Golden Gallery in the famous dome. The Whispering Gallery is a mere 257 steps up and you can also dive down into the Crypt. There is an interactive 270° film experience and guided tours as well as the Chapels and the courtyards to explore.
East of the Rathbone in the City, St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions for the whole family.
Buckingham Palace Locate on Map
London SW1A 1AA
0303 123 7334
Built in 1837, Buckingham Palace is the London residence of HRH The Queen and as with many of the buildings on this list, one of the world’s most instantly recognisable. You’ll know if she’s home if you see the Royal Standard flying at full mast and you can either take a tour of the State Rooms, the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews or, like many thousands of people every day, see the Changing of the Guard at 11.30am in front of the main gates.
Because the palace is essentially a working home for the Royal Family, the 2016 interior tours are only open for the month of August and from 1-25 September and last around two and a half hours.
Make sure you book early if you want to see inside the home of the most famous woman in the world!
London Zoo Locate on Map
Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY
020 7449 6200
Just a few minutes’ to the north of the Rathbone is London Zoo, one of the world’s premier visitor, scientific and research zoos. It was opened in 1828 and today you’ll find almost 20,000 animals from over 800 species, from the very small to the absolutely huge. It really is a great day out for people of all ages and there’s so much more to do than just stare at the animals!
There are lots of live shows and interactive experiences including Tiger Territory, watching the penguins dive, eat and swim at Penguin Beach, getting up close and personal with the magnificent Western Lowland gorillas in Gorilla Kingdom as well as taking a trip to the treetops at Rainforest Life.
Wander through the stunning gardens and see some of the world’s most amazing animals at one of London’s busiest tourist attractions.