London
Houses of Parliament
Edward the Confessor had the original palace built in the eleventh century. The British parliament is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom. The Palace of Westminster consists of the House of Commons (elected) and the House of Lords (not elected- hereditary and nominated). Big Ben, one of Londons famous landmarks is found at the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is not the clock tower but the thirteenth bell which strikes the hour. It is counterweighted with old pennies!

Parliamentary government in the United Kingdom is based on a two-chamber system. The House of Lords (the upper House-not elected) and the House of Commons (the lower house-elected at least every 5 years) sit separately and are constituted on entirely different principles. The legislative process involves both Houses - the Commons and the Lords.


The main functions of Parliament are to: examine proposals for new laws, provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government, scrutinise government policy and administration, including proposals for expenditure and to debate the major issues of the day.
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal entertaining, and a major tourist attraction. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence, known as "The Queen's House". It was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural

The White Tower
The White Tower is a central tower at the Tower of London. The great central keep was started in 1078 by William the Conqueror who ordered the White Tower to be built inside the south-east angle of The City walls, adjacent to the River Thames. [1] This was as much to protect the Normans from the people of the City of London as to protect London from outside invaders. William ordered the Tower to be built of Caen stone, which he had specially imported from France, and appointed Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester as the architect. The tower was finished around 1087 by his sons and successors, William Rufus and Henry I.

In the twelfth century, King Richard the Lionheart enclosed the White Tower with a curtain wall and had a moat dug around it filled with water from the River Thames. The moat was not successful until Henry III, in the thirteenth century, employed a Dutch moat-building technique. Henry refurnished the Chapel and had the exterior of the building whitewashed in 1240, which is how the tower got its name.



The White Tower is a massive construction, 90 feet (27.4m) high and 118 feet (35.9m) by 107 feet (32.6m) across, the walls varying from 15 feet thickness at the base to almost 11 feet in the upper parts. Above the battlements rise four turrets; three of them are square, but the one on the north-east is circular. This turret once contained the first Royal observatory. The four weather vanes on the turrets of the tower date from 1669. At the southeast corner is a semicircular protrusion which houses the Chapel of St. John.
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, which is almost always referred to popularly and informally as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) Monarchs of the Commonwealth Realms. It briefly held the status of a cathedral from 15461556, and is currently a Royal Peculiar.

According to tradition the abbey was first founded in 616 on the present site, then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island); based on a late 'tradition' that a fisherman called ' Aldrich ' on the River Thames saw a vision of Saint Peter near the site. This seems to be quoted to justify the presents of salmon from the Thames fishermen that the Abbey received in later years. The proven origins are that in the 960s or early 970s, Saint Dunstan, assisted by King Edgar, planted a community of Benedictine monks here. A stone Abbey was built around 10451050 by King Edward the Confessor as part of his palace there: it was consecrated on December 28, 1065,[1] only a week before the Confessor's death and subsequent funeral and burial. It was the site of the last coronation prior to the Norman Invasion, that of his successor King Harold. It was later rebuilt by Henry III from 1245, who had selected the site for his burial.




The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. The original Globe was built in 1599 using timber from an earlier theatre, The Theatre, which had been built by Richard Burbage's father, James Burbage, in Shoreditch in 1576. The Burbages originally had a 21-year lease of the site on which The Theatre was built but owned the building outright. However, the landlord, Giles Allen, claimed that the building had become his with the expiry of the lease. On 28 December 1598, while Allen was celebrating Christmas at his country home, carpenter Peter Street, supported by the players and their friends, dismantled The Theatre beam by beam and transported it to Street's waterfront warehouse near Bridewell. With the onset of more favourable weather in the following spring, the material was ferried over the Thames to reconstruct it as The Globe on some marshy gardens to the south of Maiden Lane, Southwark.  It was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.  A second Globe Theatre was rebuilt on the same site by June 1614 and closed in 1642.

A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe", opened in 1997. It is approximately 230 metres (750 ft) from the site of the original theatre.


Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of several London bridges owned and maintained by the City Bridge Trust, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.

The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge to the left and the right. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. Its present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Before this, it was painted a chocolate brown colour.

Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream.


additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the present-day public face of Buckingham Palace.
Londons famous landmarks is found at the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is not the clock tower but the thirteenth bell which strikes the hour. It is counterweighted with old pennies!

Parliamentary government in the United Kingdom is based on a two-chamber system. The House of Lords (the upper House-not elected) and the House of Commons (the lower house-elected at least every 5 years) sit separately and are constituted on entirely different principles. The legislative process involves both Houses - the Commons and the Lords.



Parliamentary government in the United Kingdom is based on a two-chamber system. The House of Lords (the upper House-not elected) and the House of Commons (the lower house-elected at least every 5 years) sit separately and are constituted on entirely different principles. The legislative process involves both Houses - the Commons and the Lords.


Our day-trip to London leaves Paris at 8:00 am and arrives in London at 10:30.  We will travel by highspeed rail (Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel).  You will have approximately 7 hours free in London.  You can explore the city any way you choose but here is my suggestion.

Grab one of the Sightseeing busses (doubledecker) and use it as your transportation around the city.  Don't bother with the underground because you'll have to figure out your own routes and you won't see anything between destinations (because you're underground.)  The sightseeing busses allow you to "hop-on-hop-off" at any of their stops for the price of a single ticket that lasts all day.  The route will take you to most of the city's most important landmarks and will allow you to stop and explore at your own pace.  These busses are constantly circling at a 20 minute interval.  The Original London Sightseeing Tour is the largest of these tour lines.
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you to "hop-on-hop-off" at any of their stops for the price of a single ticket that lasts all day.  The route will take you to most of the city's most important landmarks and will allow you to stop and explore at your own pace.  These busses are constantly circling at a 20 minute interval.  The Original London Sightseeing Tour is the largest of these tour lines.
stop and explore at your own pace.  These busses are constantly circling at a 20 minute interval.  The Original London Sightseeing Tour is the largest of these tour lines.