London Landmarks in Westminster

If you want to see a bunch of London’s historical landmarks in a very short time (or proximity), just walk around Westminster. I mentioned Buckingham Palace in my previous post; another 10 minute walk east took me to Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster (commonly known as Houses of Parliament), and of course, Big Ben.

A goal of mine was getting a pic inside one of London’s iconic red telephone booths, which happened to be fulfilled outside the notable Westminster Abbey:

20150603-DSC_0236

This religious building has been the traditional coronation and burial site for the British monarchs. But what I cared about more was that this was where Will and Kate were wed. 🙂

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey Courtyard
Outside the Abbey
Westminster
I don’t know what this building is, but it looked pretty. Sooo I took a picture!

Walk a little more and you can spot Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. Even the London Eye was visible!

Big Ben Westminster

I was initially confused by the name “Houses of Parliament,” because I expected to see a bunch of goverment buildings clustered together. However, this name just refers to Palace of Westminster, which is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of Parliament (thanks Wikipedia). Additionally, I learned that Big Ben is the the nickname for the bell of the clock, not the clocktower itself. Quite a misleading name, if you ask me, since you can’t even see the bell!

I was determined to get a shot of Big Ben at night, so I came back later (much later, since the sun set around 9 in the summer). Coming back was complicated because I read online “the best place to take its picture is across the bridge,” and went on the wrong bridge. Eventually, I realized that the bridge that I wanted to go across was Westminster, not Golden Jubilee Bridges. After a mini freak-out over losing the golden light, I made it in time to capture Big Ben right after sunset.

Big Ben after Sunset

In my opinion, it looked even better, as the lights stood out more against the blue sky and water!

Big Ben Sunset Night Photography

All in all, I’d say that it was worth coming back and waiting for the sun to set (around 10 pm!) to get these two pics that I was happy with. London lit up at night looked truly magical!

Have you ever been to Westminster? What were your favorite landmarks?

Thanks for reading!

(This post is also linked on A Compass Rose.)

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  • How lovely!! I was in London so briefly that it’s not really worth mentioning… I’d love to go back– that architecture is gorgeous!

    • Oh yes, London is such a huge city to explore that I’d love to go back to see it again! Thanks for dropping by.

  • Great photographs! London is one of my favorite cities! Did you experience any of the “heat wave” while you were there?

    • Thanks! Actually, I went in the beginning of June and it was still cold! But it was amazingly sunny in the three days I was there, so I didn’t experience the typical London weather at all (thankfully).

  • Great shots in lovely London 🙂 I’m from London and I take people to see these landmarks when they come to visit!

    • Thank you! Where else do you like to take people? I’d love to revisit London some day.

      • Ah cool! I always go to Brick Lane as it’s my favourite place in London, especially on Sunday when they have the most amazing food market. I also like to go to Covent Garden and visit one of the parks (if it’s a nice day)

        • Oh yes Brick Lane sounds wonderful, especially given my newfound love for food markets! Thanks, I’ll keep these ideas for the next time I go.

  • great tips!! the big ben indeed looks beautiful from the bridge
    every building is so stunning

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  • Kim

    Lovely photos! I wish I could have spent some time right at sunset at Westminster, but I came back after it was already dark as I had been seeing a musical. I should have marked the map for that photo spot for you! I’m glad you were able to find it in the end though! 😀

    • Ah if you go in the summer, you’ll have plenty of time to catch the sunset. It doesn’t get dark until suuuper late – those “night” photos were taken close to 10 pm! Aw thanks for offering, in the end it was a learning experience. Now I’ll never forget that spot!

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