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:
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. 🙂
Walk a little more and you can spot Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. Even the London Eye was visible!
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.
In my opinion, it looked even better, as the lights stood out more against the blue sky and water!
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.)