Be a Werewolf in London

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, August 21, 2010

London, originally called Londinium by its Roman founders, is the world's largest financial center alongside New York. England's capital city boasts tourism as one of their prime industries attracting over 27 million visitors each year.   To fully appreciate this vibrant city plan to stay at least a week and during your visit be sure to see Parliament Square and the Tower Bridge at night, watch the changing of the guards and spend a day at the Tower of London.

Visit Parliament Square at Night

                Situated on the bank of the Thames River, the Palace of Westminster is where the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet.  The massive building contains 1,100 rooms, 100 staircases and 3 miles of corridors

                Big Ben, formerly known as the Great Bell, is actually the name of the largest bell housed inside the tower.  The clock tower was constructed as part of the design for the new parliament after the old parliament was destroyed by a fire on October 22nd 1834.

                Across the street is Westminster Abbey which has served as the backdrop for every British coronation since the Norman Conquest when William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas day in 1066. 

                Many a royal wedding has taken place at the abbey although the wedding of Lady Diana to Prince Charles did not.   However, even though her royal life did not begin at the abbey it ended there with her funeral on August 31st 1997.

Watch the Changing of the Guards

In 1837, Queen Victoria moved the official royal residence from St. James Palace (which is still a working palace) to Buckingham Palace.  However, the troops remained, therefore everyday a detachment is marched up from St. James Palace to replace those guarding the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony evolved into Britain's most famous tourist attraction.

Take a Stroll over the Tower Bridge

Often mistaken as the London Bridge, the Tower Bridge was constructed in the 1880’s in response to the increased commercial development in the East End of London.  It was designed by city architect Horace Jones, in collaboration with Sir John Wolfe Barry. Two massive piers containing over 70,000 tons of concrete were sunk into the river and a framework of over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. 

Visitors can go inside the bridge to the walkway between the two towers and check out the Tower Bridge Exhibition where they can observe the Victorian engine room and learn about the history of the bridge.

Tour the Tower of London

                The Tower of London was once a royal residence and prison, where nobles such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I were imprisoned. Two of King Henry VIII’s wives were also beheaded here and buried under the floor in the chapel.

                A Yeoman Warder, better known as a Beefeater will give you a tour of the grounds and introduce you to the infamous raven population before setting you free to check out the fortress on your own.  Be sure to visit the crown jewels and the Bloody Tower – where two young heirs to the throne were imprisoned before they were murdered.

Check out my London Dungeon Video

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