All Hallows by the Tower was founded in 675AD - it is the oldest church in the City of London. An arch from this original church remains and, beneath that, a fragment of Roman pavement. The church has looked after the bodies of those beheaded on nearby tower hill, including Thomas More's and, from the tower of the church, Samuel Pepys watched London burn in 1666. The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, was baptised here and notable weddings included those of John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the USA, and Judge Jeffries, famous for his 'bloody assizes' in the aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor of 1685. All Hallows survived the Great Fire, thanks to the efforts of Pepys' friend Admiral Penn, but was fairly comprehensively bombed during WW2 and rebuilt in the 1950s. A long-serving vicar of the church was 'Tubby' Clayton, founder of 'Toc H', the rest and recuperation centre for troops in Belgium during WW1.
Famously the home of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, victor of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and later politician. Lots of grand rooms, fine art and over the top treasures just by one of the busiest traffic islands in Britain. A highlight is Wellington's false teeth in a glass case - along with other memorabilia.
Borough Market claims to be the oldest in London, established in 1014. It has certainly grown in the 21st century to become a riot of colour, noise and produce. It is an astonishing place, mainly selling an enormous range of fresh food - fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese, nuts - as well as nuts, speciality chocolate and drinks. At its fringes are a host of streetfood outlets, serving dishes from all over the world.
And all in the shadow of London Bridge's railway arches and Southwark Cathedral.
Established in 1753, the British Museum specialises in history, art and culture. It is one of the largest collections in the world, with millions of objects - many of which originated from the former British Empire, though many have also been found in these islands. There is an enormous area devoted to the ancient classical civilisations of the Middle East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. The British Museum is regularly the most visited attraction in Britain.
Entry is free.
Buckingham Palace is the administrative HQ of the Monarchy and has been the Monarch's official London residence since 1837. The Duke of Buckingham acquired a house on the present site in 1698, which he replaced with a new 'Buckingham House'. This was acquired by George III in 1761 as a family residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their children, and extensively refurbished and modernised. George IV commissioned John Nash to turn the house into a Royal Palace. The familiar east wing, with its central balcony, was added during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Visitors can see three aspects of Buckingham Palace.
1) The State Rooms. The 19 sumptuous state rooms, where guests are received and entertained, are generally open to the public during summer months. They include paintings, porcelain and furniture from the royal collection.
2) The Queen's Gallery, which hosts a programme of changing exhibitions of artwork, mostly from the royal collection, is open most days.
3) The Royal Mews is the stables responsible for the horses that pull the royal carriages as well as where state vehicles are kept and looked after. It is open most days, but closed in December and January.
All three venues have separate entrances on Buckingham Palace Road (the road running along the left of the Palace as you face it).
"They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace - Christopher Robin went down with Alice". (A A Milne).
This is the ceremony when the old guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham and St James's Palaces to the new guard. It normally takes place at 1130 hours, pretty much daily from April to July and on alternate days from August to March. BUT - check first and bear in mind that arrangements are subject to alteration, often without notice. It is free to attend and it is one of the most popular events in London - so get there early. The best place to see it is in front of Buckingham Palace, by the Victoria Memorial.
The original Charing Cross was the last of 12 memorials erected by Edward I, to honour his dead wife, Eleanor of Castile. A memorial was placed at every spot where her funeral cortege rested on its way south from her place of death, near Lincoln. The Charing Cross once stood in what is now Trafalgar Square, was destroyed in 1647 and replaced with an equestrian statue of Charles I in 1675. A Victorian replica was put up outside the nearby railway station in 1865, where it remains. It was restored in 2010.
A tranquil city garden on the site of the former 13th century Franciscan church of Greyfriars. It was the burial place of four queens and was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. A replacement church, designed by Christopher Wren, was destroyed by bombing in 1940, though the west tower still stands.
The Churchill War Rooms, aka the Cabinet War Rooms, is a complex of secret operational rooms in a former basement created to enable government to continue during the Second World War, theoretically safe from German bombs. The complex includes a Cabinet Meeting Room, map room, kitchens and bedroom - including one each for Mr and Mrs Churchill. Some of the rooms remain more or less as they were left in 1945; others have been refurbished in period style.
There is also an extensive Churchill Museum, telling the story of one of Britain's most remarkable leaders, from childhood in the 1870s to his death in 1965. The museum includes an enormous number of items associated with Churchill, audio-visual displays and an interactive timeline giving access to original documents and other resources.
London's famous fruit and vegetable market relocated to Nine Elms in 1974. The district, which had been congested and run-down, has been redeveloped and now offers a range of facilities - two extensive areas of market stalls, selling artwork, hand-made jewellery, unique gifts; plus a range of high-end shops, pubs, bars and restaurants. Covent Garden is also famous for its street performers and includes the Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the London Transport Museum. In the Middle Ages, it was the garden for Westminster Abbey, developed into a fashionable Italian-style square in the 17th century - and then became a place of ill-repute!