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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.


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British Library

The British Library receives a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland. In addition to books (including early printed books), the collection includes manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints , drawings, music scores, patents, sound recordings and stamps. Particular treasures include Magna Carta, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's notebook, the first edition of The Times from 18 March 1788 and Beatles manuscripts. As well as being open for research, the Library holds free exhibitions and events.

Location/Address: 96 Euston Road
County: London
Post Code: NW1 2DB
Main Historic Period: Modern
Useful Website Address: British Library website
Tip/Nearby: Wellcome Collection, British Museum, King's Cross
Primary Management: HM Government

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.

Location/Address: Great Russell Street
County: London
Post Code: WC1B 3DG
Main Historic Period: All
Link to featured article: The British Museum - origins, controversy and internationalism
Useful Website Address: British Museum website
Tip/Nearby: Central London
Primary Management: HM Government

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).

County: London
Post Code: SW1 1AA
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: Nearest station - Victoria main line and underground. St James's Park underground.
Primary Management: Royal Collection Trust

Bunhill Fields is a former burial ground established in the 17th century (though with a longer history than that) and the last resting place for an estimated 123,000 bodies. It is particularly known for its nonconformist connections. Among those commemorated here are William Blake, Daniel Defoe, John Bunyan and Susannah Wesley (John Wesley's mum). The burial area is fenced in, and crowded; there is an open area, primarily used by office workers at lunch times.

Location/Address: 38 City Road
County: London
Post Code: EC1Y 2BG
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: The bodies at Bunhill
Useful Website Address: City of London website page
Tip/Nearby: John Wesley's House and Museum, Quaker Gardens
Primary Management: Local Authority

"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.

Location/Address: Buckingham Palace
County: London
Post Code: Sw1A 1AA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Useful Website Address: Changing Guard - official website
Tip/Nearby: Nearest tube St James's Park
Primary Management: Crown

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.

Location/Address: Strand
County: London
Post Code: WC2 5HS
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: End of the line for Eleanor
Tip/Nearby: Trafalgar Square
Primary Management: Local Authority

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.

Location/Address: King Edward Street
County: London
Post Code: EC1A 7BA
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: The ghosts of Christ Church Greyfriars
Tip/Nearby: St Pauls
Primary Management: Local Authority

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.

Location/Address: Clive Steps
King Charles Street
County: London
Post Code: SW1A 2AQ
Main Historic Period: Modern
Tip/Nearby: Nearest tube is Westminster
Primary Management: Imperial War Museum

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!

Location/Address: Covent Garden
County: London
Post Code: WC2E 8RF
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Covent Garden's website
Tip/Nearby: Nearest tubes Covent Garden or Charing Cross. Easy walk from Trafalgar Square.
Primary Management: Local Authority

An urban garden of remembrance has been created on the site of Crossbones Graveyard, a burial place for paupers, prostitutes and the unwanted. It developed from a late medieval 'single women's churchyard' - a resting place for the 'Winchester Geese', prostitutes licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to work in London's pleasure quarter, outside the confines of the City of London. The graveyard was closed on health grounds in 1853. An estimated 15,000 people are buried there in unmarked graves.

Staffed by volunteers, limited opening.

The post code is for the Boot & Flogger wine bar opposite.

Location/Address: Redcross Way
County: London
Post Code: SE1 1TA
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Useful Website Address: Crossbones' website
Tip/Nearby: Borough Market
Primary Management: Other
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