Top 5 Sights to See In Westminster
The City of Westminster is one of London’s largest and most central, and is packed full of some of the best sights and most famous attractions in London. From international icons to more local secrets, there is plenty to explore here.
Some of the capital’s most luxuriously appointed hotels are here, housed in beautiful old buildings and located along leafy streets near some of Britain’s best parks.
Hotels such as St Ermin’s, near St James’s Park, have that quintessential London blend of old-school glamour and modern edginess, smack bang in the middle of Westminster.
1. The London Eye
Located on the South Bank, opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, this giant ferris wheel was built for the millennium as a temporary structure. Luckily, its popularity meant that it’s now become a permanent fixture on the London skyline.
Book your tickets in advance online if you’re going to be visiting at busier times of year. It’s a great view from the top and the slow rotation means you’ve got 30 minutes to enjoy the ride.
2. Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms
London is packed with some of the world’s best art galleries and museums of all kinds, but some of the less visited ones are the best.
The Churchill Museum and adjoining Cabinet War Rooms offer an atmospheric glimpse into Britain’s nerve centre at the height of the Second World War, hidden below ground. Many of the original rooms and artefacts have been recreated as they were left at the end of the war.
It’s a strange feeling to cast your eyes over the same maps that the government used to plot missions and track territories.
The award-winning Churchill Museum gives visitors an insight into one of the country’s best-loved figures.
A stroll along Whitehall is an essential part of a visit to Westminster – the wide road that stretches down from Trafalgar Square and the iconic Nelson’s Column down to the banks of the River Thames.
This is where it all happens. The running of the country happens within the grand facades of the buildings lining this road, and along the way is Britain’s primary war memorial, The Cenotaph.
A self-guided walk down here will reveal the Ministry of Defence, many monuments, the Admiralty Buildings and of course, offer a glimpse through the wrought iron railings into Downing Street – the home of the Prime Minister and his deputy.
4. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
With their glittering, gold-tipped spires and fancy illuminations, these beautiful riverside buildings must have inspired architecture the world over. Elizabeth Tower is home to the huge Big Ben bell, which rings throughout the day.
A guided tour inside the buildings is well worth the time and money, showing you around the Commons and Lords Chambers – where all the big decisions are made and votes are cast – the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall.
Tickets can be bought for most Saturdays throughout the year and six days a week during the Summer Opening period, while the government is in recess.
5. Tate Britain
Ending on a high, free entry and always spectacular. A definite essential.
The gallery include works from the likes of Blake, Rossetti, Spencer and Stubbs. It also hosts the Turner Prize award, and features Turner’s Gallery, a tribute to the artist himself.