Trafalgar Square offers a wide array of things to see and do in every season -- from imperial monuments to world-class museums, beautiful parks to upscale shops and restaurants, the area is packed with the best London has to offer.
Trafalgar Square honors Britain's greatest naval commander, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. During the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Nelson led a fleet of 27 British Navy ships against 33 French and Spanish ships. He helped defeat an enemy of superior strength without losing a single British ship. It was this battle that turned the tide of the Napoleonic Wars and prevented England from being invaded. The nation honored Nelson by naming Trafalgar Square after that decisive battle and placing a statue of the Admiral atop the 151-foot granite column in its center.
St. James Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. One of the main attractions of this 58 acre park is that it is surrounded by three palaces: the oldest being Westminster, now known as the Houses of Parliament, St. James Palace and the best known, Buckingham Palace. Other attractions the Park offers are classical and popular music events, cafes, gardens, statues, monuments and open-air theatre productions.
|Address:||Park Office, The Store Yard, Horse Guards Approach|
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7930 1793|
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Her Majesty, The Queen. Originally a town house built by the Duke of Buckingham, it eventually evolved into a 775 room palace. Visitors are permitted to tour the 19 State Rooms, including the Throne Room, Picture Gallery and Ballroom, the largest room in Buckingham Palace used for investitures and State Banquets. All the rooms in the Palace are well appointed with some of the greatest treasures and works of art from the Royal Collection including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Canaletto and sculptures by Canova and Chantrev. There is also the option of an extended visitor route which includes a walk through the south side of the Palace garden. Please visit their website for more information.
London SW1A 1AA
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7766 7300|
Originally named the Palace of Westminster, this was the home of the royal family till a fire in 1512 forced King Henry VIII to move his residence. It was then rebuilt and used as a gathering place by the Lords to discuss taxation, politics and laws. Over time, knights and other local officials were appointed to oversee the various counties and the Lords took on a more formal role in lawmaking and government. Around the 14th century two distinct councils had evolved - the House of the Commons which consisted of the knights and local officials and the House of Lords made up of nobility and clergy. To this very day both Houses congregate here and decide on Britain's future.
House of Commons
Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7219 4602|
One of the 8 official Royal Parks, Green Park is the smallest and the busiest covering an area of 53 acres most of which is rolling grassland and mature trees, peaceful retreat in the middle of London's hustle and bustle. Open to the public all year round.
The Green Park
London. SW1A 1EE
|Tel:||+44 (0) 20 7930 1793|
One of London's most recognized landmarks is St. Stephen's Tower more commonly known as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually the massive bell inside the clock tower that was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall. The BBC aired its first broadcast of the bells tolling on New Year's Eve in 1923. During the Second World War, part of the Houses of Parliament was destroyed by a bomb; the clock remained functional and became a notorious symbol of resilience for all Londoners.
20 Dean's Yard
Westminster Abbey, London SW1P 3PA
|Tel:||+44 (0) 20 7222 5152|
The official parish church for Buckingham Palace was designed and completed by James Gibbs in 1726. The church is open to the public at all times of the day and is known for its work for the homeless which is grounded in the life of its patron saint - Martin. In the crypt of the Church is a cafe where Jazz festivals and lunch time concerts are held. All proceeds from such events go to the activities of the Church with the homeless.
London WC2N 4JJ
|Tel:||+44 (0) 20 7766 1100|
Covent Garden originally known as "Convent Garden" was a kitchen garden which provided fruits and vegetables for the Convent or Abbey of St. Peter, Westminster during the middle ages. Covent Garden provides a real taste of cosmopolitan London. It has everything from world class shopping to local markets and from renowned arts, crafts and theatre productions to street performers and souvenir shops.
19 Shorts Gardens
London WC2H 9AW
|Tel:||+44 (0) 20 7240 9731|
This is one of London's most highly acclaimed galleries which displays Western European paintings from about 1250-1900. Prominent works of art include pieces by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, Turner, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt and Gainsborough. Please visit their website for a schedule of special exhibitions, lectures, video and audio-visual programs, guided tours and holiday events for children and adults.
The National Gallery
London WC2N 5DN
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7747 2885|
The British Museum in London is one of the world's largest and most important museums and holds in its collections over seven million items from every continent. Its main purpose is to shed light and document the story of human culture from the beginning of time. As with all other national museums and art galleries in Britain, the Museum charges no admission fee, although charges may apply for some temporary special exhibitions.
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7323 8299|
The Natural History Museum is one of three largest museums on Exhibition Road, London (the others being The Victoria & Albert Museum and The Science Museum.) It was opened to the public in 1881 but its history goes back to 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane a physician, left his collection to the nation. There are five main exhibits: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Paleontology and Zoology. The museum is renowned for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons, particularly the large Diplodocus cast which dominates the entrance.
Natural History Museum
London SW7 5BD
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7942 5839|
The Victoria and Albert Museum is commonly known as the V&A. Its exhibition concentrates on decorative arts and design. The museum showcases over 3000 years worth of architecture, ceramics, jewellery design, metal work, domestic furnishings, prints and paintings.
Victoria & Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7942 2000|
The Science Museum is dedicated to technical and scientific advancements and consists of a collection of more than 300,000 items. These items include models, apparatus, scientific instruments such as Stephenson's Rocket, Puffing Billy (early locomotive), the first jet engine, a reconstruction of Francis Crick and James Watson's model of DNA. One of the most important exhibits housed in this museum is the history of the steam railway and some of the earliest remaining steam engines. As technology evolves, new prototypes are constantly being added to the collection.
The Science Museum
South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7870 4868|
The Tate Gallery officially opened its doors in 1897. In 1992 the Gallery was divided into two main exhibits. The first was dedicated to international contemporary and modern art and second devoted solely to British art and artists. The focus of these exhibits was so broad and with new artists constantly immerging, they became so large that eventually they were separated into two museums Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
London SW1P 4RG
|Tel:||+44 (0)20 7887 8888|
If you like to shop, you will find the area around Trafalgar Square has everything from clothing to books to leather goods to gourmet foods. First-class dining experiences abound at establishments such as Simpson's in the Strand (100 Strand) or Just St. James (12 St James's Street).
There are many restaurants and pubs in the area - click on dining for more information or click one of the links below: