London may not have the fantastic architectural marvels that Rome or Paris can boasts, but as the seat of the Crown and the British... The London Top 10 Hit List

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London may not have the fantastic architectural marvels that Rome or Paris can boasts, but as the seat of the Crown and the British Empire, the influence of London and its ruling powers has stretched further than any other. At its height the British Empire was the largest empire in history and for over a century it was the foremost global power. As recently as 1922, the British Empire governed the lives of 458 million people – equal to a quarter of the world population at the time and covered almost a quarter of the earth’s total land area, more than 13 million square miles. London suffered massive amounts of destruction between 1940 and 1941 at the hands of the Luftwaffe and as a result the city has become a patch work of the old tied in with the new. If you’re planning a trip to London so see the sights, here are what I consider to be the best of the best.

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1. St. Paul’s Cathedral – The dome of St/ Pauls Cathedral dominates the London skyline and is one of the nation’s most important buildings. Sitting on top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, the building took 35 years to build and was the highest building in the city from its completion up until 1962. Visitors to the cathedral can climb up to the top of the dome where there are 3 viewing galleries to admire London from. St Paul’s is also home to the largest crypt in all of Europe.

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2. Tower Of London – Built by William the Conqueror in 1078, the Tower of London, or Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress to give it its proper title, sits on the north bank of the river Thames and is home to the spectacular Crown Jewels. It was home to the kings and queens of England until Buckingham Palace took over the role in 1837. The tower has been used as a prison and held Sir Walter Ralegh for 13 years. The tower also played host to executions, most notably that of Henry VIII’s wives: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

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3. Buckingham Palace – The official London home of Britain’s Sovereign since 1837, Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II’s official residence. Buckingham Palace’s life started off as a town house that was owned by the Dukes of Buckingham in the 18th century. Bought by King George III in 1761, the Palace has been part of the royal estate portfolio ever since. One of the most popular sights to see at Buckingham Palace is the changing of the guards; the change is scheduled so check before you go.

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4. Trafalgar Square – One of the most iconic area of central London, Trafalgar Square’s centre piece is Nelsons Column which is surrounded by 4 bronze lion statues at its base representing the columns guards. The column was build to commemorate the death of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. Situated around the square you can find the National Gallery on the north side and the National Portrait Gallery is a short walk away on St. Martin’s Lane. Trafalgar Square is situated perfectly as a place to plan your day from as Covent Garden, Chinatown, Whitehall, Parliament Square, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are all within walking distance.

5. The Houses of Parliament – Located right on the bank of the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament, which is also known as the Palace of Westminster. Although it is now the meeting place for the two houses – the House of Lords and the House of Commons – it still retains its status as a royal residence for ceremonial purposes. It’s also famous for St. Stephens’s Tower which houses the bell, Big Ben. Tours inside the Houses of Parliament are limited but the building is still a sight to behold and is best viewed from Westminster Bridge or the South Bank.

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6. Carnaby Street – Moving away from the historical land marks around the capital, Carnaby Street is one of the retail areas at the very forefront of fashion. Located in Soho and close to Oxford Street and Regent Street the area is perfectly situated in the centre of London. Since the 1960s the area has been an area where the young have flocked to shop, work and socialise in the abundance of boutique shops and clubs. Today Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised area and still hosts numerous fashion and lifestyle shops.

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7. Saatchi Gallery – There are many art galleries in London and the Saatchi Gallery makes my list because it offers something a little different. Currently located at the Duke of York’s HQ in Sloane Square, Chelsea, the gallery is well known for going through different phases – from US artists and minimalism to young British artists and contemporary American art. The big galleries in London offer the classics, the Saatchi gallery offers something unique.

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8. The Natural History Museum – The Natural History Museum makes up one of the 3 large museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the other 2 being the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum. Is houses some 70 million items relating to life and earth and they are split up into 5 main areas – Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. The museum is famed for its collection of dinosaur skeletons with a huge Diplodocus featured in the main hall.

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9. Wembley Stadium – England is the home of football and Wembley Stadium is the home of England’s national team. The stadium was rebuild, reopened in 2007 and now has a capacity of 90,000 making it the second largest stadium in Europe. Not only is the stadium a must for any Football fan but the stadium also acts as a venue for major music events. So far the stadium has hosted some of the worlds largest musical acts such as Madonna, U2, Metallica, AC/DC, Coldplay and Muse twice.

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10. The British Museum – The British Museum is a little deceiving in name as it is not a museum full of old British artefacts, but instead houses some 7 million items from around the world brought back the Britain by the likes of soldiers and explorers. The museum is famous for its collection of ancient Greek and Egyptian artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone, an Easter Island Statue and the earliest known image of Christ.