Obviously London is an exciting and huge city, and it's impossible to see it all in a day. However, I wanted to share a walk that I love to do when I feel like taking in the sights I like the most, and it's a walk you can do in a few hours at most. The walk starts at St Paul's Cathedral, sweeps past Somerset House, continues on through Westminster, Horse Guards and Buckingham Palace.
St Paul's Cathedral is the highest point in the City of London area, and was built in the late 17th Century, although the original church on the site was built in the early 7th Century. Renowned designer Sir Christopher Wren (architect of the Royal Naval College and parts of Hampton Court Palace) oversaw construction of almost 60 churches after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and this was his crowning masterpiece. Inside the atmosphere is reverent and vast, and really shows off Baroque architecture in a London than can occasionally be a bit modern and lifeless.
Somerset House is not really very well known - many people walk past its impressive towering front, but few go inside. The building housed the Admiralty (Royal Navy command) in the 19th Century and was a very important building when naval power and control was paramount in the British Empire. Now it is a powerful events venue, with its internal courtyard and dancing fountains, as well as many beautiful rooms. I went to a wedding show here, and it was the ideal place for fashion and colour to mix in a stately setting.
A little further down the river bank, down Victoria Embankment, you will come across Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament (same building) and Westminster Abbey across the road. The seat of the British government, this is obviously a vital building, but it is also creative, exciting and full of history and a sense of the past.
Continuing past the cathedral and government buildings, you will see Horse Guards (where the famous mounted soldiers still patrol) and then on down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
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