London is known for many things, and although it is at the forefront of modernization and leading the world in terms of innovation, the city still has close ties to its centuries-old history.
If you’re planning on visiting the Big Smoke any time soon and want a taste of good old fashioned British culture, but don’t want to go to tired old places like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, here are some places you should try visiting:
149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London – W1J 7NT
The Apsley House was the home of one of the most notable figures in British History, Arthur Wellesley, who was more known as the Duke of Wellington. After defeating Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke of Wellington resided in the Apsley House, and many of the pieces of his art collection remains in the home, which is now managed by the English Heritage. The Apsley House is currently going renovations but will be open to the public again in Spring of 2015.
Churchill War Rooms
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ
Part of the underground bunker complex found beneath London, the Churchill War Rooms served as Winston Churchill’s shelter during the Blitz. Within the Churchill War Rooms also lies the Churchill Museum, an interactive museum where people can get to know more about this famous icon and discover what it was like to live underground as London was being bombed above them.
The London Hippodrome
Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7JH
Towering above London is the Hippodrome, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Today, the building houses a casino, but according to Mayfair Casinos, the building had once been a circus, a theatre, and even a night club. Regardless of how many changes the Hippodrome has gone through, however, its architecture speaks towards the decades that it has seen, and those who want a taste of modern entertainment mixed with classic London culture are told to visit the Hippodrome.
Highgate Cemetery, Swain’s Lane, Highgate, London N6 6PJ
They’re not always our first choice when traveling, but cemeteries hold a lot of history within their grounds. Highgate Cemetery, in particular, hosts the tombs of famous people such as Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Douglas Adams. If this is not enough of a draw, the cemetery also has beautiful architecture straight from the Victorian Age, with effigies and statues that are as memorable as the graves themselves.
Whitehall Palace, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ER
The only building in the Palace of Whitehall that remains standing to this day, the Banqueting House was built for state occasions and became a place for greeting foreign guests and dignitaries. This is also where, in 30 January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded in front of crowds of spectators. Oliver Cromwell resided in the Palace of Whitehall, and so did King Charles II. Although a fire burned down a majority of Whitehall Palace, the Banqueting House remains to be one of the most iconic places in London.