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Westminster, London

The City of Westminster (often referred as Westminster) is an area in London’s West End situated on the north bank of the River Thames. If you have not visited Westminster, then you have never been to London! Westminster is not only an affluent part of London but also the centre point of British politics, government and the location of the official residence of the British prime minister as well as the monarch.

Westminster is practically a city in its own right and the official centre of London. Furthermore, it’s the centre point of London’s history and culture with many of the city’s most famous attractions located here. Major attractions include the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern and the scenic Victoria Tower Gardens. Though Westminster is a historical part of London, it is a bustling area of the city with a modern charm rather than an old world feel.

Westminster by Colin

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official royal residence of the British monarchs since 1837. The palace is also the official setting for many state ceremonies and banquets. It’s a huge building comprising of a multitude of rooms including 19 State Rooms. Witness the ‘Changing of the Guards’, held daily from May to July and alternate days throughout the rest of the year. In summer, the State Rooms open to the public when the Queen stays at Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family.

Buckingham Palace by David Iliff

Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) is the home of the House of Common and House of Lords. The first palace was the primary residence of the Kings of England in the 11th century until destroyed in a fire in the 15th century. The current complex dates back to 1840-1870 - it took 30 years to build! This 19th century regal building is a fine example of neo-Gothic and Victorian architecture at its best. At the north end of the building is the Elizabeth Tower and at the top is the famous Big Ben that includes the celebrated Great Clock and Great Bell in the belfry.

Palace of Westminster by DaniKauf

Westminster Abbey

Neighbouring the Palace of Westminster is Westminster Abbey and has been the coronation church of the monarchy since William the Conqueror in the 11th century. This Gothic building has also been the location of many royal weddings and burials of past kings and queens. The original abbey dates back to the 10th century and was home to a community of Benedictine monks. Construction of the current building began in the 13th century during the reign of King Henry III.

Westminster Abbey by Paasikivi

Other Attractions

Tate Britain is a museum for British art and part of the Tate network that includes Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. The gallery is one of UK’s largest with varied collections from the 16th century to contemporary art from the modern era. The Victoria Tower Gardens is a small yet scenic public park situated along the north bank of the River Thames. The park features green open space, tree-covered areas and scenic views across the River Thames.

Visiting Westminster

Several London Underground stations serve the Westminster area. For visitors, the most convenient stations are Westminster Station (serving the Circle, District and Jubilee Lines) and St James's Park Station (serving the Circle and District Lines) where many of the attractions are located. Riverboats under the London River Services stop at Westminster Millennium Pier, which is nearby Westminster Bridge on the north bank of the River Thames.

Westminster on the Map

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