If you know your Henry VIII from your George VI and history is where your heart is, then there are plenty of historic places you should visit on a date in London. Here’s a list of ten places to go on a date that explores London’s fascinating past.
1) Tower of London
This historic setting has always played an important role in British history. Commissioned by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago, it has been a prison, a royal residence as well as a Norman fortress. Spend a day taking a guided tour and gain entrance to the Jewel House to see the magnificent Crown Jewels.
2) Museum of London
Spend a day exploring the Museum of London, which traces back London’s history from prehistoric times to the modern day. You’ll see fascinating archeological discoveries, interactive displays and old maps and pictures of Medieval London. Learn all about the Plague, The Great Fire of London and the English Civil War. This is the place to understand how London became the city it is today.
3) Shakespeare’s Globe
It’s 450 years since William Shakespeare was born, so why not visit Shakespeare’s Globe to see the world’s largest exhibition on Shakespeare. You can have a guided tour where you’ll feel like you’re taken back to the 1599 Globe and hear stories about Shakespeare’s plays and what London was like during his lifetime. There are also theatrical and musical performances as well as an on-site restaurant.
4) Guildhall Art Gallery and London’s Roman Amphitheatre
This is the perfect place for art and history lovers alike. There is a gallery which was established in 1886 and is home to some historic treasures dating back to 1670.
Guildhall Yard is a beautiful historic square which leads to the ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre, where there would be everything from gladiator matches to public executions. This Amphitheatre was lost for centuries then only rediscovered in 1988.
5) St Paul’s Cathedral
A gem in London’s skyline and one of London’s most famous historic sites, St Paul’s Cathedral is a must-see location. Join a guided tour and admire the stunning interior. Take a wander down to the crypt to discover tombs and memorials of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson. Be sure to also climb up and visit “The Whispering Gallery” where you’ll witness a highly unusual acoustic experience.
6) Cabinet War Rooms
The Cabinet War Rooms are famous for being the secret underground headquarters where Sir Winston Churchill led his government during World War II. The rooms are in the same state they would have been during the war so visitors can get a real glimpse of what life was like in Churchill’s bunker during this turbulent time. There is also a museum dedicated to Churchill’s fascinating life.
7) Cutty Sark, Greenwich
Cutty Sark is a remarkable 19th-century sailing boat that has undergone an extensive conservation, so it is now a museum which offers a glimpse of the clipper age. You’ll learn the different places Cutty Sark has been over the years and feel like you’re stepping back in time.
8) Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is one of the most important historic royal sites. Every King and Queen since 1066 has been crowned there and it has seen sixteen royal weddings, including the Queen’s wedding to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Seventeen famous monarchs are also buried there as well as Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton.
9) Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a spectacular historic site and the former royal home of King Henry VIII. Many believe it to be the most haunted out of all the royal palaces with reports of sightings of several of Henry VIII’s wives (Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard) roaming the hallways, shutting doors, and running to the chapel. You will be free to roam this gothic estate and visit the Tudor kitchens, the outdoor maze and the haunted gallery.
10) London Walks
The best way to get a full overview of London’s historic past is to go on a walking tour. London Walks offers tours based on themes, eras or locations, so you can go on a tour that explores Victorian London, First World War London or even Old Westminster by Gaslight. Go explore some of London’s most fascinating nooks and crannies and discover lost sites you’d never even heard of before.
London has an enchanting history and it would make an excellent date to go and explore some of its most famous historical sites.