World-famous, of course, as one of the major global financial hubs, the City of London also contains many a brilliant attraction well worth checking out – especially if you’re staying in the area. Here are just some of them…
St Paul’s Cathedral
(St. Paul’s Churchyard EC4M 8AD)
With its epic nave and crypt, magical mosaics and magnificent dome, architect extraordinaire Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old cathedral takes the breath away of hundreds of visitors every single day. The big highlight is the ‘Golden Gallery’ – even if you have to ascend 528 steps to reach it!
The Tower of London
All those City skyscrapers may dwarf it, but they’ll never put the Tower in the shade. First a fortress, then a palace, next a prison and armoury, and later an army barracks, animal menagerie and now a world-class all-round tourist venue, it’s one of the essential City of London attractions for sure (whether you’re vacationing in a nearby Montcalm hotel London or not), not least because the Yeoman Warders’ tours are to die for.
The Bank of England
(Threadneedle Street EC2R 8AH)
Be honest, you only thought the centrepiece of the ‘Square Mile’ set interest rates and provided economic stimuluses and the like, didn’t you? Well, the nation’s official Bank also hosts a terrific little museum looking at the UK’s monetary, banknote and, yes, debt history (for which like St. Paul’s and the Tower, entry is totally free). You can even lift a real gold bar there – warning: it’s as heavy as a baby.
The Museum of London
(150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN)
London’s official museum is one of its best; containing, as it does, everything from the original key of the infamous Newgate Prison and fashions from Carnaby Street and the King’s Road back in the Swinging Sixties to the Lord Mayor’s ludicrously ostentatious gold coach – which has to be seen to be believed.
Dr Johnson’s House
(17 Gough Square EC4A 3DE)
Finally, a site deserving of pilgrimage for all fans of the English language, this is the residence in which Samuel Johnson, the 18th Century literary giant, not only lived but also compiled the first ever English dictionary across a nine-year period. Furiously active and prodigiously talented, Johnson also often enjoyed a swift half in the Cheshire Cheese pub across the road – so after your visit, why not pop in and raise a glass to the great man?