Historical things you have to do in London

house of parliament

For history buffs, London is a true treasure trove of discovery and adventure. There’s always something to discover, thanks to the rich history of the city, which itself dates back millennia. If you’re hoping to uncover some of London’s key historical sights, then this blog should point you in the right direction of many of the biggest and best places for history fans!

Westminster Abbey

Without doubt one of the most significant historic buildings in London, Westminster Abbey has seen many of the city’s major royal events including every coronation since 1066. In its first incarnation, the abbey was built in the 11th century by Saxon king Edward the Confessor. However its role in royal life really began to take shape after the coronation of William the Conqueror.

There is lots to see on a visit to the abbey, including a number of prominent tombs belonging to the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Charles Darwin. Poets’ corner is considered to be a top attraction at Westminster Abbey, and this is where you will find many such final resting places.

In addition, the Coronation Chair, which was created in 1300, is another striking sight for guests. After a visit here you are sure to have lots to talk about at restaurants near Finsbury Square.

Buckingham Palace

The current home of the British monarch and the site of numerous political and social events, Buckingham Palace is the major hub of the UK monarchy. It is usually only possible to visit the State Rooms during the summer months, but for visitors who are looking for things to do in Finsbury Park and willing to take a short trip, simply walking up the Mall or seeing the daily Changing of the Guard can prove just as dramatic and intriguing.

Imperial War Museum

This impressive museum is dedicated to commemorating and exploring the role of worldwide conflict in shaping the world, with particular emphasis on wars in which Britain has fought.

Some of the key additions focus on difficult yet important subjects such as the Holocaust, as well as the role women played in warfare throughout the centuries. The museum is an ideal way to introduce yourself to some of these concepts, and has also been designed to be child-friendly. There’re also regular temporary exhibits which highlight topical and historical issues.

Houses of Parliament

Sometimes referred to as the Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament is a striking addition to London’s architectural landscape. They are also the seat of the UK government.

During their earliest years, the buildings here were used as a lavish royal palace by England’s monarchy. After around 500 years, they were transformed into parliamentary buildings during the 16th century, as King Henry VIII relocated his court after a fire.

This would not be the last time that the Houses of Parliament faced threat of extinction; the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 saw a group of conspirators (amongst them Guy Fawkes) hatch a plot to blow up parliament. Yet it wasn’t until 1834 that much of the original Palace of Westminster was destroyed, with rebuilding work carried out by architects Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin.

Key sights to enjoy here include the large-scale clock Big Ben, which is perhaps the most famous part of the buildings. Thanks to its historical significance and beauty, the Houses of Parliament have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are without doubt unmissable during trip to Montcalm Royal London.

London Roman Wall

First built between the years of 190 and 220 AD, the Roman Wall once covered an area of around three miles. It was designed to be defensive in nature, helping to protect what was once a Roman city, known as Londinium.

Before construction began on the wall, the city already had its own fort, elements of which were quickly blended into the new fortifications. During the intervening centuries, the wall was damaged or obscured by subsequent construction works and developments.

Despite these changes, it is still possible to see parts of the wall today in London, with the most significant section visible at Tower Hill. For visitors looking for unusual activities after using meeting rooms at London City, this is a fantastic option.

Highgate Cemetery

The final resting place of famed philosopher Karl Marx, Highgate Cemetery is also the place where a number of other important figures from history were buried, amongst them politicians and professional people.

There are guided tours of the cemetery each month, helping to illuminate some of these stories in an easy-to-understand way which pays tribute to their lives and works.

Cabinet War Rooms

Part of a larger underground complex which was designed to keep the government working during WW2, the Cabinet War Rooms are the space where Winston Churchill met with key government officials during this difficult time in world history.

In the 1980s, the rooms were restored to their former look and feel, and can now be viewed by the general public. In addition to the war rooms themselves, the underground complex also includes a hospital and a canteen, each of which are viewable in full 1940s splendour. As an iconic piece of London’s history, this would make for a fun day out before a visit to your Montcalm Finsbury Park spa.

Kew Palace

Built in 1631, Kew Palace is one of the key sights in Kew Gardens, itself a sprawling botanical garden beloved by locals and London visitors alike. This distinctive 17th century palace was once home to the Georgian-era Royal Family, and has been restored to reflect this original purpose.

It opened to the general public in 1898, providing a showcase of all things Georgian. As a result, a trip to Kew Palace is often regarded as one of the major highlights of any trip to Kew Gardens, particularly amongst history fans.