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Guide to Central London
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GO Places in Central London

Places to Go in Cental London Two of London’s most famous landmarks are just a stone's throw from each other and are must-sees during your visit to London.

A delightful walk down the tree lined Mall in SW1 brings you to the doorstep of the magnificent Buckingham Palace [map]. Since 1837 Buckingham Palace has served as the official residency of the Monarchy and has only in the last few decades been open to the public. Tours around Buckingham Palace prove to be in the top 10 of most peoples’ itinerary and crowds flock to the Palace during the annual summer opening in August and September. Take a guided tour and see the splendour of this wonderful building. For more information visit Buckingham Palace’s official website.

The Palace of Westminster is home to the Houses of Parliament [map]. This includes the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Visitors are welcomed to explore the House of Commons and House of Lords by taking part in one of the conducted tours. Here you’ll get the opportunity to sit in on a debate from the designated area called The Strangers’ Gallery. Find out more at The Houses of Parliament official site.

If you haven’t had your fill of London buses yet, then pop along to London’s Transport Museum [map], Covent Garden Piazza, where you’ll find more than 37,000 transport-related artefacts in the huge museum depot. See what life was like on the trolley buses or even earlier in one of the bone-shaking carriages. Children have plenty to do with a programme of activities just for them and there’s also a writer-in-residence who spins stories for young and old.

Take a sombre journey into war and conflict at The Imperial War Museum [map], Lambeth Road. Here you’ll find a history of the triumphs and tragedies of 20th century warfare as well as exhibitions recounting battles from hundreds and sometimes thousands of years ago. Everybody’s story is told here from the child fighters of Cambodia to the nurses and land girls of the World War II. This is a good place to take time out and reflect.

There are many museums in Central London dedicated to its many interesting and talented citizens. One such museum is The Sir John Soane’s Museum [map], Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The famous architect built this imposing and grand house and lived there until his death in 1837. Let Mr Soane’s legacy entertain you as you step through the grand doors of the house and into a place full of ornate marble sculptures and dazzling works of art. Once you’ve been here and found out about the history of the man why not take a walk through Soane’s London and visit the buildings he designed, including The Bank of England [map], The Royal Hospital [map], and Pitzhanger Manor [map] in Ealing.

If you’re looking for somewhere to take the whole family, a visit to The Impossible Microworld [map], The Market, Covent Garden, is sure to be a winner with the kids. Here you’ll find a vast collect of the smallest things on earth. See the Statue of Liberty carved into the eye of a needle, or two boxers, a referee and a boxing ring on a nail head. It sounds impossible but that’s what this museum is all about. Turning concepts upside down The Microworld also hosts a range of internationally renowned Micro-artists’ work and has a programme of constantly changing exhibitions.

Perhaps your offspring crave something far more gruesome, in which case a visit to the famous London Dungeon [map] should quench their thirst for gore. Step back in time to see the horrible history of London, including murder, treason, hanging and witch trials, as well as torture and ghostly goings on. Definitely not for those of a nervous disposition or young children, but if you’re feeling brave The London Dungeon is found on Tooley Street.

After all that gore you’ll be in need of some light relief and what better way to have a giggle than with a visit to Madame Tussauds [map]. The famous waxwork museum is located on Marylebone Road, and is lots of fun for all ages. Stand next to some of your favourite celebrities from contemporary culture right back to Viking warriors. There are even interactive shows now, so if you think you can put up with jibes from Simon Cowell have a go at singing to him. Alternatively, why not try your hand as a weather presenter? It's bags of fun and guaranteed to raise a smile on a rainy London afternoon.

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