Tower of London
The Tower of London
has a gruesome history, as over the centuries itís served as prison and place of execution. In the 11th century its purpose was to serve as a fortress to defend the royals from enemy armies. During Medieval times it became a prison, and several royals were later executed here including Henry VI and Anne Boleyn. The last notable imprisonments were those of the Krays in 1952. Nowadays itís a far more salubrious attraction, and you can expect crowds of visitors flocking here to see the Crown Jewels and the displays of royal armour. Tickets are £20.90 and guided tours are available.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Housed within an impressive building, the V&Aís
collections focus on decorative arts. Founded in 1852, it is the largest museum of its kind in the world. Among the many items on display is an intriguing selection of musical instruments, Islamic ceramics and textiles, Japanese prints and fashion from the 18th century onwards. The museum now opens till 22:00 on the last Friday of the month, with a bar and DJs in the foyer. Admission is free.
Londonís most famous park hasnít always been suitable for a relaxing walk. In the 17th century Hyde Park
was rather dangerous, as it was frequented by highwaymen and other unsavoury characters. Nowadays youíre more likely to encounter tourists, and when the weather is good, picnickers and sun seekers, as amenities include rowing in the lake, swimming and playing tennis. Speakerís Corner, near Marble Arch, has existed since 1872 and is where anyone can stand up and voice their opinion to passers-by on a Sunday. The Diana Memorial and a monument dedicated to the 52 people killed in the July 7th bombings are also located here.