London

Some of my Favorite Highlights:

  • Sherlock Holmes Museum
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, located on the southern side of the river Themes. As such, it was technically not within London’s city limits and therefore could operate. Players were considered “vagabonds,” a legal status which subjected a person to arrest, whipping or branding unless he (because there were no women players) was a liveried servant. Thus, companies like “Lord Chamberlain’s Men” were born. In fact, these areas just outside the jurisdiction of London were known as “liberties,” as they were free from manorial rule or obligations to the crown. 
  • The Tower was built by William the Conqueror to protect himself from the Londoners (who were primarily Anglo-Saxon), ironically, the Tower became a symbol of London. Since William, it was used as a royal residence and stronghold, as well as a prison and a place of execution (for those with noble blood). At one point, the Tower was home to the royal menagerie, which is commemorated now with statues of different animals who once called the Tower home. Ravens actually still live at the Tower and are taken care of by a Raven Master. Legend has it, once the ravens leave the Tower, London will fall.   
  • The British Library houses one of four surviving copies of the Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215. Many modern democracies, including the United States, cite the Magna Carta as the starting point for their own foundation documents.
  • The British Museum
  • The National Gallery
  • Westminster Abbey
  • The Making of Harry Potter
  • A Chelsea Football Game
  • Although technically not in London, Hampton Court Palace is definitely worth a trip, especially for history buffs. The Fountain Court was designed by Christopher Wren, one of the most popular architects of the 17th century (He also designed the memorial to the Great Fire).  In fact, his gravestone states, “If you seek his memorial, look around you.”  Construction of the Court began in 1700 as part of a rebuilding project taken on by William and Mary.  They desired to create a baroque palace to replace parts of the old Tudor palace.