My Top Historical Sites of London: The Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum

This post is not for the history faint-of-heart. *Nerd alert*

The Tower of London is one of the most infamous sites in London. The Tower has served variously as an armory, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. However, two most infamous urban legends about The Tower are about when in late 15th century the castle was the prison of the “Princes in the Tower” and the Ravens. If you haven’t heard of these two legends before, I suggest you visit The Tower’s website and learn. Particularly the story about the two princes is better than any historical fiction I’ve ever read. See, history is cool! I love the stories of The Tower so much that I bought a guidebook while I was there. My friends really loved seeing the Crown Jewels that are display here so there is something for everybody!

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London Through A History Nerd’s Eyes

When I travel, I am that friend that loves the dorky, guided tours. I want to know everything about everything and I think tour guides and detailed tours are the best way to learn. Partially, because as an amateur historian I have a great deal of respect for the amount of time and energy that goes into researching and preparing information for the masses. So my poor friends were dragged along on countless tours with me, but I think they enjoyed it and maybe learned something too!


Our first stop was Westminster Abbey. Standing in front of this impressive structure is really humbling. As an American, it is hard to grasp that this building has over 1,000 years of history. That’s over four as long as the United States has been in existence! Westminster Abbey’s age is reason alone to visit but it’s importance in England’s history, particularly political history, is an even better reason. Coronations, weddings and funerals for incredibly important historical figures have been held here since 1066. I could go on and on about the historical significance but the website for Westminster Abbey does a much better job than I could ever do,


If you are planning to visit, I would purchase tickets ahead of time on Westminster Abbey’s website and for the full experience, I would purchase an audio guide when you arrive. If you are going to take the time to wait in line to see it, take the tour and really appreciate what you’re seeing. Or you can do what we did, which is I tell my friends all about my dorky history knowledge and then we have a photoshoot in the cloisters afterwards.