The capital of Great Britain and the Commonwealth is one of the most vibrant and exciting metropolises on earth. The 7.5 million inhabitants within its city limits make London the largest city in the European Union. Ever since it was founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, the city on the banks of the Thames has been a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and religions. Famous landmarks include the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace among many others, not to mention such famous institutions as the British Museum, the National Gallery and Madame Tussaud's. London is also one of the music capitals of the world, offering numerous venues for every type of music from classical performances in the Royal Albert Hall to electronic trends presented in the pubs of Soho.
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Great Britain's leading cities: From London to Edinburgh
London's oldest food market
London's oldest food market is held between Borough High Street and Bedale Street. The Borough Market has a rustic atmosphere about it. The stands offer British cheese, fruit, jams, meat and chutneys as well as delicacies from Spain and France. You can go grocery shopping here for a reasonable price and sample the wares.
Market is held on Thursdays from 11 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 12 pm to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm.
Residence of Charles Darwin
The Georgian residence where Charles Darwin lived with his wife and children from 1842 until his death is located in the small municipality of Downe. It is used as a museum that provides information about the life of the Darwin family and the origin of his theory of evolution. In addition, many original furnishings that were taken out of the house after the death of Darwin and his wife were procured again. The tour leads through the house, the greenhouse and the garden.
Castle-like manor house with a maze
This castle-like manor house dating to the Late Middle Ages is surrounded by a 1,000 acre estate, which has won several prizes for its landscape architecture. A Victorian garden wall surrounds newly planted flower gardens crisscrossed with canals and winding paths. There is a also a maze made of a thousand yew trees. A Gothic tower standing in the middle of the labyrinth offers a 360 degree view of the gardens and the manor house. Tours are available.
Residence of the Queen
This is largest palace in the world and also the oldest one to have been continuously resided in. The origins of Windsor Castle date back to the time of William the Conqueror. In addition to Buckingham Palace and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, it is one of the official main residences of the Queen. Lower down from this “English Versailles,” the Thames flows by on its way east toward London.
The Queen has been living continuously in Windsor Castle since her 80th birthday. She only visits Buckingham Palace on official business. You know she is at Windsor when the royal coat of arms is visible on the Round Tower. In her absence, the Union Jack is flown instead. The palace is open daily to the public. (from March to October: 9.45 am – 5.45 pm)