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Architecture in London

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Big Ben
The Houses of Parliament's iconic clock tower is one of London's most famous landmarks! The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, commonly called Big Ben, are among London's most iconic landmarks and must-see London attractions. Technically, Big Ben is the name given to the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg). The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated. Elizabeth Tower stands at more than 96 metres tall, with 334 steps to climb up to the belfry and 399 steps to the Ayrton Light at the very top of the tower. It is not possible for overseas visitors to tour the clock tower. Instead, join a talk on the Elizabeth Tower or take a tour of the Houses of Parliament next to The Elizabeth Tower. Alternatively, watch this behind-the-scenes video of Big Ben in action.
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Buckingham Palace
Visit a Buckingham Palace for a glimpse inside one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. During the summer, you can tour the 19 spectacular State Rooms. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.
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Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace, a palace of secret stories and public lives, has been influenced by generations of royal women. Experience life as an 18th-century royal courtier whilst making your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings from the Royal Collection. Victoria Revealed, set within the rooms Queen Victoria lived in as a child, is an exhibition that explores her life and reign as wife, mother, Queen and Empress. Diana: Her Fashion Story - Kensington Palace’s newest exhibition - traces the evolution of Diana’s style; from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Highlights include the pink blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981 and the ink blue velvet gown, worn when the princess danced with John Travolta.
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Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don't miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo. Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!
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Bramber Castle
Although now far inland, Bramber Castle was originally situated on the coast where the River Adur meets the sea. Built by the de Braose family it was confiscated by King John whose harsh treatment of Lady de Braose and her two sons led to the rebellion that culminated in Magna Carta.
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Frogmore House
Set amidst the extensive Home Park of Windsor Castle, Frogmore House is surrounded by fine and picturesque gardens. The house dates from the 1680s and was purchased for Queen Charlotte in 1792. Here the Queen was able to indulge her love of botany and laid out the garden with many rare and unusual plants. At one time the house was the home of Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. After her death, her son-in-law, Prince Albert, commissioned the building of an elegant mausoleum to hold her remains. Queen Victoria was particularly fond of Frogmore's peaceful ambience and it became her favourite retreat. Victoria and Albert's love of Frogmore lead them to break with tradition and build themselves a much larger and grander mausoleum for themselves. Favoured also by King George V and Queen Mary, they used Frogmore for entertaining during Ascot Week. Today, with its handsome house and tranquil gardens, it is easy to imagine the love Frogmore inspired in its former residents.
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St George's Chapel
Take in the splendour of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, the setting for the marriages of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle and HRH Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank in 2018, the burial place of 10 monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. St George’s Chapel is regarded as one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and is characterised by large windows and tall, slender pillars giving the impression of grace and elegance. The chapel features remarkable examples of medieval woodwork and ironwork. The magnificent Sovereign’s Stall, used by The Queen today, dates from the late eighteenth century.
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Dorney Court
Dorney Court is one of England’s finest stately homes. It is a Grade 1 listed building, renowned for its architectural importance and historical significance, and any visit is a fascinating and unique experience. Built in the 15th century, the Tudor Manor House has been lived in by the Palmer family for more than 450 years – this remarkable and characterful building has been passed from father to son over thirteen generations. “Dorney” is the ancient Saxon word for “island of bees” and the estate remains famous for its honey which is still produced to this day. The very first pineapple to be raised in England was grown at Dorney Court and presented to Charles II in 1661 and the spectre of a bald lady haunts the wood-panelled hallways. Dorney Court is very much a family home and visitors will find that the House and Grounds have an easy charm and a warmth of welcome that reflect continuing family use and the passion and love of everyone involved with the Estate. Dorney Court has been used as a film and TV location since the 1970s. The House and Grounds have featured in a wide range of productions including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, Inspector Morse and Poirot. When you visit Dorney Court, you will find rooms full of history. Oak and beautiful lacquer furniture compete for space with family portraits and treasures collected over six centuries.
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Temple Manor
A rare surviving 13th-century house belonging to the Knights Templar - an order of soldiers established in the crusading period to protect the holy lands and the pilgrims who travelled to them. Its original purpose was to provide lodgings and fresh horses for members of this order on their way to and from the crusades. The stone building that exists today once formed part of a larger range of buildings which included a hall, kitchens, barns and stables. Remains of 13th-century wall plaster can still be seen.
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Rochester Castle
The great keep of Rochester Castle towers over the River Medway, dominating the skyline together with its striking twin, the magnificent cathedral.
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Rochester Cathedral
Experience a spiritual moment in Rochester Cathedral and visit a church that has been celebrating Christian worship since 604AD. The history and heritage of Rochester Cathedral is boasted in its stunning architecture. Its walls hum with the prayer of thousands of years.
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Six Poor Travellers House
A Tudor charity house founded by the Elizabethan MP Richard Watts to provide board and lodgings for six poor travellers and continued to do so right up to the Second World War. The house and charity are immortalised in Dickens' Christmas short story entitled The Seven Poor Travellers. A courtyard and herb garden attracts many visitors in the summer.
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Restoration House
Fabled city mansion, stayed in by Charles II on eve of his restoration and the Satis House of Great Expectations. Superbly poetic interiors with a wonderful collection of English furniture and paintings, including several Gainsboroughs and Reynolds and rare Constable portraits. A good collection of English pottery and treen. The deliciously maintained twin-walled gardens of an acre now complemented by the ongoing restoration of monumental renaissance garden.
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Eastgate House
Once the family home of Sir Peter Buck, a senior officer at the Royal Tudor Dockyard, the house has also been a Victorian boarding school, a hostel, a museum and an inspiration to the great author Charles Dickens. As part of a £2.2million Heritage Lottery Funded project, Eastgate House has undergone major refurbishment works and is now open to the public. Many of the building's original features and decorative schemes have been carefully restored, and new heating and lighting have been installed. Access has been greatly improved with a new lift at the back of the building, and the second floor of the house is open to visitors for the first time in more than 40 years. Visitors to the house can explore the amazing rooms of the house while learning the remarkable story of those who lived, worked and played here throughout the centuries.
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Windsor Castle
No trip to Windsor could possibly be complete without a visit to amazing Windsor Castle, the family home to British kings and queens for over 1,000 years. The size of the Castle (5.3 hectares/13 acres) is breathtaking, in fact, it is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and it’s where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends. You might even time your visit when she is in residence! Look at the flag flying from the Castle’s Round Tower; if it’s the Royal Standard The Queen will be there too. Over the past few years, the Royal Collection Trust has been busy transforming the experience of visiting Windsor Castle, and visitors are already enjoying many improvements to the visitor experience. The Moat Room, a new introductory space, now tells the story of the Castle’s 1,000 years of history. Windsor Castle’s Inner Hall, created by George IV in the 1820s as a space to receive official guests, has been restored and opened to the public. Now, for the first time since its closure by George’s niece, Queen Victoria, the Inner Hall serves its original purpose as a magnificent welcome area for visitors to the Castle. The medieval Undercroft has now been transformed into the Castle's first permanent café.
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Upnor Castle
Situated on the banks of the River Medway, this attractive turreted castle is set in a picturesque village area backed by rolling, wooded hills. Upnor Castle was originally built on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I in 1559 as a gun fort to defend her warships at anchor in the reaches of the Medway and Chatham Dockyard. Although the castle was an important link in the defence line, it was not well maintained and proved ineffective when the Dutch, under the command of Admiral de Ruyter, sailed up the Medway in June 1667 to attack the dockyard. The enemy fleet met very little resistance and when it left two days later, it had destroyed or captured a large number of the Royal Navy ships anchored at Chatham.
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Royal Engineers Museum
You will find something for all the family in Kent's only Designated museum. Exhibits of national and international importance are housed in the Museum's galleries, which tell the story of how the Royal Engineers have helped the British Army live, move and fight since the time of William the Conqueror. See the diverse collection with highlights including Wellington's map from Waterloo, Zulu War weapons, a Harrier Jump Jet, 25 Victoria Crosses and an enormous V2 Rocket. Discover why a large section of the Berlin Wall now lives in the Museum and how one soldier gained the respect of the Chinese emperor. There really is something for everyone at this unique museum.
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Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, having been established in 1728 as the Woodwardian Museum. Since then the collection has grown from about 10,000 fossils, minerals and rocks, to at least 2 million. A walk through the museum will take you on a 4.5 billion year journey through time, from the meteoritic building blocks of planets, to the thousands of fossils of animals and plants that illustrate the evolution of life in the oceans, on land and in the air. Also a major teaching and research resource in the Department of Earth Sciences, the Sedgwick Museum collections are a national treasure.
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Kings College Chapel
King’s College Chapel is a masterpiece of English craftsmanship. It’s part of one of the oldest Cambridge colleges sharing a wonderful sense of history and tradition with the rest of the University.
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The Bridge of Sighs
Neo-gothic covered bridge linking the new court of St. John's with the older original college buildings. Built in the 19th Century and named after the covered bridge in Venice, on which prisoners would sigh as they were escourted to their cells.
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Christ Church Oxford
Christ Church is located in the heart of the city centre and is one of the colleges belonging to the University of Oxford. It is also home to the legendary Christ Church Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. Today, Christ Church is a visitor favourite, well-known for its impressive architecture, entertaining evening choirs and the War Memorial Garden. Christ Church is also a popular film location with famous examples such as Harry Potter. Christ Church has been a site of religious worship since the seventh century. The present cathedral was built in the twelfth century and contains the shrine and tomb of St Frideswide, Oxford’s patron saint.
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The Bridge of Sighs
The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge, and instead it bears a closer resemblance to the Rialto Bridge in the same city.
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University of Oxford
Oxford University is the oldest University in the English speaking world and to date one of the best and most prestigious in the world. Countless famous figures and great minds have studied here, and any visitors are – no doubt – walking in the footsteps of many of them, seeing the same views that they had. “Where is the famous Oxford University?” is a question many visitors ask. the answer is: everywhere! The University is made up of 38 independent colleges, and their quads and buildings can be found all over the city. Many colleges open their doors to visitors at least a few hours every day. Many of them are free to visit, some charge a small fee. Opening hours can change without prior notice, and up to date times can be seen on the porter’s lodge of each college. In the colleges, visitors can usually explore the college quad and gardens, as well as the chapel. Some colleges also open their dining hall to visitors, such as Wadham College and Christ Church, whose grand hall was the setting for Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the Harry Potter films.
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Oxford University Museum of Natural History
A Museum displaying the University's natural history specimens including some remarkable Paleontological Collections. The museum is also the home to the last seen Dodo bird in existence. Today, all that remains from rot are its beak and its feet. The Museum was also the sight of the 1860s evolution debate between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, which famously critiqued the publication of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species'.
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Oxford Castle & Prison
Come and explore the 1,000-year history of Oxford Castle and Prison. Step back in time with our costumed guided tours and see fascinating stories come to life. Hear the great tales of Empress Matilda or the fate of Mary Blandy, one of the prisons’ most famous criminals. Step inside our padded jail cell and meet the notorious ‘Black Panther’, a vicious prisoner held here in the 1970s. Find gorgeous views atop of St. George’s Tower and then descend into the atmospheric crypt of St Georges Chapel. Here you can touch the stones were Oxford University was rumoured to begin and stand in the birthplace of King Arthur. Explore the austere confines of the prisons’ D-Wing and debtors tower, here you can wander the cells and learn about our youngest inmates. After your guided tour, you can climb the mound, the remains of a motte and bailey castle. Explore the attraction at your own leisure and dress up like a prisoner in our exhibition space. Sit down with a nice cup of coffee in our café, spread out your map and plan where to go next in Oxford. In the summer, we have Knight School, a medieval-inspired workshop which trains children into becoming little warriors. Our Shakespeare Festival is an Oxford summer staple whilst Ghost Fest is sure to give you a scare over Halloween.
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Oxford Playhouse
Oxford Playhouse is a theatre for everyone. Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide range of live performances. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre’s Learning team works with over 15,000 people each year through post-show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.
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Blenheim Palace
Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture landscaped Parkland and stunning Formal Gardens, Blenheim Palace provides an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Explore over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and 90 acres of award-winning Formal Gardens. Ride the miniature train to The Pleasure Gardens, a dedicated family area that offers a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground. A year-round calendar of tours, exhibitions, experiences and events reveal the sheer splendour of Britain’s Greatest Palace.
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Cogges Manor Farm
Discover the beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswolds and enjoy a morning or afternoon visiting the historic grounds at Cogges. Cogges is a Scheduled Ancient Monument with over 1000 years of history, with Grade II* Listed 13th-century manor house and 17th-century farm buildings. Discover the fascinating story of past owners ranging from Norman knights, English Kings, Oxford University college founders to tenant farmers and wool merchants, with links to Witney’s historic wool and blanket trade. Today Cogges is a popular visitor attraction for all the family. Explore over 15 acres of the manor house and grounds, walled garden, picnic orchard, moated islands and river Windrush walk. Children love to feed the farm animals and go wild in the adventure play and nature island, or try on hats, vintage clothes or hand made costumes in the dressing up parlour. There is also a sandpit, soft play and games from swing ball to lawn croquet.
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John Hansard Gallery
John Hansard Gallery is an internationally recognised and locally engaged contemporary art gallery in Southampton. Being part of the University of Southampton, the Gallery aims to change the world for the better through great art. To realise this the Gallery creates innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, events, engagement and research projects that excite, challenge, represent and reach the widest possible public audience. From 1979 the Gallery was located on the University's Highfield Campus. In 2018, the Gallery relocated to the new purpose-built arts complex Studio 144 in Southampton's city centre, significantly increasing the space available for exhibitions, events and integrated programming. Learning and engagement are at the heart of the Gallery and underpin all its activities. The innovative education and public programme are accompanied by special community-focused projects, including activities for all ages and levels of experience.
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SeaCity Museum
Based at the heart of Southampton, SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and historic connections with Titanic and the sea through three interactive exhibitions: Southampton's Titanic Story, Gateway to the World and the new Southampton Stories exhibition in the Pavilion. The SeaCity Cafe has a wide range of fresh locally sources food available
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Mayflower Theatre
Mayflower Theatre is the biggest theatre on the south coast. Their aim is to bring a diverse range of shows to Southampton, and present a mixture of spectacular touring productions, from musicals to dance, opera, drama, ballet and comedy. The Mayflower has its own on-site restaurant, The Ovation, where you can enjoy pre-show dinners.
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Tudor House and Garden
Southampton's most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location at the heart of the Old Town. Tudor House gives a unique and atmospheric insight into the lives and times of both its residents through the years and of Southampton itself. It appeals to visitors of all ages and interests, who find the family-friendly activities, interactive technology and fascinating displays and onsite cafe a winning combination.
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Medieval Merchants House
Within walking distance of Southampton city centre, the Medieval Merchant's House once stood on one of the busiest streets in Medieval Southampton. Under the care of English Heritage, it has been restored to what it would have looked like in the 14th century. There is a small back garden to the property which is planted with herbs which may have been grown in Medieval times.
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Elton Hall and Gardens
The Hall has been home to the Proby family since 1660. It is an enchanting house which has evolved throughout the centuries. Every room contains magnificent treasures, from late 15th century Old Masters to Reynolds, Constable and remarkable Victorian painters such as Millais and Alma Tadema. Each generation has collected books and there are three libraries containing over 10,000 books. One of the most remarkable is Henry VIII’s prayer book with inscriptions by him and his three children. The garden has been lovingly restored over the last 35 years with mature topiary, a Gothic Orangery and billowing flower borders set between immaculately cut hedges.
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God's House Tower
Southampton’s brand new visitor attraction. After a £3.1 million renovation, God’s House Tower will open later this year as art and heritage venue. Coming soon - inspirational art, stunning rooftop views, and 700 years of history!
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Key Theatre
Situated in Peterborough's city centre the Key Theatre brings great entertainment to the area with the theatre programme made up of 'home-grown' productions, national touring shows, local community productions and a full programme of one-off concerts. Also part of the Key Theatre is ‘Riva’ the fabulous restaurant offering excellent food, plus views of the Nene embankment, making this a stunning setting for city-centre dining. The Key’s pantomimes are renowned throughout the region for their quality and traditional sense of good, clean, family fun. And with over 30 years of experience, it’s no wonder that thousands of children have grown up enjoying panto at the Key and many now bring their own families too!
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The Prebendal Manor
Described as a hidden gem and dating from the early 13th century the manor is the oldest property in Northamptonshire. Included in the visit are a large recreated medieval garden, fish ponds and dovecote. The Tithe Barn museum houses artefacts from the archaeological excavations and the history of Nassington. The Manor is an affordable and fun place for families. A children's trail, corn grinding, pottery making in the holidays, quill pen writing, dressing up the farm animals add to the enjoyment. The manor and gardens provide a unique experience for groups, with guided tours of the manor and gardens. Morning coffee or homemade teas are available. Lunch can be provided by prior arrangement.
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Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
Located in one of the city's most historic buildings, Peterborough Museum has a wealth of stories to fascinate and enthral all the family. There are some amazing objects and interactive displays for all ages. The collections comprise over 200,000 items of great national and international importance. " Explore the historic building and its story: from private house to hospital and museum. Go inside the original Victorian Operating Theatre to learn about the grisly history of surgery. " Visit an underwater world! See the internationally important collection of fossils of Jurassic sea-monsters and find out more about the creatures that swam in our prehistoric seas over 150 million years ago. " Discover the story of the world's first prisoner of war camp, built 200 years ago during the Napoleonic Wars. See inside one of the cells and view the incredibly intricate items made by the French prisoners. " Learn about the story of Peterborough, from prehistory to the present. Come face-to-face with Britain's oldest murder victim, see Roman and Saxon treasures, look inside a Victorian railway cottage and clock in to find out what Peterborough companies have made over the last century.
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