Must-see attractions in The West End

  • Westminster Abbey.

    Westminster Abbey

    The West End

    A splendid mixture of architectural styles, Westminster Abbey is considered the finest example of Early English Gothic. It's not merely a beautiful place…

  • Great Court, British Museum, Bloomsbury, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

    British Museum

    The West End

    With almost six million visitors trooping through its doors annually, the British Museum in Bloomsbury, one of the oldest and finest museums in the world,…

  • Evening Big Ben

    Houses of Parliament

    The West End

    Both the elected House of Commons and the House of Lords, who are appointed or hereditary, sit in the sumptuous Houses of Parliament, officially called…

  • Buckingham Palace in London, United Kingdom.

    Buckingham Palace

    The West End

    Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham Palace replaced St James's Palace as the monarch's official London residence in 1837. Queen Elizabeth…

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 22, 2016: Jamaican runner Usaine Bolt,  Madame Tussauds wax museum. It is a major tourist attraction in London; Shutterstock ID 460048255; Your name (First / Last): Claire Naylor; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online-Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: London with kids article

    Madame Tussauds

    The West End

    Packed with waxwork likenesses of celebrities, Madame Tussauds is kitschy and pricey, but makes for a fun-filled day. There are plenty of personalities to…

  • The Temple Church, a late-12th-century church in London, England

    Temple Church

    The West End

    The magnificent Temple Church was built by the secretive Knights Templar, an order of crusading monks founded in the 12th century to protect pilgrims…

  • Public space and tourist attraction

    National Gallery

    The West End

    With more than 2300 European masterpieces in its collection, this is one of the world's great galleries, with seminal works from the 13th to the mid-20th…

  • UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 2002:  The toilette, by William Hogarth (1697-1764), from the series A rake's progress. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); London, Sir John Soane'S Museum. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

    Sir John Soane's Museum

    The West End

    This museum is one of the most atmospheric and fascinating in London. The Georgian building was the beautiful, bewitching home of architect Sir John Soane…

  • Trafalgar Square

    Trafalgar Square

    The West End

    Opened to the public in 1844, Trafalgar Sq is the true centre of London, where rallies and marches take place, tens of thousands of revellers usher in the…

  • Tate Britain exterior

    Tate Britain

    The West End

    On the site of the former Millbank Penitentiary, the older and more venerable of the two Tate siblings opened in 1892 and celebrates British art from 1500…

  • Royal Academy of Arts

    Royal Academy of Arts

    The West End

    Britain’s oldest society devoted to fine arts was founded in 1768 and moved here to Burlington House a century later. For its 250th birthday in 2018, the…

  • National Portrait Gallery

    National Portrait Gallery

    The West End

    What makes the National Portrait Gallery so compelling is its familiarity; in many cases, you will have heard of the subject (royals, scientists,…

  • One of London's best small galleries, the Wallace collection is a fascinating window into the life of 18th century aristocracy

    Wallace Collection

    The West End

    Arguably London’s finest smaller gallery, the Wallace Collection is an enthralling glimpse into 18th-century aristocratic life. The sumptuously restored…

  • Churchill War Rooms

    Churchill War Rooms

    The West End

    Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill helped coordinate the Allied resistance against Nazi Germany on a Bakelite telephone from this underground complex…

  • Somerset House

    The West End

    Designed in 1775 for government departments and royal societies – perhaps the world's first office block – Somerset House now contains galleries,…

  • Interior view of the church of St. James Piccadilly.

    St James’s Piccadilly

    The West End

    The only church (1684) Christopher Wren built from scratch and one of a handful established on a new site (most of the other London churches are…

  • London Transport Museum

    London Transport Museum

    The West End

    Housed in Covent Garden's former flower-market building, this captivating museum looks at how London developed as a result of better transport. It's…

  • Westminster Cathedral.

    Westminster Cathedral

    The West End

    With its distinctive candy-striped red-brick and white-stone tower features, John Francis Bentley’s 19th-century Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood, the…

  • Covent Garden Piazza

    Covent Garden Piazza

    The West End

    London’s wholesale fruit-and-vegetable market until 1974 is now mostly the preserve of visitors, who flock here to shop among the quaint Italian-style…

  • Banqueting House

    Banqueting House

    The West End

    Banqueting House is the sole surviving section of the Tudor Whitehall Palace (1532) that once stretched most of the way down Whitehall before burning to…

  • St James's Palace was built by Henry VIII in 1530, and this stunning gatehouse is the only part still intact

    St James’s Palace

    The West End

    The striking Tudor gatehouse of St James’s Palace is the only surviving part of a building initiated by the palace-mad Henry VIII in 1531 on the grounds…

  • Built in 1828, Marble Arch is located in the northeast corner of Hyde Park, otherwise known as Speakers' Corner

    Marble Arch

    The West End

    Designed by John Nash in 1828, this huge white arch was moved here next to Speaker's Corner from its original spot in front of Buckingham Palace in 1851…

  • Piccadilly Circus.

    Piccadilly Circus

    The West End

    Architect John Nash had originally designed Regent St and Piccadilly in the 1820s to be the two most elegant streets in London but, restrained by city…

  • saint james park and Palace, london

    St James’s Park

    The West End

    At 23 hectares, St James's is the second-smallest of the eight royal parks after Green Park. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in grooming, as it…

  • No 10 Downing Street, home of the Prime Minster.

    No 10 Downing Street

    The West End

    The official office of British leaders since 1735, when King George II presented No 10 to 'First Lord of the Treasury' Robert Walpole, this has also been…

  • Regent Street

    Regent Street

    The West End

    The handsome border dividing the trainer-clad clubbers of Soho from the Gucci-heeled hedge-fund managers of Mayfair, Regent St was designed by John Nash…

  • St Paul's Church

    St Paul’s Church

    The West End

    When the Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones to design Covent Garden Piazza, he asked for a simple church 'not much better than a barn'; the…

  • Clarence House, just off the Mall, is the official residence of Prince Charles and his family

    Clarence House

    The West End

    Five ground-floor rooms of Clarence House, the official residence of Charles, the Prince of Wales and his consort, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are…

  • Soho

    The West End

    In a district that was once pastureland, the name Soho is thought to have evolved from a hunting cry. While the centre of London nightlife has shifted…

  • All Saints church

    All Saints Margaret Street

    The West End

    In 1859, architect William Butterfield completed one of the country's most supreme examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture, with extraordinary…

  • Two Temple Place exterior

    Two Temple Place

    The West End

    This neo-Gothic house built in the late 1890s for William Waldorf Astor, of hotel fame and once the richest man in America, showcases art from UK museum…

  • Handel & Hendrix in London

    The West End

    George Frederick Handel lived in this 18th-century Mayfair building for 36 years until his death in 1759. This is where he composed some of his finest…

  • St Clement Danes

    The West End

    Christopher Wren designed the original church here in 1682, but only the walls and a steeple added by James Gibbs in 1719 survived bombing in 1941; the…

  • St Martin-in-the-Fields

    The West End

    This parish church to the Royal Family is a delightful fusion of neoclassical and baroque styles. It was designed by architect James Gibbs, completed in…

  • Chinatown Gate

    The West End

    Northwest of Leicester Sq but a world away in atmosphere, this grand tile-roofed and red-pillared gate marks the entrance into Chinatown. Although not as…

  • Charles Dickens Museum

    The West End

    The prolific writer Charles Dickens lived with his growing family in this handsome four-storey Georgian terraced house for a mere 2½ years (1837–39), but…

  • Royal Courts of Justice

    The West End

    Where the Strand joins Fleet St, you’ll see the entrance to this gargantuan melange of Gothic spires, pinnacles and burnished Portland stone, built in…

  • Middle Temple

    The West End

    From the Strand, look for a studded black door labelled ‘Middle Temple Lane’, opposite Bell Yard and the Royal Courts building, and you’ll find yourself…

  • St Pancras Church

    The West End

    This striking Greek Revival church has a tower designed to imitate the Temple of the Winds in Athens, a portico with six Ionic columns and a wing…

  • Foundling Museum

    The West End

    Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital in 1739 for children abandoned or handed over by their mothers; when it closed in 1953 it had been the…