Waypoint Tours | London Area Tour

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London Area Tour

by Waypoint Tours

Discover the incredible highlights & history of the London England area with this entertaining, educational, self-guided Waypoint Tour complete with travel insider stories - it's your personal tour guide for London area travel adventure!
Genre: Kids/Family: Educational
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  Song Share Time Download
1. London Overview
4:19 $0.99
2. National Gallery & Portrait Gallery
3:28 $0.99
3. St. James's Palace & Park
4:27 $0.99
4. Buckingham Palace
4:03 $0.99
5. Westminster Abbey & Gardens
5:23 $0.99
6. Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms
1:38 $0.99
7. Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
2:47 $0.99
8. Tate Britain Museum
1:22 $0.99
9. Imperial War Museum
3:07 $0.99
10. London Eye
1:48 $0.99
11. Tate Modern Museum
2:38 $0.99
12. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
2:08 $0.99
13. Tower Bridge & Thames River
3:50 $0.99
14. Tower of London
5:20 $0.99
15. St. Paul's Cathedral
2:57 $0.99
16. British Library
3:06 $0.99
17. British Museum
3:18 $0.99
18. Regent's Park & London Zoo
3:03 $0.99
19. Hyde Park
3:26 $0.99
20. Kensington Palace & Gardens
2:34 $0.99
21. Science Museum
1:59 $0.99
22. Victoria & Albert Museum
2:00 $0.99
23. Greenwich
2:16 $0.99
24. Stonehenge
2:02 $0.99
25. Paris Day Trip
1:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Waypoints Include:

1) London Overview
2) National Gallery & Portrait Gallery
3) St. James's Palace & Park
4) Buckingham Palace
5) Westminster Abbey & Gardens
6) Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms
7) Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
8) Tate Britain Museum
9) Imperial War Museum
10) London Eye
11) Tate Modern Museum
12) Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
13) Tower Bridge & Thames River
14) Tower of London
15) St. Paul's Cathedral
16) British Library
17) British Museum
18) Regent's Park & London Zoo
19) Hyde Park
20) Kensington Palace & Gardens
21) Science Museum
22) Victoria & Albert Museum
23) Greenwich
24) Stonehenge
25) Paris Day Trip

London Overview

London. Just saying the name conjures up an array of iconic images: Big Ben, the London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the London Underground,[DAS1] and more. The 2012 Summer Olympics represent the third time it has been selected for the Olympics and with good reason: it seems everywhere you look in the nearly 2,000-year-old city there is something new to see. Noted essayist and literary critic of the eighteenth century Dr. Samuel Johnson had this to say about London: “Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts.” While this may not be everyone’s opinion of this capital city, it certainly illustrates how much London has to offer both seasoned travelers and first-time visitors. Located in the southeast corner of Great Britain, Greater London covers an area of 1,579 square kilometers, but it is relatively easy to navigate via the Underground, also known as “the tube.” The city hosts a wide variety of things to see and do, including many kid-friendly and free options. To get an idea of the true London, pop into a corner pub or take in a football match, just don’t be caught calling it soccer! Since you are in London, where the weather can change drastically in a moment, take an umbrella and jacket on every outing. Come to explore the past, revel in the present, and peek at the future, but be sure to “mind the gap”!
In order to appreciate how London became the city she is today, you need to start at the beginning. The settlement that would become London began more than 500,000 [DAS2]years ago with the Celtic tribes, who eked out an existence along the Thames Valley marshlands. Some believe London was named for Welsh King Lud, who pre-dated the Romans, while others believe the city was originally called Lyndon, Celtic for “shadowy waters.” The tidal river Thames, meandering through gently rolling hills, has played an integral part in London’s history. In AD 43, Romans led by Emperor Claudius invaded England, built roads, and established trade and commerce routes. The construction of a wooden bridge just east of the present-day London Bridge attracted newcomers, and a grid of roads was laid out, making the area well suited for commerce. The depth of the Thames and its tidal zones made the newly minted Londinium an ideal place for the berthing of trade ships, and a thriving permanent settlement was born. The original Roman Londinium lasted only 17 years before Queen Boudica of the Iceni tribe burned it to the ground in AD 60. The Romans rebuilt and the new city prospered for another several centuries until the Romans, worn down by barbarian invasions, pulled out of England entirely in AD 410. Over the next 16 centuries, London would see invasions by the Goths, Picts, Danes, Vikings (who would come back again as Normans), Saxons, Scots, Geats, Jutes, Angles, Cambrians, and Frisians. Whether they invaded and left or invaded and remained, their descendants melded together and became the face of England.
London is a universal city home to a vast array of people from various cultures, many of whom came to avoid persecution elsewhere. It is an intriguing blend of ancient history, modern sensibilities, and promise for the future. Advances in art, architecture, science, politics, and religion all have root in London’s history. A trip to London can satisfy anyone, regardless of age, nationality, or interest. This city is the only place in the world where you can walk in the footsteps of a Roman emperor, kings and queens, famous authors, and modern pop icons all before afternoon tea. With an illustrious history rooted in the past and one hand always reaching for the future, London keeps reinventing herself.

Westminster Abbey & Gardens

One of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the world, Westminster Abbey has been the site of coronations for all English monarchs since William the Conqueror in 1066 and is thus known as England’s Coronation Church. Westminster Abbey, formally known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, is a Royal Peculiar. This means it is a free chapel of the Sovereign, exempt from any ecclesiastical jurisdiction other than that of the Sovereign. And many a sovereign has been made here, 38 kings and queens to be exact, including the first, William the Conqueror, and the most recent, Queen Elizabeth II (in 1953). In fact, Queen Elizabeth II was also married here in 1947 to His Royal Highness Prince Phillip. Theirs was one of 14 royal marriages to occur at Westminster, with the most recent being the wedding of her grandson, Prince William, to Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. Declared a national holiday, and eagerly watched around the world, it was a momentous and beautiful occasion held in a most befitting location.
More than just royalty is commemorated at Westminster. As you walk through the Abbey, you will no doubt recognize many of the names adorning the numerous tombs and placards paying homage to famous Britons. Edward the Confessor originally built this Norman-style church as a Benedictine Monastery. In 1245, Henry III tore everything down, except the nave, and rebuilt it in the Gothic style you see today. The nave received its own makeover beginning in 1376 and continuing through the Tudor reign. The last additions to the Abbey were the western towers in 1745. Today, you will see the typical cross-shaped layout of an Anglican church. Everywhere you go, transept to Quire, nave to cloister, shrine of St. Edward to the ten twentieth-century martyrs, including Maximilian Kolbe and Martin Luther King Jr. above the western door, history, heroes, religion, and royalty permeate the Abbey.
In the Quire, or choir, at the center of the church, the black-and-white paved area and the raised space in front of the High Altar is where coronations take place. Since this is an active church, the choir sings daily during term, occupying the beautifully carved bench rows here. The Pyx Chamber to the right of the Quire may have been the sacristy during the rebuilding of the Abbey. This chamber was once used to store wooden boxes called pyxes for the “Trial of the Pyx,” a public demonstration to show the coinage of the realm is pure by weighing a controlled sample. If the weight is off, the goldsmith has to answer for the difference! While the weighing was not done here, it was a secure location to hold the boxes in the thirteenth century. The wooden boxes may no longer be stored here, and the coinage doesn’t have quite the same gold content, but the tradition of the Trial of the Pyx carries on; they still run the weight verification each year for newly minted coins at Goldsmith’s Hall. Another highlight of the Abbey is the Lady Chapel, heralded as the last great masterpiece of medieval English architecture. Henry VII funded building this in 1503 with cutting-edge fan vaulting of the style at the time. Henry and his Queen Elizabeth of York are entombed behind the altar. Above the oak stalls hang the heraldic banners of living knights whose installations to the Order of the Bath have been taking place here since 1725. The [DAS3]Prince of Wales is the current Great Master of the Order, and his stall and banner are at the west end of the chapel along with the Sovereign’s [DAS4]stall and embroidered banner.
What may be the most popular spot in Westminster Abbey, at least for romantics, is Poet’s Corner, located in the southern transept. Here, beneath the large rose window, two beautifully detailed angel carvings adorn the arches. Poet’s Corner was not originally designed to be the burial place of writers. In fact, it’s first resident, Geoffrey Chaucer, was buried here because he was the Clerk of Works, not because he wrote Canterbury Tales. As the English literary tradition blossomed over the next 150 years, a more elaborate tomb was built to honor Chaucer. In 1599, Edmund Spenser was laid to rest here, creating a tradition of sorts. Spend some time in Poet’s Corner to admire the names there and ponder those that are not.
Even if you are short on time, be sure to stop by the Abbey Museum. Tucked away in the vaulted undercroft, beneath the dormitory of past monks, the museum space dates back to 1065. Here you will see a collection of effigies, including Elizabeth I, William III, Queen Anne and Henry VII. Other treasures to be seen are twelfth-century sculpture fragments, the funeral saddle of Henry V, and Mary II’s coronation chair.
Outside, stop at the College Garden. This plot of green has been the site of continuous cultivation for 900 years. In the eleventh century, it was the Abbey’s first infirmary garden. Today, the oldest surviving feature of the garden is the stone wall at the far end. The oldest living things in the garden are the tall plane trees, planted in 1850. Inside or out, Westminster Abbey brings to life British history in a vivid and detailed way.



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