The history of London dates back over 2,000 years, so with such a long and impressive history it should be no surprise that the City of London is full of significant historic places. The City has survived war, fire and disease and when you are out and about, you can see sites that were important in each case, whilst being able to track London’s history from humble beginnings as a settlement not much larger than Hyde Park, to one of the world’s most important commercial, economic and cultural centres.

In 1666 a huge fire gutted the City of London, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and killing six people. The Great Fire of London started from a small fire in a bakery in Pudding Lane, which grew out of control, spreading across the city and destroying thousands of buildings. The Monument at Pudding Lane was erected in memorial to the Great Fire and is a must see on your visit. If you want to climb to the top of the 311 step spiral staircase to the viewing gallery offering panoramic views of Central London and the River Thames you will have to buy an entry ticket, but you can see The Monument clearly from the surrounding streets.

The Palace of Westminster, more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament are free to view if you are a registered voter in the UK. Both houses (Commons and Lords) have free guided tours available, but you must arrange it in advance with your local MP. The Palace itself can of course can be viewed from the outside whether or not you're a registered voter. The building is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and was originally built in the 1100's, fires destroyed what once stood on the site, but rebuilding it into what is there today was completed in spectacular fashion. This building has witnessed many historic events that occured here, from Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot in 1605 right through to the protests and demonstrations of the present day that occur around the Palace. Still one of the most influential political buildings in the world, the Houses of Parliament are well worth seeing on a day out and whether you go in or not, you won't have to spend any money for the pleasure of doing so.

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