person viewing the london eye landmark

Iconic London Landmarks

London is known for its famous landmarks and structures. They really are a must see, if you’re in town. Complete your family day out in London with these top iconic landmarks.

It would be rude not to, right?

Here are nine famous London landmarks and how to find them.

Top Tip: If you are visiting with younger children, why not watch this bedtime story all about London (read by Elton John). Your little ones may be inspired to spot all the landmarks featured in the story (and maybe find a Raven or two!)

London Landmarks: Step Back in Time

Big Ben

Where:Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Zone: 1 on the Jubilee, District and Circle lines (Westminster Underground Station)

Nicknamed Big Ben, the Great Bell of the striking clock inside Elizabeth tower is a sound to behold. The bell can’t be seen from the outside, but from Trafalgar square you’ll get a good view of the impressive clock face.

Good with Kids? Not somewhere you will spend long at, but it is a sight to behold. Good to factor in en-route to somewhere else and a stroll across Westminster bridge is always fun too.

Did you know? Big Ben is the bell’s nickname, not the clock or tower.

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament - iconic London landmark

Where: Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Zone: 1 on the Jubilee, District and Circle lines (Westminster Underground Station)

If you’ve stopped off to take in the sights of Big Ben, you can’t miss the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is at the north end of The Houses of Parliament. Try to get a peek in the evening, it looks stunning all lit up and there will be less crowds.

Good with Kids? Just like Big Ben, you won’t spend long here but a good one to point out especially if your children have touched on Parliament and the Prime Minister at school.

Did you know? In the members’ cloakroom, there are purple ribbons attached to the coat-hangers, allowing MPs to hang up their swords as well as their coats. (Chris Mason, BBC News)

The Tower of London

View of The Tower of London - iconic landmark

Where: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London, EC3N 4AB

Zone: 1 on the District and Circle lines; Tower Hill Station (5 min walk)

Officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London,
and home to the Crown Jewels of England, the Tower of London is a castle on the North bank of the River Thames. Check what’s on and the opening times here.

Good with Kids? An awe-inspiring sight for any child, the Crown Jewels exhibit should get their attention. The entry fee is not cheap so we would probably recommend visiting with older children to make the most of the visit. Don’t forget to see the legendary guardians of the tower – the Ravens.

Did you know? The Tower was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, which led to the phrase “sent to the tower”.

Marble Arch

Marble Arch - iconic London landmark

Where: W1H 7EJ, near Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park

Zone: 1, Marble Arch Station on the Central line

Traditionally, the monument was meant only for Royals and members of the Royal Guard to walk under. Such an iconic structure, the area and even the Tube Station has taken on its name.

To fully appreciate Marble Arch, read a little about its history before you go. Read the story here and explore all there is to offer in the area.

Good with Kids? You’ll only spend a little time here. Take in the impressive history of the iconic arch itself and then wander into Hyde Park (you’re at the eastern side – beautiful and spacious). You can read our guide on London parks here. Make sure you have little ones on reigns or in a pushchair as it can be very busy around here. You’re right next to the world-famous shopping hub, Oxford Street. There are shops for everyone – including Hamley’s toys shop on Regent Street.

Did you know? The monument isn’t as impressive as architect John Nash had originally planned. The Victoria and Albert Museum is host to a model of the original concept.

Trafalgar Square & Nelson’s Column

Where: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 5DN

Zone: 1. Charing Cross Station, exit on Trafalgar Square.

To truly grasp the scale of the Nelson’s Column, take a trip to Trafalgar Square. Adorned with beautiful fountains, the site has been a significant landmark since the 13th century. Nelson’s Column commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Good with Kids? There’s so much for everyone to see in the square. It’s the perfect place for a little time-out. It’s busy here, but the water gushing from the large fountain is relaxing and really quite something to see. The four Landseer’s Lions surrounding Nelson’s Column are particularly exciting for kids to look at (and climb on!) The open space can be a welcome break to allow little ones to run around.

Did you know? Nelson’s column stands at an extraordinary height of 52m.

Tower Bridge

Where: Tower Bridge Rd, London, SE1 2UP

Zone:1 on the District and Circle lines; Tower Hill Station

More than 40,000 people use Tower Bridge every day. 244m long with each tower standing at a tall 65m, this iconic bridge allows ships to pass when the central section is raised.

Good with Kids? Definitely. See inside Tower Bridge and discover the history through inspiring exhibitions. Each month, a whole day is dedicated to family friendly activities. Download The Family Activity Day Programme here. There’s also a free Family Trail app and booklet for creative learning. It can also be particularly exciting if you are near the bridge when it opens – although there is no schedule for this unfortunately.

Did you know? In the Walkway of Tower Bridge, you can stand on a glass floor 42 metres above the River Thames!

HMS Belfast

Where: Now permanently moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2JH.

Zone: 1 on the Northern line and Jubilee line, London Bridge Station (5 min walk away)

This famous Second World War survivor was built for the Royal Navy and is now moored as a museum ship. Explore 9 decks and even the engine rooms 15ft below sea level to see what life was like for the crew on board.

Good with Kids? Absolutely! More than a museum, children can actually experience the HMS Belfast. Explore the ship and enjoy the interactive exhibition. Family tickets are available here (under 5s go free!).

Did you know? HMS Belfast was host to a fully equipped sick bay, two surgeon lieutenants and a surgeon commander.

The London Eye

London Eye capsule

Where: Lambeth, London SE1 7PB

Zone: 1 on the Jubilee line, Bakerloo line and Northern line – Waterloo Station

The capsules are climate controlled, so for the 30 minute duration you’re completely comfortable whatever the weather outside! Walk around or take a pew to soak in the amazing views from the pod. This is newest of the nine iconic London landmarks, yet totally impressive. Discover VIP packages for special occasions (with bubbles!); a perfect time-out for grown-ups!

Good with Kids? The rotation is only thirty minutes long and there’s so much to see. Who can spot the most iconic landmarks from this awesome view? Thirty minutes will whizz by – no one is getting restless here! They don’t allow snacks in the capsules, only bottled water, so have a bite to eat first to keep those energy levels up.

Did you know? The London Eye is Europe’s the tallest Ferris wheel

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral in London

Where: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD

Zone: 1 on the Central line, St Paul’s station

You can climb the dome (all 528 steps, if you like!), discover the stunning interior and soak up the impressive history of this iconic Cathedral. Destroyed on four occasions, St Paul’s has lived through three centuries.

Good with Kids? We’d say so. Children and adults alike are blown away by the awe-inspiring decor. Set over five levels, learn fascinating stories about the history and worship that happens here. Try the acoustics in the Whispering Gallery – kids love this (as do we!). Find upcoming events and book here.

Did you know? It’s dome is the 2nd largest in the world – 366 ft high!

Now you can plan these 9 iconic London landmarks into your day (or just a few – you’ll want to leave enough time for eats and drinks in this delicious multi-cultural food hub).

London Landmark Bedtime Story

If you are visiting London with younger children, this bedtime story can be the perfect way to get them excited ahead of time. All the famous landmarks are featured – so you can spend the day spotting all the places they saw in the story. Don’t forget to look out for the Ravens!