Sir Christopher Wren has left a lasting legacy throughout London.
But the municipality of the City of London, the 'real' London as some might say, is a traveler's dream. The roughly one square mile of territory reflects London's boundaries during the Roman settlement in the first century. And while only 7,000 people live here, about 300,000 workers commute here everyday, as it is now the heart of London's financial district.
The City's sleek and modern financial towers have a tendency to camouflage some incredible historic architectural gems. Tucked among the skyscrapers are some of the finest pieces of work by renowned English architect Sir Christopher Wren, all open and eager for visitors. Even if architecture isn't your strong point, take heart. Entire volumes have been written about the breadth of Wren's work throughout London, but even a quick visit will allow a traveler the opportunity to become acquainted with Wren's best work.
If you have just half a day to explore The City, here's the perfect Wren-themed itinerary.
Your destination is a classic British pub. Fleet Street is famous for Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese but its neighbour, The Old Bell Tavern, is far less touristy. Over 300 years old, it was built by Sir Christopher Wren. And it could very well be the pub whose walls you most wish would talk, considering how many tantalizing tales have been told here by its main patrons, members of the British press. Hot pub classics range from 9-12 GBP and in addition to traditional British beers, they also offer cider, rare gins, and even unique non-alcoholic choices.
Keep your eyes open for Temple Bar in Paternoster Square, next to St Paul's. Once marking the site of the ceremonial entrance to the City of London, it's another Wren "wren-ovation."
If you have good knees, a little extra time, and a thirst for photography, you can climb to the top -311 steps!- for an amazing panoramic view.
If you're spending some extra time in the area, ask about a combination ticket to see Tower Bridge as well.
What are your favourite architectural landmarks in London?
If you enjoyed this piece, you'll also like:
Loving London for Less
Tour the Tower of London for 55 Pence!
The 200 Meter Challenge: London Edition
Our Favourite Churches in London
A London Layover In Just Three Hours