A Historical Walk through London: Tracing the City's Past

Val Watson
Authored by Val Watson
Posted Monday, November 27, 2023 - 8:56am

Travel back in time to when London was the capital of the most industrialized country in the world. Discover what remains of its industrial past: foundries, tide mills, docks and canals, breweries, power stations... London's charm has been with us from day one. Yes, the city is sometimes (often) gray, but with its unique magnetism, it attracts, it intoxicates, it makes you fall in love. Day or night, Monday to Sunday, it lives. London's museums and galleries, bridges, rehabilitated districts, markets, monuments, hidden spots known only to Londoners - you'll see it all!

Set aside a day, grab some comfortable shoes for that 7km walk, and follow the guide! Alternatively, consider exploring the convenience of electric car hire in London with Rental24.co.uk. There are numerous options available for hiring a car with flexible booking policies and free cancellation. This ensures that you can select the most advantageous deal and enjoy complete flexibility to adjust your plans at the last minute if necessary.

Historical Landmarks of London

History may remind you of the Industrial Revolution in London of the 18th century. One of mankind's greatest upheavals. Steam engines, trains, boats, factories, chimneys. Brick houses, muddy then cobbled streets, heaps of coal, thick, dirty smoke, tired workers of all ages, triumphant capitalism, the end of the peasantry.

The Tower of London

As soon as you step off the Tube, London's medieval royal keep, the Tower of London, will put you right in the middle of the monuments. The Tower is open to visitors and includes the Queen's famous jewels. It's one of the most visited places in London. Expect to wait a while. The visit costs £24 (€28).

Saint Katharine Docks

This is the capital's most confidential marina. Saint Katharine is home to some of the world's finest sailing yachts and chic boats. Mooring here costs a small fortune, but for some, this luxury is priceless. Stroll along the blue-painted wooden boats moored along the pontoon. It's hard to believe you're in the British capital.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the world's most famous bridges. Its towers, its blue and white colours, with the Thames and the Tower of London in the background. Did you know that twice a day, the bridge lifts in the middle to let the big boats pass? In the middle of the bridge, you'll notice the separation between the two sections.

If you're dreaming of the perfect photo, wait for a London cab or red bus to pass over the bridge, with the Tower of London in the background. The colours in your photo will be perfect! At the end of the bridge, go down the stairs on your left.

Shad Thames Docks

Here you'll discover London's rehabilitated old docks. A space that once teemed with cargo and sailors. Today, artists' stores, trendy boutiques and dozens of restored metal walkways create an infinite space of connection. Impressive.

Borough Market

The ideal market for your lunch on the go is Borough Market. To get there, when you take the stairs back up to London Bridge, turn left and go under the bridge. Then go straight across. The market entrance is on the right.

Leadenhall Market

Continue straight on across the bridge to Leadenhall Market. This small, little-visited covered market will literally take you back in time. The stores are dressed in purple and gold, and the gold and glass roofs sparkle in the morning light. A delight for the eyes! Don't you think this market has a touch of Harry Potter about it?

London City Hall and The Shard

The cobbled passage along the Thames begins here. It takes you right up to Big Ben! Turn around and you'll have one of the best views of Tower Bridge. Want a photo of yourself in front of the bridge? Sit down on the ledge. The light is perfect here in the morning.

The large round modern building on your left is London City Hall. It faces the Tower of London, a beautiful vision of the founding past confronting the modern, forward-looking present.


Turn right at the church to return to London Bridge. Cross the bridge on the right-hand side. You'll see a lovely view of Tower Bridge. After the bridge, you'll see Monument on your right. This gold-roofed column commemorates the victims of the Great Fire of London in 1666. The city burned for several weeks, leaving its mark on the whole of Europe at the time.

Want to climb it? For £9 (€12) you can climb to the top of the column.

London's Parks and Gardens: most beautiful spots of the city

London's parks and gardens are bits of countryside, places to visit for their character, to stroll, picnic, play sport or watch the birds and squirrels. London has a huge number of green spaces.

Hyde Park, the largest

Once the property of Westminster Abbey, then the royal hunting ground of Henry VII, Hyde Park, together with Kensington Gardens to the west, forms the largest park in central London. Measurements: 2.5 km long by 2 km wide!

Saint James Park, the most royal

Between Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards Parade esplanade, Saint James Park is at the heart of all official ceremonies in London: coronations, weddings, military parades....

Regent's Park, the most poetic

Regent's Park was designed in 1814 on a former royal hunting ground by John Nash, architect and town planner to the regent and future George IV. The idea was to create a palace and a series of pavilions "overlooking the garden" for the prince and his friends. The palace never saw the light of day, but Nash's elegant columned villas adorn the south of the park.

Chelsea Physic Garden, the most learned

In the heart of the chic Chelsea district, near the banks of the River Thames, lies an astonishing London botanical garden. Thanks to its enclosed walls and proximity to the river, it enjoys a micro-climate favourable to plants from all over the world.


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