The United Kingdom sits just off continental Europe. Though separated only by the narrow Strait of Dover, the country has long guarded its distinctive identity. London is one of the world’s foremost global cities. Here people from countless backgrounds ply the many streets filled with iconic English landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. To the north, Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds are beloved around the world for their English Premier League football teams. The Scottish Highlands are extraordinarily beautiful and favored destinations for nature lovers. In Belfast in Northern Ireland you can see where the Titanic was built and set sail on its ill-fated voyage. Known round the world for great shopping, culture, music, and entertainment, visitors will find much to enjoy in the United Kingdom.
The British Museum is one of the three greatest museums in the world. It features a rich collection of rare works. The museum was the first to display the Rosetta Stone in its Egyptian Hall. The stone stele is inscribed with a decree in three different languages, and was the invaluable key to understanding language and culture in ancient Egypt. In addition, there are more than 23,000 Chinese relics housed here, the likes of which are rare even in Beijing’s Forbidden City or the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
The London Eye is also known as the Millennium Wheel and was built to usher in the new millennium. This giant ferris wheel sits on the South Bank of the River Thames and has become one of the London skyline's landmarks. It is currently the most popular tourist attraction in London, hosting over 3.75 million visitors every year. Sitting in a capsule on the London Eye, visitors enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city of London spread out below. Once night begins to fall, the area surrounding the Eye transforms into a fantastical dreamscape. Taking a ride in the London Eye at sunset paints an unforgettable picture of the gorgeous city.
Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British royal family since the 19th century. Currently, it is the London location in which the Queen spends most of her time. The palace is splendid both inside and outside. Some of the more than 600 rooms in the palace include the Throne Room, White Drawing Room, Ballroom and Picture Gallery. At the gates of Buckingham Palace, the Changing the Guard (or Guard Mounting) ceremony by the Queen's Guard takes place at 11 a.m. most days of the week. It attracts and interests tourists from around the world. Marching with great pomp and precision to military music and shouted orders, the guards—dressed in traditional red coats and bearskin hats—do a drill performance and salute.
The London Tower Bridge is one of London's iconic landmark structures. It is a bascule and suspension bridge that crosses the mighty Thames. It is also a drawbridge. The two bascules can lift to an angle of 86 degrees to let river traffic to pass. On a visit to the The London Tower Bridge, you can stand with the Thames at your back for an unforgettable photo, or you can slowly stroll along the bridge's high-level pedestrian walkways while gazing out at the scenery on either bank of the river.