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Known as both the London Eye and the Millennium Wheel, this huge 137-meter (450-foot) Ferris wheel on the South Bank gives a fabulous bird's eye view of London. The spectacular views from the top stretch as far as 40 kilometers (25 miles) in every direction on a clear day to include views of Windsor. Its inception at the turn of the 21st Century conferred upon it the title of 'the Millennium Wheel', symbolic of the progress made thus far and the promise of a glorious future. The London Eye has since come to be an icon of the city skyline, renown as the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel and one of the city's highest observation points. Each of the glass-encased pods of the London Eye can transport up to 25 passengers around its 120-meter(394-foot) diameter at a leisurely pace, a circuit that takes close to 30 minutes to complete. For the duration of the ride, the city and its many attractions lie sprawled all around for a glimpse of London's girth in a single sweep.
The grand and stately Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the British monarch since 1837. Although the origins of the palace go back to the 18th Century when the Duke of Buckingham built his townhouse at the site, the palace as it stands today is principally the work of architects John Nash and Edward Blore. The palace holds 775 rooms, each lavishly decorated with fine art by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Dyck, Sevres Porcelain, and rich architectural details in a range of styles. From the cream and gold palette of the Belle Epoque to the intricacies of the Chinese Regency, each room is a showcase of extravagant yet tasteful interior design. The Grand Staircase is perhaps one of the world's finest examples of bronze casting, illuminated by an etched glass dome, and the focal point of the palace, while the forecourt is the setting for one of London's most popular tourist events - the Changing of the Guard. The Royal Mews and the Queen's Gallery are other popular features of this royal residence that are also open to visitors. All of this is surrounded by manicured lawns and lush gardens alive with myriad blooms in summer, painting a picture of grandeur befitting Britain's royal family.
Named in honor of King George V's wife, Queen Mary's Gardens is a rose garden located within The Regent's Park and has one of London's largest and finest collection of roses. Visitors can peruse over 80 varieties of roses, that lend their color to this green space. The garden boasts of the 'Royal Park Rose', which is a variety exclusive to this garden. Contact +44 (0)300 061 2300, for further information.
Regent's Park offers a variety of facilities and amenities for the public to enjoy, including outdoor ping pong tables, a bandstand, an open air theater, elegant gardens and tennis courts. London Zoo is just next-door. A short walk away is Primrose Hill, a neighborhood that's popular with young and trendy families, actors, artists and other media folk. It is particularly steep and offers a superb panorama of the London skyline. Queen Mary's Gardens is located within the park, and St. John's Wood Church Gardens is also nearby, offering an additional tranquil retreat off of Wellington Road.
If you are in the mood for love, here's a great way to spend the day with your special someone. Take a long boat ride along the canals of Little Venice. Its landing stage is at the intersection of the Regent Canal and the Grand Union Canal. Or do something different like taking a long walk along the canal. A romantic getaway or a day out, Little Venice is the place to be.
Located to the south-east of the Hampstead Heath, is Parliament Hill, an open parkland. The hill stands 98 meters (322 feet) and is noteworthy, as it offers a panoramic view of London city's horizon. From its pinnacle, various attractions can be viewed, such as Canary Wharf, Saint Paul's Cathedral and others. This landmark has been host to various events like cross country running and other championships. The hill is an ideal place for a leisure walk, a romantic picnic or a fitness run.
This park was enclosed as a hunting park by Charles I in 1637 and still retains many ingredients of a medieval deer park. Essential to its character is the rich landscape of semi-natural acidic grassland, areas of bog and bracken, wetland, woodland and ancient parkland trees, and the herds of fallow and red deer that still roam the park. The resplendent Isabella plantation is especially noteworthy, particularly in early summer when the rhododendrons are in full bloom, but the park is lovely any time of year. Bring along a football, a picnic, go for a bike ride, in-line skating or take the dogs out for some fun and fresh air. There are designated cycle paths so you don't have to grapple with the cars that can also drive through the park. Open until dusk, it is the perfect park to choose for a few hours of fresh air or even for a day trip.