Trafalgar Square is a truly vibrant and historic area of central London, steeped in culture and offering a vast array of different sights to see and a variety of fascinating places to visit. Read on for some of our favourite things to see and do in the area…
See Nelson’s Column
One of the most well-known of the famous sights in the whole of London, Nelson’s Column was built to commemorate Lord Admiral Nelson’s epic victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. A Royal Navy Officer, Horatio Nelson was a highly decorated war hero, soldiering on in vain even after losing an arm and one of his eyes in prior battles – but it was the Battle of Trafalgar at which he finally died after infamously commanding the defeat of the combined might and strength of the French and Spanish forces. Today. An everyday reminder of his honour, the 169 feet tall Nelson’s column is often decorated to support various city-wide occasions and annual festivities, including every festive season when the European country of Norway gifts the UK a Christmas Tree – a tradition going back to 1947.
One of the top visitor and tourist attractions neighbouring the location of Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery provides an enticing glimpse at some of the United kingdom’s finest art and artists with a highly superior collection of portraiture dating from the Tudor-era right up to the present day. The gallery houses a variety of different exhibits seasonally, so you’re sure to always find something new to explore and enjoy.
See the Trafalgar Square Lions
The famous four lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square are the handiwork of Edwin Landseer, better known as a wildlife painter. Landseer at that time had no sculpture background or experience but was asked if he would design the lions via special commission from the then reigning monarch Queen Victoria in 1858. The lions are among London’s most popular statues, and a popular destination for visitors to the capital. Why not take a trip to visit them from your base at Piccadilly West End, one of the top hotels near Piccadilly Circus?
Check the Imperial Measures
Set into the wall of Trafalgar Square back in 1876, the Standard Imperial Measures – the measuring system of the time – were later supplanted by the adoption of the metric system in the mid-1990s. However for many years before this was the central space where visitors could come to check the accuracy of their own measurements, and it remains an iconic reminder of the UK’s measuring past to this very day.
Visit the Trafalgar Square Fountains
The fountains which surround Trafalgar Square are one of the area’s most easily identifiable features, with an array of different sculptures adding an extra touch to this popular public space. Designed by Charles Barry, the fountains were initially installed to reduce the space available for public gatherings, and first arrived in 1845.