Walking Through London: A Trip Back in Time

This photo of London’s skyline taken from Tower Bridge illustrates how London is a combination of modern architecture and preserved historic landmarks. It is a great example of how new meets old as the Tower of London built in 1078 stands next to glass buildings such as the Gherkin which was built in 2001.

London’s rich history dates back to the 1st century AD when it was a Roman settlement on the bank of the River Thames. I have found that the greatest (and not to mention cheapest) way to understand London’s development and growth since its first settlement is on foot. By walking around the city with curious energy, I am able to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge London has to offer. Don’t let the on-and-off-again rain showers scare you away.

Studying abroad has been most interesting because of the sheer amount of my exposure to new people, ideas, and places. Each Wednesday, my Historic London class at the City University of London goes on a two-hour walking tour in a new area of London. Our blue badge tour guides give detailed overviews of notable historic events, referencing political, social, economic issues. Old buildings and oftentimes subterranean ruins stand next to modern marvels, creating an interesting backdrop for a discussion of how cities can balance the old with the new to retain a competitive business environment in the 21st century. The guides also comment on current developments in London culture and inspire me to seek opportunities to engage with locals and plan my own explorations.

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