City of Westminster

Within the United Kingdom, for a settlement to officially call itself a city, it must be granted permission to do so by the crown. There are special rights to calling oneself a city, other than the exclusive right to use the word itself. Within Greater London, an area known as the City of Westminster has the permission to call itself a city despite being relatively small in size. It is also a borough of Greater London.

The City of Westminster contains the majority of the most instantly recognisable landmarks of London and England within it’s boundaries. The likes of Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Palace of Westminster (home to the famous bell Big Ben) are situated within the boundaries. It is home the seat of the United Kingdom government, who reside officially – though not always in practice – within the Palace of Westminster. On a more cultural front, the City of Westminster also contains the West End; best known for it’s theatre and stage acts.

City of WestminsterThe borough as it is known today was originally created in 1955. As well as the original, much smaller, City of Westminster, the name was given to an area including the Metropolitan Borough of Saint Marylebone and the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington. The newly created City of Westminster has a population of just under 200,000 people and neighbors another small city within a city, the City of London.

It is what is within the boundaries of the City of Westminster that encourages tourists to visit, however. It is an odd fact that many of the landmarks considered distinctly London are actually within a different city entirely, in technical terms!

For example, there are many sites of historical significance with the City of Westminster. These include Saint James’ Palace, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and the Abbey Road Studios made famous by The Beatles. As well as this, any art lover will always wish to enter the City of Westminster, as it holds wonders such as the Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.

The City of Westminster is also famous for it’s more recent history; notably the world-famous tourist attractions that have been built within it’s border. The Planetarium is an extremely popular haunt for any London tourist, as is it’s sister attraction Madame Tussaud’s, arguably the most famous waxwork museum in the world. And, of course, no visit to London would be complete without the chance to photograph the Palace of Westminster and it’s famous bell and bell tower, Big Ben.

All of this essentially makes the City of Westminster unmissable for any visiting tourist, no matter what your particular interests are. There are 27 underground stations within the city, as well as the main railway line stations Charing Cross, Paddington, Marylebone and Victoria. It is possible to get to the City of Westminster on 10 of 12 underground lines (the only exceptions being the East London Line and Waterloo and City Line), making the City of Westminster not only a must visit, but an easy place to reach also. If you want to discover the beauties of this region, there are some great private walking tours to City of Westminster!