London is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world and people from all parts of the globe come to visit it every single year. From the Big Ben to the Tower of London, this city offers an endless supply of stunning monuments that could make anybody fall in love with this British paradise.
But visiting London may prove to be rather overwhelming experience because there is just so much to do, to see, and to experience. And while there are numerous tours that you could take to guide you through the city, the one that we are proposing will provide you with a bit of every single type of charm that London has to offer.
Our suggested tour is around the buildings and sites funded by the British National Lottery. While this is not something that meets the eye initially, the UK’s official lottery operator actually has an important charitable organization that has helped spring some of the most important structures in the British heritage. When people play UK Lotto or the EuroMillions, they get the chance to win big but they also contribute to London’s development.
1. Cutty Sark
Under the patronage of the Honorable British East India Company, the mighty ship Cutty Sark was first launched in 1869. It has sailed the waters between China and London all the way up to 1877. Then, Cutty Sark was used for the transportation of wool from Australia for another 20 years, by which time it earned an immense cultural value.
In 2007, Cutty Sark sadly burned down, which was quite a significant loss for the UK’s heritage. But after a few years, the ship was reborn from its ashes with the help of the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund. While the total costs of the project amounted to a staggering £22.75 million, the ship was not only rebuilt, but it was turned into a museum, which opened its gates in 2012.
2. The British Museum
One of the most influent museums in the world, the British Museum, has opened its doors to the public thanks to a great ancestor of the National Lottery. The British Parliament organized a lottery back in 1753, which gave way to opening the famous museum. Its very first location was Montagu House and all of this was possible because of the Parliament lottery. The British Museum opened its doors in 1759 and it is up to this day one of London’s top attractions, as well as one of the most applauded cultural sites worldwide.
3. The Royal Academy of Arts
This is yet another massive cultural monument that art lovers from all the corners of the world come to visit every year. The Royal Academy of Arts is a massive construction that has been developed over the course of many years, and the National Lottery had a very important implication in the process. The Heritage Fund has donated £12.7 million to fuel the “Reveal, Celebrate, and Explore” project, which was meant to bring the Royal Academy’s greatest treasures into the digital era. What this entailed was constructing new areas in the museum, as well as a comprehensive restoration of several historic sites. The project is set to be completed in 2018 and it is expected to be a brilliant success.
4. Millennium Bridge
One of the newest projects of the National Lottery Heritage Fund is Millennium Bridge, a steel suspension bridge over the River Thames meant for pedestrians. The bridge was meant to link London to Bankside and it is located between two other bridges: Blackfriars Railway Bridge and Southwark Bridge. While the bridge opening which took place in June 2000 turned out to be a rocky experience due to some construction malfunctions that earned the bridge its nickname of Wobbly Bridge, Millennium Bridge is now one of the favorites among tourists.
5. Jimi Hendrix’s Home
We are going to finish our lottery themed tour of London with one of the most impressive projects carried out by the National Lottery. Its donation of £1.2 million has fueled the restoration of Jimi Hendrix’s home. The apartment where he lived with his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, on Brook Street 23 in London, is now open to Hendrix fans who want to see for themselves where the musician has lived all of these years.