Before or after a half day tour of Westminster Abbey, there is a number of other cultural and historical sites within blocks of the Abbey. A visit to some of the more important sites will round out a day of touring Westminster. The most prominent site is Big Ben, the iconic landmark of the London skyline. While entrance into the clock is restricted, the area around the clock provides ample viewpoints of not only Westminster, but also of the Thames shoreline. Right next to Big Ben are the Houses of Parliament noted by its unique architecture style. While access to Parliament is extremely limited, once can view the façade of the building from different viewpoints that truly speaks to its importance. Website: http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/building/palace/big-ben/
The Jewel Tower is within walking distance of the Big Ben and Parliament. This building once housed the Crown Jewels before they were moved to the Tower Of London. Unlike most other museums or monuments, the Jewel Tower can be rented out by private parties so check with the museum before planning your visit to make sure access is available. Website: http://www.london-attractions.info/jewel-tower.htm
The real attraction in the area is the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms located across from St. James Park. The museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command center throughout the Second World War, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical museum exploring the life of British statesman Winston Churchill. Website: http://www.london-attractions.info/churchill-museum-&-cabinet-war-rooms.htm
Construction of the Cabinet War Rooms, located beneath the Treasury building in the Whitehall area of Westminster, began in 1938. The complex became operational in August 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war in Europe. It remained in operation throughout the Second World War, before being abandoned in August 1945 after the surrender of Japan. After such time the bunker remained abandoned for much of the 20th century until it was converted into the museum.
The museum offers an illustrated time line of the life of Churchill in public and private life and through several wars. The cabinet war rooms offer an opportunity to see where history was made and where Churchill spent much of the Second World War.
St. James Park adjacent to these Westminster sites offers a wonderful oasis of green to take a break from site seeing or to just enjoy a sunny part of the day. The part is the oldest of the royal parks in London and is adjacent to the famous Mall. In addition, the colorful changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace takes place here at the Buckingham Palace end of the park. Website: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park