Before we moved to London we would usually come to the big smoke for a weekend away or a quick day trip. So knowing how to see everything on just 24hours is a speciality of ours! A day in London is just not long enough to see and do everything that London has to offer so be picky about what you want to see on your trip and do your research.
We have created some itineraries with attractions that are close in location for you to help organise your day trips in London.
#1 :Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, St James’ Park and 10 Downing Street
This is a great one for your first visit to London. You get to see some great places and they are all in walking distance of each other (great if you are low on money). Summer is probably the best time for this itinerary as it means you can go inside the royal rooms at Buckingham Palace, enjoy a picnic in St James’ Park and enjoy a great view from Trafalgar Square. No worries though if you are visiting in a colder climate the National Gallery is a wonderful place and perfect for when its raining cats and dogs. If you still have time be sure to head over to Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliment (again within walking distance!)
#2: Big Ben, Westminster abbey, London Eye and Southbank
Another great itinerary for the London tourist (this one is also perfect if you want to continue your day from itinerary #1). Iconic Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from across the river or Parliament square, it does’t have a bad angle! You can also go on a tour of the Palace of Westminster (home to the UK government). Westminster Abbey is also located just off Parliament square, for those who don’t know this is where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married and it is home to the grave of the unknown soldier and many more famous people throughout history. Cross Westminster Bridge and take a ride on the London eye and take in the amazing views across central London or take a stroll a bit further down towards the Southbank centre where they regularly hold fares and cultural events.
#3: Oxford Street,Carnaby Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus.
If you are looking for shops galore this is your itinerary! World famous Oxford Street and Regent Street hold everything you can think of, restaurants, cafes, clothes, shoes, accessories and all things beauty. Getting off at Oxford street station also puts you within meters of Carnaby Street; becoming famous in the 60’s and now full of great shops and cafes. On your way to Carnaby Street keep an eye out for Liberties! Regent Street is one of of the most beautiful streets in London, especially when all the christmas lights are up! After shopping on Regent Street continue to see Piccadilly Circus- which is best seen at night- and take in the hustle and bustle of London.
#4: Soho, Leicester Square,China town and Covent Garden.
Soho is more of an area than a place but it is full of great restaurants and cafes, its also the heart of London’s LGBT community. Just down the road is Leicester Square- this is where a lot of major film premieres happen and also is home to London’s tourist trap of M&M world. Right next to the Leicester square is China Town, decorated with bunting and lanterns it is FULL of authentic Chinese restaurants and shops (including our favourite place that makes fresh custard filled, fish shaped sweets. Watch the conveyer-belt through the shop window, it is mesmerising ) Finally travel over to Covent Garden with street performers in every corner and a great market with different shops. It is a great place to visit in summer and stroll along the cobbled streets while dining in one of the outdoor restaurants.
#5: Camden Market, Regents Park, London Zoo and Abbey Road
Camden Market is a fun and eclectic place full of delicious food, cheap clothes and antique shops. We thoroughly recommend the food market on a Saturday, watch out it is very busy but the food is amazing. Grab a slice to eat and walk along the canal towards Regent park where you can sit and eat, play or visit ZSL London Zoo! The butterfly house is amazing and be sure to check out the tigers. From here you can continue west and visit Abbey Road studios, the famous home to the Beatles and many a studio session for other musicians. Outside is the zebra crossing that is featured on the Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album cover too- which won’t be hard to miss because of the amount of people trying to capture the same image.
#6: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and St Katherine docks.
This is a little more of a historical itinerary, a day out exploring the Tower of London is great of you history lovers (and those who love the Queen like Alice). Explore the tower and learn about the princes in the tower, Anne Boleyn and see the crown jewels *AMAZING DROOLING FACE*. You can see and speak to the Yeomen (or Beefeater) who live on site, they can tell you some amazing stories too. Come out of the tower and you have an amazing view of tower bridge! Head on over, walk across if you want to and you can also head up the tower turrets to get a great view over the Thames. If you do go south of the river be sure to check out HMS Belfast, it is a historic British war ship that is now a museum which you can enter. Looking for something to eat after all this walking? Head on over to St Katherine Docks where you can enjoy your meal next to calm waters and amazing yachts, it almost feels like you are not in London.
#7: St Pauls Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and The Globe Theatre
This itinerary really is a full day! St Paul’s Cathedral is beautiful, be sure to get the audio guide and to climb all the way to the top (the view is stunning) where you can also try the whispering wall (OoOoOoOo). Once you are done dying from all the steps at St Paul’s cross the road and visit the Millennium bridge. Famous for featuring in one of the Harry Potter films, the walk across shows amazing views of London. To the right of the bridge there is Tate modern and the left is The Globe Theatre (yeah the Shakespeare one!) The Tate is huge and contains some amazing permanent works that are free to see. The Globe Theatre holds tours where you can learn about the history of the place but you can also book to see shows here too either standing or sitting, just as it would have been in Shakespeare’s day.
What are your favourite things to see in London?