Despite both living close to London we do love having a touristy day out in London and exploring the amazing city. London is incredible because there is so much to do regardless of your age and there is also so much history to the city.
We have decided to pull together some ideas if you are planning a day out in London. You can pick your favourites from the below list and tailor the day to suit your needs. The great thing about London is that a lot of it is walking distance away from each other and the best way to explore a city is by walking. When you walk somewhere you find areas that you wouldn’t normally discover and really explore the city.
Central Tourist locations:
Buckingham Palace – get off the tube at Green Park and walk to Buckingham Palace to see one of the most famous sites in London. This place is swamped with tourist so be careful in the crowds, but make sure you get that good shot. The best time to go is to see the changing of the guard at 11am.
Trafalgar Square – You can walk to Trafalgar Square along the tree lined Mall from Buckingham Palace, or the closest tube is Trafalgar Square. You can visit the National Gallery here or the National Portrait Gallery and also take pictures of Trafalgar
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – You can easily walk to Big Ben from Buckingham Palace or from Trafalgar Square, or the closest tube station is Westminster. Big Ben is so iconic so you have to visit here when coming to London. If you are lucky you may see lots of protestors outside too. Make sure you walk along Waterloo Bridge to get a good shot and this bridge then takes you to the London Eye
London Eye – The London Eye is a great tourist attraction and personally we think the best time of day to go on it is at dusk so you can watch the sun set over London. The London Eye may be slightly expensive but if you haven’t been on it before then its highly recommended. You can spend your visit pointing out the iconic buildings across the skyline.
Sea Life Aquarium – a great day out for the family is the aquarium which is right by the London Eye. For those who love aquariums and sea creatures this is a fun day out!
Tower Bridge & London Bridge:
These locations are very close to each other so it’s a good idea to visit all these places together
Borough Market – Borough Market is foodie heaven and the closest tube is London Bridge. The best time to visit the market is early in the day as it is less busy, however the market is only open Wednesday to Saturday There are so many different food stalls here to purchase food from but also street food stalls to purchase delicious hot food. You could spend hours here tasting samples of different cheeses, meats and sweet treats. Make sure you visit Rabot 1745 for the most incredible hot chocolate.
The Shard – the tallest building in London is guaranteed to provide you with incredible views of London. You can be on the 72nd floor of this building admiring the London skyline with 360 degree views. To visit the viewing gallery you need to book in advance, but you could also visit one of the many bars or restaurants for dinner and drinks with a difference.
HMS Belfast – the HMS Belfast is moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and is such a fun day out for the whole family. There is so much to do and see on board the ship and of course great views of the iconic Tower Bridge. On the HMS Belfast you will learn all about live at sea but also about World War Two.
Tower of London – Tower of London to see the crown jewels is an excellent way to spend the afternoon in London. To make the visit enjoyable for kids you can download an interactive app to keep the kids encouraged throughout the visit. The great thing about a visit to the Tower of London is that you can spend as little or as long as you like here.
Tower Bridge – one of the most famous bridges that people often think is called London Bridge, but make sure you do not mix the two! Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that consists of 2 bridge towers tied together at the upper level by 2 walkways and you can visit Tower Bridge and climb to a glass floor walkway for impressive views of London. Your ticket also included a visit to the engine room to learn about the inner workings of the bridge.
Covent Garden/West End/Soho:
Covent Garden – you have to visit here purely to see how beautiful it is, the covered market place is gorgeous especially at Christmas. You will also see some amazing street performers here
Theatre – a trip to London isn’t complete without a trip to London’s West End to see a play or a musical. There are so many amazing shows on at the theatre you will want to see them all! Aladdin is incredible and so is Lion King if you are a Disney Fan. Mamma Mia is an amazing sing a long musical that is guaranteed to make you feel good. Matilda is also incredible and highly recommended. Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera are also excellent choices
Eating – There are SO many restaurants in this area that you are spoilt for choice. There are too many to put here, but look out for a post about pre-theatre menus in London soon. However, many restaurants offer excellent value pre-theatre menus so make sure you research or book in advance.
London Zoo – London Zoo is amazing if we do say so ourselves! It’s such a big zoo so you could easily spend the day here. Nestled in Regents Park and close to the stunning Primrose Hill this is a great place to visit with the family. There are lots of events on throughout the day in particular learning about different animals. We love bringing a picnic to the zoo, however there are plenty of places to buy food too.
Madame Tussauds – Madame Tussauds is on the edge of Regents Park and is part of the famous wax work museum chain. You can take your picture with a number of famous people and pretend to be mingling with the celebs! The wax works change of a regular basis. When booking your ticket online you get to pick a time slot, its advised to book in advance otherwise you could be queuing for hours to gain entry.
Camden – Camden is very very close to the beautiful Regents Park. Camden is a very vibrant and eclectic part of London right by a beautiful lock. Camden is famous for its market so make sure you visit it for a browse. There are also many different street food stands to buy delicious food.
This is only scraping the surface of visiting London, make sure you check back for more blog posts about the best city in the world (we may be biased!).