The Perfect London Itinerary for Your First Visit


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With 1000’s of years of historical past, world-class museums and points of interest, each sort of meals conceivable, and a unending checklist of issues to do, it is no surprise that London is without doubt one of the hottest cities to go to on the earth.

I personally bought hooked on London after my first go to in 2012, and within the final decade have spent cumulative months exploring what is definitely my favourite European capital.

But London is an enormous metropolis, and there is so *a lot* to do there that planning a visit will be overwhelming. I do know this as a result of I’ve been daunted myself by the data that it is unimaginable to see and do every little thing in a single go to.

View of Tower Bridge in London
Tower Bridge
Shakespeare afternoon tea in London
Afternoon tea in London

It’s additionally why, up till now, I have not tried to deal with a London itinerary in any respect on this weblog!

But I do know London effectively, and have now deliberate solo journeys, {couples} journeys, and journeys with pals/relations to London. I really feel like I’ve accomplished all of the must-dos (most of them a number of occasions), and may now assist YOU plan a extra stress-free first journey to London.

5 days in London: A primary-timer’s itinerary

The following itinerary represents the right 5-days in London when you’ve by no means been earlier than (in my view, at the least). Feel free to make use of it that will help you plan your individual London journey!

Where to remain in London

First issues first: let’s discuss the place to remain in London! I’ve been to London many occasions (I’ve really misplaced depend) and have stayed in a number of totally different neighborhoods. Neighborhoods I personally get pleasure from staying in embrace Kensington, Paddington, and the South Bank, although I’ve stayed throughout!

Room at The Ampersand hotel in London
Room at The Ampersand lodge

For a short-ish journey, it is most likely best to choose one lodge and keep there the entire time. The beneath checklist is (loosely) grouped based mostly on the place in London you will discover every lodge.

Some issues to think about when searching for lodging in London embrace: how shut lodges are to a Tube station, whether or not the rooms have air con (a requirement for me, personally, in the summertime), and what’s included within the room charge (corresponding to wifi, breakfast, and so forth). Also observe that some lodges are in previous buildings, and never all have elevators that attain each flooring.

Bathtub with a view at Shangri-La at The Shard
Bathtub with a view at Shangri-La at The Shard

Okay, on with the itinerary now!

Day 1: Iconic London

Highlights of Day 1 embrace: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament, London Eye, the South Bank, and St. Paul’s Cathedral

If you are touring to London from anyplace in North America, then likelihood is you will be arriving early within the morning after an in a single day flight. I’m not going to recommend you pack in *an excessive amount of* at present, as a result of likelihood is you will be fairly drained. (But attempt to keep away from napping/sleeping all day when you can, because it’ll aid you regulate to the time change higher!)

Getting from London Heathrow to town can take a while. My greatest tip is to NOT take a taxi all the best way from the airport. You can take the Piccadilly Line (Tube) proper from Heathrow when you’re on a finances. Or you may go for the brand new Elizabeth Line, which presently will take you so far as Paddington Station, the place you may switch to different Tube strains or seize a taxi exterior. The Heathrow Express additionally goes from Heathrow to Paddington with no stops.

A observe on getting round in London

London has a superb public transport system, with probably the most well-known half being the Tube or Underground, which consists of 11 totally different underground practice strains connecting all corners of London. London additionally has buses (these purple double-deckers), overground trains, and taxis/rideshares.

London Underground sign at the Tower of London
London Underground indicators are simple to identify

In the previous, one of the best ways to make use of the Tube was to buy a pay-as-you-go Oyster Card (both at a station in London, or prematurely earlier than your journey), which you possibly can then high up as wanted and use for all public transport. But now TFL has gone contactless, and accepts contactless card funds and even Apple Pay/Google Pay at most of its stations.

To assist navigate, apps like Citymapper are nice for public transit (and often used extra by locals than Google Maps), and I take advantage of my AllSubway app every time I have to rapidly seek the advice of the entire London Tube map. (Both of those apps can be used offline.) TFL additionally has a particular app for Oyster Cards/contactless funds.

After arriving, you will most likely wish to drop your baggage off at your lodge. You seemingly will not be capable to test in but, however virtually all lodges will maintain your baggage for you till your room is prepared.

Then you may then head to the closest Tube station and make your approach to Westminster to start out your first day of London sightseeing! (Westminster is a cease on the Circle, District, and Jubilee Tube strains.)

1. Westminster Abbey and Parliament

When you get to Westminster station, I all the time recommend exiting by means of Exit 4 (the Bridge Street exit). You’ll climb a flight of stairs and emerge at road stage to come back face-to-face with Elizabeth Tower (the well-known tower that homes the bell often called Big Ben).

Big Ben in London
Big Ben is definitely the bell inside this tower!

This view has the wow issue, however it’s not really the very best for getting photographs of the tower. For that, head to your proper in the direction of Parliament Square Garden, which provides up higher views of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

Pro tip: If you need the Insta-famous picture of you in entrance of a purple cellphone sales space with Big Ben within the background, these cellphone cubicles are alongside Great George Street throughout from Parliament Square Garden. You cannot miss them; there are often folks lined up for photographs.

Amanda with a red phone box in London
“The” London cellphone field picture

From right here, it is time to go to Westminster Abbey, the gothic cathedral the place Britain’s kings and queens have been topped (and typically buried) since 1066. If you are solely going to go to one well-known church in London, it ought to most likely be this one because it’s beautiful and stuffed with historical past each inside and outside.

Booking tickets for Westminster Abbey prematurely is suggested (e book a ticket right here), and going earlier within the morning is all the time a good suggestion (which is ideal because you most likely arrived early at present anyway!). You can both wander by yourself, or get an audio information. Either manner, enable at the least 1.5 hours to see every little thing inside.

Inside Westminster Abbey
Inside Westminster Abbey

From Westminster Abbey, head throughout the Thames by way of the Westminster Bridge on foot. Stay on the aspect of the highway closest to Parliament if you cross, after which take the staircase down in your proper if you get to the opposite aspect. Here there is a pathway (The Queen’s Walk) alongside the Thames that gives up my private favourite view of Big Ben and Parliament.

View of Parliament in London
My favourite Big Ben view!

2. London Eye and South Bank

After snapping some photographs, you may observe the tunnel underneath the bridge to the South Bank, which is one among my favourite components of London.

Depending on what time it’s, you might both wish to seize a meal now, or you might wish to squeeze in a journey on the London Eye. The London Eye is without doubt one of the world’s largest remark wheels, and you may’t miss it within the skyline on this a part of London.

A journey on the London Eye takes place in giant round pods (each can maintain as much as 25 folks) and lasts half an hour. It’s not an absolute must-do in London for me, but when it is in your London bucket checklist, then do it! I extremely suggest reserving Fast Track tickets prematurely with a purpose to keep away from lengthy strains.

London Eye views
On the London Eye

Afterwards, you may have a stroll down the South Bank. If you have not had meals but, there are a selection of pubs and pop-up cafes to select from, particularly in the course of the summer season months. (I significantly like the realm of Gabriel’s Wharf, which has a bunch of cute outlets and a few eateries.)

3. Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s (optionally available)

If you are up for a little bit of a stroll, I like to recommend strolling a couple of mile (20-25 minutes) alongside the Queen’s Walk to the Millennium Bridge. You’ll move a lot alongside the best way, together with a pebbly seashore!

Shakespeare's Globe theater in London
Shakespeare’s Globe theater

Once you get to the Millennium Bridge, you have got just a few choices relying on how you feel*.

*If you arrived in London earlier than at present, then you definitely’ll most likely have the vitality to spend extra time exploring the South Bank and possibly even go to one or two extra points of interest. If not, then I like to recommend crossing the bridge and hopping again on the Tube at both Blackfriars (Central/District strains) or St. Paul’s (Central Line) to go again to your lodge.

If you are in a museum temper, the Tate Modern is close by and free to go to (and has nice London skyline views from its rooftop remark deck). Shakespeare’s Globe theater can also be close by, together with its hooked up restaurant/pub referred to as The Swan. The Swan has a stunning afternoon tea that is flippantly Shakespeare-themed and inexpensive (although I’ll suggest one other afternoon tea later on this itinerary).

Cross the Thames by way of the very cool Millennium Bridge if you’re prepared, heading in the direction of the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral on the opposite aspect.

Looking towards St. Paul's on Millennium Bridge
Looking in the direction of St. Paul’s on Millennium Bridge

If you are going to go to a second well-known church in London, then it ought to most likely be St. Paul’s, the masterpiece with the large dome that was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1710. The church miraculously survived The Blitz throughout WWII.

St. Paul’s is spectacular even simply from the surface, however can also be value visiting inside when you’re so inclined. (Just observe that it is solely open till 4:30 p.m., with the final entry at 4 p.m.) You can pre-book St. Paul’s tickets right here.

Inside St. Paul's Cathedral in London
Inside St. Paul’s

By now you will have had a really full first day in London, so it is time to head again in the direction of your lodge, have some dinner, and get a superb evening’s sleep to gear up for the remainder of your journey!

Day 2: Parks, palaces, and museums

Highlights of Day 2 embrace: Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James’ Park, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Trafalgar Square, Churchill War Rooms, British Museum, Covent Garden, and an optionally available West End present

1. The Royal parks

There are 4 royal parks surrounding Buckingham Palace, with the biggest one being Hyde Park. I like going for good lengthy strolls in Hyde Park, and that is the place I like to recommend you begin your morning.

Italian Gardens inside Hyde Park
Italian Gardens inside Hyde Park

For a really lengthy and leisurely stroll, take the Central Line to both Marble Arch (close to Speakers’ Corner) or Lancaster Gate (close to the Italian Gardens), and stroll throughout Hyde Park to Hyde Park Corner (it can most likely take you about half-hour*). Then you may cross over into Green Park and ultimately cease to see Buckingham Palace.

*If you are not up for that lengthy of a stroll, you may take the Piccadilly Line to both the Hyde Park Corner or Green Park cease and begin your stroll in Green Park.

Green Park connects to St. James’s Park, which can also be actually beautiful and provides up some cool views of Westminster.

St. James's Park in the spring
St. James’s Park within the spring

2. Changing of the Guard

Watching the Changing of the Guard in entrance of Buckingham Palace is on numerous peoples’ London bucket lists, however hear me out: it is one London vacationer attraction that I do not actually suppose is value it!

The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place in entrance of Buckingham Palace at 11 a.m. every single day in June and July, however solely on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from August-May (and people ceremonies are weather-dependent).

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

In the summer season months, you often solely get a superb view of the ceremony at Buckingham Palace when you arrive an hour+ prematurely, which means you will spend at the least 2 hours of your day right here, if no more.

Instead, I like to recommend taking your photographs of Buckingham Palace, after which strolling by means of St. James’s Park to Horse Guards Parade. Here, the Changing of the King’s Life Guard ceremony occurs at at 11 a.m. in the course of the week and 10 a.m. on Sundays, and is nearly by no means as crowded because the one at Buckingham Palace. (Plus, this one has horses!)

Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade in London
Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade

From Horse Guards Parade, you may as well pop by to see No. 10 Downing Street in order for you, or go to one of many varied conflict memorials between right here and the Embankment.

3. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is a must-see for most individuals visiting London, and it is lower than a 10-minute stroll from Horse Guards Parade.

Along with admiring Nelson’s Column and the opposite issues on this large sq., it is a good place to seize a fast lunch. (I personally would most likely seize one thing from Pret A Manger as a result of I like Pret, however there are a bunch of cafes and pubs to select from – often I simply go by Google evaluations to decide on a spot!)

Trafalgar Square in London
Trafalgar Square

4. Afternoon museum go to

There are SO many nice choices in terms of museums and historic locations to go to in London, however I personally would select between these choices at present, relying in your pursuits:

  1. Buckingham Palace State Rooms – For 10 weeks every summer season/fall, Buckingham Palace opens up its opulent State Rooms for excursions. My sister and I did this tour one summer season, and it was fairly cool to get a glimpse into the seat of British royalty. Timed tickets are required. My tip? Get a ticket that features the State Rooms and the Royal Mews (the stables/carriage home). Book a ticket right here.
  2. Churchill War Rooms – Not removed from 10 Downing Street you may go to the underground places of work the place Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his employees plotted Allied navy campaigns (and eventual victory) throughout World War II. Referred to now because the “Churchill War Rooms,” this assortment of basement places of work is additional distinctive in that many rooms look precisely as they did when the War Cabinet left them on the finish of the conflict. A should for historical past lovers! Book tickets right here.
  3. British Museum – This iconic museum homes greater than 13 million artifacts from the traditional world, from Assyria to China to Egypt and past. There’s been some latest controversy about whether or not the British Museum ought to give a few of these (largely stolen) artifacts again, however even when they do they’re nonetheless going to have tens of millions of issues on show. This museum is free to go to, however it’s really helpful you e book a go to time on-line.
Gold Stage Coach at the Royal Mews
Gold Stage Coach on the Royal Mews
British Museum entrance hall
British Museum entrance

5. Covent Garden and/or Soho

Your museum go to will take you into the late afternoon, and I like to recommend spending the remainder of your day in and round Covent Garden. (It’s technically walkable, or you may take the Tube to Covent Garden station.)

Covent Garden has tons of eating places and pubs, together with some standard markets just like the Apple Market and the always-Instagrammable Neal’s Yard. If you desire a distinctive drinks expertise in Covent Garden, my husband Elliot and I each beloved the ingenious cocktails at The Alchemist on St Martin’s Lane.

Neal's Yard in Covent Garden
Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden
Apple Market in Covent Garden
Inside the Apple Market

For dinner, there are many choices in Covent Garden (attempt the Seven Dials Market, which is a enjoyable meals corridor), or you may head over into close by Soho, which has much more eating places. (Reservations really helpful at most spots.)

Pro tip: The Covent Garden/Soho space can also be London’s theater district, so if seeing a West End present (London’s equal to Broadway) is in your checklist, this could be a superb evening to e book one! If you do not e book forward, you may pop by the TKTS sales space in Leicester Square to see if there are any low cost last-minute tickets the day-of.

Day 3: A mixture of previous and new

Highlights of Day 3 embrace: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Borough Market, St. Dunstan-in-the-East, the Skygarden, and a strolling tour within the East End

1. Tower of London

Start your day at present with a gap time tour of the Tower of London, one among my favourite historic websites in the entire metropolis. (Take the District or Circle line to Tower Hill.)

Tower of London gate
Exiting the Tower of London

The Tower of London (or, extra formally, His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London) was first conceived in 1066, and the White Tower on the complicated’s middle was inbuilt 1078 by William the Conqueror. The Tower was constructed as a royal residence, however is usually extra notorious as a jail and place of torture – and at present is understood for being house to the Crown Jewels.

You do not *have* to take a completely guided tour on the Tower of London (you possibly can all the time simply e book your ticket after which be part of one of many free excursions with one of many Yeomen Warders, i.e. the Beefeaters), however if you wish to do one thing actually distinctive, take a look at this Tower of London Early Access + Opening Ceremony and Crown Jewels tour.

Beefeater tour of the Tower of London
Beefeater excursions of the Tower are enjoyable, however often very crowded

The opening hours tour is admittedly cool; you get to be first into the Tower, and get to look at the Opening Ceremony the place the Chief Yeoman Warder unlocks the Tower gates for the day. Then you get to see the Crown Jewels earlier than the strains type, and get a completely guided tour of the Tower of London. Book this tour right here.

2. Tower Bridge

From the Tower of London, it is a brief stroll over to Tower Bridge. This bascule + suspension bridge is iconic in London, and on common carries 40,000 folks throughout the Thames each single day.

Tower Bridge in London
The spectacular Tower Bridge
Walking across Tower Bridge
You can stroll throughout Tower Bridge totally free!

You might simply stroll throughout and snap some photographs, however it’s additionally value it to get a ticket for the The Tower Bridge Exhibition, which is a small museum positioned contained in the Neo-Gothic towers and skywalks of the bridge. The museum covers how and why the bridge was initially constructed, and you may stroll/sit/lay down on glass flooring contained in the skywalks and in addition go to the previous Victorian-era engine rooms.

Pre-book timed tickets right here – or you may really mix the Tower of London tour I discussed with a ticket for Tower Bridge in this combo ticket.

Amanda sitting on the glass floor in a skywalk in Tower Bridge
Sitting on the glass flooring in a skywalk in Tower Bridge

3. Lunch at The Shard or Borough Market

It will seemingly be round lunchtime by now, and you’ve got two choices relying in your finances. Both require you to proceed over Tower Bridge again to the south financial institution of the Thames.

The first choice is to e book lunch (or even perhaps a themed afternoon tea) at Aqua Shard, a restaurant on the thirty first flooring of The Shard.

Other London itineraries would most likely inform you to go to the View from the Shard remark deck at present, however actually I feel the tickets are pricier than the expertise is value, and you may get the identical views by reserving a meal at one of many eating places in The Shard.

Peter Pan afternoon tea at Aqua Shard
Afternoon tea with a view at Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard is a considerably pricy restaurant, however it’s probably the most inexpensive spot inside The Shard that gives lunch. They have a set lunch menu that begins at £39 per particular person for a 3-course meal, and all tables have glorious views out of floor-to-ceiling home windows. (They additionally provide a enjoyable Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea; you may learn extra about that right here.)

The different choice for lunch is to proceed on previous The Shard to Borough Market, which is one among London’s most well-known meals markets. It’s positioned beneath the south finish of London Bridge, and can be bustling at lunchtime.

There are varied distributors to buy meals from contained in the market, in addition to a number of pubs and cafes simply exterior. This is a extra inexpensive choice!

Borough Market at lunchtime
Bustling Borough Market at lunchtime

4. St. Dunstan-in-the-East

After lunch, make your manner throughout the Thames once more by way of London Bridge. (Yes, you are sort of simply making a loop at present! It does not make sense to make use of the Tube for this portion of Day 3, so I like to recommend occurring foot or getting a taxi/Uber.)

Once you are throughout the river, cease to see St. Dunstan-in-the-East, a former church that’s now an attractive public backyard.

St. Dunstan-in-the-East in London
St. Dunstan-in-the-East

The church right here has gone by means of many iterations and tragedies by means of the centuries, together with sustaining injury within the Great Fire of London in 1666, being added onto and rebuilt within the 1700s and 1800s, after which being virtually utterly destroyed once more throughout The Blitz in 1941.

Instead of rebuilding the church after WWII, the City of London determined to show the ruins of St. Dunstan’s right into a public park. They planted timber and a garden, and at present it’s a spot that locals come to learn or chat or get pleasure from a quiet lunch outdoor. It’s free to go to, and undoubtedly value seeing!

St. Dunstan's from the outside
St. Dunstan’s from the surface
Old stone windows at St. Dunstan's
Old stone home windows

5. Sky Garden or Garden at 120

If you wish to get some nice London skyline views that do not value as a lot because the remark deck at The Shard, there are two to select from very shut to one another on this aspect of the Thames.

The first is the Sky Garden, which is a mostly-indoor backyard and remark deck contained in the “Walkie Talkie” constructing at 20 Fenchurch Street. Most folks will inform you to go right here, because it’s free to go to (although you do have to reserve a timeslot on-line prematurely.)

Inside the Sky Garden in London
Inside the Sky Garden

I’ll be trustworthy with you although: I’ve been to the Sky Garden twice, and whereas it does have a novelty issue to it, I do not personally love it. The view from the small remark deck is not the very best, and it may possibly usually get fairly crowded.

If the climate is good, I might really choose to go to the Garden at 120 (positioned atop the constructing at 120 Fenchurch St.) as an alternative. This outside rooftop backyard can also be free to go to, however you needn’t make a reservation. This one is all open-air and provides up some distinctive views.

Amanda at the Garden at 120
Garden at 120

On the ground proper beneath the Garden at 120, there is a cool restaurant and bar referred to as 14 Hills that has equally good views. If the climate is dangerous, you possibly can all the time choose to seize a drink on the bar right here as an alternative, which looks like an indoor backyard.

6. Leadenhall Market (optionally available)

This is an optionally available additional cease, however you probably have the time, Leadenhall Market is not removed from Fenchurch Street (it is actually a 3-minute stroll).

Leadenhall Market is an attractive Victorian-era indoor market, with little boutiques alongside eating places and pubs. If you are curious about Harry Potter filming places in London, this was one! And even when you’re not, it is nonetheless a very stunning market to see.

Leadenhall Market in London
Leadenhall Market

7a. East End and Jack the Ripper tour

Next we’re heading to London’s East End, which is not all the time an space folks will inform you to go to in your first journey to London. But I really suppose it is a terrific place to seize dinner after which go on a strolling tour.

The coronary heart of the East End is a couple of 20-minute stroll from Leadenhall Market in case your toes aren’t already useless, or you may catch a taxi/Uber or take the Tube to both Liverpool Street or Aldgate East.

Once within the coronary heart of the East End, you may pop into Old Spitalfields marketplace for some searching, and search for road artwork on Brick Lane. (Brick Lane can also be identified for its meals, particularly curries, so it is a good choice for dinner.)

Street art in London's East End
Street artwork within the East End

This night, when you’re into true crime and never too squeamish, you may e book a Jack the Ripper strolling tour like this one.

Jack the Ripper was a (nonetheless as-yet unidentified) serial killer who terrorized the Whitechapel space in 1888. His murders have all the time been intriguing in a grisly kind of manner, and most Jack the Ripper strolling excursions wind by means of the streets of Whitechapel after darkish, telling the tales of the ladies he killed whilst you stand typically within the precise spots the place their our bodies had been discovered.

Jack the Ripper walking tour
Jack the Ripper strolling tour

7b. Thames cruise

If Jack the Ripper does not actually curiosity you (I’ve been on two excursions and beloved them, however I completely get that the true crime craze hasn’t ensnared everybody), an alternative choice for this night can be to remain in central London and take a night cruise on the Thames.

The Thames is, in my view, not probably the most stunning of rivers to cruise on, however doing so does offer you a distinct perspective of London. I do not suggest a dinner cruise, however a night cruise with a glass of bubbly like this one will be good.

It IS cool to see London all lit up after sundown.

The Shard and Tower Bridge lit up after dark
Cruising the Thames after darkish

Pro tip: Don’t wish to take a guided tour/cruise? You can all the time hop on any of the commuter boats that run up/down the Thames. The Uber Boats by Thames Clippers, for instance, function like water taxis, and a single journey inside central London (for instance, between Tower Bridge and Westminster) prices simply £7.70 when you pay utilizing an Oyster card or different contactless cost.

Day 4: Day journey time!

After three very full days in London, you will have had the possibility to see many of the metropolis’s highlights. So at present I like to recommend benefiting from the truth that London is near numerous different actually cool issues!

Whether you wish to take in extra historical past, go to a fort, exit into the countryside, or immerse your self in some film magic, there is a London day journey choice for you.

I can not inform you which day journey it’s best to take, as a result of your pursuits is perhaps totally different from mine. But listed below are 5 nice day journeys to think about:

Option 1: Spend a day in Greenwich

Greenwich is technically nonetheless a borough of London, positioned alongside the Thames to the southeast of town middle. You can take a ship to Greenwich, after which spend the day exploring all types of maritime historical past.

Top issues to do right here embrace visiting the Old Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum, touring the Cutty Sark ship, going to the Royal Observatory to straddle the Prime Meridian, and enjoyable in Greenwich Park. (Definitely get a Greenwich museum move for today!)

Option 2: Harry Potter Studio Tour

Gryffindor Common Room set at Harry Potter Studio Tour
The Gryffindor widespread room set

The majority of the Harry Potter movies had been shot in movie studios in Leavesden simply north of London, and the studios have now been remodeled right into a museum-like expertise for followers.

You can see precise movie units, costumes, props, and idea artwork from the flicks, and revel in interactive experiences that seize the magic of the Harry Potter world. This is a should do for many Harry Potter followers and 100% value it. (Book tickets with transport right here.)

Option 3: Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

If you wish to get an extra style of British royalty, then a day journey out to Windsor is perhaps best for you. You can discover the lovable city of Windsor, and tour the ornate State Apartments and gothic St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is the oldest continuously-occupied fort in Europe, relationship again to the eleventh century.

You can take the practice to Windsor by yourself and simply get a fort entrance ticket, e book a tour with bus transport, or pair up a go to to Windsor with another places on a full-day tour like this one.

Option 4: Bath and Stonehenge

The Roman baths in Bath
The Roman baths in Bath

Stonehenge is a must-visit for many individuals touring to the UK, however I’ll be trustworthy with you: it isn’t value making a visit to see it by itself. Instead, I might pair up a go to to Stonehenge with a day journey to a different location like close by Bath.

The complete metropolis of Bath was named a UNESCO World Heritage web site in 1987, and it is identified for its historic Roman baths, the attractive Bath Abbey, fairly parks and gardens, the symmetrical Georgian-style Royal Crescent, and Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon.

You can e book this Stonehenge + Bath day journey, or go for this one that additionally features a cease in a picturesque Cotswolds city.

Option 5: Oxford

Oxford architecture
Oxford structure

Lastly, the college city of Oxford additionally makes a terrific day journey from London. You can wander out and in of the outlets on the town, and in addition go to a number of the college’s most well-known schools. (There’s even an Oxford Harry Potter strolling tour, the place you may see filming places and the eating corridor that is mentioned to have impressed the Great Hall in Hogwarts.)

You can simply take the practice from London, or e book a tour that pairs up Oxford with one other location like Highclere Castle from Downtown Abbey, or maybe the Cotswolds.

READ MORE: The Best Day Trips to Take From London

Day 5: Pretty neighborhoods + afternoon tea

Highlights of Day 5 embrace: Neighborhoods like Notting Hill and Kensington, afternoon tea, Camden Town, and the Regent’s Canal

Since at present is your final day in London, we’ll take it simple. Today goes to be a extra enjoyable day spent exploring a few of my favourite London neighborhoods, beginning with arguably a number of the prettiest ones, after which shifting on to a barely edgier one.

1. Notting Hill

Painted houses in Notting Hill
Painted homes in Notting Hill

If you are into the London Instagram aesthetic of pastel-painted row homes, charming mews, and vintage outlets, then I might suggest beginning your day in Notting Hill. (Notting Hill Gate on the District, Circle, and Central strains, or Ladbroke Grove on the Circle and Hammersmith & City strains make good beginning factors.)

In Notting Hill you may seize breakfast or brunch, store for antiques and classic clothes on the Portobello Road Market, and simply take in this charming neighborhood. (Just keep in mind, although, that folks stay within the fairly pastel homes, so be respectful when you’re taking photographs.)

2. Kensington/South Kensington

Churchill Arms pub
Churchill Arms pub

From Notting Hill, it is a beautiful stroll south by means of Kensington to South Kensington (or you possibly can hop on the Tube to High Street Kensington or South Kensington).

If you stroll, you may cease by the Instagram-famous Churchill Arms pub. And when you occur to be visiting within the spring (often in late April/early May), then that is the a part of London that experiences “wisteria hysteria,” when the wisteria vines burst into purple blooms in areas like Bedford Gardens and Kynance Mews.

If the climate is not nice, South Kensington is house to a number of glorious (and free) museums, together with the Natural History Museum (displays on dinosaurs, volcanoes, gems, and extra) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (one of many largest utilized artwork and design museums on the earth).

Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London
Natural History Museum

3. Afternoon tea

I do know I’ve already talked about a number of afternoon tea choices on this itinerary (just like the one at The Swan, and the one at Aqua Shard), however at present I recommend undoubtedly setting apart time for a correct afternoon tea.

There are two on this a part of London which you could by no means go improper with:

  1. Science Tea at The Ampersand – The science-themed tea on the Drawing Rooms inside The Ampersand lodge is one among my all-time favorites. The tea tray comes out effervescent with dry ice, and the themed treats are so enjoyable. Tea is round £50 for adults and £35 for youths. Closest Tube station: South Kensington.
  2. Tea at The Lanesborough – The Lanesborough lodge in Knightsbridge provides up an attractive and chic afternoon tea in a stunning conservatory-style tea room. (This one would possibly win “prettiest London afternoon tea” from me.) The afternoon tea right here is each fancy and scrumptious, and begins at £65 per particular person. Closest Tube station: Hyde Park Corner.
Science-themed afternoon tea
Science-themed afternoon tea
Afternoon tea at The Lanesborough
Afternoon tea at The Lanesborough

Advanced bookings for each of those afternoon teas is extremely really helpful, and will be accomplished on-line.

4. Camden Town

After your tea expertise, hop on the Tube to Camden Town, a cool neighborhood north of central London identified for its distinct different, punk-ish really feel (they even have the primary Wendy’s on the earth the place Wendy bought a punk/emo makeover).

Explore the colourful Camden Market, and maybe head as much as the park on Primrose Hill for excellent London views. The Regent’s Canal additionally runs proper by means of Camden. If you have got the time, you may take a canal boat journey from Camden to an space referred to as Little Venice, which is tremendous beautiful. (You can pre-book waterbus tickets right here.)

Camden Locks
Camden Locks

If you are hungry for dinner tonight (relying on if you had your afternoon tea, you is probably not very hungry!), there are some good spots in Little Venice, or you possibly can head into close by Paddington.


And that is it! That’s the way you pack as many London highlights as potential into only a 5-day go to. Could you do kind of in these 5 days? Of course! But after many journeys to London myself, I actually suppose this itinerary is an efficient place to begin for first-time London guests.

Now go forth and plan your individual London journey!


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