1. The Shard.
The shard is a relatively new attraction. It is one of the tallest buildings in Europe. Students get discounted entry! When you get to the top you get a 360-degree view of London and you can stay there for as long as you like. There is also a bar that does great cocktails which help with a fear of heights. In high winds it can be quite alarming as there is no roof. There is a virtual reality ride and photo opportunities. Recommended to go at 7pm and on a weeknight to avoid ques and large tourist numbers. The Northern Line has a stop right next to the entrance.
- Visit Buckingham Palace.
The queen opens up her home for visits in the summer months. You can stroll around the state rooms and visit the throne room. There is over two hundred years of history in the Palace and not many people get the privilege to see inside. Though don’t swipe a souvenir as they will know!
3. Visit Camden Town
Camden is another world, away from the busy streets of the centre. The high street is covered in different art works and designs. The area has various goth and punk shops which are visited by various different people. The area has loads of markets where you can find a bargain or even find some cheap but good quality food. You can easily spend the whole day there and check out the bars and clubs in the evening. Alternative music can be found in specialised pubs throughout the high street.
4. Go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Just outside of London on a half an hour train ride from Euston in Watford are the Elveden Studios. Home of Harry Potter. This place is booked out even in the winter so get your tickets in advance. The studio will take you breathe away and you can spend ages pouring over the intricate details of the sets and nerding out with various staff members. There are unlimited photo opportunities, magic lesson, butter beer and the shop at the end. It is easy to blow twelve hours here and all your money on souvenirs. It is an ideal place to visit for any Harry Potter fanatic.
5. Go Shopping.
Oxford Street, Regent Street, Saville Row and New Bond Street. London is the shopping capital of the UK. Depending on your tastes and budgets there are shops to cater to you. Just off of Regent Street is Carnaby Street which has lots of vintage shops and make up brands. Every corner you turn there is a surprise as well as several flagship stores. It is easy to spend the day exploring and spending over your budget so make sure you start early and wear comfy shoes. Perfect thing to do on a rainy day.
6.Visit Covent Gardens.
Covent Gardens is not so well known. It is full of 200-year-old markets, bars and small designer shops. It is also part of the theatre district and has several restaurants available. It is a very cute area of London which is a very popular weekend haunt for the locals. It is also home to the Royal Opera house for Ballet and Opera productions. Rules the oldest restaurant in London is situated down a side street from the market established in 1798. Covent Gardens is the place to wine and dine before a show.
7.Visit a West End Show.
The west end is the home of theatre in the UK. There are several productions to choose from. There are the famous long running shows; The Lion King, Mamma Mia, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis and Wicked. There are brand new musicals like the book or Mormon and plays which are lesser know such as the mouse trap or the play that goes wrong. You can have your pick and be guaranteed a good evening. Tickets can be expensive but if you book early enough and do you research then you can find a good deal and have a great seat.
- Cycle Around Hyde Park.
London has hundreds of bikes at various points around the city. Hyde park is huge, it has Kensington Palace, Wellington Arche and Marble Arche. There is a whole lot of stops and if you put the bike back in a stand within half an hour and get a new one it won’t cost you a thing! Check out how people live in the Royal Burgh of Kensington.9.Check out the Exotic Birds in St James Park
St James park was landscaped by many different monarchs. It used to be the home of several exotic animals gifted to the Monarchs who resided close by in St James palace. Charles the second had a canal built where he would swim in the summer and ice skate in the winter. It now has several species of exotic water fowl living in the ponds and even some pelicans. It is a peaceful place to go and relax from the craziness of the city. The perimeter has the army barrack, mall and war time museum which are all worth a visit as well.
10. Just walk around London and discover its secrets.
Pick a stop and just walk. Don’t look at the map follow the noise and explore. Discover the ancient book shops on Charing Cross road. The street performers of Leicester square. Harry Potter at platform nine and three quarters. Baker street and the museum of Sherlock Holmes. The butterfly garden of Regents Park. The hundreds of themed pubs. Go to the sky garden (its free but book) for one of the best views of London. Walk past Big Ben and along the Thames for the Ox cube factory and pirate ship. Cross the Tower Bridge and Check out the Tower of London. Go to the roof top bar or various other themed bars. Get lost in the history and culture. London is the city which never fails to surprise you!
I only got 4 and 1/2 days in London- we were there Summer 2015. I only was in England for a pilgrimage, where most of my time was spent in Bristol. My family church choir was in residence at Bristol Cathedral- parishioners and the choir came. This pilgrimage began in London- that part lasted 2 and 1/2 days- my family went up two days early.
London- 1st day just was walking around (not much). We saw some guards that day. We just walked around areas that we could easily walk to from our hotel.
2nd day- my family went to King’s Cross and visited basically the Platform 9 and 3/4 station. Then we visited Pancreas Station and after lunch, we had to go back to the hotel. Mom and I had to get ready for a West End show. Mom was taking me to see Les Mis- seeing Les Mis in the West End was a dream of mine since 2013. So seeing the Queen’s Theatre- I was like is this real all the way to sitting down and seeing that we were in the 9th row- nothing seemed real. The first note told me this dream of yours is coming true and it is going to be more than expected- it was more than expected.
3rd day- my family had to check out of the hotel we stayed in for those extra days. We had to meet all the pilgrims at the airport. Now the pilgrimage begins. Our first stop was at Windsor Castle. We first saw changing of the guards before exploring the castle
4th day- All of us pilgrims got a walking tour of London. I saw the outside of Buckingham Palace. That night- we all saw Evensong at Westminster and we got to sit in the Quire-that service was to prepare us for what was to come at Bristol Cathedral.
The next day (more like 1/2 a day)- Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral and we all sat under the dome. After Eucharist, all of the pilgrims had some free time before it was time to leave London. My family went to the Millennium Bridge. The meeting place for the pilgrims was Tower of London- my family walked across Tower Bridge and walked around Tower of London. Then we left London.
So my time in London was very short- next time I go to England- I want to spend my entire time in London to experience more of what London is. Don’t know that will be- probably will be quite a while
I have been going for years at least 5 days at a time and I still haven’t seen a lot of it. I keep making lists of what I need to do next time. Tower of London is on it. But I do like going shopping aswell. If the weather is bad then it does mean a lot of west end shows. Go see Phantom next!!
Do not know when I will make it back to London- want to spend my entire time there next time. It might mean a while