London is a beautiful city with a long history to be discovered on every street. If you’re only there for a short period of time, be prepared to miss out on seeing some of the sights – there’s no way you’re going to see everything in a day.
I was in London for only three days and I chose to do a day tour to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle on one day which left me with only two. But that didn’t mean I missed out on everything. Grab your map and explore London with me …
London has one of the best public transport networks in the world (well, it’s better than Sydney’s) and that makes it super easy to get around the city. The Original Tour – London Sightseeing buses are the best choice if you’re planning on doing as much sightseeing in as little time as possible. We chose the Original Tour with a free Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise ticket which included a free cruise down the River Thames. The ticket was about $50 AUD and gave us bus access throughout the entire city for 24 hours. You’ll be given a map when you board the double-decker buses and you can get on and off whenever and wherever you please.
Feel like getting your feet off the ground? Take to the skies in a London Helicopter Tour and discover the very best of the city from above. Not only will you be given a rare and unique look at London’s famous skyline, you’ll also tick off most major landmarks and attractions in the one flight! Visit the Redhill Helicopters website for more information.
As mentioned earlier, London is full of cool things to see and do and there’s no way to visit them all in a day or two. These are some of the main attractions I chose to visit:
The closest attraction to our hotel was the British Museum. With free entry and thousands of years of history from around the world packed into one building, it’s easy to get carried away here. Keep in mind you don’t have the luxury of looking at every item in their catalogue if you haven’t got the time. The most impressive thing for me was the Rosetta Stone which is on display as soon as you walk through the main entrance. You don’t want to miss it!
We started our hop-on-hop-off adventure around town inTrafalgar Square. While you’re here take a look around. The view of London from here is pretty amazing.
From here we caught the bus to arguably the most famous clock in the world, Big Ben. Although the clock doesn’t offer anything to do, it is worth looking at. It’s one of the oldest working clocks in the world so when you’re in London, tilt your head and check the time the way people have been doing for hundreds of years. The bridge located nearby gives you time and space to snap the perfect photo too.
Right next to the Big Ben is Westminster Abbey. This place can get pretty busy so try not to spend too much time wandering through the buildings if you’re on a tight schedule. From Westminster, we walked alongSt James Park where we came across our first ever squirrel. I’d never seen one before so it was a pretty exciting time for me!
We walked along the park until we reached Buckingham Palace. We stuck around for the changing of the guards at 11. (Note: crowds started forming pretty early in the morning so you’ll want to get there a little earlier if you want a good view). If you miss the changing of the guards I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You can see the changing of the guards at any of the royal palaces and castles and to be honest, it gets boring pretty quickly.
From the palace we hopped back on the bus for another ride through the city. This time we went over Tower Bridge which was pretty incredible. The bride is amazing in itself but the view of theTower of London from here is even better.
The tower was my absolute favourite site in all of England. It might have had something to do with the fact that I had just finished watching The Tudors before going away but it was a lot of fun. The tower is extremely accessible. There are tours you can join but we found it’s just as easy to grab a map and explore the tower for yourself. There are plenty of hands on activities that are fun for all. We were able to try on chain mail and shoot a real bow and arrow (at a wall of course). You’ll also get amazing views of Tower Bridge and the entire city from some of the walkways.
There’s a wharf located just outside the tower and it’s from here that we caught our cruise down theRiver Thames. The river isn’t that amazing on its own but it’s a great way to see London from the water. You’ll pass by the London Eye and Shakespeare’s Globe and you’ll even pass under famous bridges like the London Bridge.
Best of all, the cruise ends near Big Ben where there’s a number of hop-on-hop-off bus stops. We caught a bus back towards our hotel but we made a detour to check in at M&M World on the way. This only made the list because of all of the iconic London themes inside. Plus it’s one of the largest M&M stores in the world! It’s a lot of fun to walk around and do I even need to remind you – it’s chocolate!
It goes without saying that I can’t wait to visit London again to see more of this beautiful city.
Don’t forget to check out my review of The Royal National Hotel in Russell Square.
What do you love most about London?