On our latest trip to the UK we had less than 36 hours to experience the sights and activities of London, England. Here’s how we fit in as much as possible – on foot!
We arrived at the Victoria Station bus terminal just after 5:00 on a Friday evening and walked (with all our luggage) to our hotel about 10 minutes away (you can read my full review on the Belgrave Hotel here). We checked-in at 5:30 pm, dropped off our luggage and went right to sight seeing.
Our route that evening (click to see map) included:
- St. George’s Tavern for dinner (read my TripAdvisor review on our dinner!)
- Sight-seeing at Buckingham Palace
- Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster
- The London Eye, and
- Walking back to our hotel along the Thames River
The walk said it would be approximately an hour and a half, but after we stopped for dinner, for photos, shopping, and getting a little bit lost, it took us around 4 hours. We really enjoyed seeing the palace at night because there were very few people there. We were both able to get pictures in front of the main palace gates with no other people in the photos! Definitely recommend visiting in the evening to avoid the large crowds that form to see changing of the guard, etc. The trails through the park and gardens were also almost empty, so if we ever went back we would try visiting very late or very early again.
On the second day we ventured even further to see the sights. Our route was a little less organized, but included longer stops and leisurely walking – although we walked more than 30,000 steps that day! In no particular order we saw the following attractions/sights:
- Buckingham Palace and gift shop (it was very busy at the palace, after we went to the shop we headed back to the hotel to drop off our souvenirs)
- St. James’s Palace and Park
- Trafalgar Square (where we watched numerous street performers and had a rest before continuing our walk)
- Lunch at the Slug & Lettuce (read my TripAdvisor review here!)
- Tower Bridge
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and saw a performance of Twelfth Night (check out my review of the theatre on TripAdivsor)
- Borough Market
- London Bridge
- Buckingham Palace (again, and it was really busy again!)
- The Prince of Wales Pub for dinner (read that TripAdvisor review here… terrible!!)
- Back to our hotel to crash
Throughout our walks we also saw the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Courts of Justice, The Royal Opera House, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and The National Gallery all from the outside only – we didn’t have time to go inside. Our walking was not planned the greatest, and I’m sure if you were more specific about your route and timing you might be able to see inside different attractions or have longer to visit each attraction if you took a cab.
Overall, we were very happy with everything we were able to see, we had perfect weather and a great time in London. One thing we do wish we could have visited would have been the Sherlock Holmes home – but now we have an excuse to go back.
Have you been to London? What were your favourite sights?