London is amazing; there is nothing to add here. And there are so many places to see and so little time to do it. I came up with this 1 day in London itinerary when I had less than 24 hours to spend in the city, and I hope it will help you to see the main sights.
So far I travelled to London on business trips only, and usually I have 2 days extra before I fly back home, so I try to get the most out of my short stays. If you are like me and don’t have much time to spend in London, but are a good walker, then this itinerary is for you.
Where to start
I stayed not far from the Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, so naturally it was my starting point. It was an amazing day: the sun was shining brightly – which was a surprise for me, because it rarely happens when I am in London, regardless the season – so I decided to take my chances. Just for the record: it rained when I was close to the Tower Bridge 🙂
Taking from the gardens, I spent the whole day wandering around the city till I got to the Tower, and all on foot! Just to be clear: I am not much of a walker, so anyone can do it.
So, you start at Queensway Station and finish at Tower Hill, which is perfect as you can take the tube back to the place you stay at. This is a quick overview of my 1 day London itinerary:
- Kensington Palace
- Kensington Gardens
- Hyde Park
- Buckingham Palace
- St James’s park
- Westminster Abbey
- Parliament Building
- Big Ben
- Westminster Bridge
- London Eye
- Temple Church
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Millennium Bridge
- Globe Theatre
- Tate Modern
- Tower Bridge
If you trust Google Maps, the whole route without stopping anywhere will take 2 hours and 40 minutes. I spent the whole day on this route, but, please, keep in mind, that I didn’t go inside these places, and, consequently, didn’t wait in lines.
It is quite difficult to decide how much time you should spend at each of these places. I spent more than 2 hours in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and St James’s Park. I loved St James’s Park, especially its pigeons! They are not afraid of people, and everyone can touch them. I even caught 2 of them kissing 🙂 The place itself has a very vivid atmosphere with lush greenery, lake with ducks and other water fowl.
After the parks I spent some time taking pictures of Westminster Abbey, Parliament Building, and Big Ben before marching to the London Eye. This is an absolute must, but it is always crowded, and the lines are huuuge! It is better to buy online tickets: it is cheaper, and they even allow you to choose the time. And the view from above is incredible! The actual ride on the London Eye takes about 20 minutes.
Second part of the journey
From the London Eye I headed to the National Theatre, crossed the Waterloo Bridge, and went to Strand: this street leads to St Paul’s. On my way to the cathedral I passed by the Royal Court of Justice (it reminds me of Hogwarts even if many would disagree with me) and Temple Church. Yes, that is the one built by the Knights Templar and mentioned in ‘The Da Vinci Code’. It is a fully functioning church, generally open every day, but they charge entrance fee.
From here I headed to the St Paul’s Cathedral, quite an impressive building. There are benches around, so you can sit and contemplate its grandeur.
Then I crossed the Millennium Bridge, passed by the Globe Theatre, and strolled along the embankment towards the Tower Bridge. And it started raining when I was so close! Luckily, it did not last but you can see the clouds in my pictures. And the famous Tower is just across the bridge.
That’s it! If this is something you are ready to undertake, then put on your best shoes as it will be a walk to remember! In addition, you might be interested in the free places to visit in London. But first things first: don’t forget to have a hearty breakfast 🙂
More on London:
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