Exploring London, England is easy because of its amazing transport system. The best thing to do when you land at the airport is to grab an Oyster card and you are ready to start exploring.
Where to stay:
Booking a hotel in London can be quite difficult to do. The closer you are to the city center the more expensive it gets. If you don’t know London too well this can be challenging. Victoria is a great location to stay in. If you are coming from Gatwick airport then you will take the Gatwick Express to Victoria station and your accommodation is just a stone’s throw away. The Z Hotel was just around the corner from the Station was a good affordable accommodation for two people. Keep in mind it is quite compact, so if you like lots of space in your room this may not be your best option.
What to do:
There is so much to do in London. From Victoria Station you are about a 25minute walk away from Buckingham Palace, so definitely go and visit the Queen. Continue walking through St. James Park along Birdcage Walk and you will see the War Museums and the iconic Big Ben. Try and get some good photos amongst the crowds, it’s always busy time in London! Cross Westminster Bridge and continue along The Queen’s Walk, there is lots to see and do here. Check out the London Dungeons or the Aquarium but definitely do not miss out on the London Eye, especially if it’s one of those rare sunny days in London. Make your way towards Covent Garden to grab some lunch.
From Covent Garden you head in the direction of Leicester Square, where you will find loads of street performers, theaters, bars and restaurants. There is even a massive M&Ms store and Lego store here! There are also many souvenir stores so don’t forget to pick up a few things for family members. After Leicester Square you can walk straight along Piccadilly Street and back towards your hotel or you can take the long way around. The long way is up Regent Street and along Oxford Street and take a stroll through Hyde Park on your way back down. There are plenty of shopping opportunities here. Make sure you check out Hamley’s along Regent Street, it is a massive 7 storey toy store. There is always so much going on here that it’s worth checking out, you never know what you may find. Also take the time to wander through Selfridges on Oxford Street, it is a massive high end department store.
Where to Eat
Grab a pub meal from Punch & Judy’s in Covent Garden and sit outside and take in the view of St Paul Cathedral, if it’s not too cold. Make sure you try some sausages and mash or fish and chips, or just have a couple of pints of beer. After lunch walk down the road to a tiny ice cream shop known as Amorino’s they shape their ice cream into roses, and they are amazing. There are also plenty of dining opportunities around Leicester Square. There are also a couple of pubs around Victoria Station like The Shakespeare and The Victoria. If you are staying at the Z-Hotel then there is a Wine and Cheese night that is free for guests every evening between 5pm and 8pm, there was a lot more than wine and cheese there as well and it’s worth the stop off even if you aren’t staying there.
One day in London is really not enough to take it all in, with so many activities you can easily stay here for a couple of weeks without getting bored. If you do have more time the Science Museum and Natural History Museum are worth a visit and they are also free. The Tower of London is also a very cool tour that you can do, and you get to see the Crown Jewels. Hop on a bus or on the tube to get here though as it is quite far to walk. After this tour you can see London Bridge and take a trip up to the top of The Shard for a drink or two. You can also go to Trafalgar Square, although you won’t find anymore pigeons here. The West End is great place to see all those Broadway shows, The Lion King is just fantastic. Harrod’s is also worth taking a stroll through and pick up some of their candies while you’re at it.
London is always busy but if you really want nice weather you may have to deal with the crazy summer crowds. If you don’t mind the cold then go later in the year. December is a great time to explore the Christmas markets and see all the decorations. You never really know what kind of weather you may get here so expect the worse and hope for the best. There are plenty of activities for rainy days like museums and shopping. Make the most of the sunny days with activities like the Shard or the London Eye. London is definitely worth at least one night out in the pub so make to sure to soak up a bit of London after dark, or just go for a stroll.
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