Top Ten Things to Do in London
We hope you enjoy your London vacation as much as our guests who stay in our London vacation rental apartments. We asked them to vote on their top London sites and here are the winners below. Have a wonderful vacation in London and hope you’ll consider staying in one of our London short term rentals.
Recommended Tours: Context Travel is a recommended tour company, who offer special tours by inspired guides. They select guides from a network of passionate historians, architects, curators, writers, and even chefs. They will help you to explore, enjoy and discover this amazing City. For more information on their tours, click here
1. Watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Visit Buckingham Palace
Watch the changing of the Queen’s Guard near Buckingham Palace at 11:30 am daily in the summer. In winter, it’s every other day. Love the pomp and circumstance.
From August to September you can visit the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, home to the royal family since Queen Victoria settled there in 1937. Unbelievable collection of masterpieces by Leonardo to Vermeer. Amazing statistics: 78 bathrooms, 775 rooms, 188 bedrooms just for staff.
For more information on both the Changing of the Guard Ceremony and the Buckingham Palace Tour, please visit www.royal.gov.uk
2. Stroll Along the Thames to the London Eye and Big Ben
The Thames passes by some of the most iconic sight in London, including the Houses of Parliament (commonly called Big Ben), and the London Eye.
3. Ride a Red Double Decker Bus
‘Cheap and cheerful’ as the English say. Wonderful to sit in the front seats at the top and see London below. Check the map at the bus stop; choose the one that has the windiest route so you can get the most sites for your money. When you hop off, be sure to ask where you catch it in the other direction. Here is the Transport for London site where you can download information on travel cards, taking buses and more.
4. See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London
The crown jewels, delightful tour by the Yeoman Warders around this fortress, palace, prison, mint, and place of execution. Note: Go early because it gets very crowded, especially in summer. www.hrp.org.uk.
5. Visit Westminster Abbey
Beautiful Medieval Cathedral where most King’s and Queen’s of England are buried. King Harold and Willaim the Conqueror were crowned here in 1066. Elizabeth’s coronation was held here in 1953 and Diana’s funeral in 1993. Poet’s Corner is fascinating where the most famous English poets in the worlds are buried: Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, T. S. Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Samuel Johnson, John Keats, Rudyard Kipling, Laurence Olivier, Alexander Pope, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Shakespeare, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth.
6. Spend the Day at One of London's Fantastic Museums
Many London museums are free thanks to the Lottery. Study the floorplans and take ‘bite size’ pieces.
The Natural History Museum; dinosaurs of course, but there is always something interesting featured.
The Victoria and Albert: Fabulous collection of furniture, decorative items, ceramics, silver, jewelry and more. A favorite is the costume and dress exhibit throughout the ages.
7. Tour Kensington Palace & the Surrounding Gardens
Set in the beautiful Kensington Gardens, it’s a must if you have children. Play in the Princess Diana Playground, or jog around the park. The palace has a collection of Diana’s dresses. www.hrp.org.uk.
8. Go to the Beautiful St Paul's Cathedral
Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, built after the great London fires in the 1600’s. Reminds me of St. Peter’s in Rome, especially the dome. One of the largest domes in the world. Buried here: Christopher Wren, Nelson and Wellington.
Find the area outside of St. Paul’s most fascinating; this area is where the City of London grew up. In ancient times, this is where the market streets were and you can tell by the ancient street names: Ropemaker Place, Threadneedle Street, Cornhill, Cheapside and more. Gradually evolved to become one of the largest financial centers in the world. It is its own City with its own mayor and police force.
9. Choose from a Huge Selection of Shows, Plays and Theatre
This is London! Choose from a huge selection of plays and musicals, from serious to silly. There are dozens to choose from around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
Be sure to also visit the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s beautifully reconstructed theatre.
10. Grab a Bargain at the Portobello Market
Antiques Market in Notting Hill on Saturday mornings. www.portobellomarket.org.