Yes – that’s 156 MILLION (depending on the day!) – so the world really needs another London itinerary or tip list! And lucky you – because here it is!
So after you’ve done the Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, Madame Tussaud’s, the Tower and London Eye, try and fit in as many of the following as you can!
1. BEFORE YOUR VISIT – CHECK OUT WHAT’S ON
There’s always a celebration, an exhibition or a new show in town.
2. LOOK UP A GALLERY – OUTDOORS
Spend a few hours around Brick Lane enjoying the street art and installations.
3. TO MARKET, TO MARKET…..
Drop in on a Sunday market – the only problem is which one to choose!
4. MAKE A HOUSE CALL
At Dennis Severs’ House you are immersed into the life of a Huguenot family of silk weavers. It’s literally like walking into a work of art. You move through candlelit rooms and narrow staircases allowing silence (yes – total silence is requested) to guide your senses.
5. SEARCH OUT A GRAVEYARD
A few minutes walk from St. Pancras railway station brings you to St. Pancras Old Church. In the grounds you will find the Hardy Tree.
Once a popular spot for body snatchers, the graveyard faced another challenge with the extension of the railway network. In 1865, bodies were to be exhumed and the remains reburied in a mass grave. The job was assigned to the architect’s assistant – a young Thomas Hardy who had yet to find fame as a writer. The leftover headstones were arranged in a circular pattern under an ash tree in the churchyard.
6. VISIT A MUSEUM
Get to the V and A for the free introductory tour at 10.30am. This gives you a chance to orientate yourself while visiting about 6 or 7 specific exhibits. After that, depending on your interests, you could spend a week in the place!
(If the place was empty there’d still be plenty to look at!)
(Even the restaurant is beautiful!)
(My personal favourite is the Furniture on Level 6)
7. FIND A BIG CLOCK
There’s more than one in London you know!! St. Pancras Railway Station must be one of the most attractive in the world!
And have a look inside while you’re there.
(The Meeting Place statue)
(Base of Meeting Place statue – is it just my imagination or is she looking at her phone?!!)
8. CATCH THE HOGWART’S EXPRESS
Maybe not – but you can visit Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station!
9. GIVE THE FEET A REST
The only way to get to know a city is to walk it but with London’s iconic transport options, you’re allowed make an exception! So grab the bus, the black taxi and the tube while you’re there.
While you’re down there, don’t just blindly follow the crowds through the tube stations – these constructions have been around for a long time and are worth checking out. Have a look at Baker Street Tube Station in particular where platforms 5 and 6 have been restored and are now close to their original 1863 appearance.
10. SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
Well it is London – head to the high street, the markets or even just Harrods food hall!
11. ENJOY THE NIGHT LIGHTS
Even if you haven’t booked a show, you should still head into the city centre at night to just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the buzz and the lights.
12. GET OFF THE MAIN STREETS
Go walkabout away from the major sights and check out the beautiful town houses, parks and squares.
Dennis Severs’ House has restricted opening times. Only 8 people allowed at a time . Costs £10 (cash only) and no photos permitted.
V and A Museum – There is a free introductory tour daily at 10. 30, 12.30, and 15.30 as well as other free options. No need to book – just turn up at the meeting place.
Transport – London is a very big city. Oyster Cards are readily available, easy to top up and give you access to buses and tube. There is a daily cap which most visitors will easily reach so its well worth getting one as soon as you arrive. There’s a £5 deposit on the card but that is refundable if you wish to cancel it at the end of your trip.
Finally … just before I publish …. this morning there are 172,000,000 London Travel posts out there!!