Ah, London. I could write a thousand whistle-stop blog posts on this city and still not have experienced everything that this great capital has to offer. But if you find yourself visiting for a short amount of time, and are feeling a little overwhelmed with what to see and do, here’s some suggestions/tips for a 24 hour whistle-stop trip.
Sleep If we’re wanting somewhere cheap to stay in London, especially for one night only, I recommend the Travelodge in Southwark. The location is perfect and the hotel has always been clean, affordable and quiet (with great views overlooking the Shard).
Walk My number one tip when visiting a city is to walk its streets. In larger cities like London, I’ll chose a few areas that I’d like to spend time in, then work out where I’d like to visit etc. For this trip we explored Bloomsbury, Southwark/London Bridge and Kensington on foot. Once you get a better feel for the place then I think it’s a great idea to use the Underground or grab an Uber (perfect if you’re short on time).
Visit the National History Museum. This was my first ever visit to the NHM in London and I was in awe of everything; the building itself, the Blue Whale in the Hintze Hall, the Minerals gallery, the Treasures gallery; and seeing a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. This place is amazing and we only spent a couple of hours in it. I can’t wait to go back in Spring and see the Wildlife Garden. Free admission (we had to queue to get in for about 20 mins – have a takeaway coffee ready for the worthy wait!).
Eat We ate at The Breakfast Club in London Bridge (lots of locations across London) and the burgers here were very good (as were the cocktails). We’ve had their breakfasts previoulsy at a pop up stall at End of the Road Festival but sadly not this time as there were queues outside of the door! Next time I’ll book a seat, and I’ll be back for pancakes and their legendary maple syrup (which you can buy online too).
See the city from another perspective Think about the different views of a city you can experience (from above, below and on water). We tried to reserve tickets for the Sky Garden (FREE) but we were too late (book 3 weeks in advance). When we have more time I’d love to do a Hidden London Underground tour but this time we opted for the water, and took a short boat ride on the Thames river bus to take in views of the city and get us from A-B.
Go to a gig Instead of booking a show (I’m not really a musical fan) why not opt for something a little cheaper? Going to a gig in London is a great opportunity to do what the locals do, as well as getting your entertainment fix. We went to a gig at the Troxy, an art-deco venue in East London and had an amazing night. It felt like I was living in London again!
Visit the parks en route One of my favourite walks of this trip was walking from Westminster to Kensington, via St James’s Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. It only took an hour or so but it was great to walk at our own pace and see so much green amongst the hubub. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning.
More Whistle-Stop trips here