GET OUT AND ENJOY LONDON
Having spent the first of your seven days in London getting acquainted with the layout of the city, and familiarising yourself with where its major attractions sit in relation to one another, it’s time now to dive in and really get to know individual aspects and sites of the capital.
If you haven’t yet read our suggested itinerary for day one you can view it here.
Visit To Westminster Abbey
Begin your second day in London with a visit to Westminster Abbey, the coronation church, where almost all of England’s Kings and Queen’s have been crowned and where many of them are buried. Time your arrival for between 9.30am and 10am and allow 90 minutes to 2 hours for your visit.
For full details on admission costs and opening times follow this link.
The London Eye
Leaving the Abbey, head across Parliament Square and pass to the left of Big Ben. Head for Westminster Bridge and cross to its left side. Keep ahead over the bridge and, on the other side, go left down the steps and walk along the riverside to the London Eye. The walk should take around 40 minutes at a gentle pace.
The London Eye is hugely popular so it’s wise to book in advance, which can also save you money.
To book visit the London Eye Website.
For lunch there are several pubs and restaurants located around the London Eye.
Visit St Paul’s Cathedral
Start your afternoon by walking over the River Thames via the Hungerford Pedestrian Bridge to Embankment Underground Station and take a tube to Mansion House Station. Leave the station via Exit Four and go left along Bow Lane. This attractive thoroughfare still adheres to its medieval street pattern and is lined with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.
On arrival at Ye Olde Watling Pub, turn left along Watling Street and walk towards St Paul’s Cathedral, the dome of which you will see directly ahead.
When you arrive the Cathedral head clockwise around it and enter via the west entrance. You can get details of the admission charges and opening hours for St Paul’s here. Allow 90 minutes for your visit, longer if you feel energetic enough to climb to the top of the dome for spectacular views over the London skyline.
A good way to end your second day in London is to enjoy a visit to one of the city’s worldclass theatres. You can head over to the Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square to see what shows you can get tickets for. They list the likely available shows on their website.
Beforehand you could enjoy a pre-theatre meal in one of the many restaurants around Covent Garden.
A nice way to round off day two might be to enjoy a night cap in one of London’s historic pubs.
Good heavens! You’re already into your third day in London. Where does all the time go.
Let’s make this one count and begin it with a London must.
The Tower of London
This imposing fortress enjoy a bloodthirsty history that stretches right back to the reign of King William 1st, who ordered its construction in the wake of his Norman Invasion of 1066. It’s a fascinating place, and one of the best ways to get to grips with its history is on one of the excellent tours conducted at regular intervals by the Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters as they’re more commonly known. The Tower is also where the Crown Jewels are kept so prepare to be dazzled by some right Royal bling! Details of admission charges and opening times can be found on this page.
For lunch today you there are numerous eaterie situated on Tower Hill, from a noodle bar to a KFC and a few excellent, and reasonably priced, pubs.
You can read our introduction to the Tower of London here.
The British Museum
Lunch over, make your way to Tower Hill Underground Station and take a Circle Line train to King’s Cross.
If there are any Harry Potter fans in your group you might like to make a diversion to visit Platform 9 3/4 here. It actually does exist as they’ve embedded half a luggage trolley in the wall, so that people can have their photographs taken here!
Otherwise, at King’s Cross Station switch to the Piccadilly Line and take it one stop to Russell Square Station.
Turn left at the station, cross to the right side of the road and keep ahead over the traffic lights to walk along the north side of Russell Square itself. Bear left, then second right where, on the left side of the Street is the entrance to the British Museum. You can spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the highlights of one of the world’s premier museums. Opening times and a brief history of the museum can be found here.
A Fish and Chip Supper
Early evening, why not enjoy a traditional Fish and Chips meal at the Happy Days Fish and Chip Shop on Goulston Street (except on Saturdays and Sundays when it’s closed). To get there from the British Museum simply retrace your journey to King’s Cross via the Piccadilly Line, change to the Hammersmith and City Line, and take it five stops to Aldgate East Underground Station.
Turn left off the tube, go up the steps and through the ticket barrier, go out of Exit One on the right, turn right along Whitechapel High Street and go second right along Goulston Street. The Happy Days Fish and Chip Shop is located towards the end on the right. They do some of the finest Fish and Chips in London.
A Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
On the evening of your third day in London why not follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous serial killer on a tour of the Victorian streets where the Jack the Ripper murders occurred.
The tour begins at 7pm and departs from outside Exit Four of Aldgate East Underground Station.
To reach the starting point retrace your footsteps back to Aldgate East Station, keep going past Exit One, cross over Commercial Street, pass to the right of the Sportech shop and, when you reach Burger King, veer right to cross over Whitechapel High Street, where you will find Exit Four on the opposite side. The tour has limited numbers so booking is essential.
The Jack the Ripper tour will end in Mitre Square. For a night cap ask your guide to direct you to the Hoop and Grapes Pub on Aldgate High Street, one of the only City buildings to have survived the Great Fire of London and an excellent place to wind down after the horrors you will have spent the last two hours hearing about.
Across from the pub is Aldgate Underground Station.
And so, day three of your seven days in London draws to a close.
Hope your sleep wasn’t too troubled by visions of Jack the Ripper and his grisly crimes?
By day four, you’ll have done many of the major London attractions and have gained a pretty good understanding of the layout and geography of London.
Take a Day Trip From London
For day four, why not venture further afield and enjoy a day trip out of London. Several coach companies over tours to places such as Windsor, Salisbury and Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon.
Coach or Bus Tours From London
Several companies even bunch them all together and offer a full day tour that takes in Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath.
This isn’t an ideal way to visit these places. Done like this, the day is rushed and you get to spend minimal time at each location. Obviously, if seeing them all is important to you then do take one of these whistle stop tours. Here’s how.
Why not go by train?
Alternatively, you can make your own way via train. There are regular direct departures from London’s mainline stations and the train is often a lot quicker than a coach, which can get stuck in slow moving traffic.
You can, for example, get from London to Windsor in a little under and hour. Oxford can take around an hour and enjoy a day exploring the colleges of the City of Dreaming Spires. Bath takes around two hours. Stonehenge can be combined with a visit to Salisbury, and there’s a regular bus service from Salisbury to Stonehenge. If you’re feeling particularly adventuress, and are willing to travel a greater distance then its even possible to go from London to York and back within a day by train.
Full details of train times and booking details are available from the National Rail Website.
DAY FOUR EVENING
For the evening of your fourth day in London book well in advance and get yourself tickets for the magical Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Since this doesn’t start, or at least you don’t have to be there till 9.30pm, you’ll have plenty of time to get back to London and have dinner before making your way over to the Tower of London.
Full details ho how to get tickets are available on this page.
Well, you’ve got as far as your fifth day in London and have now seen the majority of the main London attractions, experienced a few of its famous pubs, have followed in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper and have enjoyed a day trip out of London.
For day five why not visit some of London’s lesser known properties or explore some of the city’s various neighbourhoods.
Spend a Morning in Hampstead
A good place to visit is the village of Hampstead, London’s country village. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Hampstead tube from central London, but when you exit the underground station you’ll find a part of London that is totally different. If you keep ahead over the road when you leave the station, and go first right into Church Row you’ll find yourself walking along one of the Capital’s most impressive promenades.
At the end of Church Row is the church of St John in the churchyard of which lie buried the artist John Constable and the clockmaker John Harrison, he of Longitude fame.
You can visit the churchyard on our Hampstead Village Walking Tour.
One of the must do’s in Hampstead is a visit to the Keats House Museum where the poet John Keats lived from 1818 to 1820 and where he wrote some of his greatest poetry. You can get details of opening days and admission charges on this page.
The other Hampstead must do is to take a stroll on the magnificent Heath, full details of which can be found on the Corporation of London’s Website.
Visit a London House
For your afternoon you could visit one of London’s historic houses that are open to the public. High on the agenda is the Dickens House Museum, which was the house that Charles Dickens moved to in 1837 when he was writing his first major work Pickwick Papers. The house has recently undergone a major renovation. Full details, as well as details of other houses you might like to visit, can be found on our dedicated London Houses page.
Take a Ghost Walk or a Pub Walk
A nice day to end your fifth day in London might be to take one of our ghost walks or one of our regular historic pub walks. Of course you can attend the theatre again as London’s west end theatres offer a huge number of and variety of plays and musicals.
How time flies! It’s day six already so, with just two full days left let’s ensure you don’t miss a moment! One of the things you re going to want to do before you leave London is go shopping. London has some first rate, and world famous shops, so let’s make day six a day for shopping.We’ve got lots of suggestions for which shops to visit and what their opening hours are. In addition we list information on how visitors from outside the European Union can reclaim the 20% VAT they will pay on many of the goods they purchase. For full details please see our London Shopping Guide.
For evening of day six, why not give yourself a rest and enjoy a splurge and enjoy a meal at London’s oldest restaurant? Rules, at 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB has been expanding the girths of Londoners and visitors alike since 1798.
It has always been very popular with actors, as is attested to by the number of signed photographs of stars both past and present that adorn the walls.
It was also a favourite with Charles Dickens and the Prince of Wales (although not together!). The cuisine is traditional British and the service is very much old school.
Well, here it is, the last of your 7 days in London and it’s time to bid it farewell with a day of true exploration.
Take to the River and Head For Docklands
Dockland’s is modern London at its breathtaking and stunning best. Take the tube to Embankment Underground Station, cross over the road to Embankment pier and take a Thames Clipper all the way down the river to Canary Wharf Pier. Click here for details and timings.
Once at Canary Wharf, just take a wander around docklands and, having admired the stunning modern buildings that have sprung up over the last 20 years.
Take A Cable Car Over the Thames
Having explored modern Docklands, take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) from Canary Wharf to Royal Victoria Dock and make your way to the Emirates Airline Terminal to take a cable car ride over the River Tames. Full details are here.
Having crossed the Thames, make your way to North Greenwich Station and take the Jubilee Line to London Bridge Station. From here make your way to London’s newest attraction The Shard, now the highest building in Western Europe. From the viewing platforms on the 69th and 72nd floors you can enjoy the absolutely breathtaking View From the Shard. It’s not cheap but, if it is a clear day, you can see all over London and gaze down on many of the places you have visited during your 7 days in London.
For the evening of your final day attend another play or musical in London’s West End, or if you want to say a fond farewell by exploring some of London’s lesser known places join us for one of our London pub tours.
So, there you have a detailed seven day itinerary to help you make the most of your time in London.
We hope you enjoy it and that it introduces you to many of the City’s well known, and lesser known attractions.
You don’t have to follow the exact itinerary to the letter, but, rather, you can mix and match.
Have a great time during your stay and we hope our little guide will prove useful in helping you to decide what to do in London.