London: A Visitor’s Guide
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What you will see:Sightseeing bus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, view from the Shard, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London… ending with a West End show
We’re going to begin our London in three days with a sightseeing bus – a great way to get an overview of the city. The ticket will be valid for 24 hours so we’ll be jumping on and off the bus throughout the day.
We suggest catching the ‘Red Route’ at Trafalgar Square, travelling towards The City. The journey will take you up the Strand and Fleet Street, dropping you off outside St. Paul’s Cathedral (allow for 30 mins).
Now jump on the same bus again and ride it over London Bridge. The Shard will loom up ahead. If you’d like to check out the view from London’s tallest observation deck then get off here and allow yourself 60 mins.
Now jump on the same bus again and ride it over Tower Bridge. Don’t worry about the photos – you’ll get a better view when you get off at…
The best way to end the first day is with a memorable show. Check out our theatre guide to see what’s on.
The same bus will take you all the way back to Trafalgar Square via the Victoria Embankment (remember to look out for Cleopatra’s Needle along the way). If you’re pushed for time, then you can get the District line from Tower Hill to Embankment instead (10 min ride, 2 min walk from Trafalgar Square).
Alternatively, you could just stay on the bus and ride it all the way round Westminster, Victoria, Marylebone, and back to Trafalgar Square (but it will take ages – we don’t recommended it).
What you will see:London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus
Westminster Abbey is London’s most prestigious religious building – the setting for coronations, state funerals, and the burial place of many celebrated kings and queens (allow for 90 mins).
Continue along Whitehall until you get to Trafalgar Square again. If you like art, then you might like to visit the National Gallery (allow for 90 mins).
Continue through Admiralty Arch and up The Mall towards Buckingham Palace (allow for 15 mins walking time). Once you’ve taken some snaps, head north through Green Park to Piccadilly (10 mins walking time).
What you will see:Two of London’s best museums, souvenir shopping at Harrods, ending with a show
Our London in 3 days will begin with a train to South Kensington. Then pick two of the following three museums. Our recommendation would be the Natural History Museum plus one other. All three are within five minutes walking distance of each other.
The Natural History Museum is called the “dead zoo” because it is full of stuffed animals from all around the world. The most popular exhibits are the age-old dinosaur bones (allow for 2 hours).
The Science Museum covers everything from the earliest computers and cars to the Apollo moon landings. They’ve also got an IMAX cinema (allow for 2 hours).
The Victoria & Albert Museum explores the history of art and design. You will see fabulous furniture, jewellery and clothes, and the world-famous Cast Room – containing replicas of the world’s greatest monuments and statues (allow for 2 hours).
All three of those museums are free, so you should have plenty of money left to splash out at Harrods. You’ll find it a short walk down the Brompton Road (allow for 1 hour shopping time, or more if you use the restaurant).
The best way to finish off your trip is with a show. You’ve already been to the theatre, so how about some music? The Royal Albert Hall is a short distance from Harrods (find out what’s on here). You can catch a 10-minute bus from Knightsbridge (numbers 9, 10, 52 or 452).
Alternatively, you could ride the No.9 bus to the Royal Festival Hall in 25 minutes (find out what’s on here). But if you really want a treat, how about watching a concert at The O2? (Find out what’s on here.)
You will need to get a tube to North Greenwich for this one, because it's miles away in Greenwich. It's a 40-minute ride, and you’ll have to change trains at Green Park.
Here are some more ideas about how to spend three days in London