What you will see: The most important political sights, the most important royal sights, three London parks
We will start all three days off in the centre of the city – once heading west, then north and finally east.
Trafalgar Square is home to Nelson’s Column and two huge galleries – the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery. We heartily recommend that you spend an hour whiling around the National. Opening times: Gallery: 10 AM to 6 PM (Sat–Thu), 10 AM to 9 PM (Fri); Tours: 11.30 AM, 2.30 PM (daily) and 7 PM (Fri) . Cost: Free.
Westminster Abbey is London’s most prestigious religious building – the setting for coronations, state funerals, and the burial place of some of our greatest kings and queens. Opening times: 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri), 9.30 PM to 7 PM (Wed), 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Sat); Last admission 1 hour before closing time. Cost: Adults £16.00; Children £6.00 (11–16); Infants free (under-16); Family ticket £32.00.
Skirt the southside of the lake until you come across the bridge in the middle. This will give you one of the most celebrated views of Buckingham Palace. As you walk towards the Queen’s residence keep an eye out for St. James’s Palace.
We then suggest you take a stroll up Constitution Hill to Wellington Arch. This commemorates the Duke of Wellington’s victories in the Napoleonic wars. His impressive mansion is just across road – Apsley House.
Walk east towards Knightsbridge until you get to the Brompton Road. This will lead you to the world’s most famous department store – Harrods. No trip would be complete without a browse through the aisles. Opening times: 10 AM to 8 PM (Mon–Sat), noon to 6 PM (Sun).
If you carry on down the Brompton Road you’ll come across three world-class museums – the V&A Opening times: 10 AM to 5.45 PM (Sat–Thu), 10 AM to 10 PM (Fri). Cost: Free. , the Natural History Museum Opening times: 10 AM to 5.50 PM (daily); Last admission 5.30 PM. Cost: Free. and the Science Museum Opening times: 10 AM to 6 PM (daily); Last admission 5.30 PM. Cost: Free. .
A short stroll through Kensington Gardens will take you to the Round Lake and Kensington Palace – a great place to end the day. Opening times: 10 AM to 6 PM (daily); Last admission 5 PM. Cost: Adults £12.50; Children £6.25 (5–16); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £34.00.
What you will see: The best of central London – Soho, Mayfair, Marylebone, Bloomsbury and Covent Garden
Starting off in Trafalgar Square again, this time we will head north to Leicester Square and London’s West End district.
Marble Arch is not as impressive as it sounds, so head west down Oxford Street for a spot of shopping. Keep going past the department stores until you come out at Tottenham Court Road. We will now head north to Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury is famous for the British Museum. You could easily spend a whole day exploring its six million exhibits from ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy, Africa and the Orient. Opening times: Galleries: 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sat to Wed), 10 AM to 8:30 (Thu, Fri); Last admission 10 minutes before closing time. Cost: Free.
When you get to Northumberland Avenue, head west, and this will take you back to Trafalgar Square again.
What you will see: The ancient heart of the city, the financial district, the theatres and galleries on Southbank
Starting off in Trafalgar Square again, this time we will head east up the Strand towards the Square Mile.
Look out for the way in to Temple Church on the right. This is one of London’s most historic sights and well worth a visit – home to the Knights Templar. Cost: Adults £3.00.
Keep on walking up Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill until you get to St. Paul’s Cathedral. No trip would be complete without looking around Christopher Wren’s masterpiece. Opening times: 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon–Sat); Last admission 4 PM; Galleries open from 9.30 AM; Last admission to the galleries 4.15 PM. Cost: Adults £15.00; Children £6.00 (6–17); Infants free (5 and under); Family ticket £36.00.
Head south down King William Street until you get to the Monument, and then walk down Eastcheap. If you look to the right then you can smake out Pudding Lane – where the Great Fire of London began in 1666. Keep heading eastwards.
The Tower of London was originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th-century and is now one of London’s two World Heritage Sites. If you have the time, then we thoroughly recommend a visit. Opening times: 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Mar–Oct), 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Mar–Oct), 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Nov–Feb), 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Nov–Feb); Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Cost: Adults £19.80; Children £10.45 (5–16); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £55.00.
Before long you’ll reach the celebrated Globe Theatre and Tate Modern art gallery. We thoroughly recommend a look around the Tate, as the views from the roof are worth admission alone. Opening times: Gallery: 10 AM to 6 PM (Sun–Thu), 10 AM to 10 PM (Fri, Sat); Last admission 45 minutes before closing time; Tours: 11 AM, noon, 2 PM, 3 PM (daily). Cost: Free.
The tour ends a little further down the river at the world-famous London Eye. This is the largest observation wheel in the world and takes about 30 minutes to revolve. It is well worth the wait if the queues aren’t too heavy. Opening times: 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Jan–Mar), 10 AM to 9 PM (Apr–Jun), 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Jul–Aug), 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Sep–Dec). Cost: Adults £18.60; Children £9.54 (4–15); Infants free (under-4); Family ticket £56.28.
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