How to plan 5 Days in London
In this 5-day itinerary, we’ll take you on a journey through the city’s most iconic neighbourhoods, including the West End, South Bank, Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, and more. We’ll also recommend some of the best ways to get around, such as the convenient Hop on Hop off bus tour.
London is avibrant and exciting city with endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. From world-renowned museums and hiistoric landmarks to bustling markets and bustling nightlife, there’s something for everyone in the English capital. With a London Pass or London Explorer Pass, you can take advatnage of special offers and discounts on some of the city’s top attractions and experiences. So grab your tickets and let’s get started!
Can you see London in 5 days?
5 days is enough to visit all the main attractions and more than enough to visit the hidden gems. Most attractions take 1 – 2 hours to enter. All the major attractions get busy during the day so every website will advise to get to all the attractions early as possible. Just prioritise what you want to see and do first.
If you don’t want to spend money inside all the attractions, you can see London for free. There are many things to do in London for free. Visit my Free Attractions Guide and London on a budget post to find out more. Alternatively, spend some time visiting free museums and galleries, such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and many others also included in this itinerary. Visit my Museums and Galleries guide for information on free museums and galleries.
If you want to save time, my tip is to visit 2 attractions each day and spend more time exploring other areas of London. Most attraction tours lasts about 1 – 2 hours. If you visit 2 attractions, that’s roughly 4 hours of your day gone. I spent 3 hours walking in the grounds of Tower of London. By the time I finished, it was already lunchtime, which you’d have to spare 1 hour for. If you want to do that, that’s fine but after lunch, take some time taking photos of other famous attractions or relax in the parks.
London is a city where people walk, and something not a lot of people are used to. I got tired walking for 2 hours. There are parks around London everywhere. If you decided to live in the suburbs, there are also local parks that are great with the locals. You’d be away from the tourist spots, and it’s more intimate. Make sure to stop over to relax. For tourist parks, the 8 Royal Parks of London is a must to visit. It’s not as intimate as the local parks, but there are more things to do and live events that happen every season.
Is the London Pass worth it for 5 days?
It depends on how much time you have so check the London Pass website for prices. Please note that some attractions aren’t available with the London Pass (two different tickets). They’re available with The London Explorer Pass, which you can find out more about. Compare and contrast which one suits you best.
If you buy the London Pass, you can save money, especially if you buy a Travel Oyster Card with it. You’ll be saving a lot on travel too. Click for more details on the London Pass with an Oyster Card. Find out whether paying for 1 or 2 tickets at the doors is worth buying a London Pass. The website normally tells you how much each individual attraction costs. It also depends on how much time you have and how many attractions you want to pay for and visit.
Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time in London, be sure to visit my London Guide. London’s social and economic climate change every day so if there are new updates on the news or online, be sure the guide will be updated. Before you travel, make sure you check out the COVID regulations on the Government website.
For example, there are more than 30 attractions to see on the South Bank and each attraction takes a minimum of 1 hour to visit. To visit the South Bank included in this itinerary, walking along the Queen’s Walk, parallel to the River Thames can take a minimum of 1 hour and your feet will get tired (there’s no public transport on the Queen’s Walk). This is why you should plan what attractions you want to see. Click for 31 things to do in South Bank London for inspiration.
It may be cheaper to get 2-for-1 promotion tickets and buy your Oyster Cards separately. Note that 2-for-1 deals aren’t always available at every attraction. 2-for-1 deals are available if you buy a National Rail train ticket at major stations and it depends on the promotion as it changes every now and then.
You can tweak the itinerary a bit to personalise your holiday. I suggest looking at this itinerary, saving it to Excel, and creating a specific itinerary guide for yourself.
I will make an itinerary for a self-guided tour, and an itinerary with a private tour and a London Pass. I will also tell you how long each one takes. Click for 1 day in London, 2 days in London, 3 days in London, 4 days in London, and 5 days in London.
I’m assuming you’ve just landed at the airport and have taken public transport to get to your destination. If you haven’t taken an airport transfer to your hotel, if you land in the morning, I advise getting to your accommodation straight away, taking off your shoes, relaxing, and getting acquainted with the services offered.
Check out tour leaflets and tourist attractions. Ask for information at the desk for recommendations on where to eat and what to do during the day. I recommend finding accommodation near the 8 Royal Parks if you want to just relax after a long journey.
If you land at night and are not too tired, find a hotel near the South Bank, then stroll around the South Bank area for a quiet, breezy walk. If you prefer a lively atmosphere, take the bus, tube, or walk to the West End. The West End includes Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Piccadilly Circus for late-night shopping. Shops close between 8 – 9 pm and it’s included in this itinerary. You can click on the attractions in the Table of Contents to find out more about those attractions.
5 days in London: Day 1 of 5 – Covering the West End
St. James’ Park
St. James’s Park in London is a beautiful and historic public park located in the heart of the city, and it’s one of 8 Royal Parks of London. The park is well-known for its stunning views of Buckingham Palace and the London Eye on the Blue Bridge. Here, you can see the palace in all its grandeur, with the London Eye looming in the background from Horse Guard Parade. This is a truly iconic view of London, and is not to be missed.
St. James’s Park was originally created by King Henry VIII, in the 16th century as a deer park. It was later redesigned by King Charles II in the 17th century, and the current layout of the park dates back to this time. Today, the park covers an area of approximately 57acres, making it one of the largest parks in central London.
One of the most notable features of St. James’ Park is its stunnign lake, which is home to a wide variety of waterfowl, pelicans, ducks, geese, and swans. The park also features beautiful gardens, inlcuding the Rose Garden, the Wild Flower Meadow, and Duck Island Cottage.
Overall, St. James’s Park is a must-see visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and history of London. With its stunning views of Buckingham Palace and the London, as well as its peaceful gardens and lakes, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful park.
At 8 – 830 am, take the tube or bus to St. James’ Park Station to arrive between 9 – 10 am. To get to St. James’ Park, you can take the tube to St. James’ Park Tube Station. It’s just a 2 minute walk. Victoria Station or Green Park Station are nearby tube stations. If you want to visit Buckingham Palace and Green Park, get off at Green Park Tube Station. From Green Park Station, walk through Green Park and head towards Canada Gate (the black and gold iron gate on the other side of the park). You will see Buckingham Palace in front of you and St. James’ Park is in front of Buckingham Palace.
Alternatively, arrive at Victoria Station, and it will just be a 10 minute walk to St. James’ Park and Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guards
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Upon approaching the palace, one might see the beautiful facade and the guards standing at attention. As you enter the palace grounds, you might hear the sounds of birds chirping and bustle of tourists. The air inside the palace is cool and musty, with the faint smell of old wood and history. As you walk through the state rooms, you might see the opulent and colourful decorations and cintricate details on the furniture and painting. You might even be lucky enough to taste some of the delicious food served in the cafe at the end of the tour. Check out my experience in the Buckingham Palace State Rooms.
At 10 – 11 am, make sure you hang around in Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guards, and you can see the times and dates for the Changing of the Guards on the website. Usually, you can watch the Changing of the Guards in Horse Guard Parade between 11 – 12 pm. Horse Guard Parade is next to St. James’ Park, you can either watch The Changing of the Guards in Buckingham Palace or Horse Guard Parade. The one in Horse Guard Parade is the Horse Guard Cavalry and the one in Buckingham Palace are footguards, both protecting the Queen. Get there as early as you can since it will get busy 5 minutes before the Changing of the Guards start. If you don’t like crowds, I suggest watching the one in Horse Guard Parade.
Note that if you decide to visit the one Buckingham Palace and you’re at the back, it’s really hard to see as they can be blocked by the people in front of you. Click for my experience in The Changing of the Horse Guard Cavalry.
Once the Changing of the Guards finishes, walk through the Horse Guard Parade archway and you’ll end up in Whitehall.
Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square is a bustling hub of activity. The sound of honking cars and chatter fills the air as people rush by, their footsteps clacking against the pavement. In the centre, the towering Nelson’s Column stands proudly, its stone surface cool to the touch. The sights of the sqaure are varied, from the grandiose fountains to the four gigantic lions protecting the square. Overall, Trafalgar Square is vibrant and dynamic place that engages all the senses.
To your left, you’ll see Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. There’s a hidden gem, the smallest police station standing in the corner. It hasn’t been used in a very long time, and there’s nothing in there, but it’s situated under a large lamp, and can accommodate one policeman. It’s more of a booth than a police station.
The history of the smallest police station started during The Bloody Sunday Riots of November 1887. The riot happened in Trafalgar Square, and the Metropolitan Police decided they needed to keep a watchful eye on them. Ever since then, they built a “police booth”. The idea to build the police station inside a a large lamp post was that if the revolt became unruly, the light would flash to signal extra assistance. Since the riot ended, it’s been a tourist attraction ever since. Not many people notice this, and it’s not a big tourist attraction, but it’s been there since the 19th Century.
Spend no more than half an hour in Trafalgar Square and head over to the free The National Gallery. You can spend a whole day in the National Gallery, so I advise on spending no more than 1 hour here between 1 – 2pm. Walking through the Gallery for half a day will hurt your feet so I recommend not doing that. 😊 Since we’re back to normal, you can walk in or book a ticket on their website. There are les people that visit at this time although still busy.
Where to eat near Trafalgar Square
Spare 1 hour for lunch between 12 – 1 pm. There is a Tesco supermarket if you are on a budget. You can get a bottle of drinks of your choice, a sandwich, a chocolate bar, or a packet of crisps (potato chips) for under £4. Sit in Trafalgar Square and enjoy the beauty of the mermaids and fish fountains, the giant lions protecting Trafalgar Square, the crowds , the cool breeze or the sunshine.
If you want to experience traditional British food, check out two British pubs I recommend, The Lord Moon of the Mall and The Silver Cross pub. The price range for eating in pubs are usually between £5 to £6 for a sharing platter and £12 – £15 for bigger meals for fish and chips and pie. Pubs in Central London can be busy and difficult to find a table. My advice is to get there before 12, have beer and find a good spot for lunch. Pubs are usually open from 11am, so you’ll have an hour to chill out before noon for lunch.
Leicester Square is the home of film premiers in London, and it is a vibrant and bustling place. When you arrive at Leicester Square, you are greeted by the sounds of people chattering, sitting, laughing and having lunch by the benches encircling the statue of Shakespeare. You’ll hear the hum of traffic, and the air filled with the excitement of the crowds watching cheesy street performers busking or juggling. As you walk through the square, you can see the colourful advertisements for upcoming movies in the Odeon Cinema and colourful posters in the various ticket booths for current theatre shows. You can feel the people jostle past you on your way to see the latest theatre shows. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a famous actor or director on the red carpet. LOL. Only joking. You RARELY ever see them, unless there’s a film premier.
Take a few photos with statues of Bugs Bunny, the characters from Singing in the Rain, Mr. Bean, Paddington Bear and the Shakespeare Memorial. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars around here if you want to grab something to eat. A lot of websites recommend you go up Indigo Hotel on the 9th floor to see the view of London, but personally, it’s not worth it. It’s better to go to the Shard, or Sky Garden. Overall, Leicester Square is a sensory feast that captures the excitement and glamour of the film industry.
Spend 1 hour in the M&Ms and Lego Stores. Both stores can be very busy and can get claustrophobic, so spend no more than 30 minutes in Leicester Square.
Where to eat near Leicester Square
There are many places to eat near Leicester Square. There are many fast food establishments like McDonald’s Burger King and KFC, Bella Italia and Angus Steakhouse. Soho and Chinatown are just a doorstep away for more eateries. Angus Steakhouse does get busy, especially Friday and Saturday nights.
As for Chinatown, admire the Chinese Gates next to the M&M’s Store. If you feel like having Oriental dishes, spend some time here. I recommend 4 Seasons or C&R, hidden in a small alleyway. When eating in Chinatown, the tables can be tight spaced and there’s no space to pass through. It can also be crowded and noisy, sometimes, there’s not a lot of seats, and you’d have to book in advance, especially during the Chinese New Year. Saturdays are non existent if you turn up and want a table on the day.
Piccadilly Circus is nothing but a square to hang out in. You usually hear noisy buskers, especially in the evening. You’d also see people eating and sitting by Shaftesbury Memorial. This is a great chance to take photos in front of the gigantic live billboards shining below you. Take no more than 15 minutes here. Piccadilly Circus lights up at night and the billboard lights reflect the vehicles below. Soho is a great area for a vibrant nightlife, and the LGBT community also hang out there.
If you feel like shopping at big high street and high-end stores, Regent Street is connected to Piccadilly Circus, and Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road are connected to Regent Street. It can get dark at around 5pm – 6pm, this is when London lights up. Shops around these areas open between 8 am – 9 am and close between 8pm and 9pm everyday. Most stores open at 11 am and close at 6 pm on Sundays.
Check out the small cobbled Carnaby Street alleyway for small independent and chained stores ,Liberty’s for luxurious fashion, beauty, and homeware shopping experience. The dark pine wood walls gives it that dark, intimate 15th – 17th Century Tudor feel. You can see the Tudor architecture, and you’d be stepping inside luxury brands. I still feel a million dollars just walking through the store.
For the kids, check out Hamley’s Toy Store. Hamley’s is cheaper than Rainforest Cafe, and you’d have a better experience here. You’d often see sales assistants entertaining passersby and encouraging you to enter the store. There are 7 floors and it’s a heavenly place for kids of all ages.
If you love electronics, check out the flagship Apple Store, which also gets busy day and night.
You won’t have time to visit all the stores mentioned above if you want to save time, but I recommend spending no more than 2 hours. Alternatively, save going to Regent Street for another day.
From Piccadilly Circus, you can walk towards Covent Garden, (an 11-minute walk or 8 minutes by tube on the Piccadilly Line (dark blue line).
Covent Garden is a bustling and vibrant area of London known for its unique blend of 19th century architecture, bustling street performers, markets, shops, cafes, and restaurants.
As you approach this area, the first thing you’ll notice the sound of lively street performers. From talented musicians and singers to acrobats and magicians, there’s always something interesting to watch and listen to.
As you walk through the streets, you’ll be struck by the beautiful 19th century architecture that surrounds you. The msot notable building in the area is St. Paul’s Church Covent Garden, which stands proudly in the centre of the district. Built in 1633, this stunning building is a great example of London’s rich history.
If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in Covent Garden. The Apple Market and Jubilee Market are filled with stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to vintage clothing. You’ll also find a wide variety of shops such as Olivia Burton and Chanel, cafe and souvenir stalls, and restaurants ranging from British pubs to steakhouses throughout the district, offering something for every taste and budget.
One of the most unique attractions in Covent Garden is the London Transport Museum. Located in the heart of the district, this museum is home to a fascinating collection of vintage buses, trains, and other modes of transport going back to the 18th century. You can even climb aboard some of the exhibits and experience what it was like to travel around London in days gone by.
In short, Covent Garden is a vibrant and exciting place that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, beautiful architecture, or a unique shopping aand dining experience, this district has it all.
Check out Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop for traditional British toys. They’ve been open for 100 years. Check out my favourite store Moomin which sell quirky books, gadgets, tableware, clothing, stationery. You can also find the Apple Store here, but the crowds are the same as Regent Street. For the kids, check out the London Transport Museum where you’ll be immersed in the history and development of British transportation dating back to the 18th Century.
Flat Iron Restaurant
Restaurants, cafes and pubs in Covent Garden
There are many fast-food restaurants, British pubs, and high-end restaurants to choose from. Fast food restaurant Shake Shack is around £12 for burger, chips and drinks. Pubs selling fish and chips and traditional British pies are around £12 – £15. Check out The White Lion Pub, Nag’s Head, and The Lamb and Flag. Of course, there’s Tesco and Sainsbury’s Supermarket for your £4 meal deals.
As for restaurants, you can opt for Steak and Co. and Flat Iron for great steak and general European dishes. They also do vegetarian options here. Flat Iron can get very busy so make a reservation before visiting. The service is 5* and the food came out on time. We only waited 20 – 30 minutes for our food. The price range was between £10 – £15 +, a standard price in Central London.
If you want Afternoon Tea in Covent Garden, there are 3 places I recommend. Afternoon Tea at the Savoy Hotel for fine dining. The Savoy Hotel is a few minute walk from Charing Cross Station and Trafalgar Square. Whittard of Chelsea, for mid range dining. Whittard of Chelsea is situated in the middle of Covent Garden Piazza, a 1 minute wlak from Covent Garden. If you love Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, they do afternoon tea there too.
If you’re fit enough, you can walk to all the activities mentioned above, otherwise, take the bus or tube. Note that although buses are cheaper, it can get really packed and traffic can slow down your journey. Taking the tube is easier and quicker, although more expensive. The tubes can also be packed, especially during rush hour, depending on what tube line you take.
Shaftesbury Avenue – The Theatre District
Shaftesbury Avenue is a bustling hub of activity, filled with the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of London’s West End.
The first thing you notice as you walk down Shaftesbury Avenue is the bright, colourful billboards on top of the West End theatres. These dazzling displays of lights and images catch your eye,d rawing you in with their promises of entertainment and excitement.
As you continue down the avenue, the sound of hoking cars and bustling crowds fills your ears. You hear the clanging of busker’s drums and the meldoies of street performers in Piccadilly Circus adding to the lively atmosphere.
The smell of the city waft around you, mixing with the fragrant scents of freshly cooked food from the many resstaurants along Soho and China Town. The mouthwatering aroma of stir fry in China Town and the juicy smell of burgers in Soho makes your realise how hungry you are.
Tasting the rich, creamy cappuccino from a local coffee shop as a must-do while reading a novel alone watching the days go by on Shaftesbury Avenue. The smooth texture of the frothy milk and the bold flavour of the espresso beans awaken your senses and give you the energy you need to explore the rest of the avenue.
As you walk further down the street, you can feel the vibrant energy of the city pulsing through your veins. The smooth, cool surface of the pavement beneath your feet and the warm sun on you face make you feel alive and ready to take on the day.
Shaftesbury Avenue is a feast for the senses, offering a vibrant and exciting experience that can only be found in the heart of London’s West End.
At around 6 – 8 pm, go back to Piccadilly Circus and head over to Soho for lively entertainment and dinner. There are plenty of places to eat, from cafes, budget to high end restaurants, pubs, and clubs. Shaftesbury Avenue, the theatre district is next to Soho if you bought tickets to see a theatre show here, and have great choices of restaurants and cafes before a theatre show. Two major theatre shows Thriller, the Michael Jackson show and Les Misérables are on the same street. Harry Potter the Cursed Child is at the end of Shaftesbury Avenue at Charing Cross Road, and The British Museum is around 9 minutes walk from Harry Potter The Cursed Child.
If you’re looking for cheap accommodation for £45 or under between January – May (maybe June), check Travelodge, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, EasyHotel as well as independent inns, pubs and hostels around the area.
Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and Travelodge prices can rise during peak times between July, August, and September. I advise on staying in AirBnBs, lodges, inns, hostels, pubs and bed and breakfast during peak times. You can find these types of accommodation for around £35 – £45 per night depending on the season.
I would avoid accommodations in Central London if you’re on a budget. Try to find accommodations in North, East, South, and West London. Most areas in the North, East, and West are very multicultural and more accessible to nearby attractions and eateries by tubes and buses, but can be also be quite rough. Personally, find an accommodation in the South, which are also accessible to Central London. Click for more information on other areas of London in London Travel Guide for First Time Visitors, and information on safety during your visit.
5 Days in London: Day 2 of 5 – Covering the South Bank
Walk along the South Bank area for a peaceful stroll by the River Thames at night. Hear the rustling of the trees and distant beeping of vehicles. See Tower Bridge, The Shard and Tower of London illuminate at night. See the twinkling of lights from office building on top of the water, and it seems dark fire flies swim at night. Most importantly, feel the cool breeze giving you fresh air. It can take about an hour to walk, plus an hour each to spend in each attractions mentioned.
The South Bank area is a place to relax and enjoy social time with your family and friends. You can spend a whole day here if you’re visiting all the attractions. During the summer, children get themselves wet, laughing and screaming while splashing through the fountains out of the Southbank Centre. People in their vests and shorts eat ice cream and enjoy the cool summer breeze.
In winter, visit the Christmas market in December while you enjoy the strong pine-like smell of mulled wine as you gulp it down. Feel the warmth and the spiciness seeping down your throat into your stomach. Why not enjoy the smell of hot burger and chips while shopping for winter warmers and Christmas decorations? Click for information on the christmas markets.
If you want to go straight to the South Bank area, there are many routes you can take. Start your walk from London Bridge and visit Borough Market for 30 minutes for breakfast or lunch. You can also get off at Waterloo Station and walk towards the Southbank Centre for short running theatre shows. If you’re here, there are 31 things to do in South Bank.
When you get off at Westminster Station (Circle and District Line), the first 2 attractions you’ll see are Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament. You will often see demonstrators outside Parliament shouting about current affairs, and there are usually police patroling the area. There’s nothing to worry about though.
In Westminster Abbey, the opening times are between 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday, 12:30pm – 2pm on Sundays. See and hear 1000 years’ worth of history about the British monarchy, poets, scientists and prime ministers.
As you enter Westminster Abbey, the first thing that will strike you is the smell of the old stone and musty incence. The ancient building has been standing for over a thousand years and has seen the burial of countless Kings and Queens within its walls.
As you walk through the nave, you will be struck by the grandeur of the architecture. The high ceilings and stained glass windows create a sense of awe and reverence.
As you make your way towards the tomb of Queen Elizabeth I, you’ll hear the soft murmur of other visitors and the gentle chanting of the choir. The sound of history echoes through the Abbey, reminding you of the importance of this sacred space.
As your each the tomb, you can feel the cold marble beneath your fingers. You are reminded of the passage of time and the transient nature of life.
FInally, after an hour’s worth of visit, as you leave the Abbeyt and step out of the busy streets of London, you will be struck by the beuaty and significance of this historic site. It is one of the city’s top 10 attractions, and a testament to the rich history of the British monarchy.
Memorials and burials include William Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Edward the Confessor and many more. You’ll be given auditory headphones and can be listened to in more than 5 languages. Spend 1 hour here and take photos of Big Ben and Parliament after. Alternatively, head straight to the South Bank area.
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
Brits would walk past it without batting an eyelid as they go about their business commutes, but tourists would take photos of Big Ben by Westminster Bridge overlooking the River Thames and the London Eye.
Houses of Parliament is the home of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and where the House of Commons and the House of Lords hold their meeting. It is also known as the Palace of Westminster named after Westminster Abbey situated nearby.
Dated back to the 11th Century, it was formerly the home of the Kings of England until fire destructed in 1512.
The Palace of Westminster has three towers, the Victoria Tower, named after the late Queen Victoria and the tallest tower in the Palace of Westminster, the Central Tower situated above the Central lobby where both parties meet, and the Elizabeth Tower known famously as Big Ben. Either way, it is a World Heritage site, situated by the river Thames and it’s an icon of London.
Guided tours are available where you will see the grand architecture, discover the history and the heritage of the building, or go at your own pace seeing the sights and sounds of the Palace. Check on their website for more information.
Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA, https://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours
If you love contemporary art and theatre, visit the Southbank Centre where you’ll see independent theatre productions and art. The Southbank Centre is always busy day and night, offering different theatre shows for different age groups, including Christmas shows every year. The large Southbank Centre can’t be missed. The yellow paint is a trademark of the centre itself. If you step through the entrance, you’d be taken to a large spaced lobby. It feels empty as you go further in, but there are seating areas for passersby if they want a rest, and the seating area around the cafe is more crowded. You can get croissants, coffee, water, juices and sandwiches here. Down below, check out more restaurants and cafes by the River Thames. Grab What’s On at the South Bank for more information theatres. It’s never quiet in the Southbank Centre.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX, Opening times vary depending on venue halls. Check the website for more information on the Southbank Centre and opening times. https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/
Where to eat in South Bank London
Spare 1 hour for lunch or dinner in between visiting attractions. There is a Tesco and Sainsbury’s supermarket if you are on a budget. Remember your meal deals.
If you want to experience traditional British food, check out The Old Thames Inn Pub. The service is better than The Anchor Bankside Pub and The Founder’s Arms situated further along the Thames. Although The Anchor Bankside pub looks visually appealing from outside, it’s usually difficult to find a seat. The ceiling is quite low and it’s also tight spaced. The quality of the food here is not any different from other pubs that offer better service. The Anchor Bankside Pub is great for socialising and drinking in the beer garden by the River Thames, but for eating inside, it’s a different story,
Coppa Club Tower Bridge
Coppa Club Tower Bridge Restaurant is another alternative. Opening times are between 7:30am to 11pm Monday to Thursday. Fridays are between 7:30am to midnight. Saturdays are between 9 am to midnight, and Sundays are between 9 am to 10:30 pm. Coppa Club Tower Bridge is also situated further down from the South Bank. You can take the tube to Tower Hill (Circle and District Line – Green and Yellow Line), and once you come out of the tube station, you will see the Tower of London next door. It’s also overlooking the River Thames and The Shard.
Coppa Club Tower Bridge is a popular restaurant attraction, not to mention an Instagram worthy place to take photos of the igloos. Click for my dining experience at the Coppa Club Tower Bridge. You will find information about reservations and the igloos there too.
The Shard doesn’t need any introduction. The tallest building in Europe overlooking the River Thames, I must say that the view is stunning at night, and recommend going to The Shard in the evening. Take the train or bus to London Bridge Station, and it will be just in front of you. The service is also 5* and if your budget can afford it, then have lunch and dinner there. You can just have a few drinks to enjoy the view of London if you’re on a budget.
The London Eye
The London Eye is one of London’s Top 10 attractions and you may be able to get a discount when you buy 2 for 3, 3 for 4, or 4 for 5 attraction tickets in one of the attractions’ reception. I spent £60 for a 4 for 5 ticket package back in 2019, but it may be cheaper with The London Pass. It takes 30 minutes for the London Eye to go round, and opening times may vary.
The London Eye opened on 31 December 1999 to mark the start of the 2000 millennium by former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Originally called the Millennium Wheel, it was only supposed to be open temporarily, but the council granted them permission to keep it permanently. Previously called the Millennium Wheel, the London Eye is 135 metres tall so you can see a bird’s eye view of London. The London Eye has been a popular icon in films, music videos, television shows, best-selling novels, and soap operas.
Although London can be very industrial with construction and road works, it’s hard to see some of the major attractions from the top. You can only see Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. You’ll see the red buses, black taxis in Lego size, and you’ll see people walking through Queen’s Walk by the South Bank as small as ants. Personally, the London Eye is just an icon of London, nothing more, and £17.50 for half an hour can be expensive. With more than 3 million visitors a year, it’s still the top 10 attractions to visit.
Although they offer tickets to Madame Tussauds as part of the package, you’d have to take the tube to Baker Street to visit. It’s not in the South Bank, and Madame Tussauds can be crowded, especially now we’re back to normal. You’ll be wasting time crossing the Westminster Bridge, taking the tube from Westminster to get to Baker Street, and line up at the entrance. Shop around. Read more about my visit to the London Eye.
Sea Life London Aquarium
Discover marine mammals. Meet the sharks and stingrays. Join a behind-the-scenes tour of how they care for 600 species. Explore the Amazon jungle and meet beetles, spiders, and bugs. Visit The Polar Experience and meet various penguins swimming inside the “frozen ocean”. Watch them shoot up towards the “ice sheets” at the top. Touch a live starfish with an experienced guide and get up close and personal with the sea creatures. You can also swim with sharks behind a steel cage.
It’s very educational for children and adults alike. The place is also great for marine, bug, and insect lovers. Click for my experience in Sealife London Aquarium. The guide covers information on different types of species in different areas of the ocean, general information about nearby attractions, promotional discounts, how long to spend time in Sealife, tips, and useful information.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Road, London, SE1 7PB, Opening Times: Opening times vary depending on the season. Please visit the website for opening times. https://www.visitsealife.com/
Shrek The Experience is an interactive story about Shrek. It’s great for children of all ages. When I went with a friend and her children, there were children 10 years or younger. If you love a live interactive story about Shrek, the dark environment, and colourful props, then Shrek The Experience is a great attraction to see. Make sure you take pictures with Donkey at the entrance.
Tate Modern is a vibrant and dynamic space that stimulates all of the senses and you can see pieces of art and photography in all shapes and sizes. As you enter the building, the first thing you notice is the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air. The cafe is located in the Turbine Hall, which is a vast and impressive space with a high ceiling that echoes the sounds of footsteps and hushed conversations. The front of the gallery is quite interesting. It’s linked to the Millennium Bridge that links to St. Paul’s Cathedral on the other side. If you stand at the start of the bridge, in the middle of several glassed fences, you can take a great photographic spot where St. Paul’s Cathedral meets in the middle. There’s a huge park, benches, and tall trees in the middle where people socialise and relax in front as well.
The gallery had been built inside a former power station which closed down in 1981. Since then, the building had several proposals to host exhibitions and events, museums and many more but unsuccessful until 1995. The Tate Gallery then opened to host contemporary art.
As you walk through the galleries, you can’t help but be struck by the variety of colours and textures on display. The paintings and sculptures are an explosion of vibrant hues and tactile surfaces that beg to be touched. In the Louis Bourgeois exhibition, for example, the spider sculptures are made of metal and marble, giving them a cool and smooth feel that contrasts with the rough and jagged edges of the spider webs they are encased in.
The sense of taste is not often associated with art galleries, but Tate Modern offers a range of delicious food options in its cafe and restaurant. From light bites and sandwiches to hearty main courses and desserts, there is something for every palate. The cafe also has a great selection of teas and coffees, perfect for refeulling after a long day of exploring the galleries.
As you move through the different exhibitions, the sounds of the gallery change and evolve. In the Turbine Hall, the hum of voices and footsteps creates a background noise that is both soothing and energising. In the quieter galleries, the silence is punctuated by the occasional murmur of visitors of the soft soundtrack of an installation.
Finally, the sense of touch is an important part of the Tate Modern experience. Many of the artworks invite you to reach out and touch them, whether it’s the cool metal of sculpture or the rough texture of canvas. In the Yoko Ono exhibition, visitors are encouraged to write messages of peace and hang them on a large wall, creating a sense of community and shared experience.
Overall, Tate Modern is a sensory feast that engages and stimulates the senses in a unique and unforgettable way. If you are interested in contemporary art, photography, 2D and 3D designs and many more, check out Tate Modern.
Tate Modern Bankside, London, SE1 9TG. Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern
Shakespeare’s Globe and Museum
Shakespeare’s Globe has been around since the 17th Century. When you book a 40 minute guided tour, the first thing that strikes you is the vibrant energy of the space. Imagine yourself struck by the sights and sounds of the bustling Elizabethan marketplace. Vendors hawkes their wares, while actors in period costume milled about, rehearsing their lines and engaging with tourists.
During the tour, you will make your way inside the theatre, where the guide provided a fascinating overview of its history and construction. You could almost hear the voices of Shakespeare and his contemporaries echoing off the thatched roof and wooden beams.
Look at the high stage and feel the energy emanating from the space, imagining the famous actors and plays that have graced this stage over the centuries. Close your eyes and imagine the thrill of performing for packed audience in this legendary venue. Believe that when leaving the theatre, you will appreaciate the rich history and enduring legacy of the Globe.
If you love Shakespeare and his plays, book a £5 ticket to see a Shakespeare show, from Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream and many more. Shakespeare’s Globe overlooks the River Thames, and its Roman influenced style architecture is visited by many. The tour takes 40 minutes talking about the history of the theatre, not about Shakespeare himself. It’s £17.50 for a 40-minute tour of the theatre. If you’re on a budget, it’s better to just visit the free small, intimate Shakespeare Museum where you’ll see his works, and the tools he used. A wall sized calligraphy of his quotes can also found as well as the miniature of the theatre itself.
Shakespare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT, Opening Times: Monday – Friday 11 am – 6pm, Saturday – 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/
The Tower of London
The Tower of London tour lasts 2 – 3 hours including the Wardour Tour. Make sure you free your time for this if you decide to learn about 1000 years of British history. You can check out my experience by clicking on the Tower of London tour link. Once you click on the link, you can discover the Crown Jewels, meet the Ravens, join the Guided Yeoman Warden Tour, explore 1000 years of British history, and visit The White Tower and the area where they beheaded kings, queens, and prisoners.
As for Tower Bridge, it takes 45 minutes for the tour, and opening times and hours vary. Check the website for more details on opening times, entry prices, and pre-booked tickets. The experience for me wasn’t what I expected. The queue to go up the Bridge was quite tight because the entrance is placed in the middle of the bridge. Passersby would try to squeeze through the line of people waiting. Be prepared to be squashed with 20 or more people in the lift. Alternatively, you can take the stairs if you’re fit enough. You’ll be able to see timelines of when the bridge was built too. The medieval staircase has been around for hundreds of years, but it seems people don’t take notice of it.
Once you get to the bridge, you’ll see the view of London and the River Thames. It was raining when I visited, and the view from Tower Bridge wasn’t that spectacular. People would laugh nervously as they tempt to walk on the glass floor above the River Thames. Some would avoid it altogether by walking on the edge. If you’re brave enough, you’ll see the flow of the water below. When it rains, it can look aggressive, but when it’s sunny, the water flow can feel calm and at peace. You’ll also get a sticker to say “I did it”.
You’re then taken to The Engine Room. Unfortunately, this is just a museum, not the actual engine room itself. The website makes it sound like you’ll visit the actual engine room. If you do want to see the engine room, visit their website, and book a slot as it’s not a part of the tour. Overall, the tour was more about the construction of the bridge than the history and story. It’s better to walk through the Bridge rather than take the tour. Plus, the entrance fee is super expensive for 45 minutes.
The Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB, Opening Times: Monday to Friday – 9 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday – Sunday 10 am – 4:30 pm. https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/
Are you thinking of going on a day trip outside London? If so, Stonehenge is a great attraction you can visit. Here is everything you need to know about Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is a well-known ancient monument located in Wiltshire, England. It is made up of a series of standing stones that are believed to have been constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. The purpose of Stonehenge is still unknown, but it is thought to have been used for religious or ceremonial purposes. To get to Stonehenge, you can take the train from Waterloo Station to Salisbury (a few minute’s walk from the South Bank), which takes about an hour and a half.
From Salisbury, you can take a bus or taxi to Stonehenge. Alternatively, you can also book a tour from London that includes transportation to Stonehenge. It is important to note that Stonehenge is located in a rural area, so it is best to plan your trip in advance and make sure you have adequate transportation.
If you’re staying around the South Bank area, this is a great area to visit Stonehenge.
Do you need an itinerary for a two-week trip to Europe, in addition to London? There are many other great destinations to consider, such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and lesser-known European countries. However, don’t forget to include London in your plans.
5 Days in London: Day 3 of 5 – Covering Museums, Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour and Late Night Shopping
Now, before I start talking about museums, let me tell you that it’s impossible to cover all the museums scattered around London. It’s just not possible. Covering 1 museum caan take at least 3 days like the British Museum, and your feet will get tired after 2 hours. Trust me. I’ve been there. There are more than 9 free museums and galleries to choose from, so pick and choose which one you want to see. This itinerary is just a guide for you to use. Without further ado, these are the main museums and galleries you should visit if you haven’t already.
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Golden Tours bus for the Hop-on Hop-Off Tour.
Between 8 – 8:30pm, see if you can spend an hour in one of London’s free attractions or hidden gems before going, and some can can be found between stops too. The Hop on Hop Off bus will take you around London within 24 hours. From the London Eye, to the Tower of London, to the history of famous department stores, Liberty’s and Harrods, the tour guide will talk through brief history about each famous attractions. There are several coloured lines offering you different routes depending on what you want to see, and you’d be given an audio walkman if English is not your first language.
Click for the timetables, prices, and other attractions with Golden Tours. There are 2 buses, the morning bus runs between 10am – 12pm and the evening bus running between 4pm – 5:55pm. So, depending on where you are, make sure you arrive on time at that bus stop.
Museums and Galleries
You can either visit the free museums first or last, and take no more than an hour in each museum if you’re short on time. On average, it takes around 3 -4 hours to make the most of just one museum. On your third day, spend some time in the free museums.
If you want to find things to do in South Kensington, The Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V&As are all next to each other. The best thing about it is that it’s walking distances to the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Gardens, one of the 8 Royal Parks of London. These museums have many activities for children, so check out their websites for more information.
For the museums, take the tube to South Kensington or Gloucester Road (both Circle and District Line, the green and yellow lines) and walk towards:
The Natural History Museum
Whether you’re an insect or a dinosaur lover, there’s bound to be areas where you can see their fossils, history descriptions and several hours of fun and education. Scientists, paentologists and archaeologists are still working tirelessly to dig more into the world of historical species. We look forward to finding more species and animals to add to the collection. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Natural History Museum, and believe you me, I spent 4 hours there. It was tiring. Click the website for more information about the Natural History Museum. The Natural History Museum is a great museum for all the families.
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD. Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 10 am – 17:50 pm being last entry at 5:30pm.. www.nhm.ac.uk
Victoria and Albert Museum
What comes to mind when you hear the word Victoria and Albert? Yes, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the most significant members of the royal family. London has dedicated a museum after their names, and it’s a great museum to get lost in it. Like the British Museum, the museum hosts 5000 years of art and design created by people throughout history. From fashion during the Victorian times to the present day to see Alexander McQueen’s designs, metalwork throughout the centuries, illustrations, and Chinese ceramics, you can easily get lost for 2 hours here. I haven’t had the chance to write my experience in the V&A’s yet because of COVID. In the meantime, click for the V&A Museum website below so you can plan ahead.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL, Opening times: Monday – Sunday 10 am – 17:45, Friday 10 am – 10 pm. www.vam.ac.uk
The Science Museum
Whether you’re a science buff, want to become a scientist in the future or you ARE a scientist, then head over to the Science Museum. There are so many things to see and do, you have little time and day to visit everything. From visiting interactive galleries, finding out who you are as a person, the history of transportation, global warming, the history of medicine, volcanoes and earthquakes, you’re bound to walk out with the knowledge of science. Click for the Science Museum website and find out more about my experience.
The Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD. Opening times are between 10am – 6pm every day. https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
The British Museum
Take the tube to Tottenham Court Road, the shopping district, and walk around 10 minutes to the British Museum. You can stop at Russell Square Station and it’s also a 6-minute walk from there. It also takes 27 minutes on the Piccadilly Line from The Science Museum.
From the British Museum, Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue are just 9 minutes’ walk for the West End theatres, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, and the Soho area.
The first museum that comes to mind when people come to London is the British Museum. This is the first place I think of when I want to visit museums and art galleries. The British Museum doesn’t just cover British artefacts, it covers the history of the world. Explore collections from the Americas, Africa, Europe, animals that have had a massive influence on our society, Egypt and so much more. It’d be impossible to cover the whole museum in just one day, you’d probably have to dedicate three days in order to cover everything. Click for the British Museum website to plan ahead.
If you visit all of the museums, that will be 5 hours of your time gone, not including lunchtime. 5 hours spending time walking in all of the museums can be tiring, so choose your time wisely. Alternatively, visit 1 or 2 museums for the day, and have lunch in between. The Stanhope Arms, Humphrey’s Bar, The Tavern and the Herefor Arms are great British pubs to eat nearby.
The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG. Opening Times: 10am – 17:30pm Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 8:30pm, 10am – 5:30pm. www.britishmuseum.org
The Royal Albert Hall
Once you’ve finished visiting the museums, walk 6 minutes towards the Royal Albert Hall for great photo snaps for 20 minutes. Feel free to watch a concert if your time and budget can afford it. It’s best to book in advanced before you arrive. While you’re here, you can admire the many 18th and 19th Century buildings.
The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP. Opening Times: 7:30 am – 11 pm Monday – Sunday. www.royalalberthall.com
Kensington Gardens, the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial and Kensington Palace
Relax in Kensington Gardens, and spend your time in Kensington Palace and the Diana Princess Memorial fountain, which during the summer, adults and children splash about and get their feet wet. Situated adjacent to Hyde Park, Kensington Palace takes an hour to visit and the tour consists of Queen Elizabeth II’s, Princess Diana’s costumes and the story of Queen Victoria. Check out things to do in Kensington Gardens for ideas.
In my opinion, it’s better to see Buckingham Palace State Rooms only open in summer. If you’ve seen Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace is not that different, although £17.50 per adult can be quite expensive for an hour’s visit.
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX. Opening Times: Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Tuesday Closed. https://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/
Late night shopping
For a luxury late night shopping experience, get off at Hyde Park Corner. You can walk through Hyde Park or take the buses 14, 74 or 414, which will take 6 minutes to Knightsbridge. By tube, it will only be 1 stop away from Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line.
Late night shopping in Central London can be stressful because there’s so many people gathered together from locals to tourists. People who’ve never been to London get excited about shopping in Oxford Street and Regent Street, but in reality it’s not as glamorous as you think it is. It can be stressful. You’ll get tired feet if you’re not used to walking, and people seldom walk in a straight line. If you love high street brands like Zara, H&M and Primark, then feel free to shop here. The only difference between the high street stores in Oxford Street and shopping centres in the suburbs, is that Oxford Street have larger stores and busier crowds. Locals and tourists are mixed together, but if you find an accommodation in the suburbs, you’ll usually find more locals. It’s less crowded too.
Harrods open between 10am – 8pm every day, and 10am to 6pm Sundays. A lot of Brits don’t really shop in Harrods as it’s been commercialised a lot in the media. People usually go there to window shop or socialise. Only the wealthy would buy something here.
Harvey Nichols opens between 10am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 12noon – 6pm Sundays (browsing only between 11:30am – 12noon). Like Harrods, people usually go there to go window shopping and socialise. It’s just another department store full of designer brands.
Alternatively, visit Selfridges in Marble Arch. It takes 16 minutes on the 137 bus and a 3 minutes walk from Marble Arch) – Selfridges open between 10am – 9pm Monday and Tuesday, 9am – 9pm Wednesday – Saturday, 11:30am – 6pm Sunday. You can literally walk along the edges of Hyde Park to get to Marble Arch and Oxford Street. It’s not far if your feet can manage it.
If that’s not enough, visit Liberty’s Store. From Selfridges, take the 94 and 159, stop at Oxford Circus if walking isn’t for you. From Oxford Circus Station, you’ll see the Apple Store, it will be on the same street as Hamley’s. From Hamley’s it’ll be a 4-minute walk. Liberty’s open between 10am – 9pm Monday to Saturday, Sunday 11:30am – 6pm and Public Holidays between 12pm – 6pm. Otherwise, you can walk to Regent Street for 20 minutes from Oxford Street. Make sure you visit the cobbled Carnaby Street alleyway situated next to Liberty’s. Here, you’ll see a range of beauty, boutique independent retail outlets, designer shops and many coffee shops.
5 Days in London: Day 4 of 5 – Covering Shoreditch, Spitalfields Market, and Brick Lane
On your fourth day, visit Shoreditch, Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane Market. Alternatively, if want to visit 1 or 2 more museums, then spend 1 hour in the British Museum before you visit Shoreditch and Brick Lane. It takes 26 minutes by tube from the British Museum to Shoreditch. I suggest having an hour’s rest preferably for lunch in Shoreditch and Brick Lane before exploring the area.
If you want to find out more about day trips to Sheffield, there are so many things things to do in Sheffield. St. Pancras International Station is the closest station, and Sheffield is one of the best day trips you can take.
Here is a guide to Shoreditch, Spitafields Market, and Brick Lane.
Shoreditch is located in the East End of London and forms the Borough of Hackney. Shoreditch has been the heart of London since the 16th Century, and the main entertainment here were the theatres and plays. The most notable theatre was the Elizabethan Theatre. Throughout history, it has many stories to tell. From the mysterious murderer Jack the Ripper in 1888, the Irish, Jewish and Bangladeshi immigrants, and many more. Shoreditch was the slum of the slums, and the dirtiest and smelliest part of London, but now it’s the most trendiest, and the most expensive parts of London to live in.
Cobbled alleyways consisting of British pubs dating back to the 19th Century, where some shop fronts and hanging signs still has the 19th Century fonts and logo. It’s not that hard to find fashion boutique shops either. You will find fashionistas wearing vintage outfits from the 20s to the late 90s, 19th Century buildings scattered around the area and traffic moving slowly.
There are many mouth watering street food stalls from around the world including Box Park. Read more on Box Park in my things to do in Shoreditch post.
Let’s not forget the grafitti scattered around Shoreditch. Everywhere you go, there’s grafitti and artwork everywhere, each one has a history and story to tell. The sight of the rugged brick and mortar, rough and strong to touch, the once bright red bricks now turned dark red and black since the 19th Century due to old age, the faded art work that has been painted since the 70s to the present day can still be seen. It’s no surprise Brick Lane is one of the oldest streets in London.
Brick Lane Market and Spitalfields Market are interesting because it consists of several markets in one market. Let’s look at both markets in detail.
Brick Lane Market
Make sure it’s on a Sunday when you visit Brick Lane Market, otherwise, every other day is closed.
The best way to get to Brick Lane Market is from Shoreditch Overground Station (the Orange Line). If you do want to take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street, it’s advisable to stay in the suburbs of South London, as it’s more conveniently located rather than taking the tube from Central London. You can also take the 149 bus from London Bridge to Shoreditch as an alternative as it takes 16 minutes to get there, not including traffic. Traffic here can be stressful!
Have breakfast at around 9 o’clock in Box Park Shoreditch. We’ll talk about Box Park further below.
After finishing breakfast, walk towards Brick Lane Market at 10 am, when the market opens. The first thing you’ll notice is the colourful graffiti art splashed all over the bricked walls, posters of models wearing trendy outfits, in-date and out of date live performance posters, and miscellaneous adverts. You’ll notice kitchen and second-hand Tupperware, kitchenware, shoes, jackets, coats, DVDs for a pound, and many more. You’ll see shampoos, hair conditioners, soaps, and make up brands for 3 for a pound, half of what you’d get in supermarkets and pharmacies.
You’ll also see real leather vintage jackets, blazers for both men and women, tartan outfits, and many more all lined up in railings as well as sellers either sitting in the corner watching people go past or shouting 3 shampoos for a pound.
As you reach the end of the road, you’ll be in the middle of Brick Lane Market. You’ll see the Brick Lane street sign with the Bangladeshi inscription below. Rows of cheap coats, clothes, shoes, and souvenirs are also sold between £5 to £20. If you’re into finding the best authentic saris, gold Indian jewellery, and curry houses, this is the place to find it.
Go straight to Beigel Bake House, a 24 hour beigel shop that’s popular with tourists and locals. The queue can stretch out from the shop. I recommend buying beef and mustard beigel, the popular choice for most. You can eat at the Beigel Bake House for lunch or opt for street food stalls.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is situated opposite the Beigel Bake House if you’re interested in having coffee with cats.
Visit the 3-storey vintage “department store” situated in the former Old Truman Brewery. You’ll be swamped with vintage from Levi’s, 70’s biker jackets, Naf Naf, vintage lingerie, and many more.
Check out the street food trucks and smell the mouth-watering aromas from around the world. Hear the sizzle of burgers and chips being fried and watch sellers make the sweet chili chicken wrap in front of you.
Walk into Back Yard Market where you’ll find products from successful entrepreneurs selling handmade candles, knitwear hung from their prospective stalls, artwork all lined up in rows and many more.
Spitalfields Market is located in the town of Spitalfields. The market is open from 10 am to 8 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thursday and Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
Similar to Brick Lane Market, Spitalfields screams vintage, hand made products, street food trucks and stalls, and designer brands. You’ll hear buskers singing by the side of the street, and the green khaki shop front is the icon for Spitalfields Market. The rows of boutique outlets sell outfit brands from £100 upwards, from women’s to men’s outfits, beauty products ranging from £25 upwards, pop-up bars selling wine, cheese and other fast food outlets.
If you’re looking for a vintage shop, ATIKA Vintage is the biggest vintage shop in London. It’s a MUST to visit if you love vintage. THere are around 20,000 pieces of vintage wear. Not just outfits, but homewear, lifestyle, books and many more. What I love about ATIKA is that it’s full of colourful vintage designs, reworks, eras from 20s, 30s, 40s to the 90s. There’s always something for the era that you fancy. Check out their website for more information.
ATIKA, 55 -59 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JP, https://www.atikalondon.co.uk/
From pop-up stalls and pop-up bars made from former vans and trucks in different colours, crowds of trendy youngsters gather to queue up for their £7 takeaway box eating food from India, the Caribbean, vegetarian and vegan, British to American burgers, there’s so many to choose from. Deep pan pizza, juicy burgers and dirty chips, Indian curry, beers cocktails, and wine, you’re spoilt for choice.
Check out Dinerama for an array of street food heaven. Taste Bad Boy Pizza for Neopolitan deep pan pizza, or why not check out Chin Chin Lab for frosty ice cream as dessert? Why not opt for Tucka Burger, a Murican burger, and try a taste of spicy Mexican number VFC by Club Mexican? Whatever your tastebuds feel, there’s always something for everyone. Check out their website for more details.
5 Days in London: Day 5 of 5 – Visiting Windsor
If you’re thinking of going on a day trip outside of London, then, you’ll be spending 5 days in London and a day trip on your last or second to last day. When visiting Windsor, make sure you invest a day here. I recommend booking an accommodation in Windsor as your 6th day consists of going to Bath. It takes approximately 2 hours by train and car from Windsor to Bath.
How to get to Windsor from Central London
You can travel to Windsor either by train or by car. If you decide to rent a car, just be aware that petrol is expensive here. As of 2022, petrol prices are around £1.70 per litre and you’d have to go through the motorway to get there, not to mention traffic if you want to avoid the motorway. If you’re not used to driving in London, I advise not to rent a car, instead take the train from London Waterloo and take the South Western Railway to Windsor & Eton Station.
The second fastest route is by car and takes approximately 1 hour depending on traffic. The best thing about going by car is that you can visit Henley on Thames and Reading on the way to Windsor if your time allows this. Although it’s expensive to go by car, you’ll miss all this if you’re travelling by train.
The history of Windsor, Berkshire
The town of Windsor is located in Berkshire, England, and Windsor Castle is the place of one of the English monarch’s residents. Windsor Castle is the reason why people visit Windsor in the first place. The late Queen Elizabeth II sometimes resides here. The town has always been a market town, meaning that in the Middle Ages, the town had the right to hold markets which differentiates it from a village or a city.
When you arrive in Windsor, get acquainted with the main town, Old Windsor existed 300 years prior to the main town of Windsor. Old Windsor is 8 minutes away from Windsor Castle, the village of Eton and it’s also situated near the River Thames. Windsor predates back to the Medieval period when William the Conqueror built a motte-and-bailey castle before 1070. It wasn’t the castle that was a prominent interest in the town, it was the settlement by the river during the 7th Century. Throughout the centuries, the high-class community, including the Royal Family took residencies here. This was because Windsor had good access to the woodlands and used this as a hunting ground for the rich and the royals.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s best to get there as early as 8 am or 9 am in the morning. If you’re short of time, you can go on guided tours on Tripadvisor, but if you want to relax, then I suggest using the guide below.
The FIRST attraction you MUST visit is Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle has been the monarch’s residence since as old as time. William the Conqueror built the castle during the 11th Century due to the Norman invasion and it’s now a popular tourist attraction for international visitors around the world. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the young royals including the Prince and Princess of Wales, gather at Windsor Castle shaking hands and accepting flowers from thousands of people paying their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
It takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to visit. I suggest buying a ticket on their website and getting there as early as possible. Windsor Castle opens from Thursday to Monday between 10:15 to 5:15 pm. If you get there early, you should have finished your tour by 12 pm. Have lunch in town for an hour and head over to Old Windsor.
The Changing of the Guards at Windsor Castle starts at 11 am. If you rather see the Changing of the Guards first, you can start your tour in Windsor Castle at 1 pm after lunch in the town of Windsor. By the time you finish the tour, it would be approximately 3 o’clock. If you don’t have that much time, feel free to leave early.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ. Opening Times: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 am – 17:15 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday Closed. www.windsor.gov.uk
St. George’s Chapel
St. George’s Chapel is a working chapel and holds church services throughout the day. The chapel has so much history and it’s the resting place of so many historic figures including King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. Unfortunately, you are not allowed videos or photos, but you can take photos outside the grounds. St. George’s Chapel’s intricate and symmetrical details from top to bottom, the small to the big carvings of the chapel are impressive.
St. George’s Chapel, The Cloisters, Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ. Opening Times: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday Closed. https://www.royal.uk/st-georges-chapel
Windsor Great Park
Once you’ve visited Windsor Castle, have a rest at Windsor Great Park, have a picnic, or have dinner in town. This 4800-acre park consists of Savill Garden, Virginia Water, The Valley Gardens and the Long Walk, and Deer Park. The vastly huge park leads to Windsor Castle itself. Along the way, you’ll meet the geese and swans by the serene lake and admire the different shades of green, yellow, and brown trees along the way. If you want to make the most of Windsor Great Park, you will have to spend 3 hours here. If you don’t have that much time, feel free to go back to your hotel to head over to the town of Bath tomorrow.
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In addition, I am able to recommend and advise on your travel plans before you book your travel holidays (vacation as the Americans call it). Contact me on Facebook if you want to tweak your itinerary to suit your taste.