The Ultimate London Travel Guide
The city that keeps on giving, London has something to offer all tastes, budgets, historical and cultural fancies. Awash with breathtaking architecture, grisly tales from times gone by, award-winning musicals, picture-perfect parks and a bustling food and drink scene, it’s easy to see why London remains one of the most visited cities in the world.
Here, we’ve done our research to create the ultimate London travel guide to help you map out the trip of a lifetime. From where to stay, things to see and do, romantic experiences and the best time to visit England’s capital, we’ve got you covered.
Best Things to Do in London
London has everything you could ever ask for from a city break. We’re talking history by the dungeon-load, a thriving foodie and gallery scene, internationally renowned shopping hotspots, breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and much, much more. But with so many incredible things to see in the Big Smoke, where should you start?
Visit a Gallery Please excuse the pun, but for a priceless experience, why not head to one of London’s amazing and free art galleries. From The National Gallery to the Royal Academy of Arts, the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery, London offers up a culture fix for art lovers of all persuasions – without the cost! If you’re visiting London’s National Gallery and want the perfect slice of culture, why not also treat yourselves to a delicious afternoon tea for two?
Discover the History If there’s one thing London has by the bucket load, it’s history. Catch a glimpse of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, channel your inner Churchill in the Cabinet War Rooms and see the blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum. Or, if you’re feeling brave, book onto a Jack the Ripper walking tour to find out all about the East End’s gruesome past!
Fill Up at a Food Market The Capital’s food scene is second to none, with traders from all over the world cooking up an absolute storm in food markets across the city. Treat yourself to sourdough pizza at Mercato Metropolitano, paella and Sangria at the world-famous Borough Market and snaffle donuts and other sweet treats at KERB in King’s Cross. If you’re feeling fancy why not indulge in a sparkling afternoon tea for two at Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot 1745 in Borough Market?
Shop ‘til You Drop Heading to London for some retail therapy? As well as the famous shopping strip of Oxford Street, you can bag some fancy finds on the King’s Road, boutique buys on Carnaby Street and vintage bargains in Shoreditch and Camden. There are also two huge Westfield shopping centres in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford, just next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
London Experience for Couples
London is the perfect place to get a little romantic, with lamp-lit walks by the Thames and cosy speakeasy bars in abundance across the city. From date night ideas to special occasion celebrations, here are our best things to do in London as a couple.
Up at The O2 Climb for Two
The O2 is one of London’s most recognised landmarks and now you have a chance to climb the famous building’s roof, suspended 52 metres above ground level. With time slots available throughout the day and evening, you’ll be guaranteed to share some breathtaking views of London’s Greenwich together before you brave the dismount!
Three-Course Lunch for Two at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill
Add a touch of glamour to proceedings by wining and dining your date over lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s stunning, 1920s-themed Savoy Grill. Boasting a delicious three-course set menu which celebrates both French and British cuisine, you’ll be living the high life in no time at all with this exquisite and elegant dining experience.
The View from The Shard for Two
What could be more romantic than soaking up the best view in London with your loved one? At almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in the Capital, The View from The Shard offers unrivalled 360-degree views for up to 40 miles across London. And if that doesn’t sweep them off their feet, nothing will!
Sparkling Afternoon Tea for Two at Marco Pierre White's New York Italian
Make a toast to your love story over a scrumptious afternoon tea with prosecco at Marco’s New York Italian. Nestled away from the bustling streets of London Bridge, this novel venue is the perfect place to sit back, relax and indulge in the delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones on offer. Bellissimo!
London Family Attractions to Visit
If the idea of navigating the tube with your little ones and keeping them entertained on your trip to the Capital is keeping you up at night, fear not! There are a whole host of weird and wonderful things to do with your kids in London. Here are our top picks.
Coach Tour from London to The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour for Two
You’re a wizard, Harry! Experience the magic of the Wizarding World with a fellow muggle, as you travel to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour from Victoria Coach Station. Explore the iconic, spellbinding sets – from the Forbidden Forest to the Great Hall and Diagon Alley – and go behind the scenes to get up close to famous props like Harry’s Nimbus 2000 broomstick!
Family Visit to Shrek's Adventure with River Pass
Join Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona on this hilarious adventure that lets you step inside the fairytale! You’ll visit Shrek’s swamp, get lost in the Mirror Maze and even meet the Gingerbread Man. Also included in this experience is a river pass that grants you unlimited travel for 24 hours along the Thames, so you can cruise about town in style.
Family Tour of London Stadium
Keep the spirit of the iconic 2012 London Olympics alive with an interactive tour of the former Olympic Stadium. You’ll see where all of Team GB’s Super Saturday medals were won – from Jessica Ennis-Hill’s gold medal for the women’s heptathlon, Greg Rutherford’s men’s long jump gold and even Sir Mo Farah’s unforgettable men’s 10,000m win!
Adventure Days Out in London
Are you a thrill seeker who loves a challenge? From bungee jumps to escape rooms and white water rafting, London has everything a true adrenaline junkie needs to get their heart pumping!
160ft Bungee Jump in London Next to The O2
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a daredevil, what better way is there to up the adrenaline ante on your visit to the Capital than with a 160-foot bungee jump next to The O2? After a full safety briefing with a qualified instructor, you’ll be kitted up and hoisted above the stunning London skyline before taking the leap of a lifetime!
Crystal Maze LIVE Experience with Cocktails for Two in London
Welcome to The Crystal Maze! Get your game on with this ridiculously nostalgic experience, hidden away in the heart of the West End. Follow the Maze Master on a quest that’ll put both your brain and body to the test. Once you’ve collected as many crystals as you can along the way, you’ll enjoy a refreshing cocktail each to celebrate your win.
Water Adventure Activity at Lee Valley for Two
Ride the rapids on this exhilarating water adventure activity experience for two, where you can choose from a number of high-octane thrills such as white water rafting and hydrospeeding! After a safety briefing, you’ll be paired with your very own paddle before testing your agility and strength on this wet and wild course in River Lee Country Park.
Visit London Historical Sites
London is jam-packed with famous historical sites in both well-known locations and hidden corners across the Capital. Whether you’re a literary buff, garden lover or avid theatregoer, our selection of the best historical sites in London are not to be missed!
Visit to Kew Gardens and Palace for Two
Kew - West London
With an unrivalled collection of native and exotic plants, Kew Gardens is the home of UK botanical art and arguably the most famous garden in the world. A World Heritage Site and top UK attraction, you’ll learn all about Kew Gardens’ 250-year history as you explore tropical climes in the Palm House rainforest and unwind near the waterlily ponds.
Theatre Tickets to a West End Show for Two
You can’t say you’ve properly been to London until you’ve been to a West End show! Whether you fancy a sprinkle of something magical with Wicked, a foot-tapping fiesta at TINA – The Tina Turner Musical or the best ballads in Baltimore with Hairspray, the choice is all yours with this fantastic West End show experience for two.
Guided Tour of Shakespeare’s Globe and Afternoon Tea with a Theatrical Twist for Two
London Bridge, London
As the Bard himself put it, “all the world’s a stage” – and with this experience, you get to tread the boards yourself! After a delicious afternoon tea at the Swan at the Globe, you’ll embark on a guided tour of history, horror, love and literary genius around one of London’s most iconic landmarks – Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Unique and Quirky London Experiences
If you’re looking to do something a little outside of the box on your trip to London, we’ve got you covered. From gin cocktails aboard a Routemaster bus to a 178-metre slide in the Olympic Park, you’re about to make some memories that’ll last a lifetime!
Gin Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour for Two with Brigit’s Bakery
Charing Cross - West End
Bar the Queen, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, the vintage 1960s Routemaster bus is as iconic as London attractions get. And now you can have a boozy brunch aboard one of them thanks to Brigit’s Bakery! Alight here for three Hayman’s Gin cocktails, endless cups of English Breakfast brews and a delicious afternoon tea to remember.
The Slide at The ArcelorMittal Orbit for Two
Stratford - East London
A celebrated piece of architecture from the 2012 Olympics, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is now home to the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide. Once you’ve climbed 178 metres to the summit, enjoy the 360-degree views of the Olympic Park, before sliding down 12 twists and turns back to solid ground at speeds of up to 15mph!
Alice's Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea for Two at 5* Taj 51 Hotel
Victoria - West London
You’ll be grinning as wide as the Cheshire Cat as soon as you sit down at the Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at Taj 51. Embrace your inner Mad Hatter at this 5-star hotel and indulge in the eclectic yet delicious menu, with treats such as ‘Pick a Card’ sandwiches, ‘Checkmate’ Battenberg cake and ‘Running Late’ macarons on offer. Truly bonkers!
Where to Stay in London
Now you’ve filled out your itinerary, it’s time to check in at one of the best hotels in London for a luxurious snooze. Whether you’re after a chic stay in the heart of the city or a boutique hideaway in Waterloo, we’re sure to have a getaway to suit you.
Overnight Luxury Stay for Two at The Athenaeum Hotel
Mayfair - West End 1 night
Situated just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and opposite Green Park, The Athenaeum Hotel awaits your arrival with open doors, featuring luxurious interiors and even a tranquil spa and sauna. Indulge in 5-star decadence with an overnight stay in a superior double room, before tucking into a delicious full English breakfast the next morning and exploring the bustling streets of London town.
One-Night Luxury Stay at H10 London Waterloo
South London 1 night
Fancy an unforgettable night’s stay just moments away from the London Eye and Big Ben? H10 London Waterloo has you covered. This stunning hotel oozes style from every floor-to-ceiling window to the remarkable sky bar with unparalleled views of Lambeth and beyond. With breakfast included, you can be sure to have a wonderful, cosy night’s sleep in the lap of luxury after a long and exciting day in the Capital.
Two-Night Weekend Break in London
Charing Cross - West End London 2 nights
If you want the good times to keep on rolling, why not make a weekend of it? Spend two nights away together in London with a dreamy escape to one of our hand-picked 4 and 5-star hotels. Choose from room-only, breakfast and half-board options at some of London’s most chic, boutique and comfortable city break hotspots and soak up all the Big Smoke has to offer on this delightful weekend getaway.
Best Times to Visit London
The Lake District's charm knows no bounds and is truly an all-year-round destination.
With mild weather and occasional rainfall (this is England after all), spring is a great time to head to London. With a handful of bank holidays across the Easter period, pubs, eateries, bars and clubs fling their doors wide open to welcome visitors from across the globe. The city is also in full bloom at this time of year, so make sure to add some park trips to your itinerary, with special mentions going to Kew Gardens, Hampstead Heath and Hampton Court Palace.
Summer is where London fully comes into its stride, with pop-ups springing up across the Capital. Keep an eye out for a number of open-air cinemas across the summer months, showing cult classics such as Pulp Fiction to funny flicks like Bridget Jones’s Diary. It’s truly the season of outdoor events, so whether you fancy seeking out secret rooftop bars in Shoreditch, eating al fresco in Soho, partying until the early hours at All Points East festival or taking a dip in Hampstead Bathing Ponds, the summertime possibilities are endless, fun and truly unforgettable!
With summer coming to a close, the number of tourists bustling along the streets tends to die down a little, making autumn a lovely time of year to visit London if you’re not a fan of big crowds and heatwaves! With yellow leaves going crunchy underfoot, the Capital becomes the perfect backdrop for long, breezy walks along the South Bank or Regent’s Canal. Autumn is also the perfect time to explore London’s incredible art gallery and museum scene, with must-visits including the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum.
Christmas in London is as magical as it gets with festive lights sparkling across the city. For the best light shows in town, be sure to add Christmas at Kew to your bucket list as well as the lights along Oxford Street, London’s most famous shopping promenade. You could even get some last-minute Christmas shopping done at the same time! Or, if English temperatures get too chilly for you at this time of year, why not snuggle up by a roaring fire in one of London’s oldest pubs with a warming tipple? Cheers!