A Local’s Guide On What To See And Do In London

It has been a while since I have done a guide on London, the very city I live in, for goodness sake! I suppose I take it for granted that I live here, so I tend to write a lot about other cities I go to as an escape from London. So, my long overdue of a local’s guide to London. Even better that no transportation is required with this guide. A lot of it only requires money for a cup of coffee when you get thirsty or need to take cover from the rain. There are lots of stops along the way to taste amazing food. All calories that you will burn off on this walk anyway. Below is a map that you can also click on with previews of what you will see and do along this guide. Also, look out for a guide to shopping in London as well as all the best markets you need to check out when you visit London as well as where to stay when you visit London. I will be covering all budgets for that so make sure you are following on Bloglovin so your don’t miss them when they publish. Without further ado, lets get to it!

Start The Day With A Hearty Breakfast In Covent Garden.

Places like Bill’s Restaurant serve up a mean breakfast but there are many other options in Covent Garden’s St Martin’s Court Yard. Here you will also find many shops and cafes. Look around and head to your next stop; Trafalgar Square.

What To Bring

For most months, other than winter you will need a good mac as it gets cold in the evenings. An Umbrella, comfy shoes, a camera, and portable battery charger. Below items to get you started.

Walk The Mall To Buckingham Palace

From Covent Garden Check out Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historical buildings. If are a lover of art you can book yourself on some of the free guided tours in the National Gallery here. From here you also have a good view of Big Ben but don’t be tempted to walk towards it just yet as you will miss two gems. From Trafalgar Square to the right of Big Ben you will see the entrance to the Mall. Walk this path(also see map below for directions) leading to the Mall. The end of that walk leads you to Buckingham Palace. Explore this area before disappearing into St James’s Park.
When in the park locate the bridge to cross over to the other side of the park. The bridge offers a great view of the Horse Guards and London Eye. Find the directions to Big Ben on the map below for the next stop.
Trafalgar Square has many historical features. From statues and fountains all dating back to the 1800s. Also, a great place for people watching.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and HQ of the reigning monarch of the UK. Also, a great place for a selfie as the backdrops are just a treat for the eyes.
Big Ben – The Palace of Westminister. Big Ben is used to describe the tower, the clock and the bell, but Big Ben is in fact the Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the name of the Great Bell.

Walk Along Westminister Bridge To Get A Close Up Of London Eye

Walk along Westminister Bridge and head to Southbank. This is the side you will find London Eye. Southbank is packed with many cafes and restaurants and plenty to look at. The full circle of London Eye takes about 45 minutes. So you have the option of buying tickets and heading up there if you have the time and budget. Otherwise, take some pictures and walk along here to get to the Skating Park. This area is filled with lots of street art and skaters and boarders as the name implies. Behind the restaurants here, you will also find a market. There you can sample some great food all cooked right in front of you. From English, Indian, Italian, Japanese and more. Stuff that the pie hole and  kick back from a few minutes before getting back on the Southbank walk for the next stop.

Click on the markers to preview the stops on the walking tour of London

View of London Eye and Westminister Bridge From The River

London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on Southbank. It’s also known as the Millennium Wheel. It’s the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel with 360 degrees of London views. They do 2FOR1 tickets on certain days.
Southbank Skate Park is the unofficial skateboarding venue dating back to the 70’s. A great spot to stop for a few minutes and watch the skaters as they fought a hard fight to keep this place when the government tried to tear it apart and put shops up.
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery. It’s also Britain’s national gallery for international modern art. Entrance is free. There are cafes and beautiful art inside, not to mention a great view of St Pauls Cathedral from the second-floor cafe.

Walk Across Millennium Bridge To Explore St Paul’s Cathedral

Walk across Millennium Bridge to view Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece; St Paul’s Cathedral. St Pauls is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. Constructed on Ludgate Hill, the highest point of the City of London. Entrance into St Pauls is £18 per person but the views are well worth the hundreds of spiral steps to the gallery. Make sure you also take the time to check out the Whispering Gallery with its world famous dome and stores to go with it.

From London Eye, Skate Park, continue your walk along the river. You will pass under Waterloo Bride, then Blackfriars Bridge. As you walk, you will be able to view St Pauls Cathedral. Continue on this path until you get to Tate Modern. From Tate Modern, you will be in direct view of Millennium Bridge. Walking along the Bridge leads you to St Pauls. When done with St Paul’s, walk back to Millennium Bridge and continue walking along the bridge to see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Millennium Bridge is a suspension bridge for pedestrianc crossing over the River Thames. It links Bankside with the City of London. It also links St Pauls Cathedral on the Northbank with Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe.
St Paul’s Cathedral is London’s most famous sight. It has dominated the city’s skyline for over 300 years. At 365 feet high it was also the tallest building in London between 1710 and 1962. Its also the second largest church building in the UK after Liverpool Cathedral.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a theatre associated with William Shakespeare. The originally theatre built by Shakespeare’s playing company was destroyed by a fire  and was then rebuilt and closed in 1613 and 1642. A modern reconstruction of the site was opened on the original site of the theatre and now named Shakespeare’s Globe. 

Check Out London’s Famous City Market – Borough Market

You have now passed Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Southbank, Tate Modern, St Pauls and Global Theatre. If you havent had a chance to grab a bite from the restaurants along the river on the way to Borough Market then you are in for a feast! Borough Market is London’s oldest food market and is breeming with mouth-watering range of foods. From Italian cheeses, Spanish foods, Indian and good old British fish and chips. It’s always lively and come evening you have city slickers talking business over glasses of wine in and around the bars and pubs that circle the market. The market is open Monday to Saturday, full market Wednesdays to Saturday and Monday and Tuesdays with only hot food traders and fruit and veg stalls. This is also a great spot to grab breakfast on a Saturday morning before walking around London. Just because its a market doesn’t mean things come cheap so hunt around for a bargain or if you are after a “money is no object” type of treat then you are in the right place. There are over 100 stalls and stands with producers from all over the country and Europe so you will definitely find something to satisfy your taste buds.

Borough Market is London’s oldest food market and is breeming with mouth-watering range of foods. From Italian cheeses, Spanish foods, Indian and good old British fish and chips. It’s always lively and come evening you have city slickers talking business over glasses of wine in and around the bars and pubs that circle the market. 
Tower Bridge is a combination of bascule and suspension bridge built between 1886 and 1894. One of London’s most iconic Bridges and no visit to the city is complete without a stop to see this bridge. If you are in Luck you may also see it open for boats to pass through. If you have more time you can also check out the new attraction.
Tower of London is a historic castle located on the Northbank of the Thames. Build by William the Conquerer. It was then used as a prison between 1100 and 1952. A stop here will have you discover the importance of the crown jewels to the monachy and the role Tower of London plays in protecting crown treasures.

Walk Across Tower Bridge To See Tower Of London

No visit to London is complete without checking out Tower Bridge. As marvelling as seeing the bridge open to allow huge ships and boats to pass through, they have gone one better! Last year saw the unveiling of a brand new glass floor across the high-level of the Walkways. The new glass floor allows you to see cars and London’s famous red buses pass from right under your feet! 

After Exploring London’s Main Sights – Chill and Relax With A Cocktail

Having walked all around the city you will most likely have spent most of your day on the above itinerary. This means by the end of it you will be dying to put your butt down and grab a glass of wine. There are many options around the river that you may have passed by the time you hit the last spot on the map. You can either grab a drink around the river or if weather permits check out London’s Rooftop Bars

Where To Stay In London

London is huge but as far as where to stay, this really depends on your budget and how much time you have in the city. For central hotels near the heart of the city with easy access to tourist locations, check out Marriot Hotel which is right next to London Eye and Big Ben. If you want views of London and a slice of luxury where the budget is no concern then you need to check out Shangri-La within The Shard or Mondrian within Sea Container House which comes with Views of London Eye and St Pauls Cathedral. If you want to be near the heart of Oxford Street, Hyde Park and Palace within a stone’s throw and many a theatre show within reach then you need to check out Sofitel London, W in Leicester Square or these hotels and apartments in Piccadilly. For all other budgets big and small. Check out Booking.com, Trivago, and Expedia to compare prices.

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  1. July 4, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    London looks so beautiful! I've never been but it's definitely on my list. Right now, I'm still exploring my home continent, particularly the Caribbean so I'll make it over to London soon enough.. perhaps in a year or so.

  2. July 10, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    We'll be off to London in a few weeks to visit our son there, so I'll definietly put some of these on the to do list.

    • July 26, 2016 / 2:13 pm

      Awesome! Enjoy the trip and let me know if you have any questions 😀

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