So Many Things To See And Do In London

Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

There Are So Many Things To See And Do In London

We found so many things to see and do in London. We know that many more trips will be needed to explore the city. And we realized that we need to get out of the city and head into the countryside.

When we fly between Toronto to Europe, many times the connecting option is through London. With all the things to see and do in London, we always enjoyed adding on a few days. We explored the tourist sites and enjoyed downtime in the parks. Seeing London from different perspectives gave us different views of the city. And we even spent some time at sights that are a day trip from London.

So London will be a gateway city many more times!

Check Out The Big Tourist Spots

There were so many tourist spots that we never ran out of things to do in London. On one trip we got a London Pass for our visit to London. The London Pass gave us access to many of the major tourist attractions. Most of the things we wanted to see were covered on the London Pass. But the London Pass still saved us money.

No trip to London is complete without seeing the Westminster Parliament Buildings and Big Ben. Did you know that Big Ben is the bell and not the clock or the tower? We did not check the schedule in advance and visited on a day when the inside was not open. But we still wandered for hours around the outside alone.

Westminster Parliament Buildings and Big Ben - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Westminster Parliament Buildings and Big Ben - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

The Tower of London was on our list of things to see on our visit. We joined in on a public tour and got a good overview of the site and its history.

Tower - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Tower Tour.jpg

When we left the Tower of London by the Thames, we found the Tower Bridge. We strolled across the bridge for more water views of London. On the bridge we found exhibition space. We never saw the bridge open when we were within sight but the scheduled lift times were posted on the Tower Bridge online.

Tower Bridge - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Tower Bridge.jpg

For pomp and ceremony, we strolled to Buckingham Palace. We saw the changing of the guards in Ottawa and then again in Athens. We saw the guards ride through the Wellington Arch by Hyde Park. But we sadly missed the changing of the guard ceremony in London.

Buckingham Palace Guards - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Buckingham Palace.jpg

Buckingham Palace - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Tourist spots are definitely things to see and do in London.

See London From Different Perspectives

One of the first things we often do in a new city is head for a high spot for panoramic views. We missed the chance to go up the Elizabeth Tower and see Big Ben up close or get views from that perspective. David did however convince me to walk up the 311 steps to the top of the Monument. The view from 202 feet up showed the area of old London where the great fire burned.

Momument Climb to Top.jpg

Momument View From Top.jpg

We rode the London Eye and we got another panoramic view. A full rotation took about 30 minutes. So we had lots of time and saw London in all directions.

London Eye Day - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

London Eye Day View.jpg

This panoramic view of London was impressive in the day. But we found it even more captivating when we went back and rode the London Eye after dark. We got a discount when we bought tickets for both day and night. London looked so different after dark!

London Eye Night - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

London Eye Night View - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We also loved the view of a city from the water. Canal cities like Venice were always a draw for us. We enjoyed amazing night views when we took a river cruise in Budapest. From the boat on the Thames River in London we got a new perspective on many of the London sites as we moved slowly along the river.

Thames River Cruise.jpg

Thames River Cruise View - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We were happy we saw London from a number of different perspectives. Definitely a fun one of the things to see and do in London.

Relax In The Parks

London was a surprisingly green city. There were about 3,000 parks in London and these parks covered almost 18% London. We only saw a few on our visits.

Hyde Park was on our list to visit when we stayed in that area one year. As we moved through Hyde Park, we went from from statue to statue. The small pond in the centre of Hyde Park was a busy spot.

Hyde Park Statue - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Hyde Park Pond.jpg

From Hyde Park we walked to Kensington Gardens. As we walked through Kensington Gardens, we saw such an eclectic variety of statues. We enjoyed the Italian Gardens. Fountains sprayed in the centre of waters filled with lily pads.

Kensington Gardens Peter Pan Statue - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Kensington Gardens Italian Gardens - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We saw many more green spaces as we wandered. Finding spots to relax was easily one of the things to see and do in London.

Head Out Of Downtown

On one visit, we got a hotel close to Little Venice in a beautiful restored mansion. There was a subway stop one block from the hotel and lots of places to eat in the neighbourhood. But we explored a different part of London with easy transit access to downtown.

Three waterways (the Grand Union Canal, the Regent’s Canal and Paddington Basin) met at Browning’s Pool in the area known as Little Venice in London. We enjoyed the picturesque views at Brownings Pool from walkways, benches and small cafes.

Little Venice - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We took a canal boat from Brownings Pool to Camden Market along the Regent’s Canal. It was a lovely slow ride through this part of town. When we reached Camden Market we enjoyed the locks, outdoor market and the lively street entertainment.

Little Venice Canal.jpg

Little Venice Camden Lock - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We were happy we enjoyed a different part of London. When we headed outside of the downtown area we found lots to see and do in London.

Eat And Drink Your Way Around Town

We generally tried not to eat in restaurants all the time when we travelled. This saved us some money too! We shopped at the markets for picnic supplies. On our visit to Camden Market there was so much choice in local specialties.

Food Market.jpg

In London, the local pubs were often quite reasonable in price. Especially when we looked for iconic British food!

Food Pub.jpg

Food Fish and Chips.jpg

Afternoon Tea was always a treat when we travelled. There were several iconic Afternoon Tea locations in London. Our first experience was at the the Intercontinental London Park Lane. It was a perfect way to slow down in the afternoon as we enjoyed some sweet and savoury treats.

Food Intercontinental Park Lane Afternoon Tea - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

One day we visited the Arch Bar at the Intercontinental London Park Lane. There were 50 different gins on the Arch Bar menu. After much deliberation I chose the Edgerton Pink flavoured with pomegranate and lemon. Mixed with Fever Tree Tonic and I had the perfect gin and tonic. David was delighted to find the great Trois Rivieres rum from Martinique made with cane sugar and not molasses.

Food Intercontinental Park Lane Gin and Tonic - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Food Intercontinental Park Lane Trois Riviere Rum - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

But most of the time, David went looking for great dark beer. And he found so many great chocolate stout options in London.

Food Chocolate Beer.jpg

Eating and drinking was definitely a tasty one of the things to see and do in London.

Pamper Yourself With A Luxury Stay

For a luxury splurge on one visit we stayed at the Intercontinental London Park Lane in the heart of London. We were welcomed by name by the doorman Panny when we arrived. This kind of personalized service was always a hallmark of customer service excellence.

Intercontinental Park Lane Room Doorman Panny.jpg

We sometimes had mixed experiences when we booked Concierge Lounge access.  But it was not a hard choice to upgrade for Concierge Lounge access at the Intercontinental London Park Lane. And boy were we glad we did. The lounge was a relaxing oasis at the end of long days. Staff were attentive, the food and drink delicious and we had the best view out over Hyde Park.

Intercontinental Park Lane Mimosa Concierge Lounge.jpg

We loved to book a luxury stay and be pampered just a bit. The hotel was close to Hyde Park and a short walk to Buckingham Palace. This made the Intercontinental Park Lane a great base in London.

Head Out For Day Trips

On many of our visits to London we stayed close to the city. There was always lots to see and do in London. But we have explored some great sites outside of London. And all are doable as day trips. Although longer stays would let you see so much more.

We visited Stonehenge and marvelled at the mystery of this structure. A stop at the white cliffs of Dover was a very different natural beauty.

Stonehenge Stones - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Dover White Cliffs - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Our visit to Canterbury Cathedral left us awed by the beauty. Another visit to Salisbury Cathedral showed us another beautiful and historic church.

Canterbury Cathedral Outside.jpg

Canterbury Cathedral Stained Glass - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

Salisbury Cathedral Outside.jpg

Salisbury Cathedral Altar - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

We saw Buckingham Palace when we stayed in London. And on another day trip we saw Windsor Castle which was the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Windsor Castle - Things To See And Do In London England.jpg

There were so many other day trips from London that we wanted to do. For some beach time, Brighton Beach could even be done as a day trip from London. Maybe we will pick a base or two in the countryside on a return visit.

We Enjoyed So Many Things To See And Do In London

We visited London several times. We were pampered at great hotels in the city. And once we even enjoyed staying in the outer areas and made new discoveries. It was great to visit the tourist spots and see the city from different perspectives too.

Even though we never tired of the things to see and do in London, we explored outside of the city. And enjoyed some very different sights.

Have you found a lot of things to see and do in London? What should go on our list for a return visit?

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  1. As Samuel Johnson once said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. I’ll be honest… London isn’t my favourite city in the world, but there’s certainly plenty to see and do there.

  2. I went to London years ago, and found it overwhelming, probably because I was young and I didn’t plan the trip. I would love to go back and plan the itinerary myself.

  3. I plan to go to London in January to visit my best friend, I will definitely send this post to her for a list of ideas we could do during my short stay. One thing is for sure: the afternoon tea is calling my name!

  4. London is always worth a visit and you will find a lot of new things on every visit. Great that you were able to see so many different parts of London and do some day trips as well. Personally I really love the Salisbury cathedral.

  5. Yay! It is great to see that you had such a blast (and managed to see so much) in London! You know, we lived there for more than 10 years, but I never climbed up the monument. I keep meaning to go there whenever we’ve back for mini visits. 🙂

    If you go back, my favourite area is North in Hampstead Heath (and the stunning Pergola gardens, which are free, but just fabulous)

  6. I think first time visitor to London like me will be overwhelmed. There are so many interesting historical places to see. But I know that I will not skip eating fish and chips.

    • Since London is a gateway city for us, we figure we can pick a few things for each trip and not try to do it all. We have been four times so far. But we sure never miss eating fish and chips too.

  7. You had a great trip to London. I like this city for its variety, mix of styles, cultures, and cuisines of the world. I also love London museums. The architecture is gorgeous. Seeing the Westminster Parliament Buildings and Big Ben is a must for sure. I love it also by night, with all its illumination. Tower Bridge is beautiful. I also took a ride on London Eye. The panorama of the city from this perspective is fabulous. But I haven’t been to Stonehenge yet. Hope to visit one day.

  8. I thought before that Big Ben refers to the clock. I didn’t know it pertains to the bell. I agree your ride in the evening on the London Eye looks more attractive. I have not tried it, but I can just imagine being high up there in the dark and looking below from the top.

  9. I’ve been to London many times over the years and always find new things to do each time.

    I didn’t realise there was a Stonehenge day trip from London. I did the trip from Bath many years ago.

  10. I have never visited London before, but I have always wanted to! The culture, the architecture, and the people there just seems like such a great place. I feel like my first trip there might be a bit overwhelming as you just showed there is so much to do there!! Will have to plan ahead my top things to do!

  11. Brought back some beautiful memories of London through your lovely photographs. We had been there twice and stayed for 10 days on each occasion. Walking around town leisurely was such a pleasurable experience.

  12. Love this! while I love cities, sometimes they can be overwhelming, so a great day trip is a nice break from the craziness. I surprisingly enjoyed Stonehenge for not being a history buff.

  13. I have never visited London before, but I have always wanted to! The bigben, Museums, London’s Eye, Churches, Park there are so many places to visit and enjoy. The culture, the architecture, and the food there just seems like amazing to explore. May be next year I will plan for a visit.

  14. So much to see and explore in London. Honestly, I always used to dream of settling down in London. I absolutely love the royal vibes of London. You have given me a virtual tour of London and I absolutely cant wait to land there. Loved the post.

  15. There are so many great things to do in London! I feel like no matter how many times you go, you’ll never see it all! Visiting the Tower of London has been on my list for ages but we’ve still not been yet! I need to spend more time exploring the beautiful parks too! Thanks for the great guide!

  16. You saw all the major sites, enjoyed afternoon tea and stayed at the intercontinental. Everything I’d loved to do when I finally travel there. Thanks for the overview and wonderful photos.

  17. Such a long, long time since I visited London. Good to see you had a wonderful time visiting the many historical sites, and was interested to learn about modernised sites.

  18. Gosh, it’s been decades. I haven’t been keeping up. Does Fortnum and Mason still exist any more? They used to be famous for their High Tea…..the British Museum (and all the others)….Westminster Abbey on a warm, sunny day, so overwhelmingly emotional for its beauty and history…Regent Street…all the neighbourhoods…such a great city for walking and shopping. Sounds like you picked a wonderful location from which to head out. The fish and chips look so mouthwatering. I am feeling really deprived.

  19. Ah, the familiar sights of London! So much to see and you certainly packed in a great deal. Great tips that you have shared.

  20. This is a great guide. I am lucky to live just 20 minutes train ride from Central London so always read keenly any posts about it, sometimes you can discover new things to do. It’s great that you included so many things to do outside London too & not just the obvious ones. I have never taken a canal boat ride from Little Venice so thank you for the suggestion!

  21. I spent a week in London many years ago and would love to return. I had no idea the London Eye took 30 minutes to complete a rotation! I didn’t get to do any boat excursions when I was there so that would be one of my main objectives if I go again.

    • I am happy to provide you with some ideas for a return visit to London. I am sure there are even more coming online all the time. Always new things to discover and old ones to enjoy.

  22. Made me homesick there for a second. I come from London .Tower of London was always my favourite place to visit. Cant even count how many times I’ve been there. Never did the canals though, my partner would have loved that!

  23. Oh my! There is certainly a lot to do while in London. It’s a city I’ve flown into, like you, but never had the time to leave the airport. I know I will get there one day. I love all the green spaces, like you surprised a how much land they take up. I would love to do the London Eye for those views of the city – just need to decide whether it is at daytime or night to see all the lights. Your luxury stay at the Intercontinental sounds like the perfect spot to unwind after a busy day exploring the sites.

  24. I live in London but I still go stay in central London sometimes with my husband and do touristy things. Only last week I stayed in town and went to Winter Wonderland. Something I haven’t done but want to do is get that The London Pass, I’m so glad to hear that you saved money getting it.

  25. It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve visited London. I used to go every year, but somehow, the last years went by too quickly. I’d really love to go back and your post made me missing it. It’s a fantastic city with so much to see and to do. However, I’ve heard from people who live there that it can be very stressful, too, so maybe it’s even better to only enjoy London as a visitor?!

  26. I’m currently living between Rome and London – and guess where I am now? In Rome… And reading your article was like reading a good book. But in addition, you’ve made me miss my UK home that much more! I can’t wait to be back in summer, when all the parks will be fresh and sunny, and the city will be bustling with tourists over again!

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