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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In London, the local pubs were often quite reasonable in price. Especially when we looked for iconic British food!
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.
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.
But most of the time, David went looking for great dark beer. And he found so many great chocolate stout options in London.
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.
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.
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.
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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