Admission is free and the art museum houses pieces from famous artists like Vermeer, Titian, Monet, van Gogh, Michelangelo, and more. It is typically open 10am to 6pm, and on Fridays, it is open until 9pm. The next morning, we woke up early to walk to Bond Street Underground Station. The foot monument is open to visitors and you can pay to climb its stairs to reach a public viewing platform for some great city views.
We stopped by before it opened and so merely saw it and moved on. Next, we headed to the entrance of the Tower of London and stopped in a cafe for a quick breakfast before the site opened. The Tower of London was a favorite attraction of ours! We booked our tickets online and in advance, and we also paid for the audio tour.
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The Tower of London served as a fortress, royal palace, and prison. When we visited, we spent the majority of our day there and even ate lunch in one of its restaurants. You can learn about its main famous prisoners, like Sir Walter Raleigh, the many animals that lived there from polar bears to the omnipresent ravens , and see the English crown jewels! It is about a 30 minute walk from the Tower of London. We really enjoyed learning about the different areas of London and how it changed and expanded. Again, we awoke early, ate, and walked to the nearest Underground stop, Bond Street.
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We took the Epping Line to the St. Address: St. Our first stop of the day was St. Built by Christopher Wren, this church is the site of many famous memorial services and funerals, such as Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. We received an audio guide, and also choose to walk to the top of Dome, amazing views! Next, we walked from St.
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If time permits, you can tour it or see a play. We came upon Borough Market and decided to stroll through it. The market is located on a site that has been a marketplace since the s and is one of the oldest and largest in London with baked goods, fresh produce, cheeses, and more. From there, we took a minute taxi ride to the London Zoo. The London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world and is home to many creatures, including penguins, lemurs, and giraffes. If possible, we like to visit zoos whenever we travel Alex is a big fan. I wanted to go to the London Zoo because part of the first Harry Potter film was shot there!
The Reptile House was used in the scene where Harry releases a snake and his cousin, Dudley, falls into exhibit. The next day, we awoke early and explored Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Hyde Park is a large, acre park located between Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace and contains a memorial fountain to Princess Diana, along with other memorials, statues, and water features. Kensington Gardens used to be part of Hyde Park, but is now considered its own separate park; it offers contemporary art and architecture along with other classic London monuments like t he Albert Memorial.
Kensington Palace , located adjacent to Kensington Gardens, is currently the home to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate , and their children. Following the Palace, we walked about fifteen minutes to the Natural History Museum , also in the Kensington area. We ate lunch at the restaurant there and then explored the museum. Admission is free. There was a long line for photos but I waited and paid for the professional photo they take, and bought some Potter souvenirs as well.
The British Library is a national treasure! The next day, we flew to Edinburgh, Scotland. We compared taking the train to flying, but flying was cheaper and faster! Then we took the Stansted Express from there; we got on the am train from Liverpool Station to Standsted. We flew on Ryanair. So we boarded a bus for a full-day tour out to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. Windsor Castle is an official residence of the Queen, but it was originally built as a fortress to keep invaders out.
You can wander through the State Apartments and see various treasures from the Royal Collection. After about an hour's drive we arrived at Stonehenge, which is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Our final stop of the day was Bath, where we toured the Roman Baths and the city of Bath itself. After a two-hour drive back to London, we arrived at our hotel late at night and exhausted from a very full day of touring.
Be sure to join one of the Yeoman Warder-guided tours, which depart every half hour to call our guide a "character" would be an understatement. The afternoon was spent shopping in some of the well-known, and admittedly touristy, shopping areas, including Portobello Market , Harrods department store , and Piccadilly Circus.
We also checked out a temporary Dr. Who exhibit at Earl's Court, which happened to be in town at the same time we were. Knowing we would never hear the end of it if we went to London and didn't check out at least one London museum , we headed for the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square admission is free! The museum is immense and takes a few hours to explore, but is worth it even for the most casual art lover. With artists like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Seurat, Degas and Monet on display, everyone is bound to find something they're interested in. We then headed for the South Bank for a trip on the London Eye.
The trip itself was sort of anticlimactic, as there isn't any audio commentary to accompany it and you have to share your pod with potentially annoying strangers , but the clear and sunny day lent itself to some fantastic photographs of the city.
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There's also an abundance of street vendors, street performers and restaurants along the way to keep you entertained and well fed. After our walk we toured Shakespeare's Globe Theatre a replica, since the original was demolished some time ago. You know, as many times as I have been to London, I have not made it to Stonehenge. There are some great tips here. Just trying to get a place to eat together will be challenging.
I loved your tips about the Oyster card, and pre-booking tickets, It saves lots of time to book in advance so that you are not waiting in line for tickets, and then waiting in another line for entry. Depending on how early you book it also puts that block of tickets on separate credit card bill instead of all at once. Thanks for the guide, I found you on Pintrest, and will make sure to repin.
Thanks for reading, Erin, and for repinning on Pinterest.
London in 1 day
London has great parks to make use of when the kids need a break. Hyde Park has paddle boats for rent and a great playground and fountain. James Park also has a popular playground. Enjoy your trip! Do you have more ideas? We will be in London for 10 days. We will do all you mention but we need more? With 10 days, you can also plan day trips out of the city if you want.
Even Paris is a doable day trip with the Chunnel train taking just 2ish hours. Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Thanks for the tip about the London Pass! We went last year and no one told us about it, and we are going back in October and still want to do many of the activities included in the pass. Sounds like a great value! Fantastic, Dana.
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