There was so much to like about London. While we were there only a very brief time we covered a lot of ground. We tried to hit a few of the major sites like the Tower of London and also some more obscure off the beaten path things. There’s so much to see and do and with only three real days for touring we had to prioritize and be well located.
We stayed in Bayswater near Kensington Gardens and Notting Hill. We found this to be an ideal launch point. It was neighborhoody with great local markets, cafes and pubs and was super convenient to the Tube, the busses and walkable to the Parliament area. We would definitely stay again here, in Kensington or in Notting Hill.
Because we had only three days for touring, we tried to chunk it up by neighborhood and plotted out a map of the sites we had hoped to visit, grouped that way. That was really helpful. We then checked the websites of the places we wanted to tour to make sure that they would actually be open on those days. Good thing we did, because we had to make some changes. We would definitely recommend buying tickets for museums, etc. in advance. Some of them require you to bring printed tickets which we would not have been able to do from our AirBnB. While you might get away without doing so, why risk it?
In Westminster, on our first day, we hit the parks, the Churchill War Rooms, Big Ben, Parliament, St. Martin’s in the Fields Church (for a free afternoon concert) and the National Portrait Gallery. We had hoped to catch a changing of the guard or changing of the horse guard but the timing wasn’t right and this was a pretty full day already. See more about our sites in our Touring Westminster post.
On our second day we got to the other end of the city and toured that borough (the City) starting with Tower Hill and the Tower of London. The King and Queen of Spain happened to be in town while we were there so we witnessed a cannon salute to them (though we had no idea what it was at the time) at the Tower. We meandered back through the financial district to St. Paul’s Cathedral and checked out the parks around (we did not go into the cathedral itself this time) and checked out the Museum of London. We also took in a Thames River cruise for high tea which was a highlight of our trip. The weather was fantastic and there were a lot of locals out and about at the pubs in the evening, so we joined in. This was a pretty ambitious agenda for the day but, while long, it was a good one. For more on this day’s tour, see our post on our touring of the “City”.
For our final day, we stuck closer to home and only picked a few sights so we would have time to wander around Notting Hill. We caught the changing of the horse guards on our way to tour the British Museum and then took a cab back so we could have lunch closer to our “home”.
There was so much we loved about London, but for our favorite things, check out our top 5 things we liked in London post.
It felt so short and we can’t wait to go back. Cheers!