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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann Issac

20 Best Experiences in London

In this guide to London, I’m listing out some of the things I love to do in London, and feel you will like it too.

1. Ride the London Eye

I rode the London Eye my first time in London like most people do. It is as touristy as an activity can get in London, but the views from the top were amazing, so do give it a try.

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London Eye, lit up at night

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The Palace of Westminster & Big Ben

2. Picnic at Hyde Park

Grab some food from a local restaurant or like I’ve done before, a few sandwiches & snacks from Tesco or Sainsburys and head to Hyde Park on a warm day. Hyde Park is huge, so even on a day when it seems like it will be crowded, you might be able to find a rather quiet spot-but, sitting around a lot of people is fun too. ( I like to people watch from time to time :P)

Want to know how to navigate central London to see all the sights without wasting any time? Read my guide to London-it is especially great for first timer's to London!

Check out my Museum Guide to London! I've listed out all the best museums in the city, according to interest, kid friendliness, & genre!

3. Cruise on the Thames

Another rather touristy activity-there is really no need to do this, but it can be a fun outing.

4. Picnic by the Thames

This is another FREE yet fun thing to do in London. My picnic favourites are always from the grocery store (I have a few favourite sandwiches there), but get whatever you like, and find a spot to sit along the river.

5. Attend mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral

This is best done on Christmas Eve, because I love Christmas carols, but their choir is great at any time, so check for mass timings and attend! Or if you are in London around Easter, head to St. Paul's for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter service-you will not regret it!

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St Paul's Cathedral

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Palm Sunday procession from St. Paul's Cathedral

6. Walk down the Mall

This is a rather scenic walk, the highlight of which is the Admiralty Arch for me! The Mall is the walk from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square via the Admiralty Arch. This walk is best done leisurely, stopping to take pictures every now and then!

7. Try & get a peek in at Number 10

Number 10 Downing Street is the residence/office of the Prime Minister of England. I once walked past without realising where I was walking, and was surprised that I had stumbled across Number 10! There was no security, or fanfare around, so I did not realise I was at the official home/office of the most powerful person in the country!

8. Be in awe of the Crossness Pumping Station

This was a former sewage pumping station, which was constructed in 1865. It has beautiful cast iron work which is now painted in red and white. The cast ironwork is the highlight of this place, and if you go here, the pictures are from here are going to be absolutely amazing!

9. Fall in love with London by night

Take a walk through Central London at night, and you will fall more in love with this city! The London Bridge, tower bridge, London Eye, are all lit up at night, and it is an absolutely beautiful sight!

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Christmas Lights in London

10. Stroll along the Westminister Bridge

The Westminster bridge gives you some of the best views of London’s most iconic buildings. It is hard to find a spot that’s not crowded with tourists, but if you get here early in the morning, you will have it all to yourself, and get some fantastic pictures.

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The Shard

11. Shop at Harrods at Christmas

Christmas is the best time to be at Harrods. The whole building is decorated, all ready to celebrate the holidays, and that’s quite the sight to see. Go in and shop for the holidays, or eat up at their amazing food hall!

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Harrods- all Lit up!

12. Have tea at the Savoy

Be a part of the Savoy tradition since 1889! It will set you back around £75, but if you want to do something fancy in London, splurge on this! (I did not go to the Savoy for tea, but I did go to a couple of other places for tea, and had some really good scones & clotted cream)

13. Go for a show at the Globe theatre

The Globe theatre has regular performances of Shakespeare’s plays. The building is a recreation of the Globe theatre that Shakespeare used to write his plays for.

14. Spend an evening at Regent’s park

London has beautiful sprawling parks, and you would be a fool not to spend time in them, be it with a book, some friends, or a picnic!

15. Take in all of London from the Shard

The Shard has London’s highest viewing platform and you can book a ticket to see a 360 degree view of London from the 68th, 69th & 72nd floors of the building!

16. Go for a theatre show

When In London you have to go for a theatre show, but they are not cheap-unfortunately I did not enjoy the one I went to, but I’m sure if you choose some of the more famous/popular shows you will have a great time.

The next few on the list are not something that’s offbeat, but I realised that there are people who have visited London and never used the Tube, or the buses, and I really think everyone should!

17. Ride the double decker

Look for a double decker bus, and get into it. If you are in central London, get onto a bus to get a free tour of the city. I’ve done this, and I feel it is a cheap way to get a tour of the city!

18. Ride the Black cab

Now be careful when you get into a black cab-they are EXPENSIVE! But, they are iconic to London, so go for a short distance ride in them.

19. Ride the tube

The tube is the easiest and most economical way to get around London, and there is no reason to be intimidated when using it. There are maps everywhere, you can even check the maps out on your phone, and figure out how to get to your destination before you even reach the tube station so you don’t get overwhelmed when you are underground.

20. Explore modern London!

London has some of the most stunning modern architecture, and it would be a shame not to have spent some time admiring them-The Shard, the Gherkin, the Leadenhall building, City Hall, The serpentine buildings, and more!

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The Gherkin

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