7 Awesome Things to Do In London 10

7 Awesome Things to Do In London @visitlondon

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“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”  — Samuel Johnson

London is the capital of England and the most populous city in the United Kingdom. It was ranked by Forbes as the top most influential city in 2014. Its strengths include the arts, commerce, entertainment, fashion, finance, tourism and transport. Tourism is one of London’s prime industries making it as the world’s most-visited city.

Regardless of age and interests, London has something for everyone. London, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in London

Here’s my 7 Awesome Things to Do In London!

1. Take the River Thames Cruise and Enjoy the Sights

 7 Awesome Things to Do In London 1Sit back, relax and discover London’s numerous attractions such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (background)

The River Thames snakes its way through the heart of London and passes by some of its famous sights. There are piers along both banks of the river where you can hop-on/hop-off to visit places of interest which include:

  • Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – this is where Members of Parliament meet to propose and discuss new legislation. Visitors are allowed to attend the debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords. Its most famous feature is the Clock Tower, nicknamed Big Ben.
  • London Eye – a much loved and popular landmark, this giant Ferris wheel’s 30-minute spin will reward one with amazing and great views of the city and beyond on a clear day.
  • Tate Modern – housed in the former Bankside Power Station and is the world’s most visited modern art gallery.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe – a modern reconstruction not far from the original theatre which aims to educate, experience and understand Shakespeare in performance.
  • HMS Belfast – this large, light cruiser used in World War II is now permanently moored on the River Thames and was preserved and converted into a museum ship.
  • Tower Bridge – an iconic symbol of London, the bridge deck is accessible to vehicles and pedestrians, while the twin towers connected by high-level horizontal walkways and Victorian engine rooms form part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition. The most recent development was the spectacular glass floor across the high-level walkways.
  • Assortment of Modern Buildings – various unusually shaped buildings can be seen on both banks of the river such as The Shard, which is the tallest building in the European Union, the helmet-shaped City Hall, “The Walkie Talkie”, “The Cheesegrater” and “The Gherkin”.
  • Greenwich – best known for its maritime history and location of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Attractions and sites of interest include the clipper ship Cutty Sark, Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Greenwich Heritage Centre.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in: River ThamesBig BenLondon EyeTate ModernShakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and  Greenwich

Related Article: Where to stay in London?

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 2
Clockwise from top left: London Eye, Tate Modern (Photo Source: visitlondon.com), Shakespeare’s Globe, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and Cutty Sark (Photo Source: visitlondon.com)

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 3Left to right: City Hall, The Shard, “The Walkie Talkie”, “The Cheesegrater” and “The Gherkin”

2. Wander Around Historical Palaces and Feel Like a Royal

To best understand and appreciate British monarchy, one must visit the stately palaces where the royals lived in the past until the present times, learn the rich history associated with them and be impressed by the stunning architecture of these structures. Some of the most famous and visited are:

  • Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s London home which is open to the public (when the Royal family is away on summer holidays).The Changing of the Guards is one of its main attractions.
  • Kensington Palace – generation of royals lived here including Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. Current occupants include Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
  • Hampton Court Palace – not been inhabited by the British Royal Family since the 18th century. It houses many works of art and furnishings from the Royal Collection.
  • Tower of London – one of Britain’s finest historic castles located on the north bank of the River Thames, it served as a royal residence, a prison and place of torture and death, an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Tower Of London.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 4Enjoy a special tour of the State Rooms of Buckingham Place. (Photo Source: en.wikipedia.org)

3. Step Back in Time Inside London’s Awe-Inspiring Churches

London’s numerous and diverse places of worship with outstanding features and striking architecture have stood as silent witnesses to many important events that shaped British history.

  • St Paul’s Cathedral – a masterpiece by architect Christopher Wren, Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married here in 1981 and funerals of many notable figures including Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher have occurred at the cathedral.
  • Westminster Abbey – one of the most notable religious buildings in Britain and has been the traditional place of Royal coronation, weddings, burials and memorials. Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married here in 2011.
  • Methodist Central Hall, Westminster – it was erected to mark the centenary of John Wesley’s death. It has been regularly used for political rallies – famous speakers have included Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Winston Churchill.
  • Saint Martin-in-the-Fields – an English Anglican church which was constructed in a Neoclassical design which became extremely famous, being copied particularly in the United States. The church has a close relationship with the Royal Family, the executive branch of the British government and the Admiralty.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 6View of St. Paul’s Cathedral across the Millennium Bridge. (Photo Source: travelhdwallpapers.com)

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 7Westminster Abbey, a fine example of Gothic architecture. (Photo Source: visitlondon.com)

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

4. Walk Into Museums and be Overwhelmed with Vast Amount of Knowledge

London’s museums host artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance from prehistoric to modern man for public viewing and most of them are free. These are but just a few of them:

  • British Museum – one of London’s most popular tourist attractions housing vast collections of art and artefacts from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Roman and Medieval Britain, among others. Probably, the most prized item in its collection is the Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  • National Gallery – located near Trafalgar Square, under its roof is a collection of mostly pre-modern art numbering over 2,300 paintings including masterpieces by Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, to name a few.
  • National Portrait Gallery – the first portrait gallery in the world which collects and displays photographs and caricatures as well as paintings, drawings and sculptures of historically important and famous British people.
  • Natural History Museum – exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums in South Kensington; the others are the Science Museum, renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and interactive and educational exhibits, and the Victoria and Albert Museum which specialises in decorative art and design.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Natural History Museum.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 8Clockwise from top Left: The Great Court, Rosetta Stone and a few of the many Greek sculptures are just some of British Museum’s attractions.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London9One of the most prominent exhibits at Natural History Museum is a 105-foot diplodocus skeleton affectionately called Dippy. (Photo Source: telegraph.co.uk)

5. Be Entertained at London’s West End

  • West End – an area of Central London which contains many of the city’s major tourist attractions and entertainment venues including the commercial West End theatres. To see a West End play or musical tops a visitor’s to-do activity in London.

Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera are two of the longest running musicals which opened in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Other shows worth seeing include Miss Saigon, The Book of Mormon, Mamma Mia and Jersey Boys.

Check out how you can experience the Theatre and Dinner Package in London for Two that we booked for my birthday thru Tinggly.com.

There are also shows for children such as The Lion King, Billy Elliot: The Musical, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, among others.

  • Leicester Square – an area in West End which contains a number of nationally important cinemas frequently used for film premières, including the Odeon Leicester Square, Empire Leicester Square and Odeon West End. British and Hollywood stars can be seen during red-carpet premieres.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Leicester.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 10

Watch and enjoy a West End show in London. (Photo Sources: Les Miserables – dresscircle.com, Miss Saigon – lastminutetheatretickets.com, Mamma Mia – housetohome.co.uk)

6. When in Britain, Watch What the British Play

Britain gave birth to a range of international sports including football, rugby, cricket and tennis. These are the most followed spectator sports and many of the crucial international fixtures take place in London.

  • Football – remains as the most popular sport and is considered a religion in Britain. The Premier League tops the English football league system and London has its share of teams playing during the 2015-16 season – Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. The league runs from mid-August to early May of the following year.
  • Rugby – in London, all rugby clubs play fifteen-a-side Rugby Union and two London teams play in the Premiership – Harlequins and Saracens. The season runs from February to September.
  • Cricket – two county teams are based in London – Middlesex and Surrey, and matches run from April to September during football’s off-season.
  • Tennis – held for two weeks from the last week of June to the first week of July, Wimbledon is the oldest, most prestigious and the only Grand Slam tournament played in grass. Royal spectators, strict white dress code for competitors and the audience eating strawberries while watching a match are part of Wimbledon traditions.

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 6 11Two of London’s top teams in the Premier League, Arsenal and Chelsea, in action. (Photo Source: mirror.co.uk)

7-Awesome-Things-to-Do-In-London-12Federer playing against Djokovic in the 2014 Wimbledon Men’s Final. (Photo Source: telegraph.co.uk)

7. When in Britain, Eat What the British Eat

The full English breakfast is among the most internationally recognised British dishes, along with fish and chips and the Christmas dinner.

  • Full English breakfast- a meal which usually includes bacon, sausages, eggs and a variety of other cooked foods, with a beverage such as coffee or tea.
  • Fish and chips – a common take-away food consisting of battered fish, commonly cod or haddock and chips.
  • Christmas dinner – usually consists of roast turkey served with stuffing, gravy, roast potatoes, boiled or steamed brussels sprouts and parsnips; with dessert of Christmas pudding, sometimes mince pies or trifle.
  • Other traditional British dishes include baked Cornish pasty, Yorkshire pudding (made from batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk) to shortbread, Lancashire hotpot (baked dish made traditionally from lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes), steak and kidney pudding, jellied eels (consists of chopped eels boiled in a spiced stock), clotted cream (a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly) and Sunday roast (meal that is traditionally served on Sunday consisting of roasted meat, roasted or mashed potato, with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy).

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 13British dishes (left to right): Full English breakfast, Fish and chips, and Christmas dinner. (Photo Sources: Full English breakfast – internationalknitterofmystery.wordpress.com, Fish and chips – standard.co.uk, Christmas dinner – fandbnews.com)

This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other things to occupy a London visitor’s time. However, it gives a balanced and variety of activities to do and sights to see for one to be fully immersed to the rich British culture, history and tradition. See you in London!

Monkey DividersAbout The Writer:

7 Awesome Things to Do In London 14Asher Villesca was born and raised in the Philippines but have been living with his wife, a nurse and their teenage son in the UK since 2003. They love to travel as a family and they’ve been to a few countries and they want to visit more in the future. Aside from travelling, other interests include sports, music, reading, watching BBC’s University Challenge (a TV quiz show) and becoming a vegetarian. As  an accountant, he is more at home crunching numbers than weaving words. A newly qualified TEFL teacher, he is looking for a teaching stint anywhere in the world.


Monkey Dividers

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Comments 53

  1. Totally agree with this list! A river cruise on the Thames is a must do when visiting London.

    May I add visiting the new Skygarden as well? It’s quite close to the Tower of London, entry is free and the view is amazing!

  2. I live in London and havent done most of these which really puts me to shame and I should make more of an effort to explore the city I live in,

  3. Wow this is a fab post!! Thank you so much for sharing. I love London and its history, it’s steeped in it and I love walking round the streets just soaking up the atmosphere. I d been a few times but it’s good to have this a a guide for people who haven’t. Plus there was things on here that I didn’t know.

  4. We love visiting London, and do a weekend break there every year. Never run out of new things to do however many times we visit!
    We’ve done the London Eye, Kensington Palace and The National History Museum, but not been down the Thames yet.
    Definitely one to put on the list for our next trip, thanks for the inspiration! Loads of new ideas here . 🙂

  5. Living In the UK, I visit London all the time. There is so very much to do there and I always have an amazing time!,

    1. Perfect, Tanya! Nothing beats the advices from the locals, right? Anything you fancy most from this list of 7 Awesome Things to Do In London?

  6. I used to go to the tate modern when I was little because my uncle worked there, although I don’t think I would of been as understanding of it then as I would be now 🙂

  7. There is so much choice in London that when I am there I feel quite overwhelmed by it all! One could live there and entire life and never do everything that can be done!

    1. Haha. You got the point, Elizabeth. These 7 Awesome Things to Do In London are just a part of the several things to explore in the city.

  8. Nothing better than some of the Sporting Events held in London. Wimbledon is a classic example of some fine sport in the UK

  9. Great post, I went to see MIss Saigon it’s brilliant, I’d go and see it again! Fish and chips is a must.

  10. Whenever I visit London, I like to try to take in a show in the west end if possible. I love theatre but I really should do some of the more touristy things like the London Eye as I havent been on that yet either! xxx

  11. Thanks for sharing this article. For me London is the best city in the world. I am currently working and living in Switzerland, but can’t wait to return to London in August.

  12. There is something amazing about London, so much to see an do – these are some amazing ideas 🙂 x

  13. That cruise sounds like something I’d definitely have to try. There’s no way I’d miss out on those museums either!

  14. And for those who like alternative tours street art tours are amazing and I know the best places to find them!

  15. I am coming to London around the 24th of June while the Mrs is at Britmums. I will heading around the city taking plenty of Photos. This will be very helpful for me. 😉

    Thanks for Sharing.

    John M.

  16. Shamefully considering that I live 20 mins from London there’s still so much I haven’t done. I still need to go to the Tate Modern! x

    1. Just drop a comment here whenever you plan to. Feel free to use this guide on 7 Awesome Things to Do In London too. 🙂

  17. Great post, we are lucky enough to be able to get to London in 20 minutes by train. We love the South Bank and just strolling along watching the entertainment, we also love the Tate you can spend hours in there and even if you are not into art you can have a great time x

  18. My husband and I have said we need to go to London and do all the touristy bits. Despite living close (an hours train away) these a lot of famous landmarks we haven’t seen in it he capital!

  19. Nice recap of things to do in London. I’ve only taken in a few of the suggestions you recommend and will pin this list for my next visit to the UK. Nice job!

  20. A great summary! On our visits, we sampled and enjoyed from all 7 of your categories but there is so much more to see from each.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, Tom and Sheila! Yes, London has so much to offer and I guess you have to come back again.

  21. Great post! I was just talking about London with my colleague in light of an article he’s writing (or thinking of writing) for our own blog; looks like you beat us to the punch though. As always, I tip my hat to you both! Thanks for the great post.

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