When planning a city break, it is important to create an itinerary to ensure that your trip is packed full of the things you wish to see and do; if a plan isn’t made, you run a big risk of missing out on some of the most famous and most beautiful parts of the city. London is a vast city with an abundance of sights, shops and parks to explore and so, to ensure that nothing is missed out, here is a four day guide to make sure that you experience everything that the city has to offer.
Day 1: Paddington and the Surrounding Area
If you have flown in to Heathrow and spent the night in BW Plus Park Grand London Heathrow, you can enter London via the Heathrow Express to London Paddington. This area is a great place to start your exploration with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens situated a stone’s throw away from the station. From Sussex Gardens you can head south and enter Kensington Gardens, one of the most beautiful parks in London. It is home to the famous Kensington Palace where royalty such as Princess Diana and King George I all resided and, for a small fee, you can enter the palace and explore the lavish rooms and exhibitions. The gardens are exquisite with the Italian gardens situated in the North, the Albert memorial, which was built by a grieving Queen Victoria, in the South and the Serpentine Gallery, named after the Serpentine Lake that runs through Hyde Park, in the East.
After Kensington Gardens you can either walk straight into Hyde Park and find the famous Speaker’s Corner in the North, or you can exit Kensington Gardens and walk a few minutes South where you will find yourself at the Natural History, the Science and the V&A Museums. All of these museums are free and will take up a good few hours of your day; the Natural History Museum is packed full of amazing specimens, dinosaur bones and reconstructions and gems and minerals that will have you in awe at how amazing our planet is. The Science museum allows you to be hands on and play, create and experiment with different contraptions as well as taking a look at the history behind machinery and processes that we couldn’t be without today such as trains, cars and even medicine. The V&A museum holds treasures from all over the British Empire as well as delights from the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition that was held in the 19th century, it really gives an insight into the strength on the empire in its day. From here you can retire for the night or you could take a look at the many things to do near Hogarth Road.
Day 2: Shopping along Oxford Street
It doesn’t matter where you go, shopping is an absolute must and, when you are in one of the most famous shopping districts in the world, it would be very rude not to take advantage of the opportunity. Shopping on Oxford Street with the large Topshop store, Primark store and the world famous Selfridges which caters to everyones needs, will most certainly take up most of your morning and, if you aren’t worn out from your shopping workout you are only minutes away from Regent Street, which is home to Hamleys, and Piccadilly Circus. From here the choice is yours, you could walk on to Leicester Square to take in a film or you could head down Shaftesbury Avenue where you could watch a musical in the West End.
Day 3: Sightseeing at its finest
After a good night’s rest, today is the day to take in some of the most famous sights in London. You can see the sights of London by bus and, if you have an all day travel card, you can hop on and off the bus as many times as you like at all different spots. The place to start your day is Trafalgar Square in the city centre where you can see Nelson’s Column and take a wander around the National Gallery which is free admission. From here, head down The Mall into St James’s Park where you will see the breathtaking view of Buckingham Palace, the home of the British Monarchy; if you are visiting in the summer months, you can even take a tour of the palace. If it is a lovely, sunny day, take a stroll through St James’s Park and enjoy the scenery before exiting just outside 10 Downing Street. Head South from Downing Street and you will see the impressive structure of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament; there are many tours that can show you the breathtaking interior of Westminster Palace and explain the workings of Parliament. From here, you can go into Westminster Abbey, the burial site of many royals and influential British icons such as Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, Henry VII and Elizabeth I. There is a charge to enter the abbey but it is well worth it as it is an important structure that houses hundreds of years of British History.
Day 4: Off to the Tower
No trip to London would be complete without a visit to the infamous Tower of London. Known for its torture chambers, execution sites, ravens and crown jewels, it is a central hub of British history. The beefeaters still guard the site and they also give insightful tours which allows you to learn all about the history of the tower, including its famous inmates such as Princess Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh and Lady Jane Grey. Once you have escaped from the tower, you can walk across Tower Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges in the world and take a look at the exhibition which explains the history, mechanisms and the workings of the bridge. If the bridge doesn’t take your fancy, you can walk to St Paul’s Cathedral while viewing the Monument, which marks where the Fire of London started in 1666. There is a charge for the cathedral which helps towards the upkeep of the religious house or you can visit on a Sunday and attend a service, the choice is yours.