Sometimes, a short visit to a great city can leave a lasting impression. If you are coming to London but have only a single day to soak in all of its tradition and beauty, you should definitely make a good plan for this special day.
Of course, such a brief visit can’t replace a proper city tour, but at least you will be able to feel the unique atmosphere of the British capital and have a few memorable moments while trawling its famous streets and squares. In such a scenario, it may be best not trying to do too much, and instead focus on a limited number of carefully chosen activities that appeal to you the most.
Each person may have different priorities, and London has so much to offer that it’s nearly impossible to prescribe a general, one-size-fits-all routine. Still, there are some things everyone should do.
With that in mind, here is an example of a smart 24-hour agenda that will let you get a taste of different sides of London, if only for a brief moment:
Choose your hotel strategically
The Location of your hotel greatly affects which attractions and events you will be able to visit, so it should be chosen with your other plans in mind. What’s more, various areas have advantages and downsides that you should weigh against each other before deciding.
For example, Park Grand Osterley is close to the airport and multiple business districts, but isn’t walkable to the city’s historical monuments. In contrast, more centrally located hotels may have the advantage of being closer to the action, with the associated disadvantage of crowded streets, jammed traffic and long commutes to and from the airport.
It’s all about your priorities – the nature of your visit and the activities you want to engage in should guide your choice of accommodation.
Have a walk around the city centre
London is a very old town, and a majority of its most magnificent historical monuments are located near the old core that is also one of the most luxurious parts of London today.
If you are staying just for one day, you owe it to yourself to walk through the historic streets and feel the inner pulse of London. You can start from a specific landmark and walk aimlessly for a bit, or you can try to seek out urban features you recognise.
There are also self-guided tours around London’s centre that can be completed in just a few hours, but give you a pretty good overview of the most impressive sites, including several properties belonging to the royal family and a few gorgeous public parks. The South Bank of the Thames is another area worth visiting for its scenic beauty, and you can explore it either on foot or on a bicycle.
Have lunch at a nice restaurant
London has an abundance of dining establishments for every budget, from street food stands to fancy restaurants. One option is to have lunch at the same place you are staying, i.e. in the Park Grand Heathrow restaurant.
You could also try to find a table at one of the trendy restaurants that London is famous for, but this could be tricky to pull off on short notice as all the best ones are in high demand.
If you prefer to eat in a less formal setting, you could even go to the nearest pub and grab some fish and chips and a pint of beer – a truly local meal that won’t cost too much. Ideally, you will be able to find a nice place close to your other targets of interest, so that you don’t waste any time travelling back and forth.
Pick your favourite attraction to visit
There are dozens of amazing tourist attractions in London and it would take several weeks to visit only the major ones.
If 24 hours is all the time you have, it might be best to focus on a single landmark you are most interested in and dedicate your undivided attention to it. That way, you can avoid rushing from one part of London to another only to spend the next hour or two queuing to gain entrance to a venue crowded with tourists and security guards.
For example, you could spend a whole afternoon exploring Tower Bridge, or use the time you have to see contemporary art in the Tate Modern gallery, but doing both in the same day may be too much.
People with families often go for a picnic in Hyde Park or St James’ Park, while diehard sports fans may be compelled to execute a pilgrimage to the iconic Wembley Stadium while they are in London. Of course, some of those venues may not be open during your stay, so you need to take availability into account when deciding where to go and when.
Hit the nightlife circuit to cap a perfect day
If you still have any energy left over after a long day spent sightseeing, London nightlife will certainly not disappoint you.
With dozens of nightclubs, bars, open-air festivals and other events competing for attention, you can never get bored in London if you enjoy partying. You can find literally every type of music in this city, from hard rock and punk, through hip hop and R&B, to the electronic sound of house and techno. Soho area in particular is famous for its classy nightlife circuit, so if you only have a single night to explore the London scene, this is probably where you should be heading.
Shoreditch and Camden Town are also notable nightlife locations in London, and depending on your music taste, you could have a reason to visit some of the clubs there as well. Of course, you need to be mindful of the hours and head back to your room at the Park Grand Hotel Hounslow while you are still in good condition, especially if you have an early flight out of London.
Now that you know how to spend a day in London, take advantage of Heathrow hotel deals and book your flight and accommodation now!