The capital of the UK, London is home to a host of iconic sights, incredible eats, and world-class museums and theatres. Take the train to Waterloo and walk across the bridge for all the best shows the West End has to offer, or stick around the South Bank and make your way to the Tate Modern for contemporary art housed in a former power station. If history is your thing, witness the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or see what’s going on at the Houses of Parliament. Haute cuisine more your scene? There are plenty of options, Michelin-starred and otherwise, on both sides of the Thames.
With trains to London every few minutes at peak times, you can choose the arrival time that’s best for you whether you’re exploring the city at your leisure or heading into the office. Catch a train to Clapham Junction, London Waterloo, Richmond, Vauxhallor Wimbledon and see where the day takes you!
Take advantage of these connections and add a London Travelcard when booking your train ticket, or you can use your Oyster, contactless card or mobile payment on your smart device. Or take to the streets on two wheels and hire a bike from one of the Santander Cycles docking stations dotted around London.
If you’re after things to do in London, the possibilities are endless. Make a day of seeing the museums – most are free to enter, and all are spectacular. At Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses works from the 13th to 20th centuries. Near King’s Cross, the British Museum holds the iconic Rosetta Stone, and you can pore over all manner of original manuscripts at the British Library. Further west in South Kensington, the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum are all within a stone’s throw of one another – truly something for everyone.
If it’s your first trip to London, getting a closer look at the skyline isn’t a bad way to start. Check the Big Ben, one of London’s most iconic sights, on your way to Westminster Abbey, the site of every coronation since William the conqueror, venue for over a dozen royal weddings and final resting place of some of Britain’s greatest luminaries. Of course, there are plenty of modern sights to see, too. Get a good look at the Gherkin, or sip cocktails atop the Shard and see all the sights from above.
For a night out, sashay to Soho for clubs and cocktail bars galore. Dance the night away, then watch the city come to life again from the one of the all-night espresso bars. We have put together a few ideas for a weekend in London, read our advice on what to see is London here.
Shopping in London
The shopping in London is unparalleled. Whether you’re after designer duds or indie gems, you’ll be sure to score in the city. Head to Oxford Street from Waterloo on the Bakerloo line for all your high street mainstays, or wander up to Covent Garden for a number of iconic British brands’ flagship stores and high-end shops for everything from ballet shoes to fine jewellery at Seven Dials.
Looking for something more unique? The Nine Elms Sunday Market takes place every Sunday just a short walk from Vauxhall station. Dealers bring everything from vintage clothes to Polish sausage Kielbasa – it’s all about the thrill of the hunt!
Eating out in London
If you like your entrees with a side of stars, you’ll be spoilt for choice. London is home to dozens of restaurants with Michelin stars (some of which even hold the full coveted three). Classics, culinary innovations, and even curries – there’s a highly-recommended take on each.
Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Stop by one of the vibrant markets that dots the city. From the famous Borough to the South Bank Food Market, you’ll be sure to find a little of everything, whether it’s dosas or doughnuts, tapas or pad Thai.
Then, of course, there are plenty of neighbourhood gems to be discovered. Do a little exploring and you might just find something exceptional.
Hotels in London
There are plenty of chain hotels, B-and-Bs and hostels in easy reach. The Point A Hotel is great value for money, and offers chic, contemporary accommodation right in the heart of the city.
For something a little more out of the ordinary, try The Wellington Hotel. This glorious pub and hotel in the heart of Waterloo has stunning London-themed rooms and offers delicious pub grub. Don’t miss the astonishing mural of the Battle of Waterloo on the ceiling.
For a spot of pure indulgence, drop in on the Corinthia Hotel London. Its beautiful exterior is matched only by its jaw-dropping décor. Nestled inside are restaurants, bars, a spa and a Harrod’s boutique. You won’t want to leave.