Top 5 Must-Do’s for a Day in London
London is packed with sights that can fill up an entire vacation. I spent hours researching what would be the most exciting use of my family’s time in London. I looked to balance history and fun while keeping ease of touring in mind. Here are the top five things to do in London if you just have one day.
Tower of London
Start at the Tower of London. Plan to arrive at opening to avoid lines. We found that for a family of four, it is less expensive to take a taxi most places in London than using the subway.
Do some research before arriving to see what sites will be best to tour at the Tower of London. The Yeoman tours are highly recommended, but in my opinion, move too slowly to engage children. A souvenir guidebook is available at the ticket office that lists suggested tours. My family choose the Waterloo Block to see the Crown Jewels, the White Tower to view the armor and weaponry and a walk through the Bloody Tower. This tour took about two hours. Make sure to go by the river to view the Tower Bridge.
From the Tower of London, walk across the London Bridge and on the right will be the Borough Market. The market is filled with local food vendors and makes the perfect lunch spot. My daughter is still talking about the toasted cheese and leek sandwich she had. Choose lunch and then have a picnic on the lawn with the locals at the adjacent Southwark Cathedral courtyard.
From the Borough Market, head for the London Eye. I suggest taking a taxi, but it is walkable. Ride the London Eye and if the kids still need to burn some energy, the playground in Jubilee Gardens was a favorite of my kids. The London Dungeon and the Sea Life London Aquarium are also located here.
From the London Eye, walk across the Westminster Bridge to Big Ben and Parliament Square. The bridge provides perfect picture opportunities. Westminster Abbey is also located across the bridge if time and patience permit.
After viewing Big Ben, end the day by walking to Trafalgar Square. We were fortunate to stay in a perfect location at The Trafalgar so we were back to where we started. After touring the square, have a pub dinner at The Lord Moon of the Mall, or for a different experience, try Cafe in the Crypt.
London is at the top of my list for favorite cities with kids. There is so much to engage children and adults. All time in London is well spent, no matter what the length!
You may also enjoy:
- Best Central London Hotel – The Trafalgar London
- Fun Things to do in London While Avoiding the Crowds
- Historical Sites in London for Kids
- Planning a Trip to London with Kids
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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 14 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…