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Best 1 day in London

I've got London on the brain this weekend as I've already got a recent post going about how to convince my wife to make a return trip. But now a friend is off to London on a business trip but it is a quick in and out and he only has 1 full day as a tourist. He asked me what to see, which in a place like London is easy to fire off answers, but to suggest a one day itinerary for a newbie is not easy. I finally told him to check out London Walks and pick one for the morning and 1 for the afternoon and then the evening hang out in Covent Garden. What would you do given 1 day only?

Posted by
7375 posts

Tube to Westminster. Exit wander around Parliament Square and take the Vergers Tour of Westminster Abbey. Lunch at the Two Chairman Pub then follow birdcage walk up to Buckingham Palace. Cross the road in front of the Victoria Statue, walk through Green Park to Piccadilly.

Walk up Piccadilly to Leicester Square to the 1/2 price ticket booth to buy a same day theater ticket.
From Leicester Square walk into Covent Garden.

Take the tube from Covent Garden to Kings Cross. 10 minute walk to the British Library and the Treasure Room. From there walk to Dishoom at Granary Square for early dinner then tube back to where ever the theater is for the play he’s chosen to see.

Posted by
3614 posts

Westminster Abbey and either the British Museum or the Tower of London.

Posted by
2368 posts

He needs to buy RSEs Pocket London guidebook and take Rick's West End walking tour that includes the best of Covent Garden. He can purchase an electronic version from RSEs app.

Posted by
6829 posts

He needs to pick what is most interesting to him, not what is interesting to the people on the forum. Sometimes it is the same, sometimes not.

Posted by
6456 posts

I have been to London a number of times, not sure where you have been, and with free museums, you could make a pit stop in at any number, but my standard MO and what I do with people there for the first time is:

Take the tube to Westminster stop, wander by Big Ben, Parliment, and Westminster Abbey, continue down Whitehall and all the sites (There is a Rick Steves walk that covers most) to Trafalgar Square. I usually wander then to the Harp, my favorite beer bar in London for a break. From there, you could go into Covent Garden, then onto the Strand and Fleet Street. I usually go as far as St. Paul's, then cross the river, head to Borough Market, then along the South Bank as far back as Westminster.

Of course there are a ton of sites to see along the way, a number of museums (National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, plus others), many, many Pubs and restaurants, overall a full day of wandering, seeing the best of London.

Posted by
4947 posts

A few years ago while on a business trip, my coworker had never been there before, so I took him on a whirlwind 3-hour tour of the city via the tube since we didn’t even have a full day. We didn’t go into anything, but I took him by the Tower and Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and Parliament, Buckingham palace, Monument, the SIS building by Vauxhall, and Blackfriars Pub. In the evening, we met with other coworkers for dinner and then went to the Blackbird Pub by Earls Courts since it was near our hotel.

Posted by
3020 posts

I agree with these opinions. Unless a person has a specific bucket list item, 1 day is best served by getting a general feel for the location and creating a list for a longer stay.

Posted by
11542 posts

I'd say it really depends on his interests.

For myself it would be Claudia's suggestion of the Verger tour of Westminster Abbey followed by the Churchill War Rooms.

OR one of those plus one London Walk.

OR Tower of London in the AM and Westminster Abbey in the afternoon

Posted by
659 posts

I’d be doing something uniquely ‘London’ rather something you can find anywhere, like museums.

I’d be suggesting a walk from Queensway Tube, thru Hyde Park, under Wellington Arch, down past Buckingham Palace and through St. James Park to Big Ben (covered currently) and Parliament, cross the Thames then along the South Bank, past the London Eye, Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, Globe Theatre. Stop for lunch just after the Globe at the 600yr old Anchor pub. Then onwards past Borough Market, Hays Galleria, City Hall and HMS Belfast and arriving at Shad Thames, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London (maybe enter?), ending in St. Catherine’s Dock for a bite to eat... maybe at the Indian restaurant there.

London is best seen wandering about, taking it all in. Get a real ‘taste’ in one day.

A link to an excellent, very similar walk vlog below...

Posted by
315 posts

One day? Pub crawl, Belgravia. Find the Grenadier, to the Nags Head (make sure you dont use your cell phone here - landlord is a stickler for it), The Star Tavern, and find the Horse and Groom.

Alternatively, pub crawl Notting Hill. Uxbridge Arms to the Windsor Castle to the Elephant & Castle to the Churchill Arms.

Posted by
14552 posts

Post by mahesh reported to webmaster.
And I don't think I've ever seen driving in London recommended on this forum. Pretty sure there are darn good reasons for that.

Here's my go-to list. National Art Museum. Lunch at Gordon's wine bar if it is still there. St. Paul's Cathedral, try to find a pub place for dinner. (If I have a smaller time gap to fill - the British Archives always has an impressive/small display room). Stroll somewhere and enjoy the view. Maybe do the Ferris Wheel - I think it's called the London Eye. A walking tour as mentioned is a great idea, especially for evening. Get one that includes a pub visit.