As one of the densest, most populated cities in the world, the number of activities and sights to see and do in London can be intimidating for any tourist and adventurer. You could live in this vast metropolis your entire life and still not have time to visit everywhere. Never fear however, as we have compiledLondon’s Ultimate Full Day Itinerary. With this, you can see the most spectacular parts of London that cannot be missed.
In our close to two years living in the capital city of London, we have steadily crossed activities off our bucket list. In addition to this, we have discovered a few of our own secret sights and activities. Read about our favourite sights around this amazing city here.
With all of this in mind we have put together the following full days itinerary that will take you through the most impressive, historical and cultural parts of this incredible city.
Before you set off, this day out is very heavily focused on walking so make sure you have on the comfiest, smart casual shoes you own. The night will end at a very swanky and unique bar, so also dress for the occasion, jeans and a nice shirt or a simple dress will suffice. Also pack a reusable water bottle and coffee cup to keep hydrated without wasteful plastics! Now set your alarm for nice and early and get a good night sleep, there is a long day ahead.
The day starts off at London’s most famous and iconic bridge, Tower Bridge. Situated beside the Tower of London, this is a hotspot for picturesque views of London’s most famous sights such as the Shard, Tower Bridge and the Tower itself. Try to arrive at Tower Gateway station for sunrise for incredible views of the bridge and its surrounding as the city comes to life.
From here cross the bridge and walk along the south side of the Thames, past the HMS Belfast to London Bridge and the Shard. On this bank of the Thames there is usually early morning keep fit classes and a swathe of photographers ready to capture the sunrise. The atmosphere is already lively and buzzing, perfect to set you up for a busy day.
As you walk to London Bridge, you will pass dozens of cafes and restaurants that may or may not be opening their doors for the day. Any one of these will be a perfect spot to fuel up with a big breakfast and waken up with a coffee, however we recommend walking all the way to the Borough Markets and stopping at the Breakfast Club for some classic breakfast options. A huge plate of pancakes, bacon, eggs, potatoes and syrup with a bottomless coffee will cost just £15. Chow down here and take your time as there is no rush.
Southbank and the London Eye
With a full belly you will now be ready to take the day on. Keep walking along the south bank of the Thames and admire the incredible views of the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern and St Pauls Cathedral across the water. Eventually you will reach the ITV studio which (if it is a weekday) will be busy filming This Morning, so smile and wave as you walk past! Continue round until you reach the London Eye and stop for a photo or two.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Head over the Westminster Bridge and cross the water while admiring the splendour of the famous London icon, Big Ben. Before you feel underwhelmed by the size of it (I was expecting it to be much bigger), remember that it is over 150 years old! Now it’s time to pay a visit to the Prime Minister, so take the second right after the bridge and head along past Downing Street, if you’re lucky you might see some famous faces.
Continue along this road until you reach Trafalgar Square and cross the busy road junctions to the centre. Perfect opportunity for some photos as it should still be relatively quiet and peaceful. If you fancy a quick stop, head into the National Gallery that sits at the top of the square. Admission here is free so don’t be afraid to soak up the culture. Once you are done here start to walk east towards Covent Gardens for a quick perusal around the classier side of London.
Covent Gardens is a rather special place, the perfect mix between beautiful buildings, classy shops and quaint market stalls. Have a wander around the surrounding buildings for an hour and take in the culture of the area. If you are an avid tea and coffee drinker, we recommend heading inside the main building and visiting the Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar. In the downstairs area there are a large selection of samples and cute tea making equipment, perfect for a mid-morning refreshment. After this you can head out to the main area of the building and admire the beautiful live music that is played here most days.
It is now time to experience the joys of the underground as we head north to Camden town and its famous markets. Walk along to Leicester Square station and get the Northern line to Camden. From here you can walk up the high street and check out the deals and bargains of the markets. Once you reach the bridge, turn left into the food market and be amazed by the range of foods there are on offer. Stop here for some lunch and soak up the busy, bustling vibes of the lock and the other market goers. Food from here will cost between £6-10 for an on-the-go portion, just make sure you ask for wooden cutlery!
One of London’s lesser known gems is the astounding network of canals it possesses. An afternoon stroll along the Regent canal can transport you to a completely different city, resembling more Amsterdam than London. From Camden head west to the London zoo, using either maps or street signs, and find the starting point of your canal adventure. From London zoo you will join the Regent canal and follow it all the way to Little Venice, a quaintly named area full of cafes and culture. This route has spectacular views of the incredibly extravagant houses situated along the banks of the canals, as well as the community of canal boat dwellers that are parked here year round.
Once you reach Little Venice, continue to follow the canal along until you get to our favourite little coffee shop in the area, Beany Green. Relax and enjoy a coffee here, taking in the scenery and culture of this little group of shops and bars.
From here Hyde Park is a 30 minute walk south, or you can catch the tube to Green Park if you want a rest. Coming into the late afternoon on a summer day, Hyde Park is a beautiful place to wander through and relax on the grass. Head to the Serpentine Lake that dominates the centre of it and find the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen for an evening meal once the sun starts to set. In the summer you will find a large outdoor seating area with BBQs and plenty of hustle and bustle. Toast to a successful day out in the capital and enjoy the scenery as the sun sets over the lake.
Cahoots Bar and Kingly Court
The final stop of the evening is a favourite hidden gem of ours, Cahoots bar situated in Kingly Court. This unique and quirky bar was originally an abandoned underground station that was rediscovered during the construction of Kingly Court. Lose yourself in time in this themed bar dedicated to the prohibition years of the First World War, with décor, drink names and even costumed servers from the early 20th century.
Bookings are mandatory and are required fairly in advance due to the demand of this funky night out. Drinks prices are sure to make your eyes water, however the quality of the cocktails and atmosphere of the night will more than make up for it. Simply buy one drink and enjoy the two hours that your booking gives you. This place is a definite highlight of London to us!
And there you have it! All of our favourite spots in London in one day (admittedly a very long and busy one). If you have more juice in the tank check out the other cocktail bars in the area, as Kingly Court of full of fun and exciting places to try. If not hit the hay and dream of your perfect London adventure. Also make sure you recommend our Big London Day Out to a friend!
If you enjoyed this article and want to read other posts about the beautiful city of London, check out our other travel guides here. Also make sure you subscribe to our emailing list so you never miss one of our posts!
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