London is one of the world’s greatest cities—proven by the sheer number of annual visitors. It often ranks among the top three to five most visited cities with more than 20 million visitors per year! Whether you’re here for a day or more, there’s so much to do in London! From tasting food to seeing history and bucket-list sights, let’s dive into the top things to do in London.
Get Wizardy At Harry Potter Studios
Film and Harry Potter fans will relish the opportunity to see the Warner Brothers film studio in London where many of the Harry Potter sets still exist. You can walk through the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, and the Great Hall. Also, visit Platform 9-3/4 to board the self-same Hogwarts Express from the movie.
And no visit would be complete without checking out the movie magic of the special effects department and other behind-the-scenes attractions. The studios are in Leavesden, Watford, 20 miles outside London.
Adventure To Ancient Stonehenge
If you are intrigued by unique structures and ancient history, then a visit to Stonehenge is a must. The structure was built and added to over the course of a thousand years between 3,000 and 2,000 B.C. at the beginning of the Bronze Age. You could describe it as a pile of rocks—which it is—or as a glimpse of our ancient human origins.
It is also larger than life and inspiring to witness in person. The stones were dragged from Wales down to the south of England to create this impressive structure. They are definitely not just piled on top of one another. When you visit, you’ll notice there is an impressive system of joints that hold them together.
See The Famous Churchill’s War Rooms
It is at this site on King Charles Street where Winston Churchill, Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, led the allied response against Hitler. Here, you can explore the secret underground halls and corridors of the famous War Rooms. Also, there’s a Churchill Museum where you can learn little-known facts about his remarkable leadership.
There’s even a BBC Broadcast Room where the speeches from the War Room were broadcast to the nation. Churchill was known for his stirring speeches, which raised the nation’s spirits during the war. If WWII history is your thing, then stopping at the Churchill War Rooms should be at the top of your things to do in London list.
Take Pictures On Tower Bridge
The area near Tower Bridge and city hall where the mayor of London is based is dotted with eateries and filled with joggers and visitors. From the Tower of London side, you can usually walk up the steps and onto the bridge for free.
Otherwise, you can pay to enter the inner bridge itself and enjoy views from its glass walkway. Other areas to explore include the engine rooms just under the bridge where the history of its Victorian-era engineers and workers is documented.
Take Pictures Of Big Ben
Big Ben has just undergone a refresh, so all the scaffolding has been removed. Visitors can now see the structure in its full glory and hear its world-famous chimes for the first time since 2017. The bell and tower have undergone numerous repairs, but this is by far the most lengthy and extensive conservation project.
When you exit the Westminster subway stop, Big Ben will be front and center, waiting to greet you.
See London From The Thames
The River Thames runs through London and offers a whole new perspective on the city, which is why seeing it from a boat is highly recommended. Granted, the cool London air can get a bit chilly in some months, so bring a jacket if you’re here in the off-season. We recommend taking a speedboat tour of the Thames and the unique areas along the river.
You’ll enjoy speeding on the river with several stops where the driver will explain what you’re seeing, the importance of the areas in old and new London, and fun stories about the history. It’s another experience you won’t soon forget!
Walk Off Lunch In Whitehall Gardens
This is a welcome and pleasant patch of green in an area with a concentration of government ministry buildings. You’ll find construction workers and government civil servants alike having their lunches here.
It’s the ideal walk (or place to sit in the shade) before planning the rest of your after-lunch visits. Fortunately, the Strand is just 10 minutes away and South Bank and Westminster are within easy reach too.
The famous red-tarmacked road leading to the palace is known as the Mall. A stroll up this road will prove to be a memorable time since you can also explore St James Park along the way. And of course, you can always try to see the Changing of the Guard that happens regularly in June and July. It’s less frequent in the off-season months.
The palace is popular in any season but particularly in spring and summer when tourists congregate around the Victoria Memorial statue opposite the palace and chill out on the steps.
Visit The British Museum
This museum has vied with the Tate Modern as the UK’s top museum attraction over the years, which is why it easily makes our list of top things to do in London. The sprawling neoclassical architecture is a tourist attraction in itself.
Once inside, you’ll want to visit the collections in the Enlightenment Room, which is full of quaint English curiosities and inventions from the Victorian age when England led the scientific enlightenment.
Stroll Through Hyde Park
This is the largest and most famous of the Royal Parks. Frequented by joggers, it comes alive like no other park during the summer when tourists flock to Serpentine Lake to hire boats or soak up the English sun.
You can also visit the Diana Memorial Fountain if you’re a fan of the lovely lady. There’s usually a summer gathering of hippy drummers whose numbers grow considerably as the rhythmic beats drift around the park and attract spontaneous dancers. It’s Woodstock vibes in the summertime!
The London Eye
It’s situated along Westminster Road which is a vibrant area full of attractions that light up at night. The dazzling lights on the wheel stand out most amongst these. From those dizzying heights, you can enjoy panoramic views of landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as you hover over the River Thames.