WatuDaily editors select each product featured. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.
London is steeped in history, with medieval and Victorian architecture coexisting with a thriving modern world. As commuters scramble to catch the Tube, the Tower of London and Westminster are surrounded by neighborhood taverns and markets, and time-honored traditions like the switching of the guards take place. It’s a site where visitors can travel through time and, when they’re tired, grab a “cuppa” tea-like Londoners do.
The Romans created London, and their reign lasted from 43 AD to the fifth century AD when the Empire came apart. The town of Londinium, like the Romans, named it, had a population of 50,000 people in the third century, owing to the power of its important port.
Londinium deteriorated as a result of recurrent Anglo-Saxon invasions in the fifth century, and it became the capital of the Kingdom of Essex in the seventh century.
The settlement was repeatedly attacked by Vikings in the ninth century. As a result, Danish settlers settled in the area, stimulating trade and establishing enterprises in the city, transforming it into England’s first urban center. The town’s richness and power lured the Danish Great Heathen Army, and it besieged it until it was taken by King Alfred the Great in 886.
Following the Norman invasion and conquest of England in 1067, the reigning King of England, William Duke of Normandy, established the city’s existing rights, rules, and privileges. During William’s reign, the Tower of London was constructed.
King John strengthened the city’s self-government in 1199, and the city could elect a new mayor every year in 1215.
For a long time, England lacked a capital city. The core government institutions, on the other hand, were relocated to Westminster, which is near London. London’s emergence as England’s capital was aided by this, as well as the growth of trade in the area.
What makes the city of London special?
London is a living, breathing, flourished representation… a coral stone in humanity, according to L.A., D.C., and N.Y.C. British. Take a two-story bus tour of the city, then pinch yourself that you’re in London and walk through the West End. View the crown jewels at the Tower of London, marvel at the majestic Big Ben, and observe the Houses of Parliament in action. Take a stroll along the Thames River and take in the view of the London Eye. Hobnob with poets’ tombstones in Westminster Abbey, then pay a visit to the National Gallery to see Leonardo, Botticelli, and Rembrandt. At the renowned Globe Theater, enjoy Shakespeare while marveling at the glitzy, enjoyable music of the contemporary theater. Rolling across St. Paul’s Cathedral and an exploration of our civilization’s basement at the British Museum.
6 Great Hotels
1. Claridge’s, Mayfair
The grandeur of the old world is ideal. Over time, Claridge’s has developed a mystical air that makes it greater than the sum of its components. Its components, an appealing blend of flapper-tastic Art Deco, huge Victorian splendor, and low-key, modern luxury to follow, are not inherently flawed. Passing through its flimsy doors is like entering a different, treasured world. One of London’s best afternoon tea is served here.
Best for: old-world glamour
Address: Brook St, London W1K 4HR, United Kingdom
2. Nomad London, Covent Garden
Despite the Ace Hotel’s departure from the city, London is experiencing an American comeback as The Standard opens in King’s Cross and Mondrian officially launched in Shoreditch. Additionally, during this year, the former magistrate’s court near the Royal Opera House became home to the first NoMad outside of the United States. It arrived with some expectations – after all, the actual thing placed New York City on the map, with its nightmare-inducing Dirty Martini bar – but when it came down to it, it didn’t live up to them.
The restaurant is in the heart of a bright, nearly neoclassical atrium that is surrounded by vegetation and has been fully booked for weeks. There’s a lot more to the reveal here, but it’s more about Noel Coward than PT Barnum: vintage lights, brass and scarlet, mohair and damask, and opera house murals. The baths in the bedrooms are enormous and decorated with large abstract brushes that are based on the floor in a golden Twenties Art Deco style.
3. The Mayfair Townhouse, Mayfair
Ready: rotten design
Cliveden and Chewton Glen, two historic country house hangouts, have sprung a sharp new town sprout for any group of guests looking to spend the night in a London hotel. However, there is no proof of inter-family communication. Instead, Half Moon Street pays homage to 19th-century craftspeople: there’s an Alice dose in Wonderland that meets the Value of Good Money.
4. The Connaught, Mayfair
The best bar in the world is located in this hotel with a good reputation and is mounted on the well-known central steps having black and wooden banister, and a bright and striped carpet.
5. Lime Tree Hotel, Belgravia
Best: pleasant stay, affordable
This Ebury Street townhouse makeover is an excellent example of how to develop an eclectic design in a constrained area. It also comes with a difficult promise: a lovely hangout that feels like home, in a decent location, at an inexpensive price. Matt and Charlotte Goodsall, the venue’s owners, opened it in 2008 and immediately established it as a wonderful little local hotel and an affordable London hotel. They reimagined the challenge as an opportunity to renovate the interior and install a new cafe during the 2020 shutdown.
The pair hired architects Fraher & Findlay, whose earlier work included Wolf & Badger at Coal Drops Yard, but they also depended on their love of ornamental details, adorning niches with Sanderson wallpaper and Pooky lampshade. The 28 beds range in size from tiny to small, but this just adds to the rustic coziness of the place. With teal velvet boards, mounds of ikat pillows, and marmalade-colored chairs, the ingenious design transforms even the smallest area. Solo travelers are properly taken care of as private rooms are reasonably priced😉.
Address: Lime Tree Hotel, 135–137 Ebury Street, London SW1W
6. Mondrian London, Shoreditch
Best: Roof pool as in Los Angeles
This part of East London deserves its own day. Years have passed since the high-end stores, resorts, and street food vendors in Shoreditch started to depart.
Related Article: Las Vegas Travel Guide
Below are our top travel gadgets finds on Amazon that makes communication and keeping in touch with loved ones a breeze! After all, traveling is all about capturing meaningful memories and sharing them with those that mean the world to you. The Apple AirTag will help you locate your personal objects including your camera or mobile phone for that picture-perfect holiday.
Restaurants and Cafés
1. Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
It consistently appears on our list of the most romantic restaurants in London, and for obvious reasons. If you book a table in the “fairy room,” you’ll be dining under insanely ‘grab cherry blossoms while sitting next to a crackling fire. Even though the food tends to be expensive, sophisticated, French, and full, it is still a memorable meal!
Contact: +44 20 4580 1174
2. Uchi, Hackney
Uchi, which forgoes the bells and whistles of Insta-ready eating in favor of something authentic, is located right up at the conservative end of the design spectrum among London’s prettiest restaurants. A comfortable, healthy atmosphere quickly fills with as much sushi, robata, and tempura as you can manage. Sunken dining tables, softwood, and white curtains permeate the room.
Contact: +44 20 3302 4670
3. Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
The sibling eatery Gloria and Circolo Popolare aren’t famed for their finesse. If your eyes are solely on the menu, of course, the standouts here include enormous pizzas, bizarre pasta dishes, and a gloriously over-the-top lemon meringue pie. If not, you’re probably staring at the 20,000 bottles of alcohol and the fairy lights, which is pretty understandable.
4. Dalloway. Terrace, Fitzrovia
The best thing about Dalloway Terrace is that you can go there at any time of year and see it in a different outfit because it is frequently draped with russet for the fall or glittering with frozen pine for the winter. While there is never a terrible time to explore, Instagram is often a wonderful way to see this.
Contact: +44 20 7347 1221
This hip Australian café creates some outstanding concoctions in an effort to bring a little Melbourne enchantment to Hammersmith’s streets. It serves innovative brunch fare, like best-selling kimchi and cheddar toastie, and uses Square Mile’s Red Brick beans for its espresso. Add some excellent craft brews.
Artisan is on the rise, with facilities in Ealing, Putney, and East Sheen, and this Stamford Brook location is a credit to the area, with its lovely ambiance, large windows, and down-home decor. Close your eyes and you may be sipping a delicious espresso brewed with Allpress beans in Shoreditch.
7. Boys ’n’ Berry
Boys ‘n’ Berry, a hip café that specializes in healthy food and coffee with enough cake on the side, is the new headquarters for Fulham’s chattering classes. It specializes in double-shot organic brews (starting with espressos) and offers matcha lattes and almond milk as diet-friendly substitutes.
8. Brunswick East
This Aussie-owned jewel, located in the courtyard of Dalston’s creative district, combines a warm industrial/studio ambiance with a serious attitude toward coffee. There are ceramic exhibits, weekend brunch/yoga sessions for the healthy extroverts, house beans sourced from Alchemy, guest names that change on a rotating basis, and an equally tempting Antipodean-style menu.
Activities/ Things to do in London
5 tourist attractions
1. Borough Market
Get a taste of the art list by stopping by this incredible food market at mealtimes. There are sausages, grilled and processed meats, oysters, freshly baked bread, and any English cheese you can think of (along with many other Europeans) here. It is simple to locate close to London Bridge station.
Given that this is a market, there is modest pricing on the upper end. If you are intelligent enough, you can complete free samples on your own, although we do not advise it.
Open: Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm, Sunday–Friday from 10 am to 5 pm
Phone: +44 (0)20 7407 1002
2. Take a river bus from Westminster to Tower Bridge
Although taking a river bus is the most picturesque approach, the London Underground is undoubtedly the most well-known method of transportation in the city. The air is also pure. Public river buses, known as Thames Clippers, travel along the Thames in 5 lanes. They lack the commentary featured on tourist boats, but the tickets are inexpensive and sound authentic.
We advise taking Westminster and sailing to Tower Bridge if you’re seeking for the greatest riverside spots. You can use your Oyster travel card to take a discounted trip if you have one (you should absolutely acquire one).
Location: Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2J
3. Tower Bridge
City Hall and the Tower of London are connected by the Tower Bridge, which spans the Thames. Since it is a bascule bridge, a long river can pass underneath by tilting the middle portions of the structure upward. Both vehicles and pedestrians are welcome on the bridge. Additionally, it contains a museum where you can explore the Victorian engine’s quarters and find out how the bridge functions.
Tower Bridge is entirely uncharged. You are more than 40 feet [40 m] above the ocean, therefore do not move unless you are wearing your high heels. One of the nicest things to do in London is to take in the view from above, which is among the most stunning locations in the city.
Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm
Phone: +44 (0)20 7403 3761
4. The Shard
You cannot miss the Shard in any London neighborhood since it is over 1,000 feet tall, entirely glass in the front, and fashioned like a beautiful snowflake. If you’re upstairs and downstairs, it’s much more remarkable, and if you’re not fortunate enough to stay at Shangri-La (the hotel takes 34 to 52 floors), dinner and beverages are still a special experience. way to begin your evening in London.
The sophisticated British food served at Aqua Shard is our preferred option for dinner among the lovely selection of upscale restaurants and cocktail bars. Go to the Gong bar on the 52nd level for a watching nightcap.
Phone: +44 (0)344 499 7222
5. West End
A live theater, specializing in music, goes by the name of West End in London. This is one of the greatest works of art in the world, encompassing timeless masterpieces like Les Misérables, the newest blockbusters, and a ton of theater written by up-and-coming playwrights.
The most desirable seats at games in London typically cost over £ 100, but if you adjust to your circumstances and dates, you can find inexpensive, last-minute tickets online. The greatest approach to getting the best seats in the house is to pick a matinee performance on the day of the week.
1. Visit Father Christmas in his grotto
Keep them convinced by bringing them to see the bearded man in person in London; he has several scheduled appearances near your lodging near Paddington. Holiday Wonderland First-come, first-served admission is offered at Santa’s Grotto. For £11.50, which also includes a complimentary present, you may see him at Christmas in Leicester Square. Children can explore a winter wonderland and learn about the tales and characters of Christmas past through entertaining puppetry and live music at the Royal Albert Hall’s recreation of the North Pole, which has all the magic of the real thing. They can even create their own homemade plush animal to take home with the assistance of Santa’s helpers. The activity lasts around an hour and costs £40 for each child aged 3 and above.
2. Feed them mince pies and hot chocolate
Try to keep the kids away from the aroma of hot chocolate filling the air as the holiday markets in London are in full swing. The kiosks serve typical Christmas pastries and sweets including delectable mince pies, chocolate logs, cinnamon rolls, and fudge in every flavor imaginable. At your accommodation, start your day with a hearty, savory Indian breakfast to balance the sugar levels.
3. Go ice skating with penguins
The Natural History Museum, a favorite with families, offers an ice rink encircled by fairy lights and frost-covered trees. Adults with young children can sign up for special weekday skates; if you do so before 3 p.m., both of you will receive a free hot chocolate. To assist young children in finding their feet on the ice, the rink offers adorable penguin support. The Penguin Skate Club, meanwhile, offers lessons to kids between the ages of 4 and 8 every Saturday morning. Before they know it, they’ll be gliding like Torvill and Dean.
4. Build your own gingerbread house
A Gingerbread City created by architects, engineers, and designers is on display at Somerset House thanks to an initiative by the Museum of Architecture. There are workshops offered as a part of the show where you can also make your own gingerbread house to take home and eat! The family ticket allows entry for 1 adult and 1 child to collaborate on creating one gingerbread creation while all supplies are provided. Try to hold off on starting to eat until you reach home!
5. Artistic workshops in Covent Garden
The Royal Opera House’s Ballet Dots and Opera Dots classes are a fascinating way to introduce youngsters as young as three months to the world of performing. Depending on the option you select, the 45-minute participation workshops may feature creative movement and dance or song and music-based activities. The sensory workshops are appropriate for kids under 5 and support early childhood development.
Places of interest in London
1. Spitalfields Market
The high-end designer boutiques, vintage shops, and fresh air of Spitalfields Market are legendary. Although it is open every day, the best variety of handmade goods from some of London’s top independent designers can be found on weekends. From African-inspired headwear to women’s trench coats decorated with Manga patterns, everything has been on display. In the East End of London, it is close to Liverpool Street station.
You can get fresh food in the wet market or a selection of food from franchise restaurants, in addition to great shopping. Take a quick journey to Brick Lane and the chic Shoreditch if you want to flaunt your stylish new attire.
Open: Daily from 11 am to 7 pm
Phone: +44 (0)20 7247 8556
2. Oxford Street
Oxford Street is one of the best shopping streets in England. You will find the best shops in many of Britain’s best stores, as well as luxury stores like Selfridges and Debenhams. And it is a great place to pick up cheap and soft souvenir items at street stops.
If you want to experience the full scope of this shopping mall, take the YouTube to Tottenham Court Road and buy all of this down the Marble Arch, at the end of Oxford Street. Use the Oxford Circus station as your reference point, almost in the middle of the road. For young fashionistas, you can’t miss the short drive to the famous Carnaby Street. During the Christmas holidays, Oxford Street is magnificent, with thousands of shining Christmas lights and imaginative window displays.
3. Covent Garden
This West End public square that is pedestrian-friendly is a fantastic location to experience London’s bustle. Covent Garden is one of the most excellent places to go on a beautiful day as street performers entertain the throng and eateries leave the square. Visit the Covent Garden Market to find a wide selection of new items, arts and crafts, and antiques.
The eateries in Covent Garden include a mixture of upscale dining establishments, well-known chains, and tourist traps that serve microwave meals. You won’t have a choice. Nevertheless, it’s fun to sip a soothing beverage and take in the Convent Garden street entertainers. Find the desired table in the Punch & Judy bar library to determine the optimal placement.
4. Natural History Museum
From the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the current day, the Natural History Museum offers an engaging, participatory experience about the evolution of the natural world. The museum depicts the wonder of life on this planet with a blend of authentic dinosaur bones and interactive exhibits. Without a renewed appreciation for the environment, it will be challenging to leave this place. The museum, divided into 4 areas, offers lots of fun activities for all ages, including an earthquake simulation. There is a genuine piece of moonrock in the geology phase. The structure itself is significantly bigger than a museum and resembles a church. The numerous concerts will make you joyful and astounded, and best of all, they are free.
Open: Daily from 10 am to 5.30 pm
Phone: +44 (0)20 7942 5000
5. Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament
The British Parliament is housed in this majestic Gothic structure, and the Big Ben clock tower has been keeping time for people all across the world for more than a century. The sound of the chime has been imitated all across the world and is almost as well-known as a clock tower. They serve as enduring reminders of London.
Before crossing the Westminster Bridge to find an old photograph with Parliament in the background, you can check out the photos in Parliament Square from Westminster station. Cross the river to the South Bank and continue across the bridge to see another great downtown neighborhood.
London’s Top Hikes
1. West Lulworth, Durdle Door, and Daggers Gate.
Although it’s not the easiest walk from London, we think it’s one of the most picturesque, making the time spent traveling from London completely worthwhile. Believe us.
This Dorset hike will take you up onto West Lulworth’s white cliffs, giving you breathtaking views of the Jurassic coastline. Even though there are a few difficult ascents, you may go at your own pace and pause frequently to take it all in. Before arriving at Lulworth Cove, where you may get delectable ice cream or a cool beverage, you will walk across wide meadows and along the cliff lines above Daggers Gate and Durdle Door.
2. The Mole Gap Trail
The Mole Gap Trail connects Leatherhead and Dorking with a straightforward 6-mile stroll along the Mole River. Before coming across The Manor House at Norbury Park and the largest vineyard in England, Denbies Wine Estate, you will have strolled through open fields, farms, and small villages. This will have added a little something extra to your walk—an unplanned wine tasting session! It sounds simple enough: just follow the elusive metal arrows and secret passageways. Keep in mind that it’s all fun!
3. Ockley to Leith Hill
The Ockley to Leith Hill walk will take you past small chocolate box cottages and villages and through meadows, open fields, lovely forests, etc. With so many places to stop for refreshments along the road and a straightforward commute from London, it is a big winner for us in terms of rapid pleasure!
4. The Seven Sisters, Sussex
The stunning white chalk cliffs that adorn the Sussex South Downs coast directly south of London are known together as “The Seven Sisters.” There are numerous ways to do the Seven Sisters walk through the South Downs National Park, depending on how much time you have. But whatever you decide to do, we are confident that it will leave you dumbfounded. If time is of the essence, choose one of the shorter treks along this route as it is just somewhat inferior to West Lulworth and Daggers Gate.
5. Epping Forest Oak Trail
The majority of the walk is flat, making it both the simplest to access outside of London and the easiest in terms of hardship. A 2,400-hectare old woodland known as Epping Forest divides Forest Gate, in Greater London, from Epping, in Essex.
You will pass babbling brooks and small bridges while walking through open fields and wooded areas along this path. Additionally, you will pass a refuge for Black Fallow Deer, where, with any luck, you can get a chance to see these magnificent creatures.