What can you see in London with only 24 hours from touchdown to takeoff? Recently I had the chance to find out! Turns out, if you’re me, it’s quite a lot!
There is no shortage of things to do and see in a city the size of London and even with multiple trips under my belt I had a difficult time deciding what to do. Should we try something new or visit an old favorite? How about both?! Ready, set, GO!
12:45 pm Taxi from Heathrow
There are a number of options for getting into the city from Heathrow. We opted to take a taxi, which definitely isn’t the least expensive, but does happen to be the most convenient. The kids love riding in Taxis and I love not schlepping my bags down the street! Our time was limited after all!
1:30 pm Check-in & Cocoa in the Corinthia Hotel Lobby
Enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, Corinthia style, has become a tradition for us first thing upon our arrival, but the clock was ticking and the sun was shining, so I thought we might skip it this visit. However, there was a delay during our check-in and we were offered complimentary drinks in the lobby… Cocoa anyone!?
3:00 pm The Borough Market
As I mentioned London is a big place and there are many places we have yet to visit, The Borough Market was one of them. Not only is the Market celebrating 1000 years, automatically making it worth a visit in my book, but it’s located in Southwark (pronounced Su-thuk, or Suth-urk depending on where you’re from) a neighborhood we were keen on exploring more of…
Just prior to our visit I saw photos of an umbrella installation near the Market. I love umbrellas and though we don’t use them much here in sunny California, I grew up in Seattle and they remind me of home.
For me, no visit to London would be complete without an order of Fish & Chips with a side of mushy peas (yes, I like mushy peas), conveniently the umbrella installation was right in front of a pub/restaurant called the Brew Wharf which serves Fish & Chips!
4:00 pm Southwark & Bankside
After lunch we walked around the neighborhood. Our first stop was the Southwark Cathedral, which has been a place of worship for over 1000 years! It has quite an impressive list of past parishioners, including, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Dickens. Keep in mind there is a small charge to take photos inside the Cathedral.
Moored just around the corner from the Cathedral you’ll find a replica of The Golden Hinde II the famous galleon of Sir Francis Drake. Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world and his story is fascinating. During his journey he stopped on the California coast, at what is now known as Point Reyes, which is not far from the Bay Area where we live! The ship is open for both self and guided tours.
Speaking of Shakespeare, The Globe Theater is only a short walk from the Market, Cathedral and Drake’s ship and while we didn’t have a chance to see a play it was nice just having a look around.
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Tate Modern
Keep going along the river walk and you’ll come to one of London’s most popular museums, the Tate Modern. This wasn’t our first visit to The Tate, but I did mention old favorites, didn’t I? This is not only a fabulous museum with ever changing exhibits, but it’s also free! Making it easy to pop in for a quick look around!
There are many other things to see and do in Southwark and Bankside, but we were on the clock and I had my heart set on a walk to The Tower of London another favorite, so off we went…
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm The Millennium Bridge & City Of London
We used the Millennium Pedestrian Bridge to cross the River Thames, and as you can see from this photo of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the views it provides are quite impressive. We purchased some hot peanuts from a street vendor and ate them as we walked along.
Our walk to The Tower of London took us through The City of London, which is an independent city within London. Founded by the Romans in AD50, today’s City is based on the original Roman town and its boundaries have remained constant since the middle ages.
Along the way we took photos of The Tower Bridge from London Bridge, stopped for a look at The Monument which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and commemorates the Great Fire of 1666, walked past many pubs, and enjoyed views of The Globe Theater and The Golden Hinde II from The River Walk.
6:30 pm – 7:00 pm The Tower Of London
The Tower of London is probably one of my favorite places on earth and I can’t imagine a visit to London without stopping there! As I mentioned in a previous post The Tower of London is my must not miss for all of London! It’s been around since 1066 and is still in use today. It’s also very family friendly. We arrived at dusk and I really enjoyed seeing everything all lit up! The Tower Bridge looked pretty amazing too.
7:00 pm – Taxi To Brick Lane
After a full day of flying, walking and sightseeing we were hungry and ready for dinner. Deciding on Indian cuisine we set out for Brick Lane, which is famous for its many curry houses. While there are many great places to enjoy curry in London, getting it on Brick Lane is an experience everyone should have at least once!
8:30 pm Relax At The Hotel
Happy, tired and full we took a taxi back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the evening. Zzzzzz…..
9:30 am Breakfast
With only a few hours left before we had to head home, there was one more thing on my list of London must-dos. Tea and scones with jam and clotted cream! Mmmmm!
10:45 am Back In The Taxi & Headed Home
After a whirlwind tour, that included 1000 years of history, modern art, fantastic food and iconic sights! Markets, museums, ships, and Theaters! Towers, cathedrals, bridges and monuments! Now we know…
What can you see with 24 hours in London?
I live in London and this is a great post x
Thank you! It’s one of my absolute favorite places and that means a lot to me!!
The umbrellas look so pretty. I hope they’re there when I’m next in that area:) x
I loved this 24 hour visit to London!
I loved this 24 hour visit to London!
Thanks! Such a fun place and never ever a shortage of fun things to discover!
Great Blog! Very helpful!
What a great way to make the most of your whistlestop tour! In awe of your scones with clotted cream and jam for breakfast – my boys would be most impressed. I’m a big fan of the area in London you’ve visited and I love seeing the Golden Hinde just around the corner from London Bridge. Thanks so much for linking up with #FarawayFiles
Can’t get enough scones and clotted cream when I’m in town! Already thinking about our next visit… and I just returned from the last one in July!
Congratulations Hilary, you managed to visit most of my favourite London spots in a day. I’ve lived in this city on and off for over 5 years but I have never tried a staycation. You have inspired me to investigate as I think the family would love seeing the city through the eyes of a visitor. Thank you for joining us on #FarawayFiles
It’s funny how often we don’t take advantage of our own hometown. I’m doing the very same thing here in Southern California and so far we are having a lot of fun! Though, I’ll jump on a plane for somewhere new the first chance I get… 😉
WOW! That’s impressive! And a great list of unique things to see there – many of which I have never done. I lived in Seattle for 5 years and the umbrella installations always remind of there as well – there was a cafe that had them all over the ceiling like that – can’t remember the name. The cocoa looks amazing and of course the Tate and yes to mushy peas as well. Although I am unique in my family on that one! Cheers from Copenhagen and thank you kindly for linking up with #FarawayFiles – can’t wait to see where you take us this week! Erin
Hmmm, I wonder where the umbrellas in Seattle are? I’ll have to seek them out the next time I visit family!