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Foodies, culture vultures, and history buffs–London undoubtedly has something to see and do that suits nearly everyone’s taste and budget!

“London opens to you like a novel itself… It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, doors and passages. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.
Anna Quindlen

After living as an expat  in Asia and traveling around Europe together, my fiancé and I decided to move back to London, where he’s from, for an undetermined amount of time. Funnily enough, I spent 8 years of my life as a child living an hour outside of London, so I already was familiar with the city. Over time, both as a child and now as an adult, I have gotten to know the many nooks and crannies of the buzzing British capital. 

Top Five Things to Do in London, England on The Nex Somewhere

1. Visit Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

This is incredibly touristy, and real Londoners will likely roll their eyes. It’s also not technically in London– it’s actually located in nearby Watford. Regardless, taking a tour of the Harry Potter Warner Brother studio is an absolute must-do while in the area. Tickets must be purchased in advance and you should allocate a minimum of 4 hours to your self-guided tour– trust me, you’ll need every minute to interact with every exhibit and read every placard.

 

Props from Harry Potter Tour Things To Do in London
Harry Potter Tour in London

2. Join one of Eating Europe’s London Food Tours

There is so much good food in London, and much of it can be found in the city’s many markets! Eating Europe’s expert local guides lead you on a walking tour of the diverse food scene in London. Guides share the stories behind every dish you get to taste, and they share historical and cultural insights along the way. While there are a number of excellent food tours at your disposal, I recommend Eating Europe, as they make a conscious effort to eliminate food waste on tour and to share cultural knowledge you would only get from London insiders. Explore the East End of London and learn about its Jewish influence or stroll through SoHo at twilight. You won’t be disappointed, no matter which of Eating Europe’s tours you choose.

where to eat in london

London is a city for foodies with every cuisine available to taste.

Borough Market food spot in London

If you want to conduct your own food tour, head to Borough Market for some fresh oysters at Richard Haward’s Oysters.

where to eat in london, england

Camden Market is another great stop for food tours in a more local neighborhood.

3. Indulge in afternoon tea

There is simply nothing more British than partaking in the long-standing tradition of afternoon tea. So, it seems only right to book an afternoon tea at one of London’s many fine tea rooms. Tea can be spendy, especially if you book yours at one of the more posh establishments (like the Langham, listed below). A rough guideline is that any afternoon tea that costs less than £30 per person is relatively good value.

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My favorite tea spots are:

📍sketch
📍The Ivy in Chelsea
📍Fortnum & Mason
📍Claridge’s
📍Palm Court at the Langham

Sketch Interiors Yellow Room
High Tea at the Ivy Chelsea
Afternoon Tea things to do in London

Two for one museum outing and afternoon tea at the British Museum.

4. Walk across Tower Bridge

The beautiful bridge you’ve probably seen on postcards from London is not the London Bridge, which is pretty lackluster. Tower Bridge, however, has visitors clutching for their cameras and Similar to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, there is something quintessentially “London” about crossing the Thames by walking over the Tower Bridge.

Pro-Tip: Get a great pic of the whole bridge from the South Bank side.

Tower Bridge Things To do in London

Walk across Tower Bridge and take pictures from all the angles.

5. See a West End production

No visit to London is complete without seeing a show on the West End. The Lion King, Wicked, Les Miserables, Hamilton; these are just the tip of the iceberg. The West End is a true London tradition, ingrained in the very fiber of the city. Puritans banned live theater for a time, until its return in the 1600s. Since then, it’s been an unstoppable source of entertainment and a landmark of English culture.

Moulin Rouge West End Shows

Moulin Rouge is a newer show to hit the West End stage and the show keeps getting extended due to its popularity!


Honorable Mentions

Drop into a FREE MUSEUM

London is a spendy city to visit, and one that isn’t especially known for its fabulous weather, making free museums a great place for budget travelers to escape inclement weather. Here are some of my favorites:

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📍British Museum
📍National Portrait Gallery
📍Victoria & Albert Museum

The British Musuem Things To Do in London

The British Museum is a dedication to classic art around the world. Photo by Tara © Silly Little Kiwi.

Free Museums London, England

A Chihuly original hangs in the hallway of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

British Museum Great Court London England

The famous glass roof covers the whole expanse of the Great Court in the British Museum.

Hit up the COLUMBIA FLOWER MARKET

This one ~just~ missed cracking the top five because it’s only open on Sundays. Starting at 8 AM, this Victorian road transforms into a flood of florals and live music. Potted plants and colorful stems fill buckets at stalls where vendors call out their best bargains.

Columbia Road Flower market on Sundays in London

Fresh flower stands pop-up across a number of independent boutiques and cafes.

Head to GOD’S OWN JUNKYARD

This neon sign collection is the largest in the U.K. It’s such a vibe that it was used as the setting for a 2011 Vogue Magazine shoot. DSLR cameras are not allowed, but you can take photos with your phone camera for personal use.

Roam past THE ROYAL PALACES

The Royal Family has many estates across the U.K. Enthisiasts can take a walk in the Royals’ shoes by visiting one of the many palaces. Not all of the palaces are open to visitors, but those that are typically are open to the public for a limited number of weeks during the summer season. Fro example, Buckingham Palace is open to visitors for 10 weeks roughly from July to September.

📍Kensington Palace
📍Windsor Castle (day trip)
📍Buckingham Palace
📍Kew Palace

Guard Outside of Scotland Yard

A Royal Guardsman mounted outside of Scotland Yard. Photo by Tara © Silly Little Kiwi.

Traipse through HITCHIN LAVENDER FIELDS

If you happen to be visiting in the summer, you’ll want to jump on a train and make the 20-minute journey to Hitchin to visit its famous lavender fields. The lavender is peak-bloom in late July/early August.

day trips from london, england lavender fields

Interested in a day trip? Lavender fields are an easy train ride away. Photo by Tara © Silly Little Kiwi.

Picnic in a PARK

London on a sunny day is ideal for throwing down a blanket, grabbing a book, and snacking away the afternoon in one of the city’s many green spaces. Because many people in London don’t have yards or gardens of their own, and almost no one has air-conditioning, its also very common for residents to sunbathe in the park on exceptionally warm days.

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📍Hyde Park
📍Regent’s Park
📍Primrose Hill (especially good for sunset)


Where to stay in London

Airbnbs can run you as much as a hotel in certain boroughs of London, and there are some beautifully designed hotels that are well-worth the spend. Here are my favorite places for a staycation in London, and the hotels I recommend highly for visitors:


the next somewhere about author

Tara is a freelance travel writer, content creator, and adventure enthusiast. On her blog, SillyLittleKiwi.com, she writes in-depth blogs focused on slow, meaningful travel in the 60+ countries she’s wandered through. Follow her on Instagram and Youtube.


👉 There’s something in London, England for every type of traveler. Let us know what you would add to this list

Filipina-American Millette Stambaugh is a thirty-something former expat who has traded her nomadic ways for a grounded life in Philadelphia. Moonlighting as a corporate worker, part-time content creator Millette specializes in curiosity and wants to help others find their "next somewheres." Follow her journeys around the world on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok @thenextsomewhere.

Comments:

  • October 18, 2022

    I LOVE THIS!!!! Your pin designs are OUT OF THIS WORLD! I am firmly The Next Somewhere’s biggest fan 🙂 thank you for letting me share on your beautiful site.

    reply...
  • October 19, 2022

    What a great top five post! The Harry Potter world is 100% on my bucket list. Thank you for the travel inspiration for London ✨

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  • October 19, 2022

    Used to live in London but been away for 20 years so love reading about what’s happening there. Funny how London has become a foodie destination – at what time people used to joke how bad food was in the UK. Pleased to see that afternoon teas are still popular though. And I had no idea Hitchin had lavender fields – interesting!

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  • kmf

    October 19, 2022

    I just returned from a three-week workcation in England and there was so much I didn’t get to do. So definitely returning and will check out your recommendations – especially the food tour.

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  • Jan

    October 19, 2022

    Great choices for the top five things to do in London! My favorites are indulging in the traditional afternoon tea and walking across the Tower Bridge, The goodies that come with the afternoon tea are simply delicious. Walking across tower bridge with opportunities to photograph London at various angles from the top is simply incredible. 🙂

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  • Nikki

    October 20, 2022

    What a great guide! Looks like London is the perfect getaway. Thanks for this helpful guide!

    reply...

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