Sights and landmarks in London
When it comes to history, culture and architecture, few cities can compete with London. To look out across the Thames is to witness first-hand how effortlessly the city accommodates the modern while holding onto its past. Indeed, with an abundance of history to enjoy within its palaces and museums and stunning architecture to see across the city as a whole, exploring London with this one-day itinerary is an irresistible prospect for visitors and residents alike.
Start your day in London with a visit to Buckingham Palace, just 20 minutes’ walk from the hotel or 10 minutes by taxi.
Buckingham Palace is the 775-room official residence of the Royal Family. During the summer, visitors can take a tour of the State Rooms, the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery, which displays the Royal Collection’s priceless artworks. Changing the Guard takes place every day at 11am in summer (every other day in winter) for those keen to witness some traditional British pageantry.
Next, walk to Westminster Abbey, just 15 minutes away from the Palace.
With over 1,000 years of history, Westminster Abbey is another London icon. Inside its ancient stone walls, 17 monarchs have been laid to rest over the course of the centuries. Beyond its architectural and historical significance, the Abbey continues to be the site in which new monarchs are crowned, making it an integral part of London’s colourful biography.
Then, walk across the road to the Houses of Parliament.
Houses of Parliament
The grand and gothic Houses of Parliament are the home of democracy in the UK and have played a pivotal role in British history, from Guy Fawkes to the Great Fire of London. Sitting majestically on the banks of the Thames, tours of the buildings are offered on Saturdays year-round and on most weekdays when parliament is in recess.
From the Houses of Parliament, take a 15-minute taxi ride to Kensington Palace.
Kensington Palace has been home to British royalty since the 17th century; today it’s the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the young prince and princess, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. While a glimpse of the Royal Family is probably not on the cards, there’s plenty to explore in the palace, including the King’s State Apartments, exhibitions and gardens.
The final stop of the day is the Victoria and Albert Museum, just 20 minutes’ walk or three minutes by taxi from Kensington Palace.
Victoria and Albert Museum
As a museum exploring the impact of art and design throughout history, the V&A is the envy of the world. The collection is truly vast, taking in fashion, photography, ceramics, architecture and more, and their exhibitions – including the renowned David Bowie and Alexander McQueen retrospectives – are frequently sell outs.
From the museum, the hotel is either a 30-minute walk through Knightsbridge and Hyde Park or 15 minutes by taxi.
Start the day at the London Eye, just 20 minutes from the hotel by taxi.
The London Eye
Standing at 135m tall, the London Eye is one of Europe’s largest observation wheels. From its vantage point on the culturally vibrant South Bank, it offers breathtaking 360-degree views across London’s sprawl. For those looking to make the experience a little more personal, capsules can be booked privately.
A 20-minute walk along the Thames or a 10-minute taxi ride will bring you to the Tate Modern.
Residing in a former power station, the Tate Modern spans several floors and houses much of the modern art in Britain. With a collection spanning works by British and international artists, including large-scale blockbuster installations in the cavernous Turbine Hall, all the key movements of the 20th century and beyond are represented here.
Then, walk for 25 minutes along the river or take a 15-minute taxi to Tower Bridge.
Tower Bridge is a marvel of engineering and architecture connecting the north and south banks of the Thames. Whether it’s lit up against an evening skyline or viewed from up close on a crisp afternoon, few visit London without glimpsing this most iconic of bridges. Step inside for exhibitions and events, and to access the spectacular glass floor viewing gallery.
St Paul’s Cathedral, the penultimate stop of the day, is just 15 minutes away from Tower Bridge by taxi, or half an hour on foot.
St Paul’s Cathedral
A symbol of London’s enduring spirit, St Paul’s was rebuilt after the Great Fire and survived the Blitz; the distinctive dome has been part of the London landscape for centuries. It remains a functioning church and also plays a role in London’s art and culture scene, allowing artists to install temporary work throughout the interior.
To get to the British Museum, take a 15-minute taxi ride or get on the Central line from St Paul’s to Holborn, followed by a 10-minute walk.
The British Museum
In a city that houses some of the world’s finest cultural institutions, The British Museum remains arguably the greatest of all. Possessing a collection of anthropological, cultural and artistic artefacts spanning two million years of history – including preserved mummies from Egypt and sculpture from the Athens Parthenon – a visit is surely compulsory.
Then, take a 30-minute taxi ride back to the hotel.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.