With millions of people from across the globe visiting London every year, the city shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to tourist attractions and events. If you’re planning a trip to London – business or leisure – but you aren’t sure where to start, take a look through this guide to choose how you can spend your time during your visit.
A Londoner’s Diary
Whether you are travelling across the city, the country or the world to stay in London, preparation is key to ensure there’s never a dull moment during your trip. No matter what time of year your visit is scheduled in for, there’s something for every occasion. In fact, there’s so much to experience, you’ll find yourself booking in another trip to see more! So, grab your diary or calendar and make a note of these important dates…
Buckle up for Burns Night, a Scottish celebration that has been in the city’s culture for many decades. With one-off events and spectacular shindigs, celebrations at bars and restaurants across London promise to brighten up an otherwise dreary January.
Don’t let the cold weather limit your plans – visit landmarks such as Natural History Museum, Tower of London, Somerset House and Hampton Court for incredible outdoor ice skating experience, great for families and adults alike.
Treat your loved one to a Valentine’s Day they won’t forget. From theatre trips to comedy shows, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The recent resurgence of authentic speakeasies and hidden bars means there are a plethora for you to visit, so you can enjoy the bustling atmosphere and exclusivity of these mysterious establishments. Popular joints include:
- Callooh Callay
- Evans & Peel Detective Agency
- Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
- The Chelsea Prayer Room
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a family trip to the interactive Harry Potter Tour at Leavesden Studios and ‘explore the wonders of the wizarding world’ guaranteed to dazzle adults and kids alike. If you’d rather swap a butterbeer for a concoction of the cocktail kind, a trip to The Cauldron London promises to deliver the best magical ‘potions’ cocktail experience imaginable.
If you are searching for a twist on a traditional café to take your family to, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is home to the UK’s first ever Cat Café where “resident cats wander around this 2-storey spot for coffee and cake, lined with sofas and bookcases”. For avid boardgame players, Draughts in Hackney has a library of games for you to while away the hours. Finally, for a trip down memory (and Brick) lane, the Cereal Killer Café offers more that 120 cereals, so you can indulge in the best breakfast treats from throughout the decades.
Nothing says ‘Easter’ better than an egg hunt. With a myriad of eggy trails on offer, there’s no better way to see the London sights than on a scavenger hunt! Not only that, there is a variety of theatre shows for the kids to enjoy amidst all of the chocolate consumption.
As the weather starts to brighten and the temperature starts to heighten, it’s time to start making the most of the outdoors with a Pedibus tour where you peddle round the sights while enjoying a drink – life’s all about balance, after all!
For the adrenaline junkies, London in the Sky takes fine dining to new heights. Held at the O2 arena from 1st May to 15th July, this experience features a 22-seat table suspended 100ft in the air where visitors can enjoy food, drinks and an impressive view of the skyline.
Alfresco pop-ups are a fantastic way to enjoy the summer season in style. Pop-up cinemas and summer festivals in August will keep you occupied all the way to September. They include open-air cinemas such as Movies on the River, Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House and The Luna Cinema. In keeping with the storyline of the film, you could also catch Top Gun at RAF Museum and Four Weddings and a Funeral at Westminster Abbey this year.
Another popular choice is the Secret Cinema which specialises in immersive cinema experiences where you can even play a role in your favourite film! Whether you want to participate in the screening or you would rather sit back and watch, dressing up is strongly encouraged!
A popular annual celebration for kids and adults alike, London boasts pop up cinema screens, cabaret shows, fright nights and immersive circus experiences, so you won’t be left short of ideas when visiting the city over this spooky festival.
In preparation for Christmas and the party season, why not enjoy a three course dinner and bottomless cocktails (between 12pm – 1pm) while listening to some old school tunes at Hip Hop Brunch LDN? Alternatively, you might prefer to laugh along to the hottest talent from the world of comedy at the Top Secret Comedy Club – a word of advice: avoid sitting in the front row!
Don’t limit the glitter and lights to your decorations at home – Christmas is celebrated at a whole host of places in London, including Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Christmas at London Zoo and Kew Gardens, and much more!
Ring in the New Year in style with a river cruise or one of the many stunning firework displays located throughout the city, including Clapham, Battersea Park and along the River Thames, to name just a few.
Home to some of the most renowned business districts in the world, London welcomes thousands of corporate travellers every year. But it doesn’t have to be all business for those visiting the city on a corporate trip.
If you are looking for a way to unwind after a long day, you’ve come to the right place. Synonymous with British drinking, gin has had a resurgence in recent years thanks to the City of London Distillery who brought back gin brewing in 2012. Favoured gin joints include:
- Gintonica, located on the 2nd floor of The Distillery on Portobello Road
- Holborn Dining Room
- Little Bird Gin, Maltby Street Market
- The London Gin Club, Soho
- East London Liquor Company, Bow Wharf
- Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlor, Covent Garden
High rise buildings are a popular choice for those visiting London, so whether you are looking for somewhere to have a bite to eat or enjoy your favourite tipple, there are several bars and restaurants which boast the best views. The Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie Building is the epitome of a concrete jungle where botanic meets skyscraper, making it London’s highest public garden. Here, you can walk in from 9pm without booking and soak up the views of the London skyline. Those also boasting jaw-dropping views include:
- The Oblix
- The Shard
- Madison Terrace and Bar with a view of St Paul’s Cathedral
- Radio Rooftop Bar with a view of the Temple
- Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower with views over London.
If you are looking for something a little different to fill your evenings, all of the following venues put on a late night at least once per month aimed at adults:
- Science Museum
- Natural History Museum
- British Museum
- National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- London Transport Museum
From exhibitions, demos and screenings to talks, performances and food, these events offer a variety of activities, set in the amazing surroundings of these renowned buildings.
Founded in the 1800s, the London Underground’s tube system is one of the most famous forms of transport in the world. Whether you need to travel across the city for a meeting or you are taking the family to an attraction, the variety of transport links available make the journey a quick and simple one.
While we encourage you to have a ride on the tube or take a trip on a red double decker bus, have you ever thought about visiting ‘Hidden London’? London Transport Museum offer exclusive tours and events at disused stations and secret sites guides so you can see a different side to the city during your stay. You can roam through Euston Station’s lost tunnels, explore Churchill’s Secret Station in Down Street, and much more, giving you access to areas rarely seen by the public.
With a wealth of London knowledge, Polly and Robert at Find London Apartments can source the perfect serviced apartment for your stay in London, taking into account travelling times, transport links, local amenities, duration and budget. To find out more, simply get in touch today!