A-Z of London Attractions

Need some inspiration for your London visit? Take a look at our A-Z of the top things to do in London.

London's top attractions
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Afternoon Tea


Whether it is to celebrate a special occasion with family and friends or a treat for you, afternoon tea in London is an enchanting experience not to be missed.

Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British tradition where one can enjoy a selection of fresh sandwiches, traditional scones and dainty cakes and pastries along with a selection of teas. For fizz lovers, you can choose to go with the Champagne Afternoon Tea experience.

London offers an incredible array of venues where you can enjoy afternoon tea. You can pick from budget-friendly options like afternoon tea at the Fan Museum which is priced at £9 per person or go for a luxurious experience at a four-star deluxe hotel like St Ermin's. St. Ermin's was voted one of London's best hotels in the 2019 Condé Nast Readers' Choice Award and their Tea Lounge is a beautiful environment to relax and indulge in the delights of a traditional afternoon tea. Not to be missed.

Afternoon tea in London

Other venues that I recommend for an afternoon tea experience in London are The Baglioni Hotel (located near Kensington Gardens) and The Pelham (in South Kensington).

And if you are looking to indulge in an afternoon tea while cruising along the River Thames, you can do that as well. There are a number of afternoon tea cruises where you can see some of London's most historic buildings while enjoying a pot of tea, served alongside a selection of delicate sandwiches and cakes.


Buckingham Palace


Buckingham Palace is one of the most historic sites in all of London and also one of the most popular tourist attractions. Depending on when you visit London, your access to the Palace may be limited. Areas such as the Royal Mews and the Queen's Gallery are open to the public pretty much all through the year. If you are visiting during the summer months, you can book yourself on an interior tour of the Buckingham Palace. These tours allow visitors access to some of the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace.

One such tour which we enjoyed and recommend is the City Wonders' Interior Tour of Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard Ceremony with Afternoon Tea. It was fab! These tours have limited time availability because the palace is open to the public only for a short duration and that means the tickets often sell out very quickly. So, if you are interested in the Palace interior tour, you will need to book it in advance to avoid disappointment.

 Buckingham Palace


Camden Town


Camden Town or simply Camden is located in North London and is one of the coolest areas of London. There is so much to do in Camden - spend time along Regent's Canal, take a boat tour to Little Venice and back, catch some live music, go on a pub crawl, sample cuisine from around the world and explore Camden's open-air markets (selling everything from books, clothing, antiques and accessories to fast food). You can stroll around and explore the area at your own pace or you could discover Camden with a local host.


Deer spotting at Richmond Park


Did you know that you could spots herds of deer at Richmond Park? Located a few miles from central London, Richmond Park is the largest of London's Royal Parks and also a national nature reserve and a Special Area of Conservation. The park has around 30 ponds, vast grasslands, woods and copses and is home to a variety of wildlife the most popular being the 600+ herd of red and fallow deer. The deer roam freely within the park and there is a very good chance that you will spot a herd or two during your visit.


Emirates Air Line Cable Car


Emirates Air Line Cable Car, also referred to as the London Cable Car, is a cable-car which runs across the River Thames between The Royal Docks near Canning Town and the Greenwich Peninsula. Flights are approximately 10 minutes each way and it is fun experience offering lovely views up the river. A single adult fare is £4.50 and if you club it with the Emirates Air Line Discovery Experience, the price goes up to £10.70/adult. The Emirates Aviation Experience offers wonderful insight into the world of modern commercial aviation and also gives the opportunity to try out an Airbus A380 or Boeing 777 flight simulator.

Emirates Air Line Cable Car


Flower markets of London


London has a selection of flower markets and a visit to one is sure to lift your spirits with its fresh and beautiful blooms. Berwick Street Market (in Soho), Islington’s Farmers Market, Spitalfields, New Covent Garden Market and Broadway Market are some of the popular markets where you can find an array of gorgeous bouquets and plants. My favourite is the Columbia Road Flower Market which is located in Shoreditch and runs every Sunday from 8am to 3pm. You will find everything from the finest cut flowers to bedding plants and from herbs to shrubs and even large perennials and alpines.

Flower markets in London


GoBoat - Electric Boats on Hire


GoBoat offers self-drive electric boats on hire. They are based in Merchant Square, Paddington and all GoBoat trips begin and end at their Merchant Square base but you have two routes that you can explore - the Grand Union Canal route (the Paddington arm) and - the Regent's Canal route (towards Camden Lock).

GoBoat

GoBoat's self-drive electric boats are uncomplicated and very easy to control. You need no prior boating experience to rent/handle a GoBoat and that I think is one of the reasons why this concept is so popular. It is perfect for a family/friends outing and is a lovely way to experience London from a different perspective.

HMS Belfast


The HMS Belfast, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser, is now permanently moored as a military museum on the Thames. It was opened to the public in 1971 and is run by the Imperial War Museum. HMS Belfast saw a lot of action in her days and the ship's mock-ups give us a fair idea of how life on board the ship would have been. The displays and tableaus are both descriptive and in some cases interactive. A complimentary audio guide is given to all visitors and with it you explore all the decks at your own pace listening to the history of HMS Belfast and her crew.

Book now | Ticket for HMS Belfast


Imperial War Museum


The Imperial War Museum is located in the old Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark. It gives tourists a unique and engaging look at the conflicts since the First World War. The museum's collections include weapons, film & art, uniforms, military vehicles and aircraft, historical recordings and much more. A must visit if you are interested in military history or the impact of war on our society.

Jewish Museum


The Jewish Museum in Camden Town tells the story of Jewish history and heritage in the UK through the concepts of community, religion and culture. The museum has four permanent galleries featuring objects used in Jewish religious life, prints and drawings, photographs and other objects and documents that preserve the experiences of the Holocaust survivors. According to the museum, one of their most important collections is the one that is linked to Leon Greenman, an English-born Auschwitz survivor who spent his life sharing his experiences and campaigning against discrimination.

It is a small museum but has powerful and thought-provoking exhibits.

Kew Botanical Gardens


Want some respite from London's hustle and bustle? Then head to Kew Gardens in Richmond. Even though the gardens are only 30 minutes from Central London, you feel like you are transported to a totally different place - it is so peaceful and quiet.

Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 50,000 living plants to be found across the gardens. From an arboretum with more than 14,000 trees to an Alpine House where alpine plants flourish and from striking walkways to the stunning Chinese pagoda, there is so much to see and do in the gardens. It certainly is one of the best gardens in London.

It is advisable to book your entry tickets in advance to save time and make the most of your visit.

London Eye (The Millennium Wheel)


The London Eye has become an iconic attraction since it opened around 20 years ago. Standing around 135m high, the giant observation wheel offers stunning panoramic views of London and its most famous landmarks. The Ferris wheel travels at a very slow speed and a complete ride on the London Eye usually takes around 30 minutes. Interactive digital guides are provided in each pod complementing your sightseeing experience.

London Eye at night

It is a very popular attraction among tourists and the queues can tend to be quite long. So, it is advisable to purchase your London Eye tickets online to get faster entry.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum


This is one tourist attraction in London that seems to always attract a high volume of visitors and this can be put down to its sheer popularity. Madame Tussauds display a wide range of wax figures featuring The Royals, world leaders, movie stars, sportsperson, film characters, artists and musicians. In addition they now also offer immersive experiences and 4D cinema.

Madame Tussauds

If you want to get up close and personal with your favourite star or sportsperson, this is a good chance. Pre-book your tickets to Madame Tussauds.

National Theatre


For theatre fans, the National Theatre is a must visit. Located on the South Bank riverside, National Theatre boasts of three auditoriums - the Lyttelton theatre, the Olivier theatre and the Dorfman theatre. The venues showcase around 25 different shows every year. In addition to the shows, there are many other things to do at the National Theatre - free exhibitions, guided backstage tours, talks & discussions, al fresco dining etc.


Osterley Park and House


Osterley is a magnificent house surrounded by gardens, parks and agricultural land. Osterley House was originally built in 1570s for a banker called Sir Thomas Gresham and then remodelled in the late 1760s by Scottish architect Robert Adam for the Child family and eventually it passed into the hands of the Jersey family in 1780s. In the late 1930s, George Child Villiers, the 9th Earl of Jersey, opened Osterley to the public. In 1991 the National Trust took charge of the property and have been maintaining it since then.

Osterley Park and House

The interiors of the house are lovely and is home to a number of works of art like East Asian porcelain, lacquer furniture, Gobelins tapestries and silverware. The gardens are beautiful too and the property even offers cycles on hire which make exploring the estate even more fun.


Portobello Road Market for antiques


Love antiques? Then you must head to the Portobello Road Market on a Friday or a Saturday (the main day for antiques). It is said to be one of the world's largest antiques market with hundreds of sellers selling all kinds of antique stuff. You will find everything from toys to books and clocks to silverware and from crystal to other bric-a-brac. It is antiques galore!

There are a number of hot food stalls with everything from Mexican and Indian to Caribbean and British fare available to enjoy! A lovely market that makes for an exciting day out for all the family.

Queen's House in Greenwich


The Queen's House in Greenwich is the first classical building in Britain and has been associated with two queens - Queen Anne of Denmark and Queen Henrietta Maria of France. In addition to serving as a royal residence, the historic house has also seen other uses - a hospital for wounded sailors, home of Greenwich Park's ranger and an art gallery.

The house is free to enter and has daily ticketed tours. In addition to the architectural marvels (the exquisite Tulip Staircase is one of the main draws), the building houses more than 450 works of art by well-known British and European artists.


Regent's Park Open Air Theatre


Located in the centre of one of London's Royal Parks, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is completely uncovered which means it is open only during certain months when the weather is favourable (May-September each year). The theatre has a capacity of just less than 1300 and is known for its magical productions. If you are heading to London during the summer months and love theatre, then do plan to watch one of the productions at this unique open-air theatre. Some of their 2020 productions include 101 Dalmatians, Romeo & Juliet and Dragons & Mythical Beasts.

Street Art Tour


For lovers of urban art, a street art or graffiti walking tour is recommended. There are many locations in London where you can find street art but the best art is found in East London. You can do these tours on your own, with a little bit of research or you could opt for a guided tour. The advantage of a guided tour is that you will get to see the best of the street art as the tour guides usually know where the latest street art can be found.

Street Art Tour in London

If you want to make it more adventurous, you could opt for a street art bike tour - which is a 2-hour bike tour to see some of London's finest street art around Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Hackney as well as some exclusive hidden away pieces.

Tower of London


One of London's most visited landmarks, this famous fortress was built during the reign of William the Conqueror. While the castle was used as a royal residence, an armoury and even housed a zoo, it is infamously more popular for the terror and oppression associated with it. The castle was used to lock away prisoners and also used for executions. Queen Anne Boleyn, who grew up at Hever Castle in Kent, and who was the second wife of King Henry VIII was executed at the Tower of London in 1536.

Tower of London

Today, the castle is open to public and some of the main things to see in the Tower of London are the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, Chapel Royal of St Peter and Vincula, the Medieval Palace and the resident ravens of the Tower. Guided tours and regular costumed events are run at the tower and despite the grim reputation it holds, the Tower of London draws visitors from near and far.

Up at The O2 - Climbing The O2 in London


This is a great experience. It allows you to discover a different side of London. Suspended 2 metres above the surface of The O2 roof, the 'Up at The O2' walkway is 52 metres above ground level and around 380 metres long. The walkway has an incline of 28° at its steepest point on the way up and 30° on the way back down.

Up at The O2 - Climbing The O2 in London

The tour includes the climbing gear (shoes, suit, harness etc.). Once you are kitted out with the gear, and after a quick safety briefing from the instructors, you begin your ascent to the top of The O2 Arena. The walk takes you to the viewing platform at the top which offers 360° views of many of London's landmarks. It's lovely.

If you are looking for a little challenge, then the Up at The O2 tour is definitely recommended.


Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)


I have been to the V&A museum a number of times and it never fails to impress me. V&A is the world's leading museum of art, design, and performance and their collections are unrivalled. From paintings to furniture, from jewellery to textile and from ceramics to cast, the museum's collection is breath-taking. Entry to the museum is free and they even offer free and private group tours.

Victoria and Albert Museum in London

In addition to the free permanent collection, the museum also has a number of temporary exhibitions and events all through the year. These usually have a priced entry.


Wembley Stadium


Wembley Stadium is one of London's largest sporting stadiums with a capacity of over 90,000 seats. Not only does it host sporting events (football, rugby, boxing), the stadium also hosts music concerts and cultural events. Stadium tours are available which includes visit to the changing rooms, press conference room, players’ tunnel, pitch-side and the Royal Box. There are regular tours and then there are the VIP tours (where you have a private tour host) and Mini tours (shortened version of the regular tours).

Xmas Markets


Yes, these are seasonal but if you happen to visit London during the festive season, don't miss visiting one of the Xmas markets. A number of Christmas markets run throughout the festive season in the capital city. Some of the popular ones are Kingston Christmas Market, Greenwich Christmas Market, Camden Christmas Market, Christmas by the River at London Bridge City, Leicester Square Christmas Market and Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park.

Christmas Market in London

These Christmas markets are the perfect places to get into the festive spirit - enjoy the twinkling lights,  ride on fairground games, meet Santa and enjoy some mulled wine!

Yeoman Warder Tours


The Yeoman Warder tours are the perfect way to see the Tower of London. Also known as ‘Beefeaters’, the Yeoman Warders are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London and lead the guided tours that begin near the main entrance to the Tower of London. These tours are included as part of the Tower of London admission ticket. As the Beefeaters’ take you around on the tour, they share interesting stories from the years of history of the tower. It is a fun and interesting way to experience the Tower of London.

Zip Now


Need an adrenaline rush? Want to zip through London's skyline? Then Zip Now is for you. It is the biggest, fastest city-centre zip wire in the world. The launch platform is 35 metres high and the ride is a total thriller. A must do for adrenaline junkies.


So, that's the A-Z of London attractions? What do you think of it? Do you have any recommendations and which is your favourite London attraction/experience? Let me know via the comments box below.

18 comments:

  1. Would have to be a traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz

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  2. It depends whether you have kids or not but if you have Madame Tussauds was a big hit with mine.

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  3. i love the natural history museum for me it's a must see! so many amazing things to see x

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  4. I loved visiting Buckingham palace, it is just so iconic of London!

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  5. Great ideas. London is good for a visit, as there is plenty to see and do.Open top bus tour great on a dry day. The London Eye can be enjoyed, even on a rainy day, museums, etc :- Such variety is available within London, England, UK.

    Rachel Craig

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  6. The London Zip Wire is lots of fun for older children and adults but only open in the summer.

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  7. Some great ideas for places to visit! I love the natural history museum and the science museum!

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  8. I've only ever visited the Natural History Museum in London. I would recommend it not just for the fascinating exhibits there but for the amazing architecture of the building itself.

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  9. London Zoo for me ,always been a favourite and the kids all love it ,great day out

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  10. The Science Museum is my favourite place to visit, especially the space gallery.

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  11. We really enjoyed our trip on London eye on our last visit as the view was amazing.

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  12. I would definitely recommend afternoon tea. There are so many different ones to choose from including themed teas.

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  13. The V&A is my favourite museum in london. I love all the hand-crafted items, but my daughter loved the dolls' houses.

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  14. Chinatown is well worth a visit, it's almost like travelling to the Far East. Children will be fascinated by the colour and vibrancy, the shops selling unfamiliar foods and the Chinese writing everywhere.

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  15. The National Portrait Gallery. Not just an astonishing permanent collection that allows you to stare into the faces of renowned people from history, but some brilliant temporary exhibitions, too. Always my first stop when I visit London, even if it's only for an hour or two.

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  16. We love a trip to Kew gardens because it's great for the whole family to enjoy

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  17. Madame Tussauds, the waxworks is thrilling, educational too. A must visit for everyone.

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