What to see on a one-day tour of London

The best ways to get around London on a budget

If there’s one thing that London is not short of, it’s organised tours, group tour experiences, and guides who can take you around the city and show off all that London has to offer. But for those tourists who are visiting London for just one day, such as those visiting from a hotel in Lancaster UK or another part of the country, having a plan doesn’t have to mean booking a tour and leaving your day’s itinerary in the hands of someone else.

With the help of this blog, we want to help you take control of your own day trip to London – sharing some of the best sights to see and attractions to fit in, as well as the best place to stop for food and refreshments.

Where to start your day in the city

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when it comes to London’s food offerings the British affinity for breakfast food, we truly couldn’t agree more. You will find as you wander the city that everywhere from the 5 star hotels to the budget accommodation in London offers some kind of breakfast deal, meaning there tends to be something available for every budget.

If you want a leisurely start to your day, booking a sit down breakfast can be a good introduction to London and will give you time to plot your travels for the day. If you want to get moving, pick up a coffee and takeaway breakfast from one of the many coffee shops in the city – with independent cafes and pop up coffee vans offering the finest flavours and most memorable experiences.

From there, it’s time to get started on your one day tour of London.

A royal invitation

London is perhaps most recognisable around the world as the hometown of the Royal family. Buckingham Palace draws huge crowds of tourists every single day, with events and dates of note (like weddings and christenings) specifically seeing The Mall fill up with crowds from daybreak until long after the celebrations are finished.

In addition, Kensington Palace which sits on the Western side of Hyde Park is another place to go for a few royal snaps, with the Royal Parks a destination of their own overlooked by iconic hotels like the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate.

Views for days

There are so many high points in London from which you can enjoy views over the city, whether you want something rustic and wholesome such as walk to the top of Primrose Hill in the West, or something a little more formal like a ride on the London Eye or a trip to the top of The Shard. Other options include taking a walk over the O2 arena with Up at the O2, booking a stint at the Sky Garden, or even going all out and securing yourself a helicopter tour over the city.

Enjoying at least one of these experiences should be on your bucket list whether you’re in London for one day or one week, with the city really coming to life and showing off its best side in the early evening as the sun starts to set.

Family-friendly attractions

If there’s one thing that London is not short on, it’s family friendly attractions – with the following all recommended for those looking to fill an action-packed day in the city.

Madame Tussauds is a great one for adults and kids, introducing you to famous faces and letting you snap selfies up close and personal. The Natural History Museum combines entertainment and education in the most immersive way, while the Tower of London adds a slightly sinister twist to your day trip with insight into the infamous execution green, traitor’s gate, and the princes in the tower.

Other notable attractions and experiences include:

  • V&A museum
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Other things to do on your day trip in London

Transport is as much an experience as a necessity in London, particularly if you overlook the convenience of the London underground system in favour of something a little more unique. The Uber Boat network is a new culmination of transport and experience, while the Boris Bikes invite you to enjoy the city in your own time on two wheels.

Open top bus tours are big business in London, or you can hop on a red bus and enjoy the back streets as well as the main bridges and streets of the city.

What to do with your bags?

If you’re passing through London en route to your next destination, you might find yourself laden down with bags that you certainly don’t want to carry around all day. Luckily, London has a solution for that – offering bag drop and storage areas in many of the main train stations and shopping centres across the city, allowing you to pay a fee for your bags to be safely stored as long as required.

Food in the city

With so many different cultures and cuisines coming together in and around London, finding something to satisfy your appetite couldn’t be easier – the difficulty comes in deciding exactly what it is that you fancy. From street food vendors to Michelin star restaurants, we recommend thinking outside the box and trying something new.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to London without a nice cup of tea, would it?

Looking to extend your day trip in a longer stay?

With all those experiences and attractions on offer, we wouldn’t be surprised if, by now, you’re ready to extend your stay and add a few extra days to your London tour. If this is the case, then you’re in the right place – with London accommodation offers available at a number of the hotels located within walking distance of the aforementioned attractions and things to do.

To benefit from such deals and discounts, make sure to research accommodation ahead of time and keep an eye on prices – which often fluctuate with ever-changing demand.