Welcome back to travel Thursday my wanderlust friends. Today I’m keeping it closer to home, with a post on what to see if you have 24 hours in London.
24 Hours in London
Let’s say you arrive at Heathrow Airport around 6am and have to spend 24 hours before you can catch a connecting flight to somewhere else, here are a few suggestions on what you can see/do.
If you’re a coffee head then you’ll probably need your coffee fix especially if you’ve been on a long-haul flight. Now I’m not a coffee head but I’ve got quite a few friends who are and one in particular loves Algerian Coffee Store. They’ve been around for about 128 years so I figure they know coffee. Plus you can get an espresso for £1! In London that’s unheard of!
With coffee in hand you can stroll through the streets of Soho, through Leicester Square and meander to Trafalgar Square. Take in the lion statues in the square itself and if you want a bit of culture, The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are all a few steps away.
You must be starving after traipsing up and down in the galleries so how about some lunch? If you’re looking for something ‘English’ to eat then head to Mr Fogg’s Tavern on St Martin’s Lane. Be sure to book a reservation for lunch ;).
If you fancy a chilled out, no fuss meal and like Thai then I would suggest Busaba Eat Thai in Covent Garden. Alternatively if you’re pretty famished and can’t wait to eat or you’ll hurt someone, then Thai Square on Trafalgar Square is awesome. I love this place!
It’s about 1.30pm maybe you would like to take in a matinee show. Depending on the day a number of theatres will have a matinee at around 2pm. You could check this website out here for more info.
So the theatre may not be your thing, how about shopping? There are quite a few shops; well known and not so well known within the Covent Garden piazza, that can quench your shopping thirst. If you’re looking for more holistic products then be sure to check out Neal’s Yard. A little square within Covent Garden, this little piece of sanctuary has a vegan restaurant called Wild Food Cafe which is amazing even for this non-vegan.
If you take the passage leading towards Monmouth Street which has a Hotel Chocolat that serves hot drinks, especially an amazing hot chocolate. It’s getting to that time of the day when you need a pick me so go on and treat yourself!
Ok the theatre and shopping isn’t interesting, that’s cool. How about strolling down towards Embankment Pier, crossing the Hungerford Bridge and landing your feet on the Southbank?
Filled with the winter market, Hayward Gallery and the London Eye. If you’ve got your camera or have a pretty decent camera on your phone, then this is perfect for some amazing shots of London.
On the London Eye you don’t really feel the movement and you have ample time to see everything! I always think it’s great to do it just once.
Have a Pint!
Wherever you are in London, you will come across a pub. It’s like the corner stone of british culture and so why not partake in a pint or two? If beer isn’t your thing you could try a shandy, which is a beer mixed with lemonade. It makes the beer more palatable for the adventurous non-beer drinkers.
Dinner times in this country is fairly early in comparison to our Spanish neighbours. You’re looking at about 6.30/7pm for most restaurants to be filling up with diners. If your feet can no longer carry you then try any one of the restaurants along the Southbank that you like the look of. Cheap, cheerful and no fuss, would be Giraffe. They have a wide variety on their menu and burgers are pretty good.
If you’re not feeling overly hungry but could do with a nice glass of wine and cheese, then I highly suggest you try Gordon’s wine bar. Stroll back over the bridge, retrace your steps and just as you pass the gardens on your right you’ll see what looks like a derelict place with stairs next to it. Nice place, nice wine and nice cheese!
Take the tube (metro) or black cab back to your hotel, have a soak and watch some BBC or soaps 😉
Hope you enjoyed my little guide on what to with 24 hours in London. I’d love to know in the comments below what you’d do with 24 hours in London?
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Until next time, be well!