It's A Great Big World
What to Do in London Depending on Your Interests
London is a destination many people want to visit, and with good reason, but how do you decide what to do in London? There is an abundance of fun sightseeing and activities to do in London. So much so that you could become overwhelmed and either just give up on trying to choose something or end up doing the same 5 attractions that all the tourists do. Thankfully, I have come up with some suggestions that will appeal to you depending on your interests.
If you like following the Royals:
The obvious answer would be a trip to Buckingham palace to see the changing of the guard (if you visit during the summer, you can even take a tour) but you can also tour the Royal Mews at Buckingham palace and see the royal collection of state vehicles, horse-drawn carriages and motor cars. Don’t make the rookie mistake and stop there, you’ll want to include a visit to the Tower of London. The Tower of London isn’t just where executions took place and on your visit you’ll learn more about the history of the royal palace and you can gaze at the Crown Jewels.
If you’re more of a laidback traveller:
Simply tour London on either the hop on hop off open top double decker buses where you can get off the bus to look around as much or as little as you like, or you can hire a black cabbie and they will give you a much more personalized tour of London. With the hop on and off buses, they often have walking tours that you can take part in, which are a great addition. We went on the Jack the Ripper walking tour and it was fascinating and also a little creepy even in broad daylight. Plus, we saw a different side to London than the regular tourists see.
If you like sports:
In England, football is one of our religions. Even if you don’t like football (or soccer!) but you like sports, you will enjoy and appreciate visiting any of the football stadiums in London. You have around 12 to choose from. That’s right, 12! You could visit Wembley Stadium where the England National team plays, Emirates Stadium where Arsenal plays, Stamford Bridge for Chelsea, White Hart Lane if you support Tottenham or Boleyn Ground for West Ham United fans just to name a few. You could also visit Twickenham Stadium where the England National rugby team play, the largest rugby stadium in the world!
If you’re adventurous:
Does sightseeing seem boring to you? How about seeing the sights as you are sliding down the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide? Make your way to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and enjoy the 40-second slide. Definitely not your average sightseeing experience! Taking it one step further, you can tour the London sewers. I’ll wait while I let that one sink in. This type of tour is definitely more rare but Thames Water periodically let you tour the Abbey Mills pumping station or the Fleet Sewer. You need to be physically fit to wade through waist-deep sewage but you’ll get a glimpse of a whole other world underneath the busy streets of London. They provide the overalls but you’ll still need a long shower afterwards.
If you like war history:
Your first stop should be the Imperial War Museum. This free museum tells the stories of people’s experiences of war from WW1 to conflicts today. Don’t stop there, though as you’ll want to head straight to the Churchill War Rooms to visit the secret WW2 bunker and museum that shares the story of Winston Churchill’s life. For 19th century war history, head over to Greenwich to see for yourself the last surviving tea clipper Cutty Sark. This sailing ship was the fastest ship of her time and you would get to step aboard this historic ship.
If you like music:
A number of musicians have used locations in London as album covers. If your favourite musician is one of them then you can head to that location and feel a little bit closer to them. Abbey Road anyone? I would only recommend heading to Abbey Road if you are a Beatles fan otherwise it’s just another crosswalk. There are a number of music walking tours where you can visit places where famous bands first performed or where they recorded their first album.
If you like Harry Potter:
Without a shadow of a doubt you should head to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. It is actually outside of London but it’s easy to get to and worth the trip. You’ll be treated to a behind the scenes look at how they brought the magic of Harry Potter to the big screen showcasing costumes, sets and props. You can also visit London Zoo to visit the Reptile House where Harry accidentally sets free a snake. There are walking tours that will take you to many filming locations and you get to see more of London while fueling your other passions too. If you’re lucky to get tickets you can catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End.
You may have realized that we like our walking tours in London and with good reason too! You get to experience London at a slower pace and everything is so close together in London. It is a fantastic city to get around. Combining your tour of London with one of your other passions will make for a more memorable travel experience and elevate your overall vacation.
About the Author
Rhian Torontow is a Family Travel Consultant with Magical Family Adventures. Rhian creates travel experiences that foster connections in your family that will last a lifetime and transforms your children into open-minded, flexible, well-travelled people. During Rhian’s childhood, her father travelled for work constantly and it was always travel that brought her family back together. You can follow Rhian on Facebook at www.facebook.com/magicalfamilyadventures, Instagram @MagicalFamilyAdventures and you can also connect with her on LinkedIn ca.linkedin.com/in/rhiantorontow/