44 London Hidden Gems – See London Off the Beaten Path
This is your guide to seeing all the coolest spots in London that are off the beaten path. You'll feel like a local exploring all of London's best-hidden gems!
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London is one of my favorite cities in the world—and not just because they have a killer theater scene!
Though let’s be honest, as a self-proclaimed theater nerd, it certainly was one of the first reasons why London was at the top of my travel list from an early age.
Besides the West End, the city is also home to a ton of world-class museums, galleries, and hidden gems.
Unfortunately, most first time tourists miss out on some of the more unique activities that London has to offer, because they get overwhelmed with doing all the classic touristy stuff.
Lucky for you, with the help of some other bloggers, I’ve made the ultimate London bucket list to make planning your next visit a breeze!
I can pretty much guarantee that whether you’re a first time tourist or a frequent visitor, you will find at least a few new activities below to add to your London bucket list!
Recommend by David from Delve Into Europe
The Royal Church of Westminster Abbey probably has more history packed within its walls than any other British building.
It’s the traditional Coronation church, where the reigning Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, and also the scene of many royal weddings (most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011), funerals and burials.
One of the most famous London landmarks, the Abbey sits across Parliament Square from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and along with the smaller St Margaret’s Church next door, these make up one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London.
Sixteen English (and later British) monarchs are buried in Westminster Abbey, including Edward the Confessor in 1066 and George II in 1760.
It’s also a burial place for prominent British writers, scientists and cultural figures, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, and Stephen Hawking.
Architecturally, Westminster Abbey is one of the most spectacular churches in Britain, with the interior built in various Gothic styles. The most beautiful part of the Abbey is the gorgeous fan-vaulted Lady Chapel, built by King Henry VII in the contemporary, uniquely British, Perpendicular style.
Skip the line by booking one of these tours ahead of time!
Recommended by Nina of Nina Out and About
A bucket list experience you’ll find on every London list is having high tea. But most people will tell you to go to a fancy hotel or somewhere that tea will cost you as much as your hotel room!
In reality, the best place to have tea is in Covent Garden. This beautiful area is full of the best patisseries and trinket shops in the city. Hidden amongst them are cafes that serve high tea so delicious you’ll feel like Queen Elizabeth II!
They composed high tea of scones with jam and clotted cream, an assortment of cakes and finger sandwiches, and a pot of tea that you select from a menu.
The best place to have high tea is at BB’s Bakery in Covent Garden. This adorably chic shop looks like a Parisian bakery from the outside. But once you step in, you’ll smell the warm aroma of English Breakfast and taste the sweet air on your tongue, and you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.
Book your high tea in advance, as many locals know of this hot spot and use it for larger parties.
If you’re traveling solo, you won’t feel weird looking at other people when you’re hidden behind a tower full of delicious goodies.
Recommend by Leah from Officer Travels
When in London, a visit to the Grant Museum of Zoology is a must for those who love the natural world. Located around the corner from the more famous British Museum, this quirky hidden gem is a treasure trove filled with one-of-a-kind scientific specimens. From entire skeletons of now-extinct animals to fossils and preserved creatures in Victorian-style jars, this London bucket list activity perhaps isn’t for the faint-hearted.
It’s more than just an eccentric collection. The Grant Museum of Zoology is the last university-owned museum in London & has been an educational resource for graduates & the public since 1827. To top it off, as with other Museums in London, you can experience the natural wonders found here for free.
Recommended by Gizelle from Our City Travels
Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest and most beautiful markets in London, dating from the fourteenth century. Although the present structure, with its grandeur roof painted cream, green, maroon, and its cobbled streets, is a Victorian structure dating from 1881, it fits perfectly well into London’s contemporary landscape.
While it’s less traditional than most markets, it’s a lovely spot to take photos of. Leadenhall covered market is a great place to shop for gifts and enjoy good food or just have coffee with friends.
With its aesthetically pleasing surroundings, walking around the market means stumbling into picturesque corners, and even an alley with hanging books that makes for a gorgeous backdrop.
Although the space is open all the time, the quality shops, award-winning pubs, and high-end restaurants are open on working days only, so make sure you come by then. Try Cheese Leadenhall for their British and European cheeses, Gino D’Acampo Pasta Barfor, the chef’s celebrated pasta dishes, and La Tasca which serves authentic Spanish goodness.
There’s a lot of scheduled events such as talks, installations, concerts, so look at their events page first. Leadenhall is near Fenchurch Street Station and visitor attractions include the Monument to the Great Fire of London.
Recommended by Dymphe of Dymabroad
Going to Tower Bridge is one thing you have to do when visiting the city of London. It’s one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.
Tower Bridge is a historic suspension bridge that has a unique design. It consists of two towers and a lot of blue elements. The bridge spans the River Thames and you can find Tower Bridge next to the Tower of London.
When you are going to Tower Bridge, book tickets to go inside of it. There is a high-level walkway that goes from one tower to the next one. Inside of the walkway, you can see an exhibition that is all about the construction of Tower Bridge.
The view from here is incredible, and the admission fee for the walkway includes access to the engine rooms, where you can see the original steam engines of the bridge. Besides seeing the bridge, it is also a beautiful sight to take pictures of.
You can even take pictures while standing on one side of the deck of the bridge and have one tower of the bridge in your shot. That way, you can take very symmetrical photos.
If you don’t take the tour, you can still stand somewhere on the banks of the river and take a photo of Tower Bridge from the side. That way, you can capture the bridge in full, and you can also include other parts of London in your shot, such as The Shard.
Recommended by Nicole of Go Far Grow Close
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter books or films, or simply want to see where they made the movies, then you must add Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter to your “must do” bucket list experiences in London.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour is an amazing interactive experience through two enormous sound stages filled with costumes, props and original sets, all from the movies. As you walk through the exhibits, they will remind you of the thrill of seeing the Harry Potter movies in theatres.
The focus of the tour is “behind the scenes” so you get to see how they made the movie sets and how they made the magic look real.
Don’t bring anyone too young on the tour, as the goal of the tour is to show you the realities of movie making. By the time you leave, the enchantment of the Harry Potter films isn’t as magical. If you want your children to still believe in witches, muggles, Hogwarts, and Dumbledore, then this studio tour is not yet for them.
Tickets are expensive, time and date stamped, and sell out fast, so make sure you purchase them months in advance.
Try to start the tour as early as possible as once you enter, you can stay as long as you want. In addition, as the day progresses, it gets busier and busier. There are lots of exhibits that invite you to touch or take part in, so the more people who arrive, the longer it takes for your turn.
You can spend literally all day exploring the studios. At the very least, allot a minimum of four hours, but even that wouldn’t do the tour justice.
You should wear comfortable shoes and be well rested before you arrive. Depending on where you start, it may take over an hour to get to the studios by public transportation, so give yourself lots of time to get there.
Book on of these tours to make your trip to Warner Brother’s extra magical!
Recommended by Chelsea from The Portable Wife
In the charming borough of Richmond upon Thames, Kew Gardens is a wonderland for nature enthusiasts. The massive sprawl of vegetation has everything from multi-story glass greenhouses to a Japanese garden.
What started as a modest 9-acre botanic garden in 1759 has since grown to a 300-acre collection of over 50,000 living plants. They even named Kew Gardens a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, thanks in part to its world-class herbarium and distinctive landscaping.
One of the best things about the Gardens is the vast number of walking trails that wind through the area. Visitors can easily escape the main paved pathways for a cozy picnic beneath redwood trees, or a quiet afternoon of reading by Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.
Kew Gardens puts on a show no matter the season. Bluebell fields bloom in spring, Japanese maples turn brilliantly red in autumn, and an extraordinary Christmas light display takes over the gardens every December.
While they don’t require advanced booking to enter the Gardens (except for special events), it’s several pounds cheaper to book online tickets ahead of time. Note that opening times vary throughout the year, and the last entry times can be as early as 2pm, so arriving as close to the 10am opening time is best.
Recommended by Greta from London Dreaming
If you’re looking for the best things to do in London, exploring the street art of Shoreditch has to feature on your bucket list. Shoreditch is a “hipster” neighborhood in East London.
Here you’ll find lots of quirky bars, delicious ethnic restaurants, distinctive vintage markets and unique local shops. But you’ll find countless incredible pieces of street art dotted all over the area.
These range from huge organized pieces that cover an entire wall to smaller “tags” by local artists. Some are shops who decorate their facade, others are homages to local community members, and others are attempts to raise awareness about international issues. You’ll see lots of street art simply by wandering around, or you can join a proper Shoreditch street art tour to ensure you see all the most stunning pieces.
While joining a tour isn’t essential, if you join one, you will have a local guide to explain the meaning and history behind the art pieces.
There are obviously no opening hours for this attraction, just head to Shoreditch and start exploring! It’s better to do this activity during the day, when you can properly see the colors of the street art pieces. The easiest way to get there is from Old Street underground and the train station.
Recommended by Nikki from Fruit Picking Farms
The Shard in Southwark in London and is the tallest building in the UK standing at 310 meters. Two fast lifts take you up the observation decks on floors 68 and 69. The walls around the decks are completely glass, giving you incredible views over the city of London and beyond. Tower Bridge is very close, as is the Tower of London. You can also see St Paul’s Cathedral.
There are bars on the observation decks where you can purchase very expensive champagne or soft drinks if you are on a more limited budget!
Tickets start at around £25 per person for a midweek slot and you can book your slot for guaranteed admission at a time to suit you.
You can look on The View from the Shard’s website to see what times are the busiest and avoid these.
My biggest tip would be to visit just
Book your experience at the Shard early to guarantee entry!
Recommended by Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please
Dare Skywalk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is an adrenaline-fuelled adventure in London that can’t be missed.
During the 90-minute tour, you will receive a safety briefing and harness instructions, before beginning the ascent up the side of the stadium walls. Following a narrow purpose built path, slowly make your way up to the roof of the stadium while clinging onto the handrail to help keep your balance.
Once at the top, step out onto the glass platform that hangs 46.8m above Tottenham’s pitch to get your heart rate truly pumping – don’t forget to grab plenty of photos alongside the giant golden Cockerel that once stood proudly on top of Tottenham’s previous home, White Hart Lane. As well as having a unique view of the brand new 62000 seater stadium from above, you will also have the chance to experience 360 degree panoramic views of the famous London skyline.
With prices starting from as little as £35 per person and availability every day (excluding match days), the Dare Skywalk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium should certainly feature on your London bucket list.
Recommended by Martina of PlacesofJuma
One of the most beautiful things to do in London is a ride on the famous London Eye. It’s hard to believe, but originally this gigantic Ferris wheel was meant to remain standing for only 5 years. Thanks to its success, however, it has been making its rounds until today for over 20 years.
At 135 meters high, it is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe and currently the 4th largest in the world. A ride on this attraction is an exciting thing and certainly belongs on any perfect London bucket list.
It’s best to ride when the weather is pleasant, and very romantic at sunset. The Ferris wheel is located directly in the center just next to the Thames and so you can imagine how wonderful the 360 ° panoramic view is. The view of Big Ben is also stunning and you can spot the Tower Bridge, the Tower, St. Paul’s and The Shard from above.
The ride time is about 30 minutes and there is enough time to look around, take a lot of pictures and enjoy. There is also a Fast Track or champagne option, if you prefer that.
The London Eye is easy to get to. It is in the center of London, right by Westminster Bridge. Actually, this attraction can’t be missed because of its immense height.
Guarantee your spot on the London Eye by booking one of these fast track options!
Recommended by JJ Haglund from The Minivan Bucket List
Your trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the architectural wonder that is St. Paul’s Cathedral. This historic London landmark was built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
Its 365-foot tall dome made it the tallest building in the city for over 250 years until 1963. The exterior of the building alone is worth seeing up close, and the interior is a true marvel of craftsmanship. But the real draw that you’ll want to add to your bucket list is climbing up into the dome.
There are three levels–it takes 259 steps to get up to the Whispering Gallery, 378 to the Stone Gallery, and 528 steps up to the Golden Gallery, where you can take in panoramic views of London and the River Thames below.
It’s been the site of many landmark events, such as the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
Recommended by Eniko of Travel Hacker Girl
If you want to get away from
Charles I created the park in the 17th century as a deer park to hunt. He introduced around 2,000 deer, and to make sure they didn’t stray, he built a brick wall around it. The deer just walk around the park all year round.
Autumn is the breeding season called rut. The Red stags and Fallow bucks compete for the females. You can witness as the males roar and clash their antlers to fight off rivals and attract females. It’s a unique sight that you should definitely add to your London bucket list.
You can, of course, take lots of photos of them, but please be mindful that they are wild animals. Keep at least 50 meters away, especially during the rut season, when they are more likely to become aggressive.
Recommended by Cath of Whales With Kids
One place that should be on your London bucket list is the Tower of London. Sitting along the north banks of the Thames beside Tower Bridge, the Tower of London is a hugely popular place to visit in London and it is easy to see why.
This historical castle, dating from the late 11th century, is a fortress in Central London that has had many uses aside from being a Royal Palace, including being a mint, jail and menagerie, and has a rich history as well.
Founded towards the end of the Norman Conquest, the White Tower was one of the first buildings and it has grown into the huge complex we can visit today.
There is no bad time of year to visit the Tower of London, but it is best enjoyed during a sunny spring or early summer’s day before the crowds of July and August descend.
The White Tower takes center stage and is where you can see fine examples of armor and weapons from years gone by. Also in the Tower of London are the Crown Jewels, housed in the Waterloo Block.
The Tower of London is a great place in London to visit, and a guided tour by one of the Yeoman Warders (also known as Beefeaters) is a must. They share their extensive knowledge of the site and its history with visitors every day.
If there is one place that should be top of your London bucket list, it is the Tower of London.
Check out one of these popular tours of the Tower of London!
Even though the original Globe caught fire in 1613 after a cannon misfired during a performance of Henry VIII, you can still get the full experience of what it was like in Shakespeare’s time thanks to the new Sam Wanamaker’s replica of the Globe Theatre.
I highly suggest arriving at least 30 minutes prior to the start of your tour, so that you can take your time marveling at the small museum of artifacts and costumes that are on display.
During the tour, you’ll hear all about the history of the Globe, as well as its association with Shakespeare, and the history of London while the theater was running.
You’ll also get to check out the theatre and hear about whatever current production is taking place.
Bonus points if you score tickets to see one of their shows, especially if Mark Rylance is performing. He’s basically a theatre god (at least to us theatre nerds) and was the first artist director of the Globe Theatre.
Recommended by Tracy from UK Travel Planning
Found on the banks of the river Thames, Greenwich is one of the oldest and most charming districts in London. Chock full of sights and attractions, it’s a must see on any London bucket list.
Attractions include the National Maritime Museum, where you can immerse yourself in all things nautical while you browse through over 1,000 historical objects; the restored 19th-century clipper ship, the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory where you can take a selfie as you stand on the Meridian Line.
Other points of interest include the O2 arena and the classical buildings of the Old Royal Navy College, which includes the beautiful Painted Hall. Don’t miss the Queen’s House in Greenwich, which is home to one of the most photographed staircases in the UK – the Tulip Staircase is supposedly haunted, so keep an eye out for any paranormal apparitions!
One lesser known attraction and a quirky and free thing to do in London is to walk through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. They built the tunnel in 1901 to connect Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs. Entrance to the tunnel is near the Cutty Sark. It takes around 10 minutes from one side to the other.
Recommended by Shireen from The Happy Days Travels
One of the best things to do in London is visiting the neighborhood of Camden and a top bucket list experience is visiting Camden Market.
Camden Market is the best outdoor market, with hundreds of independent shops selling everything from mosaic lamps to MOD vespas. In addition, it has the best street food stalls from around the world, like Pakistan, Venezuela and Lebanon. It’s next to Regent’s Canal, so you can take a boat ride or relax in one of the many cafes and sweet shops.
Camden Town was the home to Amy Winehouse and Camden Market is one of the many places associated with Amy Winehouse in Camden that you can visit as she worked there and you can find the life-size statue of the late singer in the market.
Camden is a great alternative, urban place to visit to support local businesses, get delicious food from around the world, hang out in hip bars and discover some of the best creativity the city offers through music, street art.
The location of Camden Market is ideal for going elsewhere in North London, such as the best London museums, galleries, London’s music walk of fame and Primrose Hill.
Recommended by Cristina of My Little World of Travelling
If you love visiting beautiful cafes, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit Instagram worthy cafes in London. No matter what time of the year you visit London, you will always find incredible seasonal decorations in many of these cafes.
Some of the most popular cafes include El&an Cafe, Peggy Porschen, Feya and Saint Aymes London. El&an gained popularity quickly because of its pink decoration and early start as an Instagrammable cafe, so now they open over 5 cafes across the city.
The best thing about El&an cafes is that each branch has something different to offer. For example, the Soho branch is known for its neon lights and games which make you feel you are immersed in an arcade game, whereas others have other features such as flower walls, swings.
Whichever you want to visit, book a table in advance to avoid any disappointment, as these cafes are often busy, especially during the holidays season. If you want more photo opportunities, go early in the morning to beat the crowds.
No visit to London would be complete without strolling around the Tate Modern.
Seriously, it’s one of the top ten most visited museums and galleries in the world with over 5.7 million visitors a year!
You’ll see some of the nation’s best modern art that’s been created from 1900 until present day.
Plus, you’ll get to check out some of the best views of London from their top floor sky deck. Honestly, even if you don’t love modern art, the view you’ll get makes visiting worth it.
And the best part is that it’s totally free to visit the main part of the Tate. The only time you’ll need to pay is if you want to see a special exhibition.
Recommended by Helen of Helen on Her Holidays
For the most thrilling bucket list experience in London, head east to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. The Orbit is Britain’s tallest piece of public art and was created for the 2012 London Olympics.
At the top of the Orbit there’s a viewing platform with fantastic views across Docklands towards the City, but it’s not getting up there that’s the big draw, it’s how you’ll get down again. Three years after the Olympics, a new attraction opened at the Orbit; the Orbit Slide.
Snaking down and around the Orbit tower, the Orbit Slide is the world’s longest, tallest, fastest tunnel slide, rushing visitors 178m ground in just 40 seconds. On the way down you’ll experience twists and turns, including one particularly devilish corkscrew nicknamed “the bedspring”. See-through panels along the way give you a glimpse of the London skyline on the way down.
To slide the Orbit, you’ll need to book in advance. Tickets for adults cost from £16.75, while children aged 8+ and at least 1.3m tall can ride the slide from £10.75. Getting to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is easy; the Tube, Overground, DLR and National Rail all have stations nearby.
Book your ride on the Orbit Slide ahead of time!
Recommend by Ada from Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Head across London Bridge to Southwark and you’ll step back in time.
This London borough can be found just across the Thames from the bustling City of London.
With the distinction of being London’s first suburb, historically, Londoners went to Southwark to indulge in pleasures not allowed within city limits.
Today you won’t find the brothels and bear fighting, which Southwark was once known for, but you can visit a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
For a somewhat gimmicky ode to Southwark’s shady past, tour the nearby Clink Prison Museum. You’ll also find a replica of explorer Francis Drake’s Golden Hind galleon ship docked along the Southwark riverfront.
Don’t forget to indulge your taste buds at The Borough Market located just south of London Bridge serves up fresh food seven days a week.
This open-air market dates back to the 12th century and remains the best place in London to source fresh game, artisan sandwiches, and delicious bakery items. When you’re done eating, head east down the Thames Path to high-end Hays Galleria shopping center.
Recommend by Joanna from The World in My Pocket
Chinatown is one of the most fascinating places to visit in London.
It moved to Soho after the second World War, when the docks of Limehouse were severely damaged by bombings.
London’s Chinatown started together with the first Chinese restaurant opened here, in 1970. Since then, the area grew and today Chinatown is one of the best places to explore in London.
There are so many things to do in Chinatown, besides eating authentic Chinese food from all over the provinces in China. Guanghwa Bookstore, for example, is a small library which keeps the outside world connected to Chinese literature, helping the British universities have access to Chinese culture. At the lower level of this small bookstore, you can learn the art of Chinese calligraphy, and practice with traditional sheep’s hair brushes on reusable paper.
Another great place to stop is Beijing Tong Ren Tang, which sells tea and an array of traditional Chinese medicine made from mixing different plants and herbs.
Chinatown is also the perfect place to buy authentic Asian ingredients. There are a few supermarkets that sell Chinese, Korean and Japanese products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other oriental ingredients.
Recommended Mal of Raw Mal Roams
Would you like to meet the Spice Girls or have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth II?
No problem at all! You can meet all your favorite celebrities, public figures and even the Royal Family in Madame Tussauds.
The museum is an excellent place in London to visit all year round, even in the winter months. The museum showcases a fun collection of over 150 wax figures of the most famous people. All wax statues are lifelike, meaning they’re the size of normal humans and really look like ones too!
A visit to Madame Tussauds is a fun day activity that the entire family can enjoy.
You can get to the museum easily from any central London location by underground. It is just a 2-minute walk from the Baker Street tube station.
Just book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in the queue, especially during school holidays and weekends. Also, if you’re planning to visit some other popular London attraction, look at a combined ticket, which will save you some money.
Save yourself some time by booking entry in advance!
Recommend by Nisha of Nerdy Footsteps
London and royalty go hand in hand. As a tourist destination, London offers more royal palaces, parks, and attractions than any other city. One such delight is the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Named after one of the royal love-struck couples, Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of applied arts and design. It houses around 2.27 million objects! Yes, insane, right? From Raphael paintings to Alexander McQueen’s evening dresses, the museum offers something for everyone.
The museum itself is free but some special exhibitions or events might have a separate entry fee. While the entrance is free, you still have to book a timed ticket online. There are plenty of introductory and themed guided tours for free every day. You can even book some preset or customized private tours on request.
Victoria and Albert, though away from other London attractions, deserve a place on your London bucket list.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Queen Victoria wanted to name this museum the Albert museum?
This funky art store is easily one of the most unique spots in London.
The best part is that it’s totally free to hit up!
God’s Own Junkyard is a fabulous place to hang out and take cool IG photos thanks to the massive amount of neon signs. Plus, if you want an epic souvenir, most of the signs are for sale.
Fun Fact: The owner got his start making neon signs for strip clubs and brothels. Hollywood took notice and soon he was making them for Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, and Stanley Kubrick.
No trip to London would be complete without at least gazing at Buckingham Palace.
Since the Queen is typically in residence, it’s a bit tough to see more than just the exterior unless you time your trip just right.
Plan to be in London between the months of July and October. During those months you can purchase a cheap ticket to view the State Rooms in the palace. Or you can splurge for the pricier ticket that includes access to the Royal Mews (basically the stable) and the Queen’s Gallery.
There was a great mystery around who was gluing noses all over the city until The Evening Standard revealed it was a project by artist Rick Buckley. Supposedly, he just wanted to see how many noses he could get away with installing around London.
Over the years, the city has removed most of them, but there are still seven hidden around SoHo.
You won’t get anything special if you track down all seven, but it’s a great scavenger hunt idea if you’re traveling with kids.
It’s always one of my first stops anytime I’m in London.
You’ll also see tons of Instagrammers snapping shots here, since this little area is one of the most colorful spots in all of London.
Fair warning though, it’s a bit hard to find Neal’s Yard, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re navigating Covent Garden.
Up at The O2 arena lets people climb up the side of the O2 arena and onto the rooftop.
The tours go up at all times of day, but I think going at sunset or at night would be especially epic.
This is one adventure that’s been at the top of my London bucket list for quite a while now.
Fair warning, I hear the climb is pretty tough. It’s also pretty high up, so maybe skip this one if you fear heights.
Every time I’m in town, I always chicken out because the weather is too cold. Though I’m absolutely planning on booking a climb for my mom and I while we’re in town next July to see Adele (shhh…it’s a surprise, she doesn’t know about the climb yet!).
Plan your climb ahead of time, by booking one of these popular packages!
If you’re looking for a gorgeous 360-degree view of the city that doesn’t involve riding the London Eye, head to the Sky Garden.
The garden is a fairly new addition to the skyline, having been dreamt up by renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly in 2004.
It’s got a giant open balcony with some phenomenal views of the Thames and other famous landmarks.
Plus, you’ll be able to stroll around the garden area, grab a drink at the bar, or enjoy a meal at the Darwin Brasserie.
The best part is it’s totally free to visit, you just have to book your time slot in advance.
Fun Fact: Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden!
Obviously, as a massive theater fan, catching a West Side show is always the first thing I crossed off on my London bucket list.
Everyone should catch at least one show on the West End while in town.
If you aren’t familiar with the West End, here’s the deal—seeing a West End show in London is basically like the equivalent of seeing a Broadway show in New York. They have some of the best theater in all of Europe!
Because I’m a theater nerd, I always keep up with what’s playing. Shoot me an email if you need any recommendations!
I doubt that I’ll need try very hard to convince you that drinking in a historic bar is a great way to spend your evening.
London is full of history, and that includes some pretty old pubs. These are the ones you should try to grab a pint at while you’re in town:
Saint Dunstan in the East is easily one of my favorite spots in all of London.
It’s this really gorgeous abandoned church that will make you feel you’ve ended up in a fairy tale.
In fact, I think they have even used it as a set for the film Ever After. I can’t find solid proof, but I swear it looks exactly like the abandoned spot in the woods that they meet at.
It’s all in ruins because it was massively damaged during The Blitz and now houses a beautiful garden.
Bring a book or a picnic to make the most out of your time. Or plan a little photo shoot—trust me, you’ll see at least a few influencers trying to get that perfect shot.
One of my favorite things to do while in London is checking out all the cool vintage shops.
After all, Londoners are well-known for their epic fashion sense—think Kate Moss, Twiggy, Alexander McQueen, and Victoria Beckham.
I always buy myself at least one quality piece to remember my visit, instead of buying a tacky gift from a tourist shop.
No visit to London would be complete without visiting one of these fabulous vintage shops:
Even if you’re not that into natural history, you’ll certainly want to visit just to check out the interior of London’s Natural History Museum.
This is easily one of the most beautiful museums I’ve ever been in.
It’s also got a diverse collection of artifacts and specimens that will keep you busy all afternoon as you wander around the space.
My favorite part of my most recent visit was their Harry Potter themed Fantastic Beasts exhibit. It won’t be running much longer, but with any luck you’ll get to see a similarly unique special exhibit while you’re in town.
The best part is that it’s totally free to visit and they have tons of exhibits for kids!
If you’re visiting in the next few weeks, add ice skating in front of the museum to the top of your list. This is the last year the iconic rink will be open!
I hope this list has given you plenty of new ideas for your next trip to London.
It’s my belief that no bucket list ever really complete. After all, there’s always something new and exciting to add.
Let me know in the comments below what else you think needs to be on everyone’s London bucket list!
Don’t feel like walking around London anymore? Hop on one of these boats to experience the city from the Thames!
This is your guide to seeing all the coolest spots in London that are off the beaten path. You'll feel like a local exploring all of London's best-hidden gems!
Looking for something exciting to do in London at night? Check out this list for ideas, including the best London nightlife and unique things to do at night!
Do you only have 24 hours in London to explore? I've got the ultimate cheat sheet on the best things to do! Read on to find out how to spend one day in London.
If you had to choose between London vs New York, which iconic city would win? In case you need help deciding, I've rounded up everything you need to know!
Is there anything worse than being stuck on a plane for hours? It can be torture! I’ll show you exactly how to survive a long haul flight in economy class.
Wondering which book you should buy to pass the time on your next flight? Check out this list of the perfect books to read on a plane to find the perfect one!