Three Day London Itinerary – A Trio of Treats
Day 1 – The Bustling Centre
Start your first day in London by taking the tube to Holborn, just on the edge of the action, and breakfast on coffee and bacon at the Fleet River Bakery. Leave Holborn via Southampton Row and turn left onto Great Russell Street and spend a couple of hours in the British Museum, home to a stunning collection of world art and artifacts and housed in an imposing columned building. Leave via Bedford Gardens and Bayley Street and then take Percy Street to the southern end of Charlotte Street. This is an ideal location for a refuel, whether a Japanese robatayaki lunch at Roka or a slice of Icco pizza. Afterwards take Rathbone Place south to Oxford Street and walk east through Oxford Circus to Bond Street, browsing the department stores and shops along the way.
Just before you reach Bond Street tube station turn left onto New Bond Street and walk south, past numerous designer stores and sightseeing stops such as the Handel House Museum. Continue south past legendary auction house Sotheby’s and the Halcyon Gallery (which specialises in contemporary art) and when you reach Piccadilly turn left and walk to the neon lights and traffic hub that is Piccadilly Circus. Leave via Shaftesbury Avenue and take a detour into Chinatown for afternoon dim sum or a BBQ pork bun from the Golden Gate Cake Shop and then continue along Shaftesbury Avenue, turning off down Mercer Street and walking to Covent Garden via Seven Dials. Here you can spend the afternoon browsing the shops, visiting the London Transport Museum, book tickets for the Royal Opera House or simply watch the piazza performers. In the evening you are in the perfect place for dinner and quintessentially London entertainment, such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is just a stone’s throw away.
Day 2 – Punks and Royalty
On day two, start your morning in Camden Town – have breakfast at one of the coffee shops on Parkway or head for a full English at the Gordon Ramsey York & Albany. Whilst you’re here, stop off at the Jewish Museum, celebrating Jewish life and cultural diversity and then take a walk to Camden Lock and wander the labyrinthine passageways of the Stables Market. Stop for a coffee overlooking the canal and see how many mohawks you can spot on the passing punks. Take the scenic canal route from Camden to Little Venice via Jason’s Original Canal Boat Trip and then take the tube from Warwick Avenue to Green Park and stop for lunch – a burger at Automat or a sandwich from one of the many take out shops here should do the trick.
After lunch, walk through Green Park itself, cross Constitution Hill and take the obligatory tourist snaps at Buckingham Palace. Stop to browse the royal collection at the Queen’s Gallery or take a tour of the palace staterooms. Afterwards, follow Birdcage Walk to Horseguards Road and tour the Churchill War Rooms, or if you want to continue the Buckingham Palace theme then visit the Household Cavalry Museum instead. Take The Mall back to Charing Cross and find your evening’s entertainment along The Strand – there are numerous theatres located here, such as the Adelphi, and plenty of dining establishments, from Leon through to Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill at the elegant and atmospheric Savoy Hotel (which also has a theatre).
Day 3 – Along The River
For your last day in London, take to the Thames to see the city from its famous riverbanks. Buy a City Cruises – River Red Rover sightseeing pass so that you can hop on and off the boat as and when you want to and start your day with an early morning trip up the river to Westminster Abbey. Breakfast at one of the establishments favoured by the local politicos and then jump back on the boat and cruise all the way east to Greenwich Pier, where you can explore the famed Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark. Take the boat back to Tower Pier and hop off to view the City Hall building, headquarters of the Greater London Authority, and a Norman Foster designed structure that was designed specifically to have reduced surface area and increased energy efficiency. Stop here for lunch – Gaucho is a great option for steak.
After lunch, cross the river to the Tower of London and learn about the crown jewels and the royal mint, whilst getting to know some of the resident beefeaters. Then take the boat from Tower Pier to the London Eye Pier, passing under famous bridges such as Blackfriars, London Bridge and Waterloo Bridge along the way. Take a trip on the London Eye in the afternoon for arguably the most spectacular views in the city and then walk along the river to Waterloo Bridge and take a National Theatre Backstage Tour. You are now in the heart of the South Bank and this is the perfect place to spend the evening of your last day. Book for a performance at the National Theatre or a concert at the Royal Festival Hall and enjoy dinner overlooking the river at any one of the dining establishments here.
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