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The UK capital city, London is such an enormous city with so much to offer you couldn’t possibly see it in a day. However if that is the only time you have available it’s important to have a well structured one day London itinerary. This means once you arrive for your London day trip you won’t waste any time.
Although you are unlikely to be able to fit everything you would like into London day itinerary, you can definitely cram a lot in and my suggested London itinerary certainly showcases the best things to see in London in one day. My 1 day in London itinerary started when I arrived at London Euston last 9:37am.
1. Camden Market
First item on my London in one day itinerary was Camden Market. I caught the northern line from Euston towards High Barnet, getting off at Camden Town. This is just a 3 minute journey. Leave the station at the exit marked ‘Camden Market’, turn right and then take a 6 minute walk to the market. There’s so much to look at here -lots of independent retailers, coffee spots and street food huts – I spent around an hour here.
2. Bank of England, Monument and Pudding Lane
The next instalment of my 1 day London itinerary took me to the Bank of England Headquarters on Threadneedle Street. Take the Northern Line from Camden Town towards Morden and then get off at Bank. This takes you right next to the Bank of England. To the right of this is the Monument to the Great Fire of London and Pudding Lane – where the fire started on September 2nd 1666.
The height of the monument – 61m high – is the exact distance between it’s sight and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began. There is a 311 step climb to the top of the Monument where you can view an amazing panorama of the city, making this a must on your day trip to London itinerary.
3. Sky Garden
An 8 minute walk from Bank tube station takes you to 20 Fenchurch Street where you will find the Sky Garden. You have to pre book your slot online but entry is absolutely FREE!! You can expect to queue for around 15 minutes before you get in, so make sure you arrive with time before your booked slot.
The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden, spanning the 36-38th floors of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building on Fenchurch Street. This building won the 2015 Carbuncle Cup for being the ugliest building in the United Kingdom. Once you’re up to the Sky Garden you can spend time wandering around the area, taking lots of photos, head out to the observation deck and even grab a drink and something to eat!
4. St Pauls Cathedral
The next item on my one day in London itinerary, was St Pauls Cathedral. This is the only item on this suggested London itinerary that is paid entry.
There are a few transport options to get from the Sky Garden to St. Pauls:
- 17 minute walk
- 10 minute bus journey on No. 15 bus (towards Trafalgar Square), catch it from Stop J – Monument
- 8 minute tube journey from Bank – central line towards Ealing Broadway and get off at St. Pauls. (The nearest tube station to the Sky Garden is Monument but it is no use getting the tube from there as the line doesn’t stop near the cathedral.)
The ginormous St. Paul’s Cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill – the highest point of the City of London. It was built as part of the city’s rebuilding after the Great Fire in 1666, and has stood in it’s current form since then. The tomb stone of the cathedrals architect – Sir Christopher Wren – can be found in the lower levels of the cathedral. Remarkably St Paul’s survived the Blitz in World War 2.
Like any central London attraction it isn’t the cheapest to visit but if you book online before you visit you get a discounted rate. Audio guides are included in the price or you can pay extra for guided tours. I spent around an hour and a half looking round here. There is a lot of architecture and mosaics to admire, and threee different galleries to climb up to. The Whispering Gallery is inside the dome and the Stone and Golden Galleries are outside the dome, giving a great view across the city.
St Paul’s Cathedral really is a true London icon and is therefore a must on best 1 day London itinerary. Even if you don’t want to splash out on the entry fee, you have to at least go and admire it from the outside!
5. Carnaby Street
Next on my 1 day London itinerary is lifestyle and fashion retail hub Carnaby street. To get here from St Pauls catch the central line train from St. Paul’s Station towards Ealing Broadway and get off at Oxford Circus. I only spent around 20 minutes wandering Carnaby Street. The world famous high end department store Liberty’s is found here.
6. Notting Hill
The next destination on my London trip itinerary is the affluent west London district of Notting Hill. Continuing on the central line towards Ealing Broadway, get off at Notting Hill Gate. This is around a 12 minute journey. Notting Hill is one of my favourite areas to explore with all it’s beautiful coloured house and little independent stores, which is why I had to add it to my day in London itinerary. On Saturday Notting Hill is home to the Portobello Road market which is one of London’s most notable street markets.
7. Exhibition Road Museums
You can’t have a London one day itinerary without sampling the amazing free museums! From Notting Hill Gate catch the Circle Line train towards Hammersmith and get off at South Kensington (6 minute journey). At the station you need to walk through the Subway toward Exhibition Road museums and here you will eventually get to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
All the museum are MASSIVE and you won’t have enough time to see them all in a day, but you can pass through a couple and check out some of their highlights. For me just the outside of the Natural History Museum is worth seeing as it is so impressive. Try to avoid the museums during school holidays and at weekends!
Next stop on the 1 day London itinerary is the incredibly affluent area of Chelsea! I always love just wandering around and admiring the £30 million houses here! Chelsea’s town centre doesn’t actually have it’s own tube station so you have to get off at Sloane Square. From the Exhibition Road Museums, catch the District Line train towards Upminster from South Kensington. This is only a 2 minute journey so you could just walk it.
My final stop on my best 1 day London itinerary is Westminster, although there is a lot to cover in this area so it will be more of a whistle-stop tour! To get here from Chelsea take the District Line train from Sloane Square to Westminster (9 minute journey). Here you will come out exactly opposite the Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) and Big Ben. Just around the corner from Westminster Bridge is Westminster Abbey. Downing Street (the home of the Prime Minster) is a 10 minute walk away. From Downing Street it is a 13 minute walk up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square.
10. Covent Garden (dinner at Honest Burger)
Before I left London, the final item on my London itinerary was to get some dinner. Covent Garden is a 10 minute walk from Trafalgar square. Here I had a meal at Honest Burgers at Covent Garden – you can find them at 33 Southampton Street.
Here is where my 1 day London itinerary ends, so it is time to head back to Euston Station. Take a 6 minute walk through Covent Garden to Charing Cross station, then catch the Northern line train towards High Barnet and get off a Euston. This tube journey takes around 6 minutes.
Covent Garden is a great place to walk around at night as there is so much going on, making for a great atmosphere. It’s a fab place to go for an evening meal or drink.
London is undoubtedly knackering and absolutely massive, don’t try and do everything in a day because you just can’t! If you try and closely stick to a 1 day London itinerary like this one you will have fantastic day.
Before you go, make sure you’ve done some research on what do really want to do, what is worthwhile doing and what attractions are within close proximity to each other. London really is the perfect city to visit because it has so much on offer for everyone and you will definitely want to extend your 1 day itinerary to a 48 hour London itinerary and so on and so on!
Check out my other UK destination posts:
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