If you only had one day in London you could still see the sights. Most of the iconic sights are close enough together to see in one day. The following are our London Top 6 one day family travel sights in London!
We were staying at the Earls Court Premier Inn just a stone’s throw from the Tube. I must say the Premier Inn was a great place to stay. The location was central, good rooms, the breakfast was fantastic and there was a bar on site for a drink after returning from a hard day of sightseeing. It was also one of the only hotels we came across that would accommodate a family of four at a reasonable price.
We had booked tickets for the Tower of London before we left Australia. I always try to book before we leave home. This will save you a few dollars and helps with lining up what you are going to do. When you have a daughter like our youngest one, lining up as much as you can is a great thing. We can prepare her and show her pictures of what the place is like and what she will learn there. Our youngest daughter Marley gets bored easily. When that happens she starts to annoy her sister and it spirals downhill from there (but that’s a whole other story).
We caught the tube from Earls Court to Tower Hill Metro Station which is only a few hundred meters away from the Tower of London.
1 – Tower of London
* Beefeater tour.
We joined the Yeoman Tour and it was fantastic. It was a great tour of the important parts of The Tower of London. Willow loved the information our Yeoman provided for us. He was informative and entertaining. The Yeoman answered all Willow’s questions, he even posed for photos afterwards. He made it exciting and even funny in some parts!
*Visit The Crown Jewels.
Right near where the Yeoman Tour ends is where The Crown Jewels lie on display. Your tour guide will direct you towards the jewels when the tour ends (Ours did). We were lucky that day as the line was not long and the girls even got a photo with one of the guards out the front of it. It is a ‘go at your own pace’ exhibition and we took our time wandering through the rooms. The girl’s eyes lit up when they finally got to the room housing the famous jewels. The girls had been watching and listening taking in all the information. The girls were even able to recite information on jewels. We went past the jewels about 4 times either side so they did not miss anything!
*Visit The Armoury.
The armoury was brilliant. There has been so much work done on it and it is stunning to walk through. I loved how the pieces of armour were presented and even some displayed mounted on wooden horses. This allowed you to get a real feel for how it would have looked back then. This section took us the longest to get through as there were so many rooms. You can become separated within the rooms due to there being just so much to look at. It is hard to believe just how much you needed to protect yourself back then!
*You could spend hours wandering the grounds of The Tower but these are the three things we wanted to see while we were there.
Head out of The Tower of London and you are on the Thames River. Tower Bridge should be right in front of you. Quite funny but everyone thinks Tower Bridge is London Bridge. In reality, they are two different bridges. London Bridge is further up the river and not iconic like Tower Bridge.
Walk over Tower Bridge, it is well worth the view you get from it of The Tower of London and the London City skyline. There is a Tower Bridge exhibition where you can go inside the bridge and see the inner workings and experience the history of the bridge. *Unfortunately we did not go into the exhibition on this visit.
When you get off the bridge turn right and walk along the Thames River for about 1km. It is a nice walk along the river with the views of London. There are plenty of spots to eat and drink as you make your way towards The London Bridge. By walking this way you are also heading for London Bridge tube station. As you walk under the viaduct towards the tube station there is a takeaway kebab stand. We bought the best kebab I had tasted in the whole of Europe here!
Catch the tube from London Bridge tube to Westminster tube.
3 – Big Ben and Westminster Parliament
When you walk out of Westminster Tube you will be staring at the Parliament Building and Big Ben 2 of London’s most iconic sights. Head to the left out onto the bridge to get some great shots of Big Ben and the Parliament (Like we did here). Just across the river from Big Ben is The London Eye and The London Dungeons. We attended the London Dungeons a few days later. The London Eye is one of the 4 giant observation wheels worldwide providing uninterrupted views of the city of London.
4 – Westminster Abbey
200 meters from the Westminster tube is Westminster Abbey. This is one the best-known churches in the world. It is the site of Royal Weddings and the final resting place of many Medieval Royals. Bloody Mary, Elizabeth the 1st, Anne of Cleaves, Mary Queen of Scots, just to name a few, have found their final resting place here in the amazing cathedral. Westminster Abbey provides kids find and seek game. The kids have a clipboard and have to find certain things located in the Cathedral. Once located the kids need to answer some questions. My kids enjoyed this and they get a free souvenir at the end.
5 – Buckingham Palace
From Westminster Abbey, St James Park is about 500 meters away. At the top of St James Park is Buckingham Palace. There is nothing more Royal than the Palace that the Queen lives in. Buckingham Palace lies surrounded by park lands, back, front and both sides. This is a good place for a rest and a drink (We stopped just out the front for photo’s, a drink and a piece of fruit). The Mall as they call it runs from Buckingham Palace all the way up to Trafalgar Square. If you visit on a weekend the mall is shut off to traffic. You will be able to wander up it at your own place, something that all four of us enjoyed doing! It’s very English indeed lined with trees and the British flag as far as the eye can see. A parade or something similar with huge crowds would be something to experience here!
6 – Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is often the venue for many different events. When we were there, there was a Visit Singapore tourism day held with music, food and a small market. Trafalgar Square is home to Nelsons Column with statues of other historic figures and fountains. Nelson was a British Admiral who died at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The girls loved listening to the music as we had a look around. The huge Lion Statues were a real winner with both the girls! It seems though that because the square was so full of things we did not even get a picture there. Oh well, one more excuse to go back!
So, I have to think by this stage you will have had enough! After this, we went on to see Piccadilly Circus but it is not all that impressive during the day. You need to go at night when the neon lights are all lit up. Head back to your accommodation, grab some dinner or just have a Beer! After all, you are in London and it has been a long day after visiting our London Top 6 sights in one day.
If you are looking to get out of the city 5 London Day trips could be next on your reading list!
When in London we stayed at Premier Inn London Kensington
For more booking information please click the image