I’ve been to London so many times, but it’s usually popping down on the train for a day of shopping or staying overnight to go to a specific event. I wish I lived closer as there is so much to see and do in London, you could easily make a long weekend of it.
I love a packed itinerary to get the most of where I’m travelling to and London doesn’t disappoint on that front. There’s the opportunity to take in museums, sightseeing, drinking haunts and a literally magical tour.
Not able to decide between London’s top two museums, it’s possible to visit both over the weekend. First off on the Friday, it’s straight to the Natural History Museum which is my favourite museum in London. It’s pretty amazing that all 36 galleries are free, including dinosaurs, mammals, human biology, creepy crawlies, volcanoes and earthquakes. Some of the exhibitions have a fee, but I definitely don’t mind paying £5.85 to go to the new tropical butterfly house.
After a few hours here it’s time for dinner and drinks. Keeping with the theme of history, head to the popular drinking den of the Victorian Bath House in Bishopsgate. It’s booking only at this beautiful Grade II listed cocktail bar and eatery, but exclusivity doesn’t mean soaring prices.
On the Saturday, it’s good to get up early to see what you can learn at the Science Museum. Another free museum, this one’s all about the tech, from the history of flight and space travel to the information age and how materials are used in weird and wonderful ways. Things I think are worth paying extra for are the Robots exhibition, showing just how realistic humanoids are getting, and the acrobatic Fly 360° flight simulator.
After all that walking around it’s time to sit down. What better way to do it than on a boat tour of the Thames to see the sights from the water. This one involves afternoon tea and has specials like jazz bands playing on board for you. For £75 per head it takes you from London Bridge to Big Ben and back in style.
Tonight may be the big one, but after all those cakes on the boat you’re likely not to need food until late. Head to Circus cabaret bar in Covent Garden to watch the world class performers, drink some champers (drinks prices range from average to seriously lavish) and nibble on some pan-Asian food.
On the way back there’s time for one more outing – the Harry Potter Studio Tour. As it’s popular you need to book in advance. Scheduling an early afternoon tour will mean you don’t have to get up too early after the night before. Boarding the train at Euston, it takes 20 minutes to get to Watford Junction. You can board a shuttle from the station to the Leavesden studios for £2.50.
Once there it’s a full-on Harry Potter feast for the senses, with loads of sets and props from the films, as well as explanations of how they created the special effects. You can wander through The Great Hall, pop in to Hagrid’s Hut and the Wand Room, and meet Aragog and the spiders in The Forbidden Forest, an all-new addition for this year. Then there’s just one more thing to do before heading back to the station – drink a frothy (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer in the Backlot cafe. I’ve compiled eight places to visit in London if you are a big Harry Potter fan here.
I can’t wait to head off on a whirlwind tour of London very soon. Is there anything you’d add to this list of things to do?
*This is a collaborative post