Travel Diaries: One Perfect Day in London

A couple of weeks back, me and the bf found ourselves with one day in London. My cousin had gotten married the day before, but as that was a Sunday? Well, you know, we just had to take the Monday off work. Here’s the thing, though: London is big. And even with a day pass for the tube, there’s only so much you can do on a day. So here’s how we filled in one perfect day in London!

1. Underground day pass

As I mentioned above, a day pass for the underground will make your life a lot easier if you’re only in London for a day. For an adult this comes in at about £12 (or €14) for a day. A single ticket can run up to £4 quite easily, and (what’s in a name) it only gives you one ride. We ended up taking the underground about 4 or 5 times, so we easily ‘made back’ our money.

2. History

Here’s the best thing about London: no matter where you go, you’re surrounded by history. That means you can do basically anything you want. However, it also means that it can get very overwhelming, very easily.

For something of a “highlight reel”, you can start off at Westminster Station. As you leave the underground, you have the House of Parliament and the Big Ben in front of you, the Thames to your left and Westminster Abbey just slightly to your right. If you want to do the Tower Bridge, you can just go straight ahead along the river.

Alternately, you can opt to head to Westminster Abbey, and maybe even have a sit on Parliament Square Garden, where you have a great view both of the parliament ànd of the long row of people standing in line to visit Westminster Abbey.

From Parliament Square Garden, it’s about a 15 minute walk to Buckingham Palace where, if you arrive at the right time (that is, around 11am)? You might be lucky enough to see this:

3. Nature

The parks are, in my opinion, one of the best features of London. The best thing about them? You can basically just sort of go from one park to the next and see half of London at the same time. That’s what we did, at least, going from St James’s Park, to Green Park to Hyde Park.

And because I’m that person: Regent’s Park is pretty darn amazing as well, and if you’re willing to go a bit further out of London center? Then Greenwich park is an absolute must!

4. Culture

One of the absolute best things about London, for me, at least, is the amount of museums. Now, I love myself a good museum, but… Well, they can get quite pricey, after a little while. Which, basically, brings me right back to this perfect day in London of ours. London has quite a couple of great musea that are free. I mean, what’s not to love about that?

In this case, we went into the Victoria and Albert Museum and visited the Asia-section. We do actually have plans, though, to go back for a midweek and just visit a museum a day. If that’s not quite up your ally, though, there’s something nice about the fact that you can just go into the V&A Museum, or into the British Museum, or… and know that you can wander around as long or as short as you like. Because, you know… You’re not trying to earn back your ticket!

5. Food and other

Here’s one thing I (have) want to do any time I’m in London: go to Harrods. I don’t know why this place attracts me so much, but there you have it none the less. And, specifically? I’m going to the Harrods book store. This is the place where I first (as far as I remember, at least) really started buying all the children’s books I used to love, so maybe it’s that symbolism of it. Either way, Harrods is definitely a must-see. Even if that is just because of how typical it is for London, for me at least.

A newer “must do” on every London trip? That’s the Whittard Tea Shop. We basically just sort of stumbled upon it as we were walking from Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park and, just… The shop is so cozy, their hot cocoa is honestly the best I’ve ever drunk and their teas are beyond words. Now, I know they also have an online shop, of course I know that. However. I kinda just want to go back to the shop itself as well. And I honestly cannot recommend you that hot cocoa enough!

Finally, for “when in London”… Me and the bf have this bucket list of the “typical” fast foods of countries around the world. From Taco Bell to Wagamama’s, via Chipotle to KFC. Those fast foods that you will see vloggers eat, or see people in TV shows enjoy, that we just don’t have in Belgium. So anytime we come across one of those chains, no matter where we are? Chances are we’re going there. This time, we had already got Nando’s the night before (and Nando’s is good, I’m telling you!). We also came across a Shake Shack – again on our way from Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park, that was a good walk! And if you’re in need of a bite and you come across a Shake Shack? Try it. I basically finished eating and wanted to go back already.

Anyways, there you have it! That’s what our one perfect day in London consisted off. Now, for me, this combination of history, culture, nature and of course: food and books? That’s just about guaranteed the label *perfect*. But what kind of things would constitute a perfect day in London for you? Any things you think I might enjoy as well? Some new scenes to check out? Be sure to let me know below!

-Saar