Planning your holiday in London ensures that you don't miss on all of the things you want to see and capture the essence of the key Central London attractions. How much you see really depends on how much time you have. Consider creating a list, in priority order. Plan to visit attractions in blocks based on the distance between them, and consider opting for a B&B or hotel in Central London as the springboard to your adventures.
Tips to discover the best of what Central London has to offer
Food in London
London is bursting with culture and diversity. You’ll find cultural hubs with food from every corner of the world. Once notorious for its dull food, London now has some of the best restaurants in the world. London also has a number of great food markets, so you really can try a little of everything. Tourist hotspots will have the usual suspects, including chains like McDonald's if you’re seeking something that reminds you of home. Opt for streets off the beaten track for better prices, and independently run restaurants.
Look up at London’s architecture
When you’re running in between attractions, don’t forget to look up and take in the views. There are incredible pieces of architecture to admire on almost every walk you take. Some of the core cultural attractions in the city are centred around its history - if you take a look around, you’re surrounded by it.
Follow the locals
Pay attention to what the locals are getting up to in their free time. Some of the lesser known attractions can become real gems. The saying ‘do as the locals do’ is well placed here, who knows London better than a Londoner?
Key attractions to visit in Central London
The British Museum
History is integral to London and there are so many great museums to visit. The British Museum is London’s most visited attraction for several reasons. Aside from being incredibly beautiful, the British Museum is recognised for both its Egyptian and Middle Eastern rooms and over 50,000 exhibited works in total. One of London’s finest attractions, the British Museum is completely free to enter and enjoy.
The London Eye & the Southbank
Whether you decide to get on the London Eye or not, it’s definitely a sight worth visiting - if not for the stunning Thames views and walks along the river. A variety of characters, performers and independent businesses grace the streets along the Southbank. Rain or shine, this area of London is worth the walk. Simply take in the sights, bar hop your way from Waterloo station right through to Westminster Bridge or take the kids to the London Aquarium or Shrek’s Adventure.
It’s not a holiday in London without getting caught up in the buzz of shopping on Oxford Street. If you’re only here for a weekend break, Oxford Street has a bit of everything. From shops you’ll know and love to cute little boutique stores in the likes of New Bond Street and further up in Regents Street. City breaks were made for shopping trips like these.
The West End
Nothing beats London’s West End. Shaftesbury Avenue is a delight to discover, lit by neon signs and the promise of a plethora of theatrical productions. With something for just about everyone, you’ll find yourself tempted by the bars and dining options as well as the classics in theatre. World famous production Les Misérables can be found in Sondheim Theatre. Interested in architecture, the arts and culture? Explore neighbouring streets of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. Recognised for their fashion credentials and obvious beauty, they’ll make for some great holiday snaps if nothing else.
We usually don’t connect cities with nature but London is also home to more than 8 million trees and 47% green space. Even central London has it’s share of parks that are unlike any in the world. If you’re spending your holiday in central London, especially in summer, don’t forget to visit Royal parks: The Regent’s park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Green park which are all property of the royal family
Palaces in Central London
There are several palaces in Central London and some of them are even open to the public. The most famous is, of course, Buckingham Palace where you’ll see the changing of the royal guard. Other palaces in central London include Kensington Palace, St James’s Palace and Clarence House.
Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Photo by By Fuzzypiggy - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Few landmarks are as distinct as Tower Bridge. Often mistakenly called London Bridge, be aware that the real London Bridge is a much simpler looking bridge, that’s probably not worth visiting. Tower Bridge has appeared in many movies and can even be seen in the classic disney animation of Peter Pan. The adjacent Tower of London is a historic castle and was used as a prison until 1952! Now you can visit it without committing a crime - but you might want to book in advance!
This is not an extensive list and each of you will have different priorities. Speak to your hotel concierge for tailored tips to suit your interests and consider reaching out to Londoners for their recommendations too.
No matter the reason for your visit, take the chance to indulge in what Central London has to offer. With fantastic connectivity, it’s easy to move between attractions on foot, Tube (London’s underground system), buses or riverboats. Have fun and don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!
About Regency House Hotel
We’re a traditional B&B hotel in central London with cosy rooms and a surprisingly peaceful garden. Located in Bloomsbury, Close to The British Museum and Oxford Street our hotel is one of the best areas in Central London. If you’re planning a visit to London and would like to know more please get in touch. We’d be glad to have you as our guest and serve you a delicious English Breakfast.
Regency House Hotel