Post # 1
Hi bees – looking for some help with planning a trip to London! I leave in 3.5 weeks!
My husband is traveling to Europe for work, and I’m tagging along for the London portion of his trip. I’ll be in London a couple of days before he gets there, so I’ll be checking into our hotel by myself and spending 2 nights alone before he joins me.
At night, I’ll probably post up in the hotel, order room service, watch movies etc. – because I don’t like the idea of exploring a new city by myself at night, but during the day I’d love to get out and sightsee/shop/eat etc. We’re staying right in the Paddington area – would love to hear suggestions of must-see things!! Especially things that are fun for one person to do 😛
Post # 2
Not a UK bee but I’ve been a few times. You absolutely should do Camden Market! It’s like an outside flea market with all sorts of great finds and great foods! I wish I found out about it earlier, I would have love to do it multiple times.
Post # 3
haileyblue : Oh awesome!! I love that type of stuff, it’s definitely going on the list! Ty!
Post # 4
Paddington itself is a bit rough (not dangerous just not much there) but you couldn’t be more central and only a jump away from all the city centre sights.
Im a bit of a geek and love a red bus tour with audio. You’ll get to see all the main touristy sights then and a bit of history in the mix.
Do you like shopping? Then head to South Kensington for some nice shops, glass of bubbly in one of the bars of Harvey Nichols store.
If you like outdoorsy things and it’s a fresh sunny winters day then wrap up warm and take a walk through Hyde park. You could actually walk from Paddington to the park then walk through it and it brings you out in Kensington area I mentioned above. Knightsbridge is nice with very grand houses – also Harrods is there if you waned to pop in.
Covent Garden is quite contained with markets and cafes and often street entertainment so you could get a coffee and watch what’s going on. It’s next to Leicester Square where the film premiers are, you can catch a film at one of the big cinemas there.
If you’re adventurous I have lots of other suggestions but as you said you feel a bit unsure about venturing out on your own, I don’t want to send you off to other bits of London.
Post # 5
Depends what you are interested in, locally to Paddington you have:
Parks- Hyde park and Kensington Gardens
Shopping in Camden
However once you get an oyster card then London is great to explore
Free Museums- Natural History, British Museum, Science Museum, V & A Museum, Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum, Serpentine Galleries
If you enjoy performances, then there are loads of amazing musicals that are worth a watch.
More expensive outings, Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London.
Oxford street is great to do window shopping.
From a UK Bee who is not based in London
Post # 6
Laur12 : Covent Garden is a lovely area with plenty of eating places. One thing I’ve not done yet but really want to is to see the Crown Jewels. I’d recommend a tour by bus or an amphibious vehicle if they’re still running. The London Eye – marvellous view!
Post # 7
UK-bee : I love shopping, this all sounds fantastic and right up my alley!!
rosalily : What is an oyster card? Is it like a “city pass” to enter lots of different museums etc. for one price?
CatyLady : Oh I’d love to see the crown jewels!! My husband really wants to do the London Eye, I’m not so great with heights but I think I’m going to have a cocktail beforehand and attempt to do it! lol
Post # 8
Agree with PP that Paddington isn’t the nicest area but i feel safe walking there alone. There are definitely worse areas! You are central so easy to get around. I lived in London, now travel in a couple of times a month. Always love Borough Market, great if you’re a foodie. My favourite museum is the V&A.
If you like to shop then it’s pretty much a shoppers paradise. You could walk to Oxford Street starting at Selfridges and work your way down to Regents Street. Also love Covent Garden for shopping and Soho for bars and dinner. Really depends what your interests are.
Post # 9
I’m a UK bee, not based in London but have been plenty of times. My fav things to do are:
-See a show in the west end
-Visit the Tower of London
-Visit a museum, the natural history museum is my fav!
-Visit Harrods (huge famous store! Very interesting decor in there too)
-Take a stroll round Hyde park
-Get breakfast/ brunch at the breakfast club (you might have to queue for a while but it’s worth it!) They do traditional English breakfasts plus some more American style breakfasts like pancakes etc and serve breakfast all day long.
-Eat out in China town (visit Leicester Square at the same time as it’s right next door, it’s where they have all the film premiers and the huge tv screens)
-Do a bit of shopping on Oxford Street
-See Buckingham Palace and Big Ben (obviously!) if you can see the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace that is pretty special!
-Go to the London Dungeons, I recommend this over madam tassauds which is very overrated imo.
Edit- Oh I forgot to mention Kensington Palace and have afternoon tea! It’s divine 🙂
Post # 10
Other PPs have given great suggestions. Just wanted to disagree about Paddington being rough – it isn’t at all. I’ve lived all over London for 13 years now.
My favourite touristy parts are the Southbank for eating/drinking, Richmond park for walking and shoreditch for nightlife.
For shopping, unless you have an incredible amount of money to spend, avoid South Kensington and Bond Street or Knightsbridge – unless you just want the luxury window shopping experience. For affordable shopping, just go to Oxford Street if you can bear the crowds.
Post # 11
Laur12 : An oyster card is when you put your travel money on a card, works for the Tube, buses etc
There are tour passes etc that can link several attractions together, bringing down the cost. But most of the museums are completely free of charge.
Post # 12
It’s not a lot going on around Paddington but you can walk to Knightsbridge through hide Park. Then you can go to the national museum and/or go window shopping (Harrodsburg, designer shops, etc)
or you can turn the other way from Hyde park and go to green park ( a browse in fortnum&mason can take hours), Buckingham palace and you can even walk from there to Westminster , see Big Ben , Westminster abbey, walk along the bridge to south bank(it’s a beautiful scenic walk on a nice day), you can see London eye, Tate modern, tower bridge and from tower bridge see st Katherine’s dock where it’s quite beautiful to just and grab a bite or coffee.
Post # 13
Camden market find the doughnut man. I have heard he is still there but I haven’t been for a couple of years. He has a cart with amazing doughnuts! Spitalfeild market is nice I always go there. Covent Garden is worth a visit. Pop to Harrods just because! The natural history museum is great and the Victoria and Albert museum is always worth a look as is the British museum. Definitely get an Oyster card for travel it will be worth it. Book high tea somewhere!
Post # 14
I live in London and have for the past 6 years. Please do not go to the touristy things like London dungeons or try and cram in a million museums, and please for the love of god avoid Oxford Street. London is a fabulous city if you spend your travels more like a local. The one museum I would reco is the V&A, and also Tower of London. The parks are an absolute must see (particularly Hyde Park), if it is nice, grab some foot and alcohol from a store and enjoy a picnic in the park and see Buckingham Palace on foot (not open this time of year).
Go to either Hampstead Heath or Richmond for the most beautiful areas of London, Covent Garden and Seven Dials are also really pleasant. Notting Hill is a beautiful area and such a fun market, I love it there and so close to where you’re staying. Camden is also fabulous but totally nuts. Definitely do the walk along the South Bank where you can see the London eye, big ben etc. I also highly suggest getting the Thames Clipper from Southbank to Greenwich, sooo beautiful. Shoreditch is quite trendy but unless you’re a hipster, I wouldn’t reco to tourists, it’s not the prettiest.
Absolutely indulge in tea, most hotels will do a good one. Borough market hs the most fabulous foods. See a show, there is tons on and I have gotten tickets as cheap as £15/pp before.
Lastly, do a free Sandemans walking tour!! They are excellent, have done them in about 10 different cities, they are always great.
Where youre staying is not rough! Be aware London is a gritty city, there are lots of dodgy parts sandwiched in between luxury, it is like this everywhere and is part of its uniqueness!
Any recommendations on restaurants drop me a message, I have eaten out a lot!!
Post # 15
London bee here – Greenwich is a great place to hang out. Get there by boat and explore the town, the park, the market and the museums. One of my favourite places in London.