1 Day Self-guided Walking Tour in London

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If you’re planning a whistlestop tour to London then rest assured you can get around a decent chunk of the main tourist attractions. In fact, why not pack your comfiest shoes and explore the city on foot? Despite the vastness of the English capital, many of the key attractions are within walking distance of one another. We’ve curated this one-day London itinerary that you can follow on foot. If you are starting your one day in London from Park Grand London Heathrow, you can ride the Piccadilly Line to Hyde Park Corner and start there. 

Hyde Park 

Hyde ParkCommence your day in the city’s premier green space. The park contains walking areas, a boating lake, an art gallery, and a scattering of gardens and monuments. On Sundays, Londoners gather at Speaker’s Corner to share their political and social musings. During summer, you can swim in the Serpentine lido.

If you’re staying in a local hotel such as The Park Grand London Paddington then Hyde Park is right on your doorstep. We recommend that you enter via the north end of the park where the Italian Gardens are located. 

Exit the park at the southeastern corner, cross beneath the Wellington Arch, and follow Constitution Hill to your next destination, Green Park. 

Buckingham Palace 

Buckingham PalaceThe official residence and office of Queen Elizabeth II is guarded by the Yeomen Warders. Peer through the railings and you’ll spot them standing on guard. 

Photography of the facade is welcome but you can only tour the State Apartments during the summer season – late July through the end of September. The Changing of the Guard ceremony occurs several mornings during the week and is free to watch.

St James’s Park

Continue onwards through one of London’s prettiest parks. Note the pelicans and other birdlife that reside on the pond and look out for scampering squirrels. 

Cross over the bridge and note the view of Buckingham Palace peeping through the foliage. 

10 Downing Street

Occupying a peaceful street between St James’s Park and Whitehall, 10 Downing Street is the home and office of the British Prime Minister. You cannot go inside but it’s a cool photo stop.

Parliament Square

Whitehall delivers you to Parliament Square, where you can spot the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. Big Ben (officially, the Elizabeth Tower) recently unveiled a new clock face after several years of restoration.

If you have time, you might want to step inside Westminster Abbey and see the site where Queen Elizabeth II was coronated and numerous royal weddings have taken place. Advance booking is recommended at weekends and during summer and British school holidays. You can purchase tickets securely online using the complimentary Wi-Fi provided by The Park Grand London Paddington.

Otherwise, you can appreciate the exterior and swing by Victoria Tower Gardens South for a unique perspective of the parliament building. 

South Bank 

Walk across Westminster Bridge and head toward the London Eye. London South Bank is also the setting for the London Dungeon, SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium, and the National Theatre. You will not have time to visit all the attractions during one day in London so consider in advance if you wish to include one on your itinerary. Again, it is advisable that you reserve tickets online in order to avoid long queues. 

South Bank hosts frequent open-air markets and seasonal pop-ups, such as the annual Christmas market. You will be able to pick up lunch at the weekend food bazaar or at one of the countless riverside restaurants. If you’re in town for business, South Bank is a fantastic breakout space from the nearby meeting rooms, West London.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar SquareCross over the Hungerford Bridge and you will enjoy a beautiful view down the River Thames. Once at Trafalgar Square you can check out the lion statues, the fountains, and Nelson’s Column. Note the Fourth Plinth – a stone column topped by a piece of modern art that changes yearly.

If you are doing well for time, you can choose to browse the masterpieces on display at the National Gallery. This free art gallery contains paintings by Claude Monet, Jan van Eyck, and Leonardo Da Vinci.

As an alternative, we recommend that you wander along Charing Cross Road and browse the wonderful secondhand and rare bookshops. It’s perfect if you want to purchase a one-of-a-kind gift. 

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a small commercial and entertainment hub next to Trafalgar Square. The piazza is awash with boutiques, high street shops, and markets where you can purchase handmade trinkets and souvenirs. There is no better place to pick up some souvenirs or grab a refreshment. 

Covent Garden links with Leicester Square and together, these two areas form the heart of the West End Theatre District. You might want to pick up tickets to a show and fulfil a typical bucket list item! If you have a mind to watch a specific production, do purchase tickets online ahead of your visit. Guests of Park Grand London Heathrow can easily connect to Covent Garden and Leicester Square via the Piccadilly Line – so seeing a musical or play is perfectly attainable.

Leicester Square features several booths where you can pick up last-minute deals to catch a show.

Piccadilly Circus

It’s likely that nightfall is upon you, so take a detour to Piccadilly Circus and you can see the LED screens at this busy junction. Piccadilly Circus links to Oxford Circus via Regent Street. Potentially, you might want to squeeze in another bout of retail therapy before the shops close. 

Soho

It’s been a long day and a lot of walking so now you can rest your feet in London’s buzziest nightlife spot. Soho is full of restaurants, wine bars, and traditional British pubs where you can pick up a meal or a drink before heading to the theatre or back to your hotel.

Corporate travellers with events at meeting rooms in Paddington can consider visiting Soho when the working day ends for a networking session in a casual environment. 

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