If you’re the kind of vacationer or holidaymaker who likes to hit snooze on the alarm (or leave it off completely) during your trips, then you’re not alone. And with the hotels near Lancaster Gate such as the Park Grand Hotel in London and other top names offering such comfortable beds and luxurious amenities, we don’t blame you for wanting to spend as much time as possible surrounded by such opulent comfort.
But what if, just once, you got out of bed with the sunrise and took the time to experience early morning London in all its glory?
What if, instead of waiting for breakfast to be served in the Park Grand restaurant, you went in search of the first batch of pastries being served in a quaint coffee shop or café just around the corner?
Well, this is the sign you’ve been looking for to try something new, set that alarm, and start your day in London bright and early.
The benefits of getting up early in London
Being up early in London means beating the morning crowd, getting the best table in your chosen London hotel restaurant or being one of the first to smell the aroma of fresh coffee. Acknowledged as the time when market stall holders and business owners first arrive on site to set up for the day, there is a romance to early morning London which cannot be captured at any other time, and you will never find it to be as peaceful nor as aesthetically beautiful as it is at first light and as the sun starts to rise.
And that’s not all.
An early morning start means that you will be the first to queue for some of the most iconic and popular sites and attractions, from the major tourists destinations to those eateries that garner huge queues all year round and throughout the day. In fact, some of the best restaurants in London are famous as much for the views and surroundings as for the food itself, making sunrise a great time to sit back and enjoy the assault on your senses.
With all that said, here are some of the best ways to spend an early morning in London.
What to do with your morning
Get one of the first river cruises along the Thames
Cruising along the river Thames against an orange sunrise backdrop is one of the most romantic things you can do in London, and as is the case with any attraction there will be very few others crowding around you if you get there early enough.
Enjoy the peace and quiet of the underground before rush hour
There’s nothing more overwhelming than a central London underground station at the height of rush hour, when commuters battle against tourists for the last spot on an already-packed tube. However, if you travel early, you will likely only be joined by a few die hard commuters heading to the office early, with the tourist rush generally not commencing until long after 8am.
Wander the streets and take in the landmarks
From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace and other key landmarks in London, the early morning hours are the best time to take in the sights without hordes of others ruining your photo or view. There’s a reason why photographers choose early morning light for their best photos, and it’s because the crowds are at a minimum.
Get a booking at the Duck and Waffle
With the Duck and Waffle one of the best known sites in London for dining with a view, it’s safe to say that getting a reservation is difficult. Unless you opt for the early morning slots before 7am. Not only will you have your pick of the fresh breakfast offerings, but you will be able to enjoy them with the glow of a bright orange sunrise as your backdrop.
Spend a little time on yourself
Wellness is big business in 2023, with businesses, brands, and organisations all looking for ways of advertising more time for self-care and indulgence. Well, here at the Park Grand we believe that one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get up early and spend those extra hours doing something you love – whether it’s visiting the hotel gym, getting out for a walk, grabbing a coffee and taking your book into the local park, or revelling in time spent in the hotel spa or other facilities.
Join the queue…
This is a pretty broad topic to consider, but if you happen to be up and about nice and early in London then you might find that you can join the queue for pretty much any London attraction and enjoy sure fire entry. From the Tower of London to Madame Tussauds, ZSL London Zoo and the London Eye, some of the most popular attractions in the city come with huge waits and queues attached to them – making early morning a great time to beat the rush and get ahead of the crowds.
How to wake up feeling fresh
Finally for a few tips and pieces of advice on how to make those early morning wake ups count – and how to ensure that you don’t simply lose yourself to exhaustion and naps later in the day.
Our first piece of advice is to start with water rather than a coffee. Water will get your metabolism going and will set you up for the day, with a hit of hydration before the coffee comes.
Don’t reach for your phone right away – instead, let your eyes adjust before confronting them with electronics and blinding light, and where possible let yourself wake up with some natural light rather than just the hotel lights.
Finally, get outside as quickly as you can to really benefit from the early morning air – no matter what time of year you’re visiting London. Trust us, you won’t regret it, and you might just fit in more than you planned during your trip.