Everyone has their own bucket list of things to see and do in London, from historical architecture they’ve only ever seen online and are looking to finally see in person, to attractions they’ve read about and London traditions that they’ve seen portrayed on TV and in the movies.
With the Park Grand London hotel so well situated, offering accessible accommodation near London airport connections and central attractions alike, we’ve created the ultimate London bucket list of things you likely know about, things you might have heard of, and a few surprises you probably won’t be aware of… yet.
Without further ado, here is our guide to London and all the bucket list items to make sure you add to your list for your next visit.
Stay in a top London hotel
You may think this one is easier said than done, but if you’ve ever browsed the websites of top London hotels then you will know that they often advertise London hotel special offers outside of the peak travel and tourist season – and that London hotel discount websites often boast last minute deals. What this means is that a night at the top London hotel might be easier to achieve than you think, letting you revel in the views and luxury amenities connected with such establishments.
Walk along the river Thames at sunrise
If you’re wondering how they get those movie shots of empty London streets and romantic sunset walks along the Thames between the two main characters, it’s because they do it all at sunrise. Getting out and about before most of London has woken up is the best time to really immerse yourself in London life – seeing the city at its best, shrouded in the morning glow, while the businesses and local suppliers bustle around getting ready for the day.
Visit Columbia Road Flower Market
This one may sound fairly niche, but as a London experience it is certainly one worth adding to your list. With suppliers and producers from across the city and beyond bringing their flowers to this weekly market, your Sunday mornings will never be the same again – as you crave the sound of stallholders calling and the scent of fresh flowers to brighten your day.
Running from 8am to around 3pm every Sunday, the flower market is always busy but with the kind of charm that is so often lost in the hustle and bustle of London’s streets. Whether you’re looking for a small treat for yourself or seeking inspiration for an upcoming wedding or event, this is where the best of the best go.
Experience traditional afternoon tea
There are so many eateries, hotels, and restaurants around London that offer afternoon tea, that this article would be a never-ending list if we decided to start naming them all. However, one thing you should know about afternoon tea in London is that the only tradition is the concept itself – and that the flavours and selection of treats on offer will almost always be different in some small way.
From themed afternoon teas to those that are served with prosecco, with flavour infusions, atop a bus tour or as a takeaway treat in a box, this iconic and traditional dining experience can be worked into your day as you please.
An architectural tour
This bucket list item can be as detailed or as fleeting as you like, depending on how you really feel about London history and the story behind some of the city’s most iconic buildings and structures. Generally, we find that simply indulging in your own walking tour of the city is enough to set your architectural interests on fire, with Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and St Paul’s Cathedral among some of the most talked about and photographed structures in the city.
Buckingham Palace has become particularly popular with the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with tourists from around the world flocking to both pay their respects and hope to catch a glimpse of the new King. Other parts of an architectural tour could include stopping past the sculptures and status around London’s main squares – and of course hunting out at least one original red London phone box in which to take the obligatory selfie.
Visit the Royal Parks
This is an interesting one to add to your London bucket list, because you really can make of it what you will and adapt it to suit your style of vacation and/or activity preference. The Serpentine in Hyde Park boasts small pedalo-style boats for visitor amusement, or you can visit Hyde Park during the festive period and immerse yourself in the magic of Winter Wonderland. Hyde Park is also home to a series of sports pitches and fields for DIY games, or you can simply wander the footpaths around the park and take in the network of paths and flower beds.
Regents Park, meanwhile, is situated towards the North of the city centre and shares its border with the ZSL London Zoo. What this means is that visitors are often delighted by the presence of animals on the other side of the wall – or alternatively can engage in one of the seasonal events held in this park such as charity walks or the popular Taste of London summer food festival.
Other Parks worth visiting include Green Park which leads down to the Mall and Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park, and the smaller gardens which connect and lie between different townhouse blocks and structures across the city of London.
Take a tour of the movies
There are plenty or organised and guided tours of London which will take you to iconic movie sets – but why follow their route when you could do your very own tour? From Notting Hill to the railway station where Paddington was found, and the streets that inspired J.K. Rowling when she wrote Harry Potter, spend some time researching your favourite fictional movies and heroes and follow in their footsteps. You never know what you might find.