London has so many sights, events and attractions that it’s easy to spend a week, a month, in the capital exploring everywhere and experiencing everything.
From your base at the Park Grand Paddington Court, the following London itinerary is the best way to spend two days in London to ensure you see as much of the city as possible. Don’t forget that if you arrive into London in the evening, you can kick off your city break with a refreshing drink by grabbing one of the best happy hour deals in Paddington.
Wake up early to make the most of your short break in London and begin your morning with a walk around one of London’s most famous parks; Hyde Park. By staying at hotels in the London Paddington area, you can walk all the way to the park and enter at the northern point where the pretty Italian Gardens are located. Head to the Serpentine Lake and grab a coffee from one of the takeaway cabins. You can take a detour and see the latest exhibition for free at the Serpentine Gallery if you’re feeling arty, or if it looks like rain may threaten!
Once you’ve had your fill of Hyde Park, exit at Hyde Park Corner and stop for a few photos of the Wellington Arch. You can connect with its fascinating history at the handy exhibit. Continue on your way, following the path down Constitution Hill, and look to your right for your first glimpse of Buckingham, Palace! If you make it here in time for 11am*, you will be able to watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. This is a free event to observe and a wonderful photo opportunity.
Now you can continue your self-guided city tour by heading east into St James’s Park, which is perhaps the prettiest of all the central London parks. There is a cafè in the northeastern corner where you might want to stop for lunch, or leave the park and find a pub by your next sightseeing destination; Parliament Square! The Red Lion and St Stephen’s Tavern are traditional English pubs, with hearty fare and craft ales.
After lunch you can discover the trio of London’s grandest sites; Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You can opt to take an audio tour around the statement abbey, where many coronations and weddings have taken place. The Palace of Westminster run guided tours of Parliament as long as a meeting isn’t in session. Check their website for further information and to book.
If you’re feeling tired, you can ride the tube or bus from Westminster to Waterloo, or, continue on foot and cross Westminster Bridge. Turn left to access South Bank and take a walk along the riverside.
Options here include taking a spin on the London Eye, catching a 3D film at the BFI IMAX, spooking yourself out at the London Dungeon or taking a backstage tour of the National Theatre. Note that for any of these activities it would be beneficial to book ahead, although this might not be necessary during quieter seasons.
Hang around for sunset at South Bank, or head back to the the hotel for a rest! For dinner, eat near the hotel in tranquil West London. There are plenty of restaurants near Park Grand Kensington to choose from, to suit all budgets. Whether you feel like British or international cuisine, you can find a delicious eatery to re-energise and toast a successful day of sightseeing in London!
After a day with lots of walking, take a slow morning and tuck into your complimentary English breakfast at the Park Grand Paddington Court. Leave the hotel at leisure and take the tube to Piccadilly Circus. Do a spot of shopping along upscale Regent Street or head down Piccadilly, home of historic bookshop Hatchards and the iconic Fortnum & Mason.
Get cultural by visiting one of London’s leading art galleries. Find out what’s on at the Royal Academy (Piccadilly) or head to Trafalgar Square on foot or by public transport and check out the National Gallery. You can pose with the lions and see Nelson’s Column here. There are plenty of lunch stops near either gallery – plus, both have cafès on site.
Take a stroll along the Strand all the way to Somerset House, from where you can venture into Covent Garden, one of London’s most coveted neighborhoods. This cultural quarter is a one of the best places in London to explore on foot. Explore the cobbled streets, applauding the various street performers and buskers who give the piazza its special pizazz.
You could dip into the London Transport Museum, to discover the secrets behind the nifty network that makes getting around the city such a doddle.
The piazza of Covent Garden is one of the best shopping areas in London, so take time to browse the market stalls and boutiques within the Market Building. You can order a cup of tea and a slice of cake from one of the bistros, or treat yourself to afternoon tea if you wish. Don’t miss your chance to stroll around the iconic Seven Dials and rainbow-coloured Neal’s Yard, a short walk away.
Make a night of it and stay in Covent Garden, one of the best places to watch a West End show in London. You will find plenty of options in London’s theatre district, including musicals. You can visit the official TKTS booth in Leicester Square, book online or enquire at the theatre’s box office for last-minute deals. Before your show, you can take advantage of the pre-theatre menus that many restaurants in theatreland offer.
Muse over the theatre with a cocktail. You will find plenty of bars near the hotels in the London Paddington area where you can wrap up your final night in the city!
*Do check the schedule before the event, as the schedules can change at short notice,