After spending a full hour rubbing out my shin splints with an iced water bottle, I think I’m ready to talk about the whirlwind of a day this London layover was, and what to do for 24 hours in London. I hustled my tush as fast as I could, walking nearly 6 miles around downtown London. I’m a huge fan of layover travel, if you couldn’t tell. I’ve experienced both Mexico City and Taipei on 24-hr layovers…which were both fantastic. London was no different; quite simply a spectacle to see….and I love working myself into a frenzy while exploring. I built 3 London itineraries into this post, all about what to do in London while on a layover.
Layover Travel: 24 Hours in London
Planning your day in London
The key to layover travel is preplanning. Have 2-3 things either already booked or marked on a downloaded google map, ready to pull out at any moment. With such a large and exciting place, it’s so easy to get side tracked and realize too late that its’ time to turn back in.
Not everything you plan is going to come to fruition. I pinned a few lunch spots on my map because I wasn’t sure where I would end up along the path I planned. And then I couldn’t find the nearest restaurant….so I improvised. London is one of the easiest places to navigate and there is seriously so much to do, I had to make a few different itineraries!
I also have to give a shoutout to MissWanderlust for her wonderful blog post on her London layover. I was inspired to visit from her post!
Click on the links to scroll to that itinerary!
Itinerary 1: London Tour By Bus
Intricate beige structures erupt into the sky as the double-decker busses pass through. Charcoal stains from fires that ravaged centuries ago still mark some buildings, while others sport battle scars from WW2, as a testament to the cost of war. These delicate looking buildings, older than my known family heritage, enraptured me. It’s so easy to find yourself sliding back into history, imagining a life as an 18th century Brit parading around town, or sculling a beer at the same places frequented by the many famous “Charle’s”, like Charles Dickens or the great blasphemer himself, Darwin.
I had to get off an explore London. How fantastic is it that British citizens (especially Londoners) have the privilege of living amongst such gorgeous structures? You never see anything like this in the USA. One lap on a tourist bus, and I can’t help but imagine a life amongst the history and grand architecture. There’s no better way to pack in all of the London sights than from a bus tour which is why it’s the feature activity.
- A Hop on- Hop off Bus Through Town for all of the tourist sights including:
- Tower Bridge
- Buckingham Palace
- Tower of London
- WestMinster Abbey
- Big Ben
- The Shard
- St Pauls Cathedral
- Afternoon tea
- Drinks or a show at a theatre
- A chocolate tour (mmmmm!)
A full day of sight seeing is only naturally accompanied by many gastro-breaks, which led me to a wonderful lunch at Tidbits, afternoon tea near shangri-la, and a final night cap at Gong theatre. Spreading out all of the London sights throughout the day seemed to make each area more memorable, and gave me more time so I didn’t feel rushed as I paraded around town with my camera.
Itinerary 2: Harry Potter London Tour
After the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants through London, I really can’t wait to return and experience all of the nature that England holds…. But until next time, y’all.