City breaks in the UK are expected to become one of the top trends in travel, and we can’t wait to be your guide! A simple way to relax and refresh your senses in a new environment, city breaks don’t necessarily have to be long. Even if you only have a couple days to spare, it’s easy to plan a fulfilling trip.
When it comes to the top city breaks in the UK, it’s nearly impossible to skip over London. No matter how many times you’ve been to this vibrant city, there’s always something new to discover. Here are some of our top picks for things to do and the best places to visit in London.
Parks & Nature
Heading to a park is a must for any London city break. Located in the middle of central London is Hyde Park, a massive stretch of greenery that has provided solace from the hustle and bustle of the city for centuries. The park spans across 350 acres and is home to lakes, meadows, and all sorts of wildlife. In the west, the park converges with Kensington Gardens. Hyde Park is suitable for strolls and nature walks, and if you come during the spring or summer, remember to pack a picnic basket! For a hotel within walking distance from Hyde Park, consider staying at The Landmark.
Despite being one of the largest cities in Europe, stunning nature can be found all around London. To add a splash of green to your day, go spotting for wild deer at Richmond Park, a national nature reserve and the largest of London’s Royal Parks. Richmond Park features extensive cycling paths as well as playgrounds for children and an 18-hole golf course.
You can also take in the floral fragrances of the rose gardens at Regent’s Park, another Royal Park which is home to numerous historical villas and mansions. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to take a boat ride on the lake or simply enjoy a walk down the winding paths.
London is home to a huge range world-class museums, and it’s no surprise that visitors on a London city break deem them as some of the places they’re most excited to visit.
Located in Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery, which houses a collection of around 2,000 famous paintings from around Western Europe. This world class museum features works from Titian, Van Gogh, Raphael, and countless more. Paintings are displayed in a massive space that could easily take all day to walk through, and why wouldn’t you want to? The architecture of the museum itself is stunning and worth admiration. Plus, with free admission, the National Gallery is a great place to soak up some culture on a rainy day. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the National Gallery, Corinthia London is located just a stone’s throw away. Consider staying in this 5-star hotel for your London city break.
Over two million treasures from every corner of the world are housed in the British Museum over in Bloomsbury. Famed for its large collections of Middle Eastern, Egyptian, and Chinese artifacts (just to name a few), one of the most famous objects on exhibit is the Rosetta Stone. It undoubtedly takes several visits to fully take in all that the museum has to offer. If you haven’t been yet or are looking to take a more in-depth visit, the British Museum is an absolute must for your London city break.
When it comes to museums, we recommend checking the official website for opening hours and dates before planning your visit.
Most of London’s landmarks need no introduction, but be sure to work them into your itinerary! Some of the most “quintessentially London” attractions include the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben, as well as Tower Bridge and London Eye (be sure to visit at night for its spectacular lights). If you’re looking for a hotel with easy access to these attractions for your London city break, consider booking a room at The Dixon, Autograph Collection for its stunning city views or London Cheval Three Quays, which is located right on the River Thames.
While you’ll probably pass through Soho during your trip to London without even realising it, this neighbourhood is worth visiting on its own accord. Packed with restaurants, cafés, and pubs, Soho is also home to markets and seemingly endless fashionable places to shop at. At night, the streets come alive with bars and clubs. Soho is also home to numerous theatres (Dominion Theatre, the London Palladium, and Price Edward Theatre to name a few), and London’s Chinatown is just around the corner. Bring your walking shoes, as the best way to get around is undoubtedly by foot.
Take a breather from London’s major tourist area and dive right into Greenwich, a neighbourhood brimming with unique culture. Located on the south bank of the Thames, Greenwich is home to the Cutty Sark, the last British tea clipper. Climb aboard and learn about the ship’s colourful history as it ventured through the seas. The Cutty Sark is part of Maritime Greenwich, a series of buildings including the Royal Observatory, Queen’s House, and National Maritime Museum that have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The UK’s achievements in science, art, and maritime endeavors can be explored through the architecture and surrounding area. Greenwich Park is part of the UNESCO site as well, and is definitely not to be missed. At the park, we recommend climbing the hill to take in a spectacular view of the landmark buildings of London, including St. Paul's Cathedral and the Cheese Grater (the Leadenhall Building). Looking at a map, Greenwich may seem a bit far flung, but it’s easily reached by public transportation and totally worth a visit.
No matter where you go during your London city break, you’re certain to find surprises around every corner. London is a city packed with so much diversity and action that there’s no need to feel like you have to plan out your whole trip down to the minute–sometimes you’ll discover the best places to visit in London spontaneously.