Introducing guest blogger Annisa from London Travellers
How can London be so small yet be a big part of everyone’s lives? How can London be so small yet, have more than 30 million visitors each year? Good things do come in small packages. London has everything wrapped in a tiny box for people to open.
This 7 days in London itinerary post will include many hidden gems of London and a day trip. When you travel, you need to find the best luggage storage in London, so that your belongings are safe and you can enjoy your trip.
Note: This is only a guide so, don’t take it religiously – play around with your days and plan an itinerary to suit your ages and interests. You will never fit it all in, and, of course, with younger children in London, you will want to build in plenty of rest stops too.
There are also plenty of free attractions in London if you want to save on your trip. All the attractions mentioned here will be kid-friendly, and even adults will want to join in the fun.
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of locals
What can I do in London in 7 days?
Ideally, 4 days is enough time to visit the top 10 attractions and the famous landmarks of London. However, if you have 7 days to spare, then you can easily cover the hidden gems, get out of Central London and go on a day trip.
It’s recommended to buy the London Explorer Pass for the London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and Shrek the Experience in the Southbank area.
Note: Not all attractions cover the London Pass and not all cover the London Explorer Pass. The London Pass cover 80+ attraction and the London Explorer Pass cover 20+ attractions. Check to see which attractions you want to visit with both passes. They are two different types. Don’t get it confused.
How to best tackle London as a tourist
When visiting London, choose a place to start your day and cover all the attractions in that area, then move on to other places. There are so many things to do in every area of London, you probably won’t have time to visit all the nooks and crannies.
London’s social and economic climate change every day, so make sure to check updates on the news or online. The BBC Travel website is the most accurate and reliable source to read.
You can learn more about the best areas to stay in London here.
7 Days in London: Day 1 of 7
Highlights Day 1 in London
- Westminster Abbey
- Big Ben
- Thames River Cruise
- London Eye
- Tate Gallery
- Millennium Bridge
- Shakespeare’s Globe
Details Day 1 in London
Start your day getting to Westminster tube station. If you’re staying near Southbank, you can easily walk. The first two attractions you’ll notice are Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Children will enjoy learning about British history. Learn about 13th – 19th Century kings and queens, poets, scientists and many more.
With more than 1 million visitors each year, Westminster Abbey is not only a place of worship but a place for burials and memorials for British famous people who have made an impact on society; from Jane Austen’s memorial plaque to William Shakespeare’s statue. Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens were buried here along with 14th – 16th Century British monarchs, except Henry VIII.
You will be given headphones with an interactive iPad in more than 5 languages. You will be guided by a number from the iPad. Each item in the Abbey are numbered, and on the iPad, press the number associated with the item and you will hear descriptions of the item and who was buried there. Spend 1 hour here.
Big Ben and the houses of Parliament
As for Big Ben, tours are suspended until 2021 for major refurbishments.
UK Parliament is a fantastic place for a family day out. There are two types of tours. The family tours are suitable for families with young kids and guided tours are suitable for families with teenagers.
When you book your tour, add an afternoon tea with a kids’ menu and a river view. The tour includes exploring the Commons Chamber, the Lord’s Chamber and the history of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic activist who failed to assassinate the Protestant King James and blow up the Parliament with gun powder.
Tours take from 40 minutes up to 2 hours long depending on what you want to see and do.
Cross the Westminster Bridge, head over to the River Thames. You will see street performers and several rickshaws waiting to take you around London. The rickshaws aren’t worth it, they’ll take you around London with limited amount of time and it’s quite expensive.
Instead, join a River boat cruise and see famous landmarks by the River Thames or the Hop on Hop Off bus if you want a great overview of London’s sites.
A lot of people enjoy spending time in Southbank during summer. Solos, couples, and families with children congregate together to enjoy the seasons. In the Summer, next to the Southbank Centre, children run through water fountains shooting from the ground to get wet.
In Winter, why not visit the Southbank Winter Market, sip on hot chocolate, drink mulled cider (for the adults of course 😊), watch Christmas shows in Southbank Centre and go on fairground rides?
Every year, the Southbank changes its events so make sure to check the Southbank Centre website for future Christmas shows. Last year, children enjoyed a circus show going back to the 19th Century. This year, who knows what surprises will be in store for us. If you find accommodation near here, even better.
Top London attractions around Southbank
As you reach the other side of Westminster Bridge, head down to your left. You’ll see several attractions. An alternative to the London Explorer Pass is getting a discount for more than 2 attractions, depending on how many attractions you want to see. Go over to one of the attraction’s reception and they’ll offer 3 for 2 attractions, 4 for 3 attractions and 5 for 4 attractions, including Madame Tussauds.
The attractions on offer are next to each other which include Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeons, Shrek the Experience, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast Museum.
Spend 1 hour each on all the attractions here. The London Eye takes 30 minutes to go round so give yourself extra time to visit the 4D London Eye Experience (included with your price) and the queue. That’s 4 hours of time spent in all the attractions.
Note: Madame Tussauds is situated in Baker Street. You’d have to take the tube from Westminster tube station to get there.
Dining on Southbank
There are many restaurants and cafes under the Southbank Centre, so take advantage of having lunch there. Borough Market is around 30 minutes from here if you want to have lunch there. The Market opens Mon – Thu (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM), Fri (10:00 AM – 6:00 PM), Sat (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
The Jubilee Park is a great outdoor space with a playground to relax, situated in front of the London Eye.
Further along Southbank and afternoon options
After lunch, walk further up and you’ll see a carousel ride “Wonderground” for £2.50. The Tate Gallery is free to get in and you can spend a whole day there. If you want to visit the Tate Gallery, spend no more than 1 – 2 hours.
Head back to Southbank, turn left, you will see Shakespeare’s Globe Museum. It’s £5 to see a Shakespeare play and £17.50 to tour the theatre. You will learn about the history and the architecture of the theatre.
Check out the Shakespeare Museum for free and learn all about his work. You will see a miniature of the theatre itself and the tools Shakespeare used to write his materials.
The museum isn’t that big, there’s not a lot of people and can be intimate. The tour of the theatre takes approximately 50 minutes and you can spend an unlimited amount of time in the museum.
Assuming you want to go inside all the attractions mentioned above on your first day, you won’t have time to go on the Tower Bridge tour or the HMS Belfast Museum Tour (on Day 1 at least!). You can stick around until sunset though for beautiful nighttime photos of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and the London Eye at night.
7 Days in London: Day 2 of 7
Highlights Day 2 in London
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Borough Market
- Southwark Cathedral
- Maltby Market
- Sky Garden
- London Museum
- Postman’s Park
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Carnaby Street
The details Day 2 in London
If you didn’t already do so on day 1, visit Borough Market for breakfast or lunch. You’ll be continuing the route from where you left off from Southbank the previous day. Now, you’re in the London Bridge area.
Tower of London
Start your day by beating the crowds and visiting the Tower of London. Do the tour, and spend as much time as you want here. The Wardour Tour, with bloody and gruesome stories of murder with the Beefeater, takes approximately 50 minutes and it’s included with your entry ticket or with the London Pass (not the London Explorer Pass) – may not be suitable for your younger children.
The tour is worthwhile but will take up half a day, so you won’t have much time for other attractions around London on Day 2 if you take this option.
Borough Market is next to the Golden Hinde Ship and Southwark Cathedral. Spend no more than 1 hour here. You can also take a Borough Market tour if you want to find out the history of the Market. Borough Market is the oldest market in London and it also has a great history, it’s not just any old market.
An alternative market is Maltby Market. Maltby Market, a hidden gem of London is smaller yet crowded but only open during the weekends. As you arrive, you’ll see a small alleyway cramped with many stalls serving cakes, biscuits, cookies, snacks, wine, and cheese from around the world. The products are the same as Borough Market but smaller.
Above you, you’ll see a steel plank with ropes wrapped around it. “Rope Walk” is written in the middle of the steel plank. Colourful flags hang from above to show locals and visitors they’ll find food and drinks from around the world. After Borough Market (if visiting during the weekend), spend no more than 30 minutes here.
Hidden Gems at the eastern end of Southbank
Walk further up, two hidden gems include the ruins of Winchester Palace and The Golden Hinde Ship docked by the river. All you’ll see is a one-sided wall of Winchester Palace, everything else is empty.
Winchester Palace was a 12th Century palace, the home of many Archbishop of Winchester and it’s one of the English Heritage sites around England.
As for the Golden Hinde Ship, the ship travelled around the globe during the 16th Century, captained by Sir Francis Drake. To get in, it’s £7 for adults and £5 for children between 3 and over. You will learn about Sir Francis Drake and the furniture and equipment he used during his voyage. They also do school visits too.
The Old Thameside Inn Pub is next to the Golden Hinde Ship if you want to try British food such as fish and chips. There are many restaurants and pubs open until late for dinner including The Real Greek, Zizzi’s Italian and Nando’s. The Anchor Pub is another alternative to The Old Thameside Inn Pub.
Spend time walking on Tower Bridge and take photos of Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge tour consists of the construction of the bridge, and if you and your kids are into engineering and construction, Tower Bridge is great for them.
The tour includes videos of how they were made, shows how many people died making the bridge, the history of how they constructed the bridge, a view of the River Thames, the Engine Room museum and you’ll be able to walk on the glass floor above the River Thames. You’ll be given a sticker to say, “You’ve done it”. Just a warning though, the tour can be cramped.
Assuming you want to visit the Tower of London first, that’s 4 hours of your time spent in Tower Bridge, Borough Market and Maltby Market.
Afternoon – central London
After some time in Borough Market, Tower Bridge and Tower of London, head over to Sky Garden. Access to the Sky Garden is free of charge but you’d have to book a time slot on their website.
Like the Shard, you will see a birds-eye view of London from the top. The Sky Garden is a glass building surrounded by beautiful plants. It feels as if you’re in a giant greenhouse. There are several couches, chairs and tables overlooking the view of London so you can relax. It does get busy here so seating may be limited. There is a bar in the middle for the adults too but the bar there can be expensive. Spend 1 hour here.
Head over to Guildhall, one of London’s hidden gems. Guildhall has been a townhall for the City of London for over 200 years. It is a Grade I building, built in 1440. However, during the Roman period, it was the site of an amphitheatre. You can see the remains of the amphitheatre in the basement.
Opening times vary because there may be functions. So, check and book in advanced to see when you’re able to visit. Spend 1 hour here. If you want to save time, take a few photos for 10 minutes and move on to the next attraction.
Spend time in the Museum of London for 1 hour. Children will love it there. The Museum of London has a collection of over a million objects of a thousand years’ worth of London history. From the prehistoric and Roman discoveries found in London, items include antlers and pottery during the Stone Ages as well as Bronze Age weapons.
Some highlights include interactive galleries and online games for children to learn and play. Why not shop in the Victorian times or learn about the plagues, fires, and war between the 1550’s to the 1660’s? Learn more about the Fire of London and when London became divided since there were many deaths. On top of that, King Charles I was executed in 1649, the plague started in 1665 and The Great Fire of London in 1666.
The Museum of London should be the last entry attractions to visit as it closes at 6 pm.
Spend time in Postman’s Park, a hidden gem of London. Situated next to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Postman’s Park is an intimate park to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a great place to relax after your day and a place to have your lunch.
The park is surrounded by Tudor houses and the special thing about this park is the Watts Memorial to Heroic Self plaques. It commemorates plaques of people who died saving another from disasters. The plaque opened in 1900 and there are more than 50 plaques dating back to the 18th Century.
Since you’re in Postman’s Park, if you haven’t done so already from the previous day, take photos of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the River Thames, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Theatre, the London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.
Nightlife in Central London
Next, take the tube to Trafalgar Square, and take photos of the National Gallery from outside. Head over to Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Covent Garden.
Alternatively, behind the Admiralty Arch, (situated in front of Trafalgar Square) you’ll see a street linking to Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Park. (Buckingham Palace also illuminates at night). These are all Trafalgar Square’s neighbour. The night gets lively and lights up around the Leicester Square area. It does get busy and younger kids may not enjoy the crowds.
Here are some suggestions of what you can do in these places in the evening:
- Chinatown isn’t really that big compared to the Chinatowns in other countries but there are a few South East Asian restaurants around to choose from.
- Go up to the 9th Floor at Hotel Indigo. You’ll see a bird’s eye view of Leicester Square and the London Eye.
- You can shop around various theatre stalls in Leicester Square for 50% off theatre tickets, but you must buy it on the day. Have a walk-through Shaftesbury Avenue to see several West End theatre lights and theatre shows you plan to see. Some ideas include watching Harry Potter the Cursed Child, Les Miserables, Thriller and many smaller independent international theatres shows.
- Take photos of the Shaftesbury Memorial and the billboard lights in Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly Circus is nothing but a place to hang out and you’ll usually hear buskers, street entertainers and crowds of people. It’s famous because of its location, nothing more. Piccadilly Circus really lights up well at night too.
- If you want to go late-night shopping, most stores in Regent Street closes at 8 pm – 9 pm. Take some time in Carnaby Street, a small cobbled alleyway selling several expensive boutique shops and smaller chained stores. Check out Liberty’s Department Store there. Liberty’s Department Store has beautiful Tudor architecture and sells luxury fashion and beauty brands. Worth window shopping.
There are many utterly instagrammable restaurants, pubs, and clubs in the Soho area for dinner. Take your pick. I advise spending time in some of these places until 10pm. If you have kids that get tired easily, go home and spend time on these attractions the next day, early morning before the crowds are about.
7 days in London: Day 3 of 7
Highlights of Day 2 in London
- Buckingham Palace
- St James’ Park
- Changing of the Guards
- National Gallery
- Regents Park
- London Zoo
- Sir John Soane Museum
The details Day 3 in London
The third day, spend your time visiting Buckingham Palace and some of the free museums and galleries on the western side of London. Spend no more than 1 hour in each museum.
Before planning your visit, remember it can take 3 days to cover everything for each museum. It’s not possible. After 1 hour, your feet will get tired (and the moaning will no doubt start!), plus you still need to visit other areas of London. Save your time.
Otherwise, substitute some of these activities by visiting one of the eight royal parks, ideally St. James’ Park, since it’s next to Buckingham Palace.
If you want to watch the Changing of the Guards, then visit Buckingham Palace first and wait around until 11 am (when the Changing of the Guards start). Then, visit the National Gallery second and the British Museum third. Walk down The Mall, between Buckingham Palace and the Admiralty Arch, you’ll end up in Trafalgar Square (where the National Gallery is).
Buckingham Palace gets remarkably busy, so make sure you get to Buckingham Palace by 10 am. You can spend time in St. James’ Park if you wish but, 15 minutes before the Changing of the Guards, you might lose your spot.
If you don’t like larger crowds, watch the Changing of the Guards at Horse guard Parade. Instead of footguards, guards will usually be on their high horses. In Horse guard, there is a lot of standing around. Horse Guard Parade is a place for national events such as Trooping of the Colours, other than that, it’s just a wide-open space for people to walk through.
Please note, the Changing of the Guards doesn’t happen every day, so double check online when the next schedule is.
Whichever places you want to visit first, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Changing of the Guards can get terribly busy if you arrive late.
Spare 1 hour for lunch – There are several restaurants, supermarkets, and cafes in Piccadilly (street) or visit Covent Garden and Neal’s Yard (London’s hidden gem) for colourful buildings, graffiti and quirky boutique stores.
After you watch the Changing of the Guards and taking photos of Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, and the British Museum, that’s 4 hours gone including lunch.
Other London Attractions to Visit
If you have access to the London Explorer Pass, visit Madame Tussauds for an hour and with the London Pass, visit the London Zoo for another hour. These two attractions are great for children, although both attractions can get busy. Spend time in Regent’s Park while you’re in London Zoo.
Sir John Soane Musuem
If you have time, visit Sir John Soane’s Museum, it closes at 5 pm. A hidden gem, it’s one of the truly unique things to see in London.
Sir John Soane was a famous architect who built many properties around England, some you can still visit if you have free time. A stately 17th century home, it’s full of an eclectic collection of classical sculptures, curiosities, and paintings from famous artists.
Sir John Soane specialised in neo-classical designs, and he became a professor in Architecture at the Royal Academy, located in Piccadilly, and was involved in many works including projects in the Office of Works.
Only got three days to spend in London? Here is how I would fit in the best of London in 3 days.
7 days in London: Day 4 of 7
Highlights of Day 4 in London
- Portobello Market
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Kensington Gardens & Diana Memorial Fountain
- Kensington Palace
- Holland Park
The details Day 4 in London
Today, spend your time in Portobello Market, Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace.
Portobello Market & Notting Hill
Visit Portobello Road on a Saturday, although busy, that’s when everything opens. On Saturdays, you will see antiques, goods arcades (not game arcades), second-hand items, fashion & clothing, fruit & veg, and street food.
Sundays are closed. If you visit Portobello Road on Sundays, take photos of various London mews, visit areas where they filmed Notting Hill e.g. Number 208 and St. Luke’s Mew, take pictures in front of the famous pink house with the bicycle and other colourful buildings here. Be careful, it’s someone’s house and you must respect it.
Take the tube to Notting Hill Gate (circle and district line) and follow the flow of where people are walking. The first few stores you’ll notice include boutique art shops, several jewellery stores, vintage souvenir shops, a fish, and chips shop and several food outlets.
There are plenty of other interesting places to see and things to do in Notting Hill. Walk further along, you will reach Portobello Road and you will see the first few colourful houses in a row. Notice a plaque of George Orwell on one of the houses where he used to live.
Visit Lancaster Road to take Instagram-worthy photos of colourful buildings. The various mews worth visiting include Elgin Mews, Pembridge Mews, Portobello Mews, and many others scattered around Portobello Road.
You can find a great guide to London’s most instagrammable spots here.
Don’t worry about many websites telling you to arrive in Portobello early because as soon as the market opens, it’s already busy with people. Later during the day, the crowds aren’t that much different.
Alternatively, arrive at 8:30 am if you want to avoid the crowds, then by 9 am, you’ll be the first to enjoy the markets and the shops. Spend half a day here including lunch. There are several pubs and fish and chip shops around here, explore Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park for more lunch options and colourful 19th Century buildings.
More Museums to visit in Kensington
After lunch, spend some time visiting the museums around Kensington (noting the advice above you will need to pace yourselves)
Start with the Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the big four museums on the Top 10 London Museum list. V&A Museum consists of Ancient Chinese ceramics, Alexander McQueen’s dresses, contemporary art, theatre and performance items, illustrations and many more. Spend 1 hour here.
By the time you finish visiting the V&As, it would roughly be around 3 pm. Spend time in the Natural History Museum which consists of over 8 million species from 4.5 billion years ago, bugs, birds, mammals and fossils from hundreds of dinosaurs. There are also activities and kids’ events to enjoy throughout the tour.
The Science Museum, next to the V&As and the Natural History Museum consists of science inventions, history of nature and the environment, the history of medicine throughout the years and interactive activities for the kids to enjoy. Experience the simulator and take a 360-degree trip to outer space with astronaut Tim Peake. Spend no more than 2 hours in each museum.
Royal Parks and Gardens in Central London
Have dinner and head over to Kensington Gardens, Holland Park and Kensington Palace. The two parks close at 11 pm so you have all day to relax and let your kids roam around freely. To be honest, £17.50 is not worth visiting the grounds of Kensington Palace, it’s better to take photos outside and spend time with the Egyptian geese, white swans, and other birds by the lake.
Other attractions in Kensington Gardens worth visiting are the Diana Memorial Fountain, where children can splash their feet in the water and The Albert Memorial. Take photos of the Royal Albert Hall and its nearby Tudor houses here.
Spend time in Holland Park. You can visit the Kyoto Garden, a Japanese themed garden, a waterfall and a pond with koi fishes and ducks. Visit the Fukushima Garden to see the peacocks. Children can spend time in the Holland Park Adventure Playground and the Chess Playground.
7 Days in London: Day 5 of 7
Highlights of Day 5 in London
- Harry Potter Studio Tour
- Neal’s Yard
- Little Venice
- Camden Passage
- Thames Path
The details Day 5 in London
This day could be spent visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in the morning, then exploring the areas north of the city centre.
Harry Potter Studio Tour
There are several tours you can take depending on where you’re staying. We departed from Victoria Coach Station to Leavesden, the studio location. They’ll drop you off outside the studio and drop you off back to your departure location.
The tour takes approximately 3 – 4 hours but you can take as long as you want and best to arrive 20 minutes before arrival time for security checks. Either way, it’s recommended to pre-book your tickets online.
Leave early in the morning for the tour and by 1 pm, you would have finished. You can go back to Central London and visit the free hidden gems you’ve missed listed below.
Here are the highlights of the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
- As you enter while queueing up, you won’t be staring into four plain walls. You’ll see the cupboard under the stairs where Harry was locked up by the Dursleys.
- The tour guide will introduce you to the large entrance to the Great Hall where Harry and his classmates had their assemblies. The Great Hall is smaller than what you see in the movies and there weren’t any tables and chairs lined in the middle. They were all moved against the four walls. You will see gargoyles around the room and Hogwarts’s uniforms. Take some time admiring the Great Hall by yourself here.
- We then went to see the Hogwarts Express train where Harry boarded to get to Hogwarts with his friends. You get to practice your wand waving, give you the chance to visit the Womping Willow and see the gigantic steel door leading to Harry’s Gringotts. Why not say hello to Buckbeak and visit the Forbidden Forest while you’re at it?
- During the tour, you can go on a broomstick ride in front of a green screen. The green screen is where you’ll fly across London in “full speed” and can also buy the photo at the end of the ride. Visit Ron Weasley’s house where you see the knitter knitting itself.
- Give yourself a chance to taste Butterbeer at Backlot Cafe. I imagined what it tasted like while reading the book and I must say, it tasted spot on as how I imagined. Sweet! The café not only serves Butterbeer but other non-alcoholic beverages too.
- We then went to see Privet Drive, the Night Bus and Diagon Alley where the tour finishes. The tour will be great fun because you could hear music background similar with what you hear in the movies.
Central & North London
Here are some free hidden gems you should visit after the Harry Potter tour.
- Neal’s Yard hidden inside Covent Garden. You will see multicoloured buildings and graffiti art while shopping for quirky souvenirs and having lunch.
- Little Venice, a quiet and peaceful canal between the Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal. You will see how locals live in council estates, greenery, rows of Georgian houses and modern office blocks by the canal, cafes, pubs, and restaurants as well as boat houses. Portobello Market and Camden are the two trendy vintage markets nearby.
- Camden Passage is a passage near Camden Market where they sell more antiques, vintage and quirky boutique cafes, great place for lunch.
- Walk down the Thames Path which consists of a wide green space. There are no beautiful flowerbeds, but you can hear birds tweeting, fallen branches from natural disasters, dog walkers and lakes with ducks and birds. The Thames Path has a rural and urban areas. The urban area covers the Southbank area where you can take a nice stroll by the River Thames, sipping on beer and soda in the local pubs, visit the London Eye, London Dungeon, Sea Life London Aquarium, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and most of Central London. The rural areas cover village towns such as Henley-on-Thames and Oxford.
- Experience pie and mash in several Pie and Mash shops around London. Pie and Mash is a 19th Century dish the lower classes used to eat. It consists of stewed eel with mash potatoes poured with gravy and vegetables. The presentation isn’t that great but it’s the salty taste that matters.
- Grab lunch in local cafes with the British locals and try authentic British food (usually found outside of Central London). The local cafes consist of black chairs with no cushions and simple tables. Only the working-class eat here. Rarely, would you see aristocrats eat here.
7 Days in London: Day 6 of 7
Highlights of Day 6 in London
- Chessington World of Adventures Day Trip
The details Day 6 in London
Your sixth day could be spent on going to Chessington World of Adventures theme park. This is your first day trip outside of London and it takes half an hour to get there from Waterloo Station, depending on where you’re staying. You can take the South Western Railway straight to the theme park.
Chessington World of Adventure
Chessington World of Adventures is not just a theme park, it has many activities to do for younger kids. In 2020, the theme park unveiled The Rainforest area with three new rides. Take the Jungle Rangers river ride, River Rafters flumes and bounce off a tree top canopy on Treetop Hoppers. You can spot tortoises, capybaras, and the world’s largest rodents.
For the younger kids, why not go on the Elmer’s Flying Jumbo where he’ll spin you slowly in circles?
For all ages, visit Chessington Zoo and hop on the safari truck. You’ll see giraffes, lions, gorillas, sealions and many more. Like Southbank Sealife London Aquarium, Chessington World of Adventures have one too. It will be like the one in Southbank but there’s no harm in visiting Sea Life, Chessington as well. Talks and events usually goes on there too.
As for the main rides, my four favourites are Vampire, Kobra, The Scorpion Express and Dragon’s Fury.
- Vampire isn’t really that scary. Suitable for the not-so-brave passengers, you are hung from the steel railings from the top instead of the bottom. You’ll still feel the thrill of your heart dropping down to your feet. It’s also a great ride to get you warmed up for the scarier rides.
- The Scorpion Express is for younger children. There were kids as young as 5 go on this ride and it’s a chance for your younger kids to experience adult rides for the first time.
- The Kobra is great for any ages. Young kids from the ages of 8 upwards can go on this ride. You sit and spun around in a large circle and they’d swing you from side to side. You do get dizzy and you wouldn’t know where you’ll be once you get off the ride.
- Dragon’s Fury is another favourite. Like the rollercoaster, Dragon’s Fury consists of a wheeled car on a steel track, like a normal rollercoaster. It goes up and down steep railings but at the same time, the car spins you around in circles. It doesn’t look scary but when you’re up there, you would feel the thrill.
Whatever you want to do in Chessington World of Adventures, there’s something for all ages making it a really fun family day trip from London.
7 Days in London: Day 7 of 7
Highlights of Day 7 in London
- Richmond Park
- Kew Gardens
- Bushy Park
- Isabella Plantation
- Hampton Court Palace
The details Day 7 in London
This day could be spent relaxing after your hectic 6 day adventure in London. Explore South West London and the attractions within it today. You can visit the Richmond Park, Bushy Park, the two of eight royal parks of London or Kew Gardens.
You can spend as much time as you want here (recommended to spend 2 – 3 hours in all the parks first thing in the morning, visit Kew Gardens first and Richmond Park second. Visit Bushy Park after lunch). This day could be a day for relaxation after your hectic 4 days touring London.
Please note: You’d have to pay to enter Kew Gardens and book in advanced online.
South West London
This area has a village feel to the central urban area of London. To describe the South West London area, it’s stylish with rows of 19th Century million-pound houses and it’s one of the most upper-class areas of London. Compare it to the Chelsea area with fewer people.
Aside from the fact that the area is known for Kew Gardens, there are many sophisticated pubs, cafes and restaurants overlooking the River Thames. It’s great during the summer season when you’re sipping cider or beer. Just head over towards Kew Bridge or Kew Village near Kew Gardens Station where there are plenty of gastropubs for fish and chips, cider and beer, delis, coffee shops and restaurants there. Spend no more than 1 -2 hour in town.
5 restaurant suggestions include The Stable Pub, The Glass House Michelin Star restaurant, The City Barge pub situated in Chiswick, Annie’s Restaurant, the 18th Century Queen’s Head pub in Chiswick.
In Richmond Park, a lot of people will usually take their cars with them and drive down the park lane. The first thing you’ll notice is the green space and woodland areas. You will usually see people walking their dogs and birds twittering as you drive.
As you go inside, you’ll notice several groups of deer gathering there. Remember, they’re wild animals and people have been injured by getting close to them. If you’re lucky, by car, you can see them up close and personal.
Check out the Isabella Plantation, a Botanical Garden, also a hidden gem consisting of several lakes, green plantation, birds and ducks, colourful flower beds and hear the creasing sound of waterfalls. You’d feel as if you’ve stepped inside the Garden of Eden.
Bushy Park & Hampton Court Palace
Once you’ve visited Richmond Park, head over to Bushy Park, the second largest royal park in London. If your time allows it, visit Hampton Court Palace, and take a boat trip and see several rows of houses overlooking the lake. There are also self-guided and private guided tours around Hampton Court Palace if you book in advance.
Compared to Richmond Park, Bushy park is quite small but still a huge park. There are several cricket, rugby, and hockey clubs nearby and like Richmond Park, you will see red deer grazing right in front of your eyes. There are so many routes and paths to take, there will always be full of surprises. The environment is the same as Richmond Park but both parks offer serenity and peace from Central London. It’s also great for children enjoying the outdoors.
So, there you have it, 7 days in London with a day trip to a theme park. Another alternative to Chessington World of Adventures is Camber Sands Beach for a great day out in summer. The only downside to it is the rail journey which can take up 2 hours.
As you can see there are plenty of things to do with your kids, no matter what age they are, there’s always something for everyone in London.
Use this handy itinerary planning tool (free!) to help you plan out your days in London
About the Blogger
Hi, I’m Annisa. I’m an Indonesian national living in London. I’ve been living here since 1991. My family and I packed our bags to pursue a better way of living. My father thought London was a prosperous city with many opportunities.
Since living here, I noticed London is rich in history and culture and I had an idea of writing about it in a blog. As a resident here, I’ve learned the ins and outs of London and every time visitors see London, there’s always something new to see and do. It’s impossible to see everything in a short amount of time, so that’s why I made it my mission to write about London and give visitors tips and tricks for planning a great holiday.
For more information on London Travellers, follow Annisa at:
Bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest for later
Did you catch the rest of our Explore My City Series?
Written by parents & travel writers who live in the city they love; Get insider tips, must-see events and hidden gems from our guest bloggers, click here to learn more.
Please see our Guest Opportunities page here if you would like to become our next featured writer
See all our tools for planning your next city trip here, or quick search to research options below:
© Our Globetrotters Images © London Travellers & as credited