Things to Do in London - page 5
One of the largest wholesale meat markets in Europe, Smithfield Market—also known as London Central Markets—is frequented by chefs, butchers, and curious tourists. Located in the oldest part of London, the area has hosted livestock markets for close to a millennia and was also site of bloody public executions in the Middle Ages.
Once reserved exclusively for England’s royals, this 410-acre (166-hectare) park is now public, and one of London’s prettiest patches of green. As well as a boating lake, sports facilities, a rose garden, fountains, statues, and several playgrounds, Regent’s Park is also home to the 20,000 or so creatures of the London Zoo.
A quick stroll from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge is one of London’s most affluent neighborhoods. If the department stores (including the storied Harrods), designer boutiques, and elegant hotels don’t tip you off, the supercars might: Make a game of spotting Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis as you wander.
The Clink’s dark past reaches back as far as the 12th century. Over its 600 years of operation, the prison was notorious for its poor conditions, famous inmates, and regular rebellions. Today, interactive exhibits reveal the harsh realities of crime and punishment in medieval London.
Dating back to the 14th century, Whitechapel has long been associated with London’s criminal underworld, as it’s the location of Jack the Ripper’s murders and many of the Kray brothers’ offenses. Today, the trendy district proudly boasts an architectural, artistic, and culinary heritage that reflects the capital’s cultural diversity.
Established at the turn of the 15th century, east London’s Spitalfields attracts visitors with its diverse stores and trendy vibes. Equidistant from Shoreditch and Whitechapel, the area is home to an array of vintage stores and the iconic Spitalfields Market, making it a top spot in which to experience local London life.
London’s most famous fictional detective is brought to life at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, located at 221b Baker Street, the legendary address from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, where Holmes and his famous sidekick, Dr. Watson, lived between 1881 and 1904.
Part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Queen’s House is widely regarded as an architectural marvel. Commissioned by Queen Anne of Denmark in 1616, it was designed by architect Inigo Jones and was the first classical building in Britain. Today, the palace houses a gallery of artistic masterpieces.
For over 250 years, the Royal Academy of Arts has championed Britain’s visual art scene. The Mayfair mansion is home to a world-renowned permanent collection, and features works by artists such as Constable, Turner, and Emin. Its annual exhibitions also draw critical acclaim, showcasing contemporary art from around the world.
Immerse yourself in British heritage at Clerkenwell’s Postal Museum, where interactive exhibits, engaging displays, and an underground train ride bring more than 500 years of Royal Mail history to life. Kid-friendly spaces and an award-winning stamp collection make the must-see museum a top choice for families and history lovers alike.
More Things to Do in London
Strolling the halls of the National Portrait Gallery is like taking a walk through British history, as you pass images of royals, politicians, and pop culture icons. When it opened in 1856, the gallery was the first of its kind. Now it houses the world’s biggest portrait collection, featuring more than 11,000 works.
The Victoria and Albert Museum houses more than 2.3 million cultural artifacts from around the globe, spanning over 5,000 years. Explore the museum’s world-famous collections of Asian art and postclassical sculpture, attend a family-friendly drop-in session, or discover work by masters such as Raphael, John Constable, and William Morris.
One of Central London’s primary bridges, Blackfriars Bridge is both a busy thoroughfare and a historical monument. The landmark dates to the 19th century, was dedicated by Queen Victoria, and is distinctive for its red-and-white paint and pulpit-shaped pillars. You can cross Blackfriars Bridge either as a pedestrian or in a vehicle.
Interactive galleries, science demonstrations, and an IMAX 3D theater help make London’s Science Museum one of the city’s most engaging attractions for all ages. Use virtual reality to experience space travel, do experiments in the Wonder Lab, and see how math and science connect to everyday activities.
Housed in the historic vaults beneath the iconic arches of London Bridge, the London Bridge Experience takes you on an interactive, theatrical journey through the British capital, with an equal focus on history and horror. For terror come to life, test your nerves in the adjoining London Tombs where the walls drip with blood.
True to its name, Handel & Hendrix in London is situated in two side-by-side Mayfair townhouses: one the former home of the world-famous baroque composer, and one the previous residence of the legendary guitar god. The joint museum features respective period interiors, showcases musical artifacts, and regularly hosts live performances.
Established in 1673, the Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanical garden. The garden, nestled behind walls along the Thames, is home to more than 5,000 plants, including the UK’s largest olive tree and several medicinal species. Open to the public since 1983, the urban oasis now promotes environmental engagement in the city.
Located in an upscale neighborhood near central London, Holland Park is a favorite spot for weekend strolls. As well as woods, tennis courts, and various gardens—including the Japanese-style Kyoto Garden—the park is also home to what’s left of the once-sprawling 17th-century Holland House, and a muster of resident peacocks.
Over the course of almost 1,000 years, Eltham Palace has served as home to the half-brother of William the Conqueror, King Henry VIII as a boy, and two 20th-century socialites. The estate reflects the history of England’s aristocracy, with a facade, interiors, and 19-acre grounds that blend medieval, Tudor, and art deco features.
Please note: Theatre Royal Drury Lane is currently closed for renovation. The reopening is scheduled for fall 2020.
Dating to the 17th century, Theatre Royal Drury Lane is one of London’s oldest theaters. It's hosted performances ranging from Shakespeare to Monty Python for more than 350 years. Today, the venue is a West End institution, known for hosting musical productions by greats such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ivor Novello, and Noël Coward.
The largest stadium in the United Kingdom and the second largest in Europe, Wembley Stadium is an iconic London landmark. Since the remodeled stadium opened in 2007, it has hosted the annual FA Cup final, the 2012 Olympic Games finals, and the UEFA Champions League Finals, and also serves as a venue for world-renowned musicians.
The home of London’s working class during Victorian times, the birthplace of Cockney Rhyming Slang, and the stomping ground of Jack the Ripper—the East End has long represented the grittier side of the capital. Today, it’s shed its rough image to become one of the city’s coolest, most diverse, and ever-evolving areas.
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Stansted Mountfitchet
- Things to do in Cambridge
- Things to do in Oxford
- Things to do in Dover
- Things to do in Southampton
- Things to do in Birmingham
- Things to do in Cardiff
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Manchester
- Things to do in York
- Things to do in South East England
- Things to do in East of England
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais