We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

London in a day

Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
Save Topic
London in a day

My two sons and I will be visintg some relatives next week in Liverpool. I might have some passport problems getting back into Canada since im a UK citizen but I have Canadian Landed immigrant status (you have to have a permentant resident card to get back in now, which I do not) so I have to stop at the Candian High Commission in London to fill out some sort of form. We will be arriving in Gatwick. We will be staying in London for one night and another when we return so I guess we could fit in another day in London.

Im wondering if anyone has any suggestions for visiting things in London in such a short time? What would you reccomend is the must see thing? I've been looking on Google Earth and places like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Millenium Wheel, Big Ben, and all those touristy places seem to be all far apartand spread across the city. Do you think it would be possible for a first time visitor to London to see all those things by taking the London tube? I looked on a map of the system and it looks like a big maze to me!!

Any help would be appreciated!

Nice, France
Destination Expert
for Brighton, Nice
Level Contributor
6,227 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: London in a day

I would definitely try to take a trip on the London Eye, as you'll get a wonderful view of London. From across the river, you'll see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben anyway, but if you do the Eye in the morning, you could work in some of the other sites. You could actually do a nice walking tour after going on the Eye that will take in many of your sites. For example:

London Eye to Westminster Bridge - cross the bridge, and view the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. If you have time, you could then tour Westminster Abbey (behind Parliament), but even if you don't, you can see the façade.

Walk up Great George Street to St. James's Park and take a walk in the park to Buckingham Palace. From Buck Palace, walk up The Mall to Trafalgar Square. Depending on whether or not you've toured Westminster Abbey, you might have time for The National Gallery (if you're interested). Or, from Trafalgar Square, you could walk up Haymarket to Piccadilly Circus. Walk down Piccadilly and go into Fortnum & Mason, either for a restorative cup of tea or to simply enjoy the food hall.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
5,316 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: London in a day

Hope your passport issues all work out. With such a limited time in London, you might want to consider one of the hop on/off bus tours. They cover the main tourist sites.



or for something different...


Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3,593 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: London in a day

I actually wouldn't recommend one of the bus tours if you're limited on time. The more places you want to get off and see, the more time you waste waiting for the next bus. It's better for a first day overview with subsequent days used to tour specific sites.

Trafalgar Sq, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Big Ben, the Eye are all within walking distance.

On my second day in London, this is what I did: I started at the Cabinet War Rooms. If you have family that fought in WW2 for Britain, you will be in tears. Then I walked to the Abbey, and did a tour inside. Then I walked across the bridge, past the Parliment Buildings and Big Ben to the base of the Eye, where I caught a boat to take me up the Thames to the Tower of London.

If you were to skip the Tower you could start at Trafalgar Sq, walk down the Mall to the Palace, walk through St. James Park to Westminster Abbey, walk across the Westminster bridge to the Eye. All this would be about 30 minutes of walking, not including time to stop and enjoy the sites.

When looking at the tube maps, it might help to focus only on Zone 1, the inner circle. This is where first time tourists spend all their time.