We actually traveled to Cambridge where the husband had his meeting. Prior to leaving we knew we would only get one day in Long so after doing a google search for "London in a day" we got several great itinerary ideas, but this one from Frommer's seemed to have every single site that was a "must see" for us. So, we started at the train station in Cambridge, took a train in to London. It was fairly cheap, if I remember correctly I think it was just £60 total for the two of us round trip, including all day tube travel while in London!
Once we arrived at Kings Cross this is how we did London in a day:
- Take the tube to Westminster.
- This is where you can check out the houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.
- Westminster Abbey-we decided to forgo the tour, it was pretty expensive and since we truly only had one day just enjoy the outside, the architecture it was quite beautiful.
- Houses of Parliament and Big Ben....just enjoyed checking out the architecture.
- Next we walked north along Whitehall, toward Trafalgar Square. Once we saw the square we turned left toward Admiralty Arch. This is a beautiful piece, but pass through it and keep walking until you get to Buckingham Palace. If you can time this just right you can see the changing of the guard. Sadly, we missed it, but I am sure we will see it at some point. The gold work on the gates at the palace is amazing. Truly, I've never seen anything like it. I was amazed.
- St. Jame's Park is an easy see, as you walk back toward Admiralty Arch it will be on the right hand side. It's a nice walk along the water. Enjoy it...even if it's cold and windy.
- Trafalgar Square was a must see for us simply because a lot of history engulfs that area. Plus the lion statues and the National Gallery are quite impressive. We skipped going inside as it was getting to be lunch time and the day was passing us by so we walked over to Cafe in the Crypt, it's on the east side of the square, next to St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, you can't miss it.
- Next, walk back to the Tube entrance at Westminster and take the Tube to Tower Hill.
- This is where you will see The Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We skipped a lot on the original itinerary because this is a giant museum with a lot of amazing things to see.
- Pay to get in, it is rather expensive £44 all together for both of us...but well worth it! Make sure to see the crown jewels, some of the stuff the Queen wears is amazing, it is so old...hard to believe some of it has lasted this long!
- Walk over to Tower Bridge, check it out, it is pretty amazing. You can walk across and see some other things but this was where we departed.
- We took the Tube back to Kings Cross, jumped on our train and did dinner in Cambridge.
I felt like we were really able to get a good feel for London and I felt really accomplished when we left the city. This hit every highlight I wanted to see and I didn't feel deprived at all.