So you’ve taken the week off and have decided to make the most of everything that makes London a world-class destination in its own right. Here are a few tips for you from someone who has used several staycations to make the most of seven days in her incredible adopted city.
Hopefully you have woken up to a bright and shiny day, have your sneakers on and are ready to explore Londontown. If staying in central London’s Travelodge Marylebone, why not start off with a lovely stroll through Regent’s Park, a few hours in London Zoo chatting to the pygmy hippos, giraffes and penguins before making your way up Primrose Hill to take in the view?
You want to get to the museums as early in the week as possible. Obviously the Science, Natural History and V&A Museums are in this vicinity but if you’re feeling arty check out the Serpentine Galleries in Hyde Park and have a walk along the Serpentine Lake. Fernandez & Wells comes highly recommended as a stop for a fantastic coffee and unique array of cakes.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has recently re-opened to the public and is incredible for kids of all ages. You could pretend to be an Olympian with a swim in the Olympic Pool or make an Olympic sized shopping spree in Westfield Stratford City. Hungry? Moka East at the Pudding Mill Lane end of Olympic Park makes delicious sandwiches and also hires out bikes to help you explore the park. The Travelodge in Stratford is nearby to put you at the heart of London’s newest green space.
Have you ever wanted to really get down and explore the City? The tour guides at London Walks are highly experienced and you’ll learn a lot on their tours. If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the City then a climb up the Monument is a must. If you’re peckish after all that walking Leon Restaurants are dotted all over the City (their fish finger wraps hard to resist).
You’re on staycation and you said you’d relax for a bit. How about spending some time in Spa London’s Thermal Spa Experience? There are a few of them dotted around London, all offering few hours of much needed calm and relaxation amid the hustle and bustle.
In the afternoon, take the tube to Charing Cross and enjoy BB Bakery’s afternoon tea bus tour which will take you around all the sights while you enjoy Rodney the Route Master’s perfect cakes. You’ve earned them after all.
London has more than a few brilliant weekend markets. For a local favourite head to Maltby Street where you could have an 11am Little Bird gin (why not?) and a St John doughnut – some say these are the best in the world. Afterwards, make sure you hit world famous foodie destination, Borough Market.
It’s the final day of your staycation and you’re either exhausted or wanting to cram in more. Make sure you grab a bargain bunch of peonies at Columbia Flower Market before taking a meander through the cobbled historic streets of Wapping, a delightful Italian lunch at Bottega and drink in the legendary Sir Ian McKellen’s atmospheric pub, The Grapes. Spend the rest of your afternoon taking in the views of the river with a drink in hand, satisfied at what a great week London has given you.
For more information about London take a look at our Get Up & Go Guide