Travel Abroad Travel Blog Make the most of your 24 hours In London

How to Spend 24 Hours in London

Make the most of your 24 hours In London

Posted by Avis on January 20, 2018 | 822 people viewed

“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” ~ Samuel Johnson.

London is indeed one of those cities that has an endless amount of attractions, world-class museums, shows, and potential things to do. With so many world-class museums, restaurants and stylish co-working spaces to choose from, London abounds with ways to balance work and play. If you’re about to take a business trip to the city, planning ahead will help you make the most of your time.

From a thriving theatre scene at West End to the bustling nightlife at Shaftsbury Avenue, from architectural and historical glories like Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, to decadent Soho and hipster Shoreditch, from high-end Harrods to cheap and cheerful Camden market, from incredible array of award-winning restaurants and critically acclaimed chefs to food stalls dishing up grub of sky-high standards in dinky disposable containers – London has something for just about everyone.

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London has five main airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and London City. Avis provides effortless car hire at all the popular airport locations along with multiple prime hire locations across the UK capital – Battersea, Brent Cross, Charing Cross Train Station, London Euston Train Station, London Liverpool Street Train Station, London Paddington Train Station, London Victoria Coach and Train Station, London Waterloo Train Station, Westfield London – Shepherd Bush and more.

 

London City Airport > Greenwich > The Tower of London > Brick Lane  > Camden Lock > Notting Hill > Chelsea > Shaftsbury Avenue > Big Ben, Westminster

Distance: 50.2 KM Drive Time: 

Tour Duration: One Day

Best time to travel: It’s always time to visit London. Summer has the best weather, although you still have to expect some clouds and showers. Winter is generally drab outside, but the theaters are going full swing–and then there’s that Dicken’s Christmas we all want to have–without the ghosts, not to mention the free New Year’s eve Fireworks display.

Car Recommendations:

Local Language: English

Driving Rules

  • In the United Kingdom, please drive on the left side of the road.
  • Mobile phones may only be used with a headset or hands-free device
  • There is a congestion charge payable when driving in London
  • Use the outside lane to overtake on motorways and dual carriageways
  • Zebra crossings (black and white stripes on the road) give pedestrians right of way to cross the road
  • Speed Limits
    All speed signs will be in mph.
    For a standard Avis rental vehicle with no trailers:

    • Urban areas: 30 mph (48 km/h)
    • Motorways: 70 mph (112 km/h)
    • Rural areas: 60 mph (96 km/h)
  • Child safety / Seatbelt laws
    • It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear a seatbelt
    • Children aged under 12 or less than 135cm tall must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size

 

Cutty Sark and Maritime Museum

Attraction

Cutty Sark - Place to Visit in London
Cutty Sark  Image Source

If you have some spare time in your schedule to get a fix of culture, begin your London adventure with a piece of history, while enjoying the stunning views of the River Thames and the London Skyline at the same time. Discover what life was like on board Cutty Sark, the world’s only surviving tea clipper, and fastest ship of her time – now an award-winning visitor attraction in Greenwich. Cutty Sark is a quick and easy journey from central London. And while you’re here why not visit the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum – both within walking distance. The Museum is set in beautiful Greenwich Park and is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

Explore time and space at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and stand on the Meridian line at the home of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Discover the site’s rich history, from its royal heritage to its awe-inspiring Peter Harrison Planetarium, all set within Greenwich’s beautiful park.

The Tower of London

Attraction

Tower of London - Tourist Attraction in London
Tower Bridge  Image Source

Discover London’s castle – a secure fortress, royal palace, an armoury, infamous prison, a place of execution. Learn the stories that never got out – over the drawbridge and behind the castle walls lie unexpected tales of lost princes, WW1 spies, and daring escapes. If you’re enchanted with the history of the monarch, don’t miss the famous Crown Jewels exhibition. Next on your checklist should be White Tower, an iconic symbol of London’s heritage and one of the world’s most famous castle keeps. Lastly, snap that requisite photo of thefrom the quay and grab a triangle sandwich (the quintessential London lunch). One of our favorite attractions in central London but also one of the most crowded so do try to get here early!

Brick Lane

Must Visit 

Curry Restaurants in Brick Lane
Curry restaurants in Brick Lane By ahisgett (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
You can’t visit London without visiting Brick Lane. A microcosm of London’s shifting ethnic patterns, it is extremely popular with London’s edgy and artistic crowd, featuring markets, galleries, restaurants, and festivals throughout the year. Brick Lane has an extremely popular and quite eclectic Sunday market that is popular with locals, Londoners from other areas and visitors to the capital. Famed for its many authentic curry restaurants, warehouse art exhibitions, vintage finds, bric-a-brac, cutting-edge designers, trendy clubs and bars – it’s everything that makes East London a hive of hippiness.

Camden Lock

Must Visit 
Camden Lock - Place to Visit in London
Camden Lock, London, United Kingdom Image Source

Most famous for its markets, Camden is a diverse neighborhood that has been home to a number of famous people over the centuries from Charles Dickens to Sigmund Freud to Amy Winehouse. Home to Regent’s Park and the London Zoo, Camden Lock Market is great for finding unusual gifts, works of art, antiques, handmade clothes and jewellery, music memorabilia, objects from ages past and authentic food from far-flung locations – undoubtedly London’s most important nerve center of artisan creativity and trading. If you’re keen to get some retail therapy – and have room in your suitcase the market is open 364 days a year. It only closes on one day of the year and that’s Christmas Day.

Notting Hill

Must Visit 

Notting Hill - Place to Visit in London
Notting Hill full of colourful houses  Image Source

There’s a reason why so many films are set in Notting Hill – pastel pathways draped with wisteria. But it’s so much more than just the setting for a famous movie. Among the tourists searching for Hugh Grant’s blue door, you can find the spirit of the real Notting Hill in independent bookshops, delicatessens and coffee shops, old curiosity shopping on the Portobello Road, street food and sashimi, indie flicks and cabaret kicks. Host to Europe’s biggest street festival,  countless thousands of people are attracted to its quirky backstreets and pretty gardens to experience a chili-infused hotpot of multiculturalism.

Chelsea

Must Visit 
Saatchi Gallery - Place to Visit in London
The Saatchi Gallery at the former Chelsea Barracks in London, UK By Jack GaviganOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Visit the home of champions at Stamford Bridge, indulge in unparalleled people watching, hit the shops along the King’s Road, hunt for antiques on the Lots Road, brunch with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas, enjoy cutting-edge theatre at The Royal Court Theatre, hear world-class music at the Cadogan Hall, take-in the inspiring art at the Saatchi Gallery, visit the world’s most famous flower show, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – Play hard and shop harder at this stylish most colorful central London neighbourhood.

Shaftsbury Avenue

Must Visit 
Shaftsbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue from Piccadilly Circus in 1949  Image Source“>Image Source

Shaftesbury Avenue lies in the heart of the West End and starts in Piccadilly Circus and includes the boundary of Chinatown. London’s Theatreland, centered on Shaftsbury Avenue, is famous worldwide; as are its pubs and restaurants. Lined with West End theatres, from long-standing shows that have been there for years to short-running plays, specialized food, and delicatessen shops, as well as restaurants offering international cuisine, you are sure to be impressed with all it has to offer. As Shaftesbury Avenue is so close to many of London’s top west end theatres, curtains go up around 7:30 pm. Enjoy an ice cream during an interval (intermission)—it’s a custom. If you find yourself with a few hours to spare in the afternoon, consider booking a last-minute show.

Big Ben, Westminster

Attraction

Big Ben - Tourist Attraction in London
Big Ben  Image Source

Needless to say, Big Ben is a must on any itinerary for 1 day in London. You can’t leave London without visiting Big Ben! Out of all the London landmarks scattered throughout the city, none are more recognizable or synonymous with London’s culture than the  Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. Unbeknownst to many visitors admiring its glorious architecture and massive clock tower from the outside, the Palace of Westminster actually serves as a meeting point for British politicians; and if you’re lucky enough, during your visit to London you may even be able to sit in on a House of Commons meeting (for free!)

 

Our recommendations:

Eateries:

Whether you’re the type of business traveller who is looking for something a little swankier, London will dazzle you with its linen-heavy Michelin starred restaurants or if you just want to unplug after a long day of meetings, you might like to drop into a laid-back London boozer.  However, if you are feeling more adventurous, London has a serious love-affair with street food. Nowhere in the world will you be so spoilt for choice with only one thing common amongst them – they are all darn delicious!

Perkin Reveller

Perkin Reveller Restaurant
Perkin Reveller – View of the Tower Bridge Image Source 

Overlooking the Thames on the historic Tower Wharf at the Tower of London, Perkin Reveller is a fantastic restaurant experience in the very heart of London. They serve delicious food made from the finest seasonal ingredients, and complemented with signature cocktails, craft beer, exceptional wines, and a marvellous selection of fine teas! There are two bars in Perkin Reveller; one handcrafted from an antique church pulpit and topped with beautiful zinc, the other covered in soft leather with a bar top of rich copper. Both serve a great range of locally brewed beers, carefully chosen wines, fantastic mixers and original cocktails.

Where: The Wharf at The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB London, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 (0)20 3166 6949

The Cutty Sark Pub & Eating House

The Cutty Sark - Pub & Eating House
Cutty Sark Pub Image Source 

Spread over 3 floors with stunning views of Canary Wharf & the 02, The Cutty Sark is a beautiful riverside pub serving Great British food and local beers. Sat on the banks of the Thames at Ballast Quay, The Cutty Sark has welcomed guests for over two hundred years. Serving the highest quality British produce, accompanied by fine wines from around the world and great real ales, drinks by the river and watch the world go by, or indulge in a three-course meal whilst enjoying unparalleled views of South East London, on one of their three floors of the beautiful pub and restaurant.

Where: 4-6 Ballast Quay, Greenwich, London, SE10 9PD

Contact: 020 8858 3146

 

Uli, Notting Hill

ULI Asian Restaurant Notting Hill
ULI, Notting Hill Gate Image Source 

Located at Notting Hill Gate, ULI offers a fresh, honest approach to Asian cuisine. Natural limed oak, soft tones of blue and contemporary art give the restaurant a clean and informal look, highlighted by a hanging garden of pendant lights. Their menu encompasses carefully selected dishes from Asia, all prepared using traditional Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean disciplines. Come here for the soft-shell crab, aromatic duck and to rubberneck when founder Michael Lim serves free nightcaps to his regulars.

Where: 5 Ladbroke Road, London, W11 3PA

Contact: 020 3141 5878

Bibendum & Bibendum Oyster Bar

Bibendum Oyster Bar, London
Bibendum Oyster Bar Image Source 

As the newly installed resident of South Kensington’s iconic Michelin building, celebrated French chef Claude Bosi launches Claude Bosi at Bibendum with a ground-floor seafood and oyster bar and first-floor restaurant which is ‘ unashamedly fine dining’, with the chef’s signature contemporary and light-hearted flair.

Where: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD, UK

Contact: +44 20 7589 1480

 

 

Bluebird Café

Bluebird Chelsea Restaurant
Bluebird Chelsea Image Source 

Bluebird Chelsea is a London landmark, a gleaming Art Deco icon right on the King’s Road. Made up of a chilled out Café & Courtyard on the ground floor and a more refined Restaurant & Bar on the first floor, it comes complete with its own Wine Cellar and Food Store too. The. cafe and courtyard offer a sanctuary from the bustle of the King’s Road and boasts something for everyone, from breakfast bites to alfresco cocktails. Enjoy an afternoon tea with scrumptious scones or indulge in pre-dinner drinks followed by European cuisine at its best.

Where: 350 King’s Road, London SW3 5UU

Contact: 020 7559 1000

Oh My Dog

Oh My Dog Restaurant, London
Prime Hot Dogs Image Source 

These are hot dogs like you’ve never had before. The American street food staple has been given a gourmet twist in the expert hands of hot dogspert, Joel. Joel’s delicious dog update features homemade ketchups and sauces (hi, slow roasted cherry tomato and vodka relish), handmade demo-brioche buns and prime, heritage-breed frankfurters. Don’t leave without lashing your superior frank in top-secret OMD! barbecue sauce.

Where: KERB Camden Market West Yard Camden Lock Place London NW1 8AF

Content by CamdenMarket

Preem Restaurant & Balti House

Preem Restaurant & Balti House, London
Tandoori Chicken at Preem, Brick Lane Image Source 

Preem, a Brick Lane restaurant of the highest order makes great Indian cuisine, lovingly prepared and served. They have a wide selection of crowd-pleasers from butter chicken, lamb korma, prawn jalfrezi, to masala dosa, vegetable dansak and a great many other vegetarian dishes. Being one the oldest curry houses, it is a must visit on your trip to Brick Lane.

Where: 118-122 Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, London E1 6RL

Contact: 20-72470397

Leon

Leon West End, London
Leon in West End Image Source 

In the heart of London’s theatre district, Leon – Naturally Fast Food is all-singing. It is a stage for West End hopefuls, where the team prepares and serves Naturally Fast Food, and then takes the mic to sing a show tune. Their food is naturally full of flavour, full of goodness, and from people, they know and like. They often cook with seasonal ingredients, olive oil and fresh herbs and spices.

Where: 62 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6LT, UK

Contact: +44 20 7287 8477

 

 

Events and happenings:

Changing the Guard

Changing the Guard - Event in London

Where – Outside Buckingham Palace, London

When – Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, weather permitting

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace is where immaculately turned out guards, precision drill and bands playing stirring music combine to create one of the most popular attractions in London. Also known as Guard Mounting, it takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 10.45am and lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am.

 

The London Notting Hill Carnival

The London Notting Hill Carnival - Event in London

Where – Notting Hill, London

When – 26 – 27 August 2018

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, each August over two days. It is led by members of the British West Indian community, and attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals, and a significant event in Black British culture. The most colourful of all the annual events in London, main features include vivid national costumes and traditional flavorful foods including curried rice and peas, jerk chicken, fried plantains, and lots of rum punch.

 

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Great Hall Yule Ball - Tourist Attraction in London

Where – Studio Tour Drive,  Leavesden, WD25 7LR

When: Until 28 January 2018

Discover how film-makers created fire, ice, and snow that never melts as we undergo a magical makeover for Hogwarts in the Snow. See the Harry Potter film series’ most iconic sets decorated for festive scenes. The Great Hall is transformed, the Gryffindor common room is dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow is meticulously applied to the majestic Hogwarts castle model.

 

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Open Air Theatre in London

Where – Regents Park, London, NW1 4NU

When:  to

The award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a London landmark – a firm fixture of summer in the city, providing a cultural hub in the beautiful surroundings of a Royal Park. Established in 1932, the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is one of the largest theatres in London. Celebrated for its bold and dynamic productions (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Seagull, Porgy and Bess, The Crucible, Henry V), over 140,000 people visit the theatre each year during the 18-week season. See a Shakespeare play, family show or hit musical under summer skies in the center of the Royal Park.

 

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Annual Outdoor Performing Arts Festival
Sense of Unity. Photo by Doug Southall

Where – Across East (Tower Hamlets) and South East London (Greenwich)

When:  to

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) presents free outdoor arts across Greenwich and East London. The best of UK and international street performers bring extraordinary sights and sound to Greenwich, Tower Hamlets and beyond where you can experience everything from awesome, night-time spectaculars to exquisite outdoor dance performances, gravity-defying circus, puppets of all shapes and sizes and entertainment for everyone from toddlers to grandparents.

 

The Boat Race

The Boat Race - Event in London
By PointillistOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Where –

River Thames
Start – Putney Bridge
End – Barnes Railway Bridge & Chiswick Bridge

When: First week of April

The Boat Race is an annual contest between two rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities. With each team having a distinctive shade of blue (Oxford – dark blue and Cambridge – light blue), the Boat Race became a landmark in the British sporting history, attracting every year thousands of visitors that want to be part of this exciting event. With an enormous international audience, the Boat Race became the reason why many tourists choose April as the perfect time to visit London.

 

London New Year’s Eve Fireworks

London New Year's Eve FireworksWhere – 

Riverside Building, County Hall
Westminster Bridge Road
London, SE1 7PB

When: 31 December 2018

Hear Big Ben’s famous “bongs” ring out at midnight on New Year’s Eve in London, followed by the UK’s largest annual fireworks display over the Coca-Cola London Eye, presented by the Mayor of London.

 

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