London: A Year-Round Bucket List

London: A Year-Round Bucket List

London 101 Year-Round Bucket List - The Overseas Escape

Rain, snow, or generally poor weather, here is a quick weatherproof bucket list for jolly ole London Town:

 1 | Tower of London – Steeped in nearly 1,000 years of history the tower (formally known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress) sits along the Thames and also houses Her Majesty’s Crown Jewels. Guided tours are provided by uniformed Beefeaters. It’s a must.

2 | Borough Market – Soft breads to hard cheeses the market functions as a grocer for residents and a fun and tasty place to explore for visitors. Street food, like mouthwatering gyoza, is for sale in the square in the back.

3 | Brunch at The Breakfast Club – A brunch-time favorite with locals and visitors, dive head first into a bloody mary and then move on to pancakes. Locations across the city.

4 | Victoria & Albert Museum – The world’s largest museum for decorative arts and design, allot some time to explore the galleries and exhibitions ranging from Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty collection (through August 2015) to Edward Snowden’s smashed laptop.

5 | Camden Town – Former stomping ground of Amy Winehouse and other ecletic and intriguing personalities, stop by the Stables Market with over 700 stalls (literally, stables) of vendors, better yet – stroll Regent’s canal and grab fish and chips from Poppies.

6 | Aqua Bar at the Shard – On the 31st floor of the towering Shard, go for a drink at sunset to soak up gorgeous London views. Velvety purple seats and floor to ceiling windows, make a reservation in advance!

7 | Warner Brothers Studios: The Making of Harry Potter – A favorite of muggles worldwide, the studio is just outside the city and requires the better part of a day to visit. If you’re a HP reader, consider this: the studio has received 15,000 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor.

8 | Westminster Abbey – Awe inspiring, massive and bursting with history – both old and new (a la William & Kate), make time for a visit but prepare to leave your camera at the hotel.

9 | Churchill War Rooms – The underground bunker and command center for Churchill’s victory in WW2. Listen to his speeches, learn a bit of history and prepare to be floored by the ingenuity of the era.

10 | The Classic Telephone Booth Shot – Hold your nose (you’ll see) and hop in one of the many flashy fire engine red telephone booths across the city. Sure, it’s touristy but it’s a must.

11 | Covent Garden – A small district chock full of shops and restaurants, the best part though – the street performers! Performance space is so highly sought after that performers compete four times a year for a slot to perform in the main square.

12 | Brick Lane Market & Curry Houses – Two words: empty stomach. Between the delicious global cuisine and curry houses there’s a lot to see and taste. Ignore the hagglers on the street pushing you to try their restaurants, pick one ahead of time and stick with it.

Additional resources: London First Time Visitor’s Guide – Lady Relocated // London Travel Guide – Rick Steves // London for Foodies – AFAR // The Best Gastro Pubs in London – Stylist // London Event Listings – The Londonist

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Also see: Paris: A Year-Round Bucket List

travel guide - The Overseas Escape

  • Julia

    I remember the V&A being my favorite part of my entire visit to London when I was younger (like really young, it’s been forever since I’ve been). There was the most incredible fashion retrospect, and I’m still dreaming of the clothes to date!

    Love this list, it has for sure inspired me to want to go back. So many cities though, so little money, and only so many vacation days!! #thestruggle

    • ha! #thestruggle is real. I hear you, dear! Now if only we could get the British pound to drop down a bit so we can go there and have a hay day!

  • As someone who lives here (and takes most of these things for granted), I always enjoy reading other people’s Bucket List wishes for London 🙂

    The nice thing about this list is you can do a lot of it for free, even places like the Tower of London are really cool to wander around outside like the old cobblestone street (which I think might have been where you posed for your Tower Bridge photo unless you went a bit further east and took from the other side) and Traitor’s Gate.

    • Well that certainly means a lot coming from you, Penny! Amazing how you knew precisely where we were standing when we took that picture, ha! 🙂

      • /stalker 😉

        It may have helped that I was right there myself just this last Friday, LOL

        • haha! I’m just going to dub you as the expert of London.

  • London is my favourite city to visit. There is always something going on that you are never short of something to do, whether it be a festival or exhibition. I can’t wait to visit again later this year.

    • I hear you, dear! So my energy, history and culture whirled together. It’s definitely a place all it’s own!

      I just adore Camden Town, have you visited?

      • I haven’t no! I’ve been to London twice and I haven’t even been to Westminster Abbey yet haha. I’m going again this year but only there for a few days this time so won’t have much time for exploring unfortunately.

  • London is such an amazing city, there’s always something to do (as long as your bring the proper coat)!

    • ha, sighh.. if only we could pick London up and drop it on the equator, ya know? maybe we can talk to the mayor or something?

  • I’ve only done half of what you’ve listed, but I can’t wait to go back and explore more. Thanks for the tips! 🙂 -Naila

    • ohh, there ya go Naila! what was your favorite thing you did thus far? I just loveeee Camden Town – so eclectic!

  • Great choices! You captured a lot of the must-dos. Lovely photos and thx for the shout out sista.

    • of course! I really loved how well organized your post was – so perfect for first timers! xox

  • Helena

    Saving this post for when I’m going to London this summer! Thanks for sharing!

    • woohoo! have a lovely trip dear! have some fish and chips for me! 😀

  • The slow pace

    We will be visiting some friends in London in May and I just can’t wait!! The Breakfast Club is happening 😉

    • weee! awesome. would it be too much if I asked me to mail me your pancake leftovers? seriously, they are the best.

  • Hoping to visit London in the fall, this post will come in handy! 🙂

    • wonderful! glad to help! feel free to squish my in your luggage when you visit! 😀

  • gorgeous photos!


    • thanks so much Heather! xo

  • Love this bucket list! London is seriously #1 on my bucket list

    • YES. I can definitely understand – it’s so much freaking fun. I especially love Camden Town and Brick Lane. So, yes, definitely keep it in that #1 spot!

  • London’s the best 🙂 Seriously, we should do a blogger meet-up there! If you need any more tips, I have a travel guide as well (which pretty much just recommends all the above plus my favorite places to drink…duhhhh Beer Time With Wagner)! Miss you xo

    • DONE and DONE… but WHEN can we do it? Like, now? There answer is yes.

  • Woohoo. I’m glad to say, in my 5 visits to London, I have done 75% of the things on the list. I guess I’ll have to return soon and finish off those that remain.

    • ha, there you go Bronwyn! what was your favorite thus far? ;D

  • We loved London so much and cannot wait to return!!! So we will definitely have to try these out on our next visit.

    xx Leesa & Kate

    Travel inspiration?

    • woohoo, exciting! hope it’s sometime VERY soon and you can squish me into your luggage to come along with! 😀

  • I adore your photos!! I was in London for only a very short period of time so I’d love to go back. And it’s good to know what to do when the weather is (and often will be) a bit dreary!

    • thanks so much Daisy! hope you get a chance to go back when it’s bright and sunny! (though I completely agree.. that’s very challenging! ha)

  • Kari Guastella

    Looks like such a fun trip! Great list!

    • thanks so much sweetie! London is the best, huh?

  • So very helpful! Pinterest worthy 😀

    • ha, thanks love! are you a fan of London?

  • You two are too cute! Great list of must-dos in London. We actually passed the HP studio on the way to an interview and was so confused! We had no idea something like that was just outside London. We’ll definitely go back and add these things to our list 🙂

    • oh, an interview, huh? how’d it go! (I’m the nosiest blog commenter ever!)

      • It was in October for work for Sean. Luckily he got a job in Amsterdam instead!
        I think it’s good to be nosy. Knowledge is power! 😉

        • ha! well Amsterdam is definitely a winner – London doesn’t have canals or stroopwaffels, so there’s that!

  • Love, love London! One of my favorite cities in the world! Great list! Didn’t get a chance to do HP the last time we were there… wanted to save it when we go back with our son 🙂

    • so sweet! do you guys travel often with your son? I’m definitely not a mom yet (as I’m sure you know!) but am always curious about the joys of parents on the go!

  • some great places here, i love visiting london and still have quite a few to tick off this list!

    Rachel // Style Soup

    • me too dear! do you live in the UK? london has to be one of my favorite places… ever.

  • So cool! I would love to go to London some day. I’ll have to save this for (hopefully) when we do!

    • Perfect! I know there’s lots of advice out there about exploring the city but this is what I’ve collected over the years. It’d definitely be a solid game plan! (Sorry, no more self promotion, swear!)

      Where do you like to travel?

  • That looks extremely beautiful!

    • Thanks so much Sharice! Have you visited London? It’s definitely a stunner!

  • Margo, you’re pulling at my heart strings here…!!!

    • eck. I could daydream about RLOB (think – FB group name!) all day long, RLOB goes to London, RLOB gets a house in Cinque Terre.. ya know?

  • Your pictures are amazing! I’ve travelled to London before and loved it – your post makes me want to go back!

    • thanks so much! hopefully I mentioned everything you loved about the city?

  • Yet again…amazed by your photography. Just had to say.

    • ha, thanks dear! you wanna make me blush don’t you?!

  • Such a great list!

  • Great list… coming back here for that next trip to London! And yeahhh, why do the phone booths always smell terrible?? It’s like a rule.

  • great list!

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