Business Trip to London - Suggestions for the Weekend?

Communicore1991

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Hi everyone,

I'll be travelling to London for business at the end of the month meaning I'll only have the weekend to explore the sights and sounds of London. I'll be staying down in Canary Wharf.

So far here are some of the things I've found that would be interesting to see. Are there any other must see's you would add? Do you have any tips or tricks to make getting around or my experience easier? I'm planning to use Apple Pay on the tube to pay as I go and will likely take the Heathrow Express to/from the airport and then switch to/from the tube in either direction.

Tower of London
London Dungeon
Big Ben (I think it's under renovation so it's not as photographic as normal)
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Picadilly Circus (I heard it's like Times Square in NYC so just browse the area and see what's there)
Harrods
St. Paul’s Cathedral

I am from the US and this will be my first trip to Britain so I'm looking forward to the opportunity and want to make the best of my time there.

Thanks in advance for any info you provide!
 

Dimplenose

Stranger from the outside
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
How exciting for you.

I would look at the things you want to do on a map and try and group them together as London is a vast city.

The Tower of London itself can take at least half a day to visit.
Changing of the Guard is hard to see through the crowds but the soldiers parading to and from the ceremony care very photo worthy.

DH loved the views from the Sky Garden https://skygarden.london/ free to visit but you must book in advance.

Use buses as much as you can and you'll see more of London. The tube is easy but the inside of one train looks very like another.

Remember a lot of the museums are free - useful even if you just want a nice café and a clean toilet.

Have a look at Floridasun's thread just below as she was given some great ideas.
 

hyperballad

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Hi everyone,

I'll be travelling to London for business at the end of the month meaning I'll only have the weekend to explore the sights and sounds of London. I'll be staying down in Canary Wharf.

So far here are some of the things I've found that would be interesting to see. Are there any other must see's you would add? Do you have any tips or tricks to make getting around or my experience easier? I'm planning to use Apple Pay on the tube to pay as I go and will likely take the Heathrow Express to/from the airport and then switch to/from the tube in either direction.

Tower of London
London Dungeon
Big Ben (I think it's under renovation so it's not as photographic as normal)
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Picadilly Circus (I heard it's like Times Square in NYC so just browse the area and see what's there)
Harrods
St. Paul’s Cathedral

I am from the US and this will be my first trip to Britain so I'm looking forward to the opportunity and want to make the best of my time there.

Thanks in advance for any info you provide!
Hi Communicore1991

It depends on what your interests are as you won't get round to doing everything as London is pretty big, even by US city standards! You are correct in that Big Ben is still being rennovated so surrounded by scaffolding at the moment, I would personally avoid Piccadilly Circus - very busy and full of tourists and nothing like Times Square so you maybe disappointed.

If you are staying in Canary Wharf, you could check out the London Olympics site (known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) - https://www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/, visit The O2 and climb to the top for great views of the City (https://www.theo2.co.uk/) plus there is a large shopping mall called Westfield Stratford in the same area - https://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity

For a more tourist day you could then jump on the tube at Canary Wharf and take the Jubilee line into the City - get off at Waterloo for Southbank, Westminster for Houses of Parliament or Bond Street for shopping mecca of Oxford Street.

Hope that helps and you have a great time! Welcome to London :-)

Sophie
 
  • pigby

    <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2000
    I would agree with Sophie and avoid Piccadilly Circus for sure. I have been to Times Square and it isn't like that at all. You could get off the tube at Westminster (Big Ben will be right above you) and walk over it to get to London Dungeon on the opposite bank. You could also get a boat from the O2 to the same area. Whilst at the Dungeons, you might want to try the London Eye for a birds eye view of London.
    Allow plenty of time for the Tower of London as previously mentioned.
    If you like the Dungeons, you could go on a ghost walk in the evening - as you are staying at Canary Wharf, they do Jack the Rippers walks which are fun.
     

    Welsh_Dragon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2019
    You can walk around the Tower of London (nearest tube Tower Hill) to get an impression of it, without paying to go in. You can then walk across Tower Bridge to the south side of the River Thames and walk along a nice pathway besides the River (keep the River on your right). You will pass the Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe theatre, short detour to Borough Market, then the London Eye. You can cross a bridge to see St Paul's ( go to Evensong if you don't want to pay) and Covent Garden or cross back over and continue up to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Everything is very well signposted.
    Another day you could visit Buckingham Palace and Churchill's War Museum. I wouldn't bother with the London Dungeons and Piccadilly Circus is just a walk past on the way to Oxford Street/Regent Street. Camden Lock and Market is fun and as others have said the parks and many museums/galleries are free. I hope that you have lots of fun.
     

    ScotScroogeMcDuck

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2008
    if you're staying at Canary Wharf, I'd recommend getting the DLR over to Greenwich, there's a nice market and the Cutty Sark. I'd also recommend walking, if you can, from Canary Wharf to central London. Most of the walk is nice along the north bank of the Thames, and where it's not it's nice cobbled streets. It'll take you through Wapping and St Catherine's Dock, coming out at the Tower of London. It's a fair walk but a nice one.
     

    LJCrozzo

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2017
    If you are there for a short time as well and want to cram some of the sights in then one of the ‘jump on/jump off’ buses might be worth a look as well. Will take you to all the main sightseeing places and you can get on and off to browse the sights as you please. Big bus tours and Golden Tours And two I see driving around the city a lot.
     
  • Mortie

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2015
    I would suggest looking at the London walks site they do a Tower tour which will get you through the crowds quicker. You don’t have to book in advance just pay on the day. Recommend them. Would not bother with Piccadilly or Harrods, enjoy. Also have a look around Dockland as it is lovely at the weekend as it is quiet
     

    RUDisney

    Mom to Ivan & Kristina
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2002
    Just back from London. I agree with others, Piccadilly isn't anything like Times Square. Besides some large TV screens, there are stores around it. Save shopping for online or when you're home.

    I didn't go in the London Dungeons. I went into it 30 years ago and it was lame. Didn't want to have to pay again for lame.

    Loved the Tower of London! Go early and get right in line for the Crown Jewels. The line grows obscenely quick for that. Buy your admission in advance to go through the line faster.

    I'd skip St. Paul's and go to Westminster Abbey. Buy your tickets at least the day before because the standby line is long for that, but pre-sale tickets gets you in much faster. They offer a great taped tour of what you're seeing and if you pay a few more pounds, you can go up to the Queen's Jubilee Gallery. There are effigies of many old figures... Elizabeth I, for one, among other pieces. Plus, it gets you a bird's eye view of the abbey from a high perch.

    From the abbey, you can walk past Parliament and up the road where you can see 10 Downing Street. A 4-block, or so, walk will get you to Trafalgar Square. Hang a left at the square and walk up The Mall or through St. James' Park to Buckingham Palace. The park is beautiful! Once at the palace, there is a Da Vinci exhibit in the Queen's Gallery or you can go to the Royal Mews. They keep the palace horses and carriages here. It was interesting to see.

    Take your selfie stick if you'll be alone so you'll get better shots than just selfies.

    If you decide to go on the London Eye, pay for the champagne capsule that will get you right on the Eye in a much smaller group than if you went in the standby line. You'll get the benefit of a glass of bubbly while you ride. You'll see St. Paul's, the Gherkin, Shard, Parliament, Big Ben (though you can only see one clock face through the scaffolding), and many other sites.) You can plan this for the evening, if you'd like because it doesn't close as early as everything else in London.

    Have fun! London is a great city!
     



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