If you have a mere 48 hours to spend in the capital don’t despair. Although this is not nearly enough time to explore each and every nook of this big city, it’s plenty of time to get a good taste of what London’s all about. Follow our guide to ‘what not to miss’ and you’re sure to have a brilliant trip, with plenty of great memories to take home - read on to find out more.
Friday Check In
The impressive, recently restored Great Northern Hotel is hugely convenient (it can be accessed from the main concourse) and this luxury boutique hotel in King’s Cross St Pancras Station is oh-so glamorous too. Rooms come in three sizes; Couchette, Wainscot and Cubitt, with all offering queen or king size beds with Hypnos mattresses and luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen. In your room you can enjoy Malin and Goetz bath products, superfast 500mb Wi-Fi and a free in room entertainment package including classic movies, the latest releases and music playlists from top DJ’s.
After you have settled yourself in we recommend staying close by for dinner. The restaurant at the hotel, thePlum + Spilt Milk is an excellent choice if you enjoy modern British cuisine and top chef Mark Sergeant will ensure your meal is cooked to perfection.
Don’t forget to treat yourself to a night cap before bed in the gorgeous bar downstairs. The GNH Bar promises ‘cocktails and stolen glances ‘til late’.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and ready yourself for the day ahead. You’ve only got two days so we recommend you start early to get out and see some sights.
First up, take the tube to Waterloo and explore the exciting Southbank area which is dotted with cultural gems and other exciting attractions. Climb the Oxo tower to get a fabulous view of the city and be sure to enjoy some of what the area has to offer – perhaps visiting the Royal Festival Hall or the Hayward Gallery. After this head towards Westminster Bridge where you can walk or hop on a bus that will take you to Parliament Square, where you can get up close to Big Ben, see Westminster Abbey and take in the wonderful historic part of town.
Onwards for Lunch and Shopping
After all this walking it’s a good time to hop on a tube to Covent Garden. This is a bustling area, which offers great shopping and another taste of quintessential London. But first of course, lunch! From the tube it is a 2 minute walk to quirky vegetarian restaurant Food for Thought on Neal Street -you won’t find a lunch plate fresher or tastier in the capital.
Spend the afternoon exploring some of the shops at Covent Garden and if you still have walking legs, Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street too before heading back for a rest.
For the Evening
Have dinner at one of the West end’s many great restaurants then go and see a show. The Book of Mormon is huge at the moment, so see if you can get some seats.
Lie in if you want but you’ll only be missing out... So start the day with a good breakfast followed by a visit to the Tate Modern. The Turbine hall is a huge space that has to been seen, with frequently changing exhibitions. After you explored the rest of the gallery too have lunch in the café overlooking the river.
See Some Sights
Next hop on the tube to Leicester Square, where if time is on your side you can enjoy a fabulous sightseeing walk. Head for Trafalgar Square, see Nelsons Colum and the now famous Fourth Plinth.
It is currently home to an enormous blue cockerel Hans/Cock by German sculptor Katharina Fritsch and has become a favourite with Londoners and visitors alike. Afterwards take a stroll thorough St James Park and then once you’ve taken in the glory of this wonderful public space, continue on to Buckingham Palace to see how the Royals live.
Eat the English Way
No weekend in London would be complete without a proper Sunday Roast in traditional London pub. Make your way to the Mall Tavern in Notting Hill and enjoy roast beef cooked to perfection with all the trimmings.
What would you include on your own 48 hours in London? Or have you enjoyed any of the suggestions we’ve made? We’d love to know – so please do get commenting!