Seven great ways to spend time in London

Seven ways, 77 ways, 177 ways to spend time in London. It would be easy to list and keep listing. There are so many things to keep you busy and interested in London that it would be (and is for many people) a life’s work to get to know the city and its secrets, hidden in plain sight.

1. On a bus

There are two reasons why spending time on a bus tops this list of things to do in London. Firstly, London is a massive and diverse city.

Sure, you can use the London Underground, famously known as the tube, to get around quickly but then you miss out on all the colour and texture, and life that throngs above ground, across central London and the suburbs. Secondly, the big red London buses themselves are icons and tourist attractions.

Red London Bus by Patrick Francis
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2. London Aquarium

Talking of high profile tourist attractions, located on the South Bank of the river Thames the London Aquarium is visited by about one million people each year. It offers stunning displays of aquatic life, including a ‘shark walk’, graceful sting rays, and ferociously fascinating piranhas.

The aquarium also has a strong educational element and an active conservation programme. It is possible to get money-saving family tickets for the aquarium and London aquarium vouchers and discounts are also available from selected outlets.

3. Museums

Where to start? Natural history? World history? Art and design? Surgical implements? Criminal investigations?

It’s elementary that fans of Sherlock Holmes – enjoying a massive resurgence thanks to the worldwide success of the Benedict Cumberbatch interpretation – would want to visit the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221B Baker Street. The museum is open every day except Christmas day, from 9am until 6.30pm.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum – 221b Baker Street, London – Dr Watson, Lady Frances Carfax and Sherlock Holmes by Elliott Brown
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4. London Eye

You can’t miss this giant Ferris wheel on the London skyline, and those who are willing to be gently raised 135 metres into the sky in a plastic bubble will be rewarded by a spectacular view down on the rest of us below.

5. Buckingham Palace

In the middle of central London, surrounded by greenery and light, there is something very calm about Buckingham Palace. The official London home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second is worth spending time to visit.

For maximum interest, time your visit for 11.30am and the changing of the guard, accompanied by music from the Queen’s Guard or other military band.

6. Bookshops

Charing Cross Road is the traditional location for famous and bookshops, but if you need more info about getting around London, or the rest of the world, then head to Stanfords map shop in Covent Garden. The world will be there before your eyes.

7. Oxford Street

Bookshop browsing can be combined with serious retail action on the world-famous Oxford Street, which has its own website. Bargain hunters and fashion addicts can make use of online shopping vouchers and discounts for all major stores.