Everyone may have a different idea of what the perfect holiday entails. Whether you’re looking for sun soaked beaches or a stay at the many luxury hotels in Shoreditch, there are plenty of adventures to be had either way. The city of London, however, is perfect for all ages and tastes due to its diverse array of attractions and settings. If you’ve never visited before, London encapsulates an ideal of England that may look different to each tourist out there.
It’s the versatility and shape shifting nature of the cityscape that makes it so exciting. Guests of the Montcalm Club could spend a month here and have a completely different experience each day if they planned wisely. With 32 boroughs and countless districts, London is a city made of many villages, all coalescing into over 600 square miles of space.
But what if you only have 5 days in the city? Hotels in Cumberland Place and the centre of London make for ideal starting points for a 5 day break. Whether long weekend or weekday sprint, this blog will offer top tips for holiday strategies to make the most out of London without burning yourself out.
Five Day Strategy
The first thing to remember about visiting London is that there is no way you’re going to see the whole city in just a few days. Spanning more than 600 square miles, London has 32 boroughs and many more diverse areas. Not even a Londoner has seen all of the city. Your best bet is to approach a five day London tour with a one day on, one day off strategy. An active first day followed by a more relaxed second day and so on, will stop you from burning yourself out.
Day One – Orienting Yourself
Spend your first day in London as a way to orient yourself in the city, explore the centre and see some of the sights.
Start off early with a walk from the South Bank to London Bridge. From this side of the Thames, you’ll see many of the cultural gems of the city (BFI, Southbank Centre and National Theatre) and Big Ben, the Shard and much more. You could even take a trip on the London Eye to see the sheer scale of the city.
The Tate Modern
If you have time, stop by the many free permanent galleries of the Tate Modern. This incredible former power station is a paean to the culture boiling pot that London became throughout the 20th century.
Borough Market Banquet
There’s nothing quite like the restaurants and street food stalls of Borough Market. Enjoy the choice of dozens of unique cuisines and take a tour round the nearby Globe Theatre, the spiritual home of William Shakespeare.
Day Two – Take A Breather
After a busy day in Central London, take the second day a little more relaxed. It can be a walk in the park, literally!
Enjoy The Sights And Sounds Of A Royal Park
There are eight royal parks to choose from, but if you want to stay central, then we’d recommend Hyde Park or Kensington Park, very easy to reach from luxury hotels in London like the Montcalm Marble Arch.
Dinner In Soho
Drink in the atmosphere with dinner and a bar visit in the electric Soho area. With Chinatown and plenty of no-reservation diners, you’ll be blown away by the choice at hand. Why not pair your dinner with a trip to see some up and coming comedy or cabaret at the Soho Theatre?
Day Three – Museum Sprint
Another long day ahead, LOndon’s free museums are some of the best in the world, so during your trip, you should definitely check some of them out.
South Kensington’s Exhibition Row consists of three museums – The Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert Design museum. All three are accessible to any age, and hold diverse galleries and interactive exhibits that will delight and educate. Furthermore, these three museums are famed for their truly London sensibilities, and between them hold hundreds of millions of objects concerning natural sciences, technology and the historic decorative arts. We’d say that it’s best to commit a good half day to one, so choose two and dive into London’s museum scene.
Day Four – The Great Outdoors
This is your chance to see the far edges of London. Take a train journey to one of the city’s many nature reserves. These include parks like Richmond Park, with its historic links to Henry VIII and Charles I as well as the twee, rustic Hampstead Heath, from whose Parliament Hill one can see some of the best views in London. Ancient woodland once frequented by Queen Elizabeth I and before her, Boudicea awaits in greater East London’s Epping Forest. Choose one and find out why London was anointed as a “Green City”.
Explore The Local Areas
While you’re at it, explore the local areas of your chosen wilderness. The edgeland districts and historic towns around which parks like Richmond and Hampstead are built have a unique quality to them that still retains a feel for the city they’re part of.
Day Five – Commerce And Culture
Now’s your time to head back central and peruse the many shopping opportunities in London. Indeed, many come to London for just that reason, so on your last day in London, why not pick up some souvenirs from your trip?
Department Stores Of London
Department stores like Selfridges and Harrods must be seen to be believed and though they hold a diverse variety of goods, they are a tourist attraction in and of themselves. If you’re visiting with kids, check out the toy-laden wonderland that is Hamleys on Regent Street as well.
Theatre And Music Venues
Whether you lean towards huge stadium pop shows or more intimate jazz clubs, London has plenty of options on every day of the week. The barnstorming West End shows offer everything from singalong musicals to hard hitting drama as well. Make sure to do your research and book tickets for a show you won’t forget on your last day in the English capital city.