What to do in London alone?
Visiting London promises an intense city trip, as the English capital is unique in Europe. Whether you visit London, the richness of its culture, its heritage, and its dynamism make it a destination that you’ll never be tired of. If you plan to visit the English capital soon, then I got for you the perfect list of things to do in London alone.
Top 32 things to do alone in London
1. Watch the sunset
If you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset in London alone, then look no further. The ideal location is undoubtedly Primrose Hill. It is made up of a hill and measures 78 meters in height. Reaching its summit requires a bit of exercise, but the city unfolds before your eyes once at the top.
The view offers the London skyline and Hampstead too. Primrose Hill gave its name to the surrounding district, and I really liked the Zen atmosphere that reigns there.
In addition to the hill and the magnificent sunset view, Primrose Hill is also a very chic and charming district that offers beautiful walks and good places for lunch, dinner, or brunch in London.
In my eyes, it’s a must-have, and it has to be on my Top 32 Things to do in London alone list.
2. Try cafés
British cafes are places of their own. Once in the English capital, it is mandatory to try a British cafe. I suggest you make a short stop at Cafe Laville in Little Venice. The cafe overlooks the canal and is the perfect place for brunch or lunch.
Also, the meals in the cafe are delicious, and the service is always up to expectations. Additionally, the sight of the cafe transports you to another world.
3. Take a double-decker bus and sit on the first floor
Undoubtedly one of the best activities to do in London alone is to take a double-decker bus and sit on the first floor. I highly recommend taking your first trip on Bus N ° 11. It is the perfect route to discover the English capital.
The journey lasts 1 hour, it starts from Liverpool Street Station and ends at Victoria Station. Along the way, you will pass by the Bank of England, the second oldest central bank in the world. You’ll also see the Bank of England Museum.
There you can try the challenge of lifting a gold bar. On the way, you’ll come across the Royal Exchange Site, a trading center built in the 1500s. Today, it serves as a luxury shopping and restaurant complex.
Then, you’ll see the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London.
Additionally, you’ll see St Paul’s Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge, the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub, The Tipperary, the Royal Courts of Justice, Australia House, and so many other mesmerizing places.
4. Try markets
Just like anything else in London, English Markets are unique, especially Borough Market. It is the capital’s most famous and oldest food market.
Located near London Bridge and Tate Modern, where you can take a pleasant stroll along the Thames, this covered market has many stalls. There you will find fish, fruit and vegetable, cheese and bakery shops.
You will also find street food stalls from all over the world. A visit to the Borough Market is a festival of colors and flavors and the assurance of tasting exceptional products!
5. Enjoy an English breakfast
If you want an English breakfast, go to one of the many small cafes in London and order a Full English Breakfast consisting of cooked beans, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and various other side ingredients.
Consistent as it is, it is not eaten every day but more often on weekends and holidays as a replacement for lunch. However, when you are a tourist in London, you will certainly not go without enjoying a delicious English Breakfast on the pretext that it is eaten more often than on weekends.
6. Camden Town
Camden Town is a must-see while in London. Known to be the alternative district of London, it was joyous chaos that I discovered. Camden Market is a real maze, and the atmosphere is quite incredible. This district is particularly famous for its very lively flea markets.
But that’s not its only attraction. You will also be able to discover the punks, gothic, rock’n’roll, disco, and anti-globalization cultures there. It is a young and dynamic district where Street Art lovers can feast. The facades of the shops are colorful with atypical signs, and you will find crazy and very nice items.
Finally, end your visit to this area with a walk along the Regent Canal, where the atmosphere will be quieter. If I have any advice for you for discovering Camden Town while in London, don’t be afraid to get lost!
7. St James Park
What is super friendly when you visit London on foot is to go from the frenzy of the city to the tranquility of the superbly maintained parks where squirrels are king. It is the case of St James’s Park, which covers 23 hectares and is very close to Buckingham Palace.
St James’s Park is located in the continuity of Hyde Park and Green Park. Additionally, St James’s Park features a lake with two islets.
Initially, this green space in the heart of London had been bought by King Henry VIII, and as is often the case with royal parks, his successors have each brought their personal touch to the place, sculpting over the centuries the current landscape of Saint James’ Park.
8. A walk along Regent's canal
If you’re looking for some Amsterdam tunes, head to the Regent Canal, located in Little Venice. The Regent Canal, which extends the Grand Union Canal from Little Venice and bypasses London from west to east to join the Thames in the south, is a 22 km waterway.
Its shores are accessible on foot or by bike on almost all of its roads. It offers superb walking possibilities. Also, this stroll along the water along the Regent Canal is ideal for escaping the crowds for a few hours.
9. Hire a bike to enjoy the city
If you want to discover London alone and respect the environment, nothing is better than a bicycle ride. To rent a bicycle, you should look for Santander Cycles, commonly known as Boris bikes, in reference to Boris Johnson, elected Mayor of London in 2008, who took ownership of them.
These are self-service bicycles that were launched on July 30, 2010, sponsored by brands. For five years, the Barclays bank put its name and logo on the bikes, but since spring 2015, it is the turn of Santander Bank. Today there are around more than 11,000 self-service bicycles and more than 750 stations in total in London
10. Use your camera
One of the best things to do in London alone is undoubtedly taking pictures with your camera. The English capital is full of breathtaking views. I advise you to take photos of the bridges if you want to bring back some nice pictures from your stay in London.
For example, I suggest you use your camera at Westminster Bridge. It is a great place to take photos of the Gothic Revival architecture of the Houses of Parliament. It is undoubtedly one of the most touristic corners of London, between Big Ben, the London Eye, the Sea Life Aquarium, and the famous 10 Downing Street.
Additionally, the lights showcase the entire monuments’ architecture, and the light is reflected in the water of the Thames. There are several other cool places to use your camera, such as Millenium Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Greenwich Park, etc.
11. Visit the National History Museum
On my trip to London, if there is one museum that I did not want to miss, it is the London History Museum. A real treasure for lovers of the first fruits of our world, you will find many dinosaur skeletons there, and not the least since you will be face to face with a T-rex or a diplodocus, and all kinds of other prehistoric species.
I’m a big fan of this kind of museum, and I have to say that the National History Museum in London is one of my favorites in Europe. So do not miss visiting the National History Museum; it should definitely be on your top things to do in London alone list.
12. Leake Street Graffiti Photos
Another gem to discover in the English capital is Leake Street, located behind Waterloo Station, otherwise known as Banksy Tunnel, in honor of the famous and mysterious British street artist.
The artist is renowned worldwide for his revolutionary graffiti and frescoes that provoke, shock, and disrupt present-day society. Leake Street is a 300-meter-long tunnel where the municipality permits graffiti, and the spot’s central location attracts many amateur and experienced artists.
It’s surprising how such a mysterious place can transform into a colorful, lively place where free artistic expression takes precedence. Additionally, I met many graffiti artists there, equipped with sketches and dozens of spray cans, all harnessed to finish their latest works.
13. St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most beautiful places to visit in London alone. Rebuilt in 1719 after a fire in 1666, it is today one of the emblematic monuments of the English capital.
St Paul’s Cathedral was the site of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding, and several other notable English events. The Cathedral fascinates visitors with its beautiful interior that you can visit and its architectural beauty.
Its visit allows you to discover its naves, its vaults, and its crypt. Additionally, St Paul’s Cathedral houses the tomb of the first Duke of Wellington.
14. Richmond Upon Thames
If you want to visit the South West suburbs of London, then I recommend spending a few moments in Richmond Upon Thames. It is a bourgeois town with an aristocratic past, as evidenced by its beautiful residences.
You will find a beautiful bridge and cute little boats to take pictures of. Also, two wonders await you in this splendid place, namely the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Gardens and Richmond Park. Additionally, both are suitable to spend a whole day there.
Richmond Upon Thames is easily accessible from London by tube or train. Moreover, the place is one of the favorite destinations of Londoners on weekends.
15. Richmond Park
Richmond Park is one of the best and most important things to do in London alone. Built in the 17th century, it is now the largest park in the English capital. Richmond Park measures an area of 10km2; I recommend at least half a day to explore it. Paved and wooded paths cross it, so do not hesitate to take your bicycle and stroll.
Richmond Park is to be seen at least once for three reasons: its large population of deer, the Isabella plantation, a lovely garden mixing various inspirations located in the southwest of the park as well as its magnificent view during the sunset. Additionally, you can see St Paul’s Cathedral through the telescope from King Henry’s Mound.
16. Stompie garden
One of the most splendid and underrated places to visit in London alone is undoubtedly Stompie Gardens. It is a green space that houses a colorful T-34/85 tank. Stompie Gardens is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre and fun experiences to have in London.
The T-34/85 tank appeared for the first time in 1995. The Stompie Gardens owes its name to the inhabitants of Old Kent Road in homage to Stompie Moeketsi Sepei, the teenager murdered by Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards in 1989.
17. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is the largest one in central London. It is 140 hectares in size, and if you want a breath of fresh air away from the crowds, this should be your thing. It’s the perfect place for cycling, picnicking, walking, pedaling, and even taking a boat.
Exploring Hyde Park is arguably one of the best things to do in London alone. Moreover, you will find several bicycles at your disposal at the entrance to the park to make it easier to navigate on your own.
Additionally, in London, as winter and the holiday season and the spirit of Christmas approach, part of the iconic Hyde Park is transformed into an amusement park.
Another place that fascinated me in London is the district of Shoreditch. Since 1996, this district of East London has transformed into one of the most desirable places in London. It is a good, lively district where it is good to stroll, especially for its street food stalls and street art.
I recommend that you start your tour with the streets around Liverpool Street tube station in the Shoreditch area. It is where the Stansted Airport Shuttle departs from, and you will be on a convenient tube line to access several London attractions.
19. 10 Adam Street
If you couldn’t fully explore Downing Street, where the Prime Minister’s famous offices are located, I invite you to go to 10 Adam Street. As far as I’m concerned, I find it disappointing that you can’t visit Downing Street the way you want because of the police at the entrance, limiting visibility.
10 Adam Street is always an excellent way to catch up because the little peculiarity of this area is that it is the exact replica of the British Prime Minister’s door. 10 Adam Street is an excellent way to make your friends believe that the governing elite has specifically invited you for tea.
20. 280 Westbourne Park road
Another iconic place in the English capital is 280 Westbourne Park road, located in the Notting Hill district. It is known for being home to the famous blue door from the Notting Hill film.
Without forgetting, of course, the bookshop of the film, the travel bookshop located at 142 Portobello Road. In short, Notting Hill is one of the most beautiful and chic districts of the capital, so don’t hesitate to discover it on your own!
21. Change of the guard
Another must-do activity to do in London on your own is witnessing the change of the guard. Indeed, you will find the Horse Guards guarding all day in front of the Horse Guards building in Whitehall.
The Changing of the Guard takes place almost every day at 11:30 am at Buckingham Palace. However, sometimes it is not organized, so I invite you to check before you go. I also invite you to take photos and videos of the ceremony and admire the great uniforms of the guards.
22. Old Spitalfields Market
If you don’t know it yet, I am a huge fan of markets and London is full of markets of all kinds and all styles. One of my favorites is Old Spitalfields Market. It is a magnificent old market, which has become a landmark for people who want a quick bite to eat and stroll along with the stalls.
Additionally, the Old Spitalfields Market is home to several shops selling splendid second-hand clothing. You will find all styles from retro to classy, so don’t hesitate to check out the market!
23. Big Ben
Difficult to talk about things to do in London alone without mentioning Big Ben. It is undoubtedly London’s symbol; it takes its name from its most giant bell. As this tour is only open to Great Britain’s residents, most tourists will only see the outside of the 96-meter tower.
Backed by Westminster Abbey, Big Ben stands out for its size and charm. If you want to admire this English emblem without being surrounded by many tourists, I advise you to go to the Palace of Westminster located on Westminster Bridge.
24. The London Eye
If there is one place in London that I would particularly recommend to you to enjoy the natural views, it’s the London Eye. On the South Bank of the Thames, you will find this Ferris wheel, just in front of the Houses of Parliament.
London Eye gives you a superb 360-degree view of the entire city of London. For me, it’s one of the best things to do in London Alone, and the proof is that it has been the most visited attraction in the capital for several years.
25. King 's Cross Platform 9 ¾
Writing about the best places to visit in London alone without mentioning Harry Potter would be unfair to the British and the English capital.
You can ease your Potterian urges by visiting the official Harry Potter Shop at King Cross Station and taking a free souvenir photo. You will definitely have to queue at peak times, but the wait is well worth it from my perspective.
26. Tower Bridge
You can’t visit London without crossing its most famous bridge, the Tower Bridge. This famous bridge spans the famous London River. Regarding the construction of Tower Bridge, it dates back to the 11th century, but the building was enlarged several times in the following centuries.
You should also know that the Tower of London is home to the British Crown Jewels, and you can see them during your visit. And this is undoubtedly one of the reasons why this historic site is visited so much.
Entry to the tourist site is entirely free, and the atmosphere is friendly. Additionally, I strongly advise you to cross Tower Bridge, each of its corners is a fantastic place to take pictures and enjoy the views.
27. Tate Modern Art Gallery
For those who would prefer a little more modernism, it is impossible not to stroll at the Tate Modern Art Gallery, one of my favorite museums in London. The famous Modern Art building is located on the south bank of the Thames.
It has made its home in a former power station that has become a symbol of artistic and daring London. Extremely rich in modern works, the Tate Modern Art Gallery is the promise of a contemplative stroll as we love them.
Additionally, you can enjoy a magnificent view of St Paul’s Cathedral while drinking coffee or juice in a nearby cafe. So don’t hesitate to add it to your list of the best things to do in London alone, especially that the entrance is for free.
28. Uber Boat Service
Another activity that I highly recommend doing in London alone is to try the Uber Boat Service. It’s a great way to discover the English capital’s Thames Clippers.
There are numerous routes available from 23 piers, and you’ll probably be amazed by how easy it can be to go from one place to another while enjoying yourself. You can purchase the ticket via the app, and it only costs 4,60 £.
29. Greenwich Park
In the district of Greenwich in the east of London, you’ll find a fantastic park. Perched high on a hill overlooking the River Thames, Greenwich Park offers fabulous St Paul’s Cathedral, the Canary Wharf, and the Millennium Dome.
The British park measures 74 hectares and has belonged to the British crown since 1427. It was notably the birthplace of Henry VIII and his two daughters: Mary I and Elizabeth I. Additionally, the park is home to the Royal Observatory of Greenwich, Also referred to as Flamsteed House, and the National Maritime Museum.
30. Kingston upon Thames
Another area to visit during your stay in London is Kingston upon Thames. It is the central agglomeration southwest of the capital. The history of Kingston Upon Thames is linked to the Saxon kings; in this symbolic place of the English capital, the kings were crowned.
Today Kingston Upon Thames has become one of the main urban centers of London. I urge you to take a little tour there on your own; you won’t regret it!
31. Teddington Lock
The list of top 32 things to do in London alone is coming to an end, but it is essential to talk about Teddington Lock before ending it. Teddington Lock is a spillway over the Thames between Ham and Teddington.
Teddington Lock is the lowest of the locks at full tide, which allows it to be crossed by ferry or steamboat. So make the most of it and discover London differently! Additionally, Teddington Lock has been named the best place to live in the English capital.
32. The Embankment Twickenham and Eel Pie Island
The last activity I suggest doing is exploring the Twickenham Embankment and Eel Pie Island. Twickenham is a riverside residential district, and it houses Eel Pie Island. Its history dates back to 3000 years b.c.
When in the Twickenham area, I highly recommend strolling down Church Street and experiencing the alfresco dining and Eel Pie pub, a walk in Marble Hill park and catching the Hammertons Ferry across the river (or hiring a rowing boat if you feel energetic!).
Twickenham also is home to Twickenham Rugby stadium and numerous shops, restaurants, parks and historic buildings.
However, the best attraction is the Twickenham embankment, located at Eel Pie Island’s footbridge. Twickenham embankment is a beautiful and quiet riverside area with great views and wildlife. It is also the starting point of the Richmond Bridge walk.
When you cross the river to Eel Pie Island you’ll discover the place differently from other tourists. It was the home to the 60s British Rock Festival where numerous famous Rock bands played, including the iconic Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and Screaming Lord Sutch.
The island also is home to the Twickenham Rowing Club and has it’s own very unique and quirky atmosphere which has to be experienced on a trip to the area!
When I was taking this photo I met a couple of locals who shared their stories from when they attended the infamous Eel Pie Island Jazz and music events in the 60s.
In particular they shared how incredible the atmosphere was and how the ‘jive’ and the ‘stomp’ moves were quite the thing! Apparently the raised floor would shake considerably when all the partygoers would stomp to the same beats!
I hope the list of the top 32 things to do in London alone will help you plan your stay in the British capital and enjoy it to the fullest. Let me know what your favorite activity and place in London are. I look forward to reading your comments and sharing our experiences.