Awesome One-Day Itinerary in London: Walking Tour
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Awesome One-Day Itinerary in London: Walking Tour

Awesome One-Day Itinerary in London: Walking Tour

Are you looking for a one-day itinerary in London? Then you are in the right spot.

London is one of my favorite cities, and we have spent a lot of time there. There is a lot to do and see – you might be overwhelmed by the sheer choice of options.

Luckily for you, I have narrowed down the choices to two possible itineraries.

If you love walking, then these London walking tour guides come at the right time for you. I’ll guide you through the most iconic parts of London in this post.

So let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

  • How to Spend 1 Day in London
  • 1. London Walking Tour (History & Culture)
    • The London Eye

    • Big Ben
    • Westminster Abbey
    • Buckingham Palace
    • Trafalgar Square
    • Piccadilly Circus
    • Covent Garden
    • St. Paul’s Cathedral
    • London Bridge & Tower Bridge
    • Borough Market
  • 2. London Walking Tour (Authentic London)
    • Mayfair

    • Notting Hill
    • Kensington
    • Belgravia
  • Where to Eat During 1 Day in London
  • Conclusion: One Day in London Itinerary – Walking Tours
  • About the Author

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How to Spend 1 Day in London

One day is not nearly enough time to see all of London. However, I still managed to create two itineraries that will show you the best of the city in just a day.

The London History & Culture Walking Tour will cover the best spots of historical value in about 2 hours of walking time. That is the first option for a one-day London itinerary.

Of course, you’ll also need some time to see the sights and check them out from the inside. This itinerary will keep you busy all day, but you’ll definitely feel like you’ve seen the best parts of the city in the process.

The alternative is the Authentic London Walking Tour. This London itinerary will lead you through the famous boroughs of Notting Hill, Chelsea, and Mayfair.

Both itineraries have their pros and cons – so make sure to pick the one that is more suited to your interests.

1. London Walking Tour (History & Culture)

My favorite way to explore London in one day is by walking. The city center is super walkable, and you pass by many sights in a short amount of time.

I have created the ultimate London Walking Tour Map for you. It takes you along the major sights and most famous buildings in London.

The walking time is about 2 hours. With stops in between, you will be able to keep busy all day. It starts and ends at the Waterloo Station.

This London Walking Tour includes all the major cultural and historical sights. If you want an alternative route, keep looking further down.

For more information on the stops keep on reading below.

google maps screenshot of london with a london walking tour map marked with top hot spots in london
London Walking Tour Map – Highlights of London

The London Eye

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel right on the River Thames in London. Super iconic.

You hop into these big, glass pods and get amazing views of the city. It takes about 30 minutes to do a full loop. Great for photos and just soaking in the London vibe.

A must-see if you’re into travel and amazing views!

Big Ben

The next stop on my London walking tour is the Big Ben. Big Ben is another must-see in London!

Technically, “Big Ben” is the nickname for the bell inside the tower. But most people use it as a synonym for the whole clock tower.

The Big Ben is right next to the UK Parliament. It was built in the 19th century.

When it chimes, you really feel like you’re in London. It’s been through renovations, but it’s still a classic spot for tourists and history lovers!

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a beautiful church that will take you back in history,

It’s not just any church. Kings and queens have been crowned there for centuries.

Lots of famous poets and scientists are buried there too. It has amazing architecture and it’s right near Big Ben and Parliament so you can just walk over.

Whether you’re into history, culture, or just cool old buildings, it’s a must-see!

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the King’s official London home, and it’s super fancy! It is one of the must-visit stops on this 1 day in London itinerary. When I visited, it was still Queen Elizabeth II who lived there.

The guards in red uniforms and those iconic black hats are posted right outside, super fancy. The palace has a ton of rooms and a beautiful garden.

If you’re there at the right time, you can catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It’s a whole show and super British.

Plus, if the King is home, they’ll hang out a special flag.

The walk from Buckingham Palace toward Trafalgar Square is also quite nice. You’ll walk right between St. James Park and the Green Park.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square can be described as the living room of London. It’s a lively place where people hang out and stuff happens.

In the middle, there is a big column with a statue of Admiral Nelson on top.

Around the square, you’ll find cool art galleries like the National Gallery. It’s a popular spot for events, protests, or just feeding the pigeons.

Trafalgar Square is a real mix of history, culture, and everyday London life!

trafalgar square with fountain in the middle

Piccadilly Circus

If you have enough time in your London walking tour, you need to hop by Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus is London’s flashy, busy hangout spot. Kind of like Times Square in New York, but with a British twist.

There’s this big LED display, lots of shops, and theaters. Chinatown is also around the corner.

You’ll find tourists, locals, street performers—all kinds of people. It’s super close to other cool areas like Soho and Leicester Square.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a shopper’s and foodie’s paradise in London (perfect for me!).

It’s got this cool market where you can find all sorts of stuff—crafts, food, you name it.

The area is also famous for street performances like magicians, musicians, and more. Plenty of cute cafes and pubs are around to grab a bite or a coffee.

It’s lively, it’s charming, and there’s always something going on. If you’re looking for a mix of classic and quirky, Covent Garden is the place to be!

My tip: if you are more into fancy designer brands, you need to check out Harrods instead.

beautiful covent garden with a cafe with table and chairs and flower bouquets

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s standout landmarks and you should definitely pass by on your London walking tour.

It’s got this massive dome that you can see from all over the city. The cathedral has been around since the 17th century.

Inside, it’s all grand and ornate. You can even climb up for a killer view of London.

It is also a hotspot for big events, like royal weddings and national celebrations.

St. Pauls cathedral from the outside on a sunny day

London Bridge & Tower Bridge

On your way back to the Waterloo Train Station, you will want to pass by the London Bridge or the Tower Bridge.

People often mix these two up!

London Bridge is more low-key. It’s mainly just a way to get across the River Thames, but it’s got history.

Tower Bridge is the show-off with the two big towers and a drawbridge in the middle. You’ve probably seen it in movies or photos. You can walk across it and even go up into the towers.

Both are cool in their own way, so it is up to you which one you choose for your crossing.

Borough Market

Borough Market is a food lover’s dream in London. It’s one of the oldest markets around, and it’s near London Bridge.

The place is packed with food stalls selling everything from fresh produce to international street food.

Think cheese, bread, spices, and so much more.

If you’re into trying different flavors and love a bustling atmosphere, Borough Market is a must-visit!

2. London Walking Tour (Authentic London)

If history and culture are not as much your thing, and you want to see more of “authentic” London, you are in the right spot. You can also spend your 1 day in London exploring the other fancy boroughs.

This second, alternative London Walking Tour Map will guide you through the other interesting boroughs of London: Belgravia, Kensington, Notting Hill, and Mayfair.

There are fewer sights on this route. Instead, you can find fancy shopping, impressive parks, cute cafés, and charming suburbs filled with colorful houses.

Mayfair

Mayfair is known for upscale elegance.

Mayfair offers high-end shopping on Bond Street and stunning Georgian architecture.

You can also enjoy lush green spaces like Grosvenor Square. Walk down Park Lane and see luxurious hotels that offer delicious afternoon tea.

It’s a hub for luxury, fine dining, and art galleries.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a charming neighborhood in London known for its colorful houses.

It has a great atmosphere and a diverse community. Portobello Road Market is a highlight, where you can shop for antiques, fashion, and street food.

The area is quite famous for the movie “Notting Hill,” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It’s a great spot with a mix of boutiques, cafes, and great vibes.

Kensington

Ah, Kensington! It’s a posh area in London. It is known for its beautiful gardens and upscale shops.

You’ll find Kensington Palace there, where some royals live. It’s also home to cool museums like the Natural History Museum.

Great spot if you love history and culture! Plus, plenty of chic cafes for when you need a break. Definitely a must-visit!

Belgravia

Belgravia is another fancy spot in London, super close to Buckingham Palace.

Think grand homes, elegant squares, and lots of embassies. It’s the kind of place where you might bump into a celebrity.

Shopping is upscale, mostly designer stuff. If you’re into classic British vibes and high-end living, you’d love it there!

Where to Eat During 1 Day in London

My favorite place to lunch in London is Aubaine at Selfridge’s.

The cute cafe is covered in purple wisteria and is super chic. The food is amazing and it is the place to be. It is one of the most instagrammable cafés in London.

If you want something more traditional, check out Caffe Concerto.

Of course, you should also try traditional English Afternoon Tea if you spend 1 day in London. I can recommend Afternoon Tea at the Hilton Park Lane or The Shard (with a view).

Conclusion: One Day in London Itinerary – Walking Tours

In this post, we have explored two cool routes for walking itineraries for your 1 day in London.

The first route will take you through the most iconic streets and along the most interesting sights. You’ll explore the history and culture of London on this route.

The second itinerary will present London from a different side. You’ll explore a bit off the beaten tracks, and see cute districts like Notting Hill and Belgravia.

Both itineraries are a great way to spend one day in London, whether you come from Southampton Cruise Port or stay in the city for longer.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half the year traveling to various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.

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