Travelling to London solo? Fear not! These are my top 10 things to do alone in London if you find yourself in the city on your own.
Ever felt the temptation to hop on the tourist bus (both figuratively and literally) when visiting a new place? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by large cities like, particularly when you are visiting these places as a solo traveller.
I’ll admit that the first time I arrived in London alone, the magnitude of the place got the better of me. I quickly succumbed to the cliche touristy itinerary. Yet in between the double-decker buses and endless queues for tourist attractions, I quickly learnt that the best experiences I had were the ones I discovered myself (and by discover I don’t mean read off a guidebook).
I hope this list of my top 10 must dos in London will inspire you to explore the city a little deeper. Just wait and see what exciting discoveries you might make along the way!
Top 10 Things to do in London on your Own
1. Climb to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral
In my opinion, taking the time to wander through beautiful buildings is one of the best things to do alone in London. St Paul’s Cathedral is a great place to start, as it is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. The domed roof alone is could be marvelled at for hours.
A little secret that most people don’t know about is the view from the top of St Paul’s. You will have to climb endless sets of stairs to get up there, but the panoramic photo opportunity is totally worth it. With sweeping views over London, it is the perfect place to sit by yourself and watch the hustle and bustle of the city.
Fast-track your entrance to St. Paul’s by booking this ticket
2. Buy some goodies from Fortnum and Mason
London’s Fortnum and Mason has got to be one of the most magical food store shops in the world. The store is dripping with elegance, from its crystal chandeliers and long glass jars filled with colourful candies. Inside you’ll find all kinds of sweet treats, gourmet food products and a phenomenal range of teas. It’s a great spot to pick up some travel gifts for your friends and family back home!
3. Take a trip back to 1969 and visit Abbey Road
You’ve got to tick off at least a few cliche things to do in London on your own. Skipping along the famous Zebra crossing singing “Here Comes The Sun” is a must-do for every Beatles fan! Make sure you snap a picture (and if you need advice on how to take photos when travelling solo, I’ve got your back).
While you are in the area, head down the road to check out one of the most famous recording studios in the world. Or, head to the nearby Hart & Lova bakery for one of the best croissants in London.
To learn more about London’s rock ‘n’ roll history, try this tour
4. Kick back in Green Park
The ultimate solo travel activity in London: sitting in the park and watching the world go by. Slightly smaller and less populated than Hyde Park, Green Park is the ultimate place for doing just this.
If you are like me and find people-watching rather thrilling, find yourself a nice piece of grass, a park bench or even a deck chair (if you go at the right time of year) and kick back. If you are lucky, with Buckingham Palace located right opposite, you’ll see one of the off-duty guards strolling through the park. Hey, you might even get a glance of Queen Lizzy!
5. Visit and watch a show at Shakespeare’s Globe
It may not be the original structure, but Shakespeare’s Globe is a fabulous reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse, which was burnt down in a fire not once, but twice. Opened in 1997, the authenticity of the space is commendable… It even still operates as a working theater! You can go and spectate the Shakespeare’s classics all year around… And if you are lucky, they could be played out by some rather famous actors!
Even the seating system hasn’t changed- all you poor uni students can stand on the grounds just like the peasants, whilst the slightly classier civilians can pay their way to luxurious tiered seating.
For a tour of the Globe, check here
6. Discover your own little piece of London history
In this historically-rich hub of a city, it is a really rewarding experience to discover your own personal connection to somewhere or something. Being in London on your own provides an opportune time do exactly this.
Whether this is the tombstone of a person in history you admired or simply a coffee shop featured in your favourite book. Discovering a little significant nuance in this massive city makes the place feel, well, a little smaller.
For me, this was going to Westminster Abbey and finding the plaque from my grandpa of many generations ago. He was the King’s musician, and he wrote the music to “Auld Lang Syne.” Getting to see this plaque in real life was a really special experience.
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7. Go buy dirt cheap tickets to a West End show
When in London, you simply can’t go pass watching a magnificent West End show. There is no shortage of shows and musicals to pick from. Plus, travelling London solo means you can pick exactly the show you want to see!The best news is you don’t have to spend and arm and a leg to get hold off tickets.
To get tickets:
- buy them in advance online
- look for a stall around London selling cheap tickets (they are everywhere!)
- go to the theatre an hour or two before the show and go on the standby list…
You can buy tickets for less than price of a pub dinner and a pint of beer! When I was in London, I found 20 pound tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Theatre. I may have had a back-row seas but it was still a dream come true!
8. Hang out for the day at Hampstead Heath
This little pocket of town is one of the best places you can hang out on a lazy day. With 320 acres of grassy parkland to wander through, there is no better way to escape the city. Take a picnic to the park and watch the world go by. Or sit in one of the many surrounding garden pubs for a pint and a bite to eat.
9. Find the Tardis from Doctor Who
An absolute must for ‘Doctor Who’ fans, hop off the train at Earl’s Court to find the original Tardis in all its shining glory! Or, if you want to see more ‘Doctor Who’ sites, check this walking tour. This is another great thing to in London on your own (and you’ll get to meet some fellow Doctor Who fans along the way)!
10. Soak in the views from the Shard
If you want to soak in some of the most spectacular panoramic views over London, you need to go up the Shard. Tickets aren’t cheap, but the views really are unparalleled. Catch a list up to the 72nd floor of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. You can even venture outside onto Western Europe’s highest viewing platform!
If you are planning to go Shard, you can pre-book your ticket online to secure a time slot and pay later.
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