15 Unforgettable Things to do in London Alone

London is the city I’ve visited most in the world. I absolutely adore it and continue to go back and and time again. There are countless things to do in London alone, so you’ll never get bored no matter how many times you visit the city.

It may seem like a cliche to say London is one of the best cities in the world and everybody should visit at least once in their life. But some things are cliches because they’re true!

The good news is not only are there plenty of things to do alone in London, but the city is very easy for solo travellers to navigate.

Even if it is your first time travelling alone, London isn’t too big of a beast to tackle.

The city is so used to and open to solo tourists. Nobody bats an eye at you if you’re wandering around alone or eating alone.

Close to 40% of London’s population weren’t born in the UK. Even though it is a huge city, it is a melting pot of culture, food, and people.

Taking a solo trip to London is a choice you won’t regret.

If you’ve already decided you want to visit London alone, here are my top things to do in London alone.

There are tons of other things you can do in London by yourself, but I wanted to create a list of places to go alone in London where you won’t feel weird in the slightest being there alone.

As much as I love going for tea in London, that isn’t on the list. It is totally fine to go for tea alone in London, but it may make some newer solo travellers feel uncomfortable.

This list is for both the beginner solo travellers and the experienced solo traveller!

1. Rent a Bike and Ride Around Hyde Park

One of my favourite things to do when I’m travelling alone in London is rent a bike and ride around a park. Hype park is a great option because it is huge and has lots of sights you can stop and look at.

There are bikes you can rent all over London and in multiple places in Hyde park.

You get half an hour free, and then it is quite expensive to pay to use the bike after that.

The good news is that once you return your bike before 30 minutes is up, you can rent another bike 10 minutes later and get 30 minutes for free again!

That’s my sneaky little tip for renting bikes in London and never having to pay! I use this trick quite frequently.

You don’t have to return the bike to the same rental area you got it from. You can return it to any rental rack run by the same company!

There is a little basket on the front of the bike to hold your stuff, and you’re on your way.

Normally, there are quite a few people riding bikes around Hyde Park, so be on the lookout for other bikers, pedestrians, and horses.

Yes. Horses!

Don’t Forget!

Another important thing to remember is that you cannot ride your bike in Kensington Gardens, which are connected to Hyde Park.

Be on the lookout for signs indicating where Kensington Gardens begin, so you don’t break the rules.

One last thing to be aware of is people drive on the left-hand side of the street in London (the opposite side that we drive on in North America).

If you take your bike out on the road, be sure you’re riding the right direction and being safe.

I’m not going to share my horror story of accidentally coming across a roundabout when biking in London and trying to sort out how to use it on the fly going the opposite direction I’m used to!

Needless to say, that was the end of my biking for the day, and I walked my bike back to the nearest return rack.

Hyde Park

2. Visit the Queen’s Gallery

The Queen’s Gallery is one of the most underrated attractions in all of London, and I think it is one of the best things to do in London alone.

The Queen’s Gallery is right next door to Buckingham Palace and is a gallery where the Queen displays items from her personal collection.

The exhibit changes quarterly, and you get to see artwork and artifacts you would never otherwise be able to see since they’re straight out of the Queen’s private collection.

I’ve been there a number of times and had the chance to see some incredible collections including a Leonardo da Vinci collection that included original hand drawings.

Yeah. That was absolutely incredible.

The reason I think this is such a great thing for you to do in London by yourself is because everybody is listening to the audioguide and moving at their own pace.

Even people who come in groups get separated throughout the gallery and meet at the end.

If you’re hesitant about travelling alone, not a single soul will notice you’re alone. And if they do, they’ll simply assume the rest of your group is somewhere else in the gallery.

Plus, the Queen’s Gallery is super affordable, and if you get the back of your ticket stamped, you can reenter the gallery for free whenever you want for a year.

If you’re lucky, you just might be able to catch one exhibit the first day you’re in London and a new exhibit at the end of your trip.

It is rare for that to happen, but if it does, count yourself extremely lucky!

Get over your fear of solo travel

3. Visit a Free Museum

There are 20 free museums in London for you to explore!

There are art museums, history museums, science museums, museums about the City of London, museums about the banks, library, and so much more.

No matter what you’re interested in, there will be a free museum you can wander around for a few hours and explore.

It is so nice that there are so many free museums throughout the city. It is a nice break from paying for some of the most expensive attractions like the Tower of London.

Give your wallet a bit of a rest!

Some of my favourite museums are located in the Kensington area. The Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are right next to one another and are two of my favourites in London.

Another hugely popular free museum in London is the British Museum. It is always back full, and you can see some of the most unique artifacts in the world.

Museums are some of the best places to go alone in London because people are so absorbed in exploring the museum that they don’t pay attention to what is going on around them.

If you go during a weekday day, it will likely be pretty quiet and full of school groups. They’re busy running around doing their projects and don’t care about you.

They can get a bit loud and aggressive at times though so be aware of them. I like to leave the room if there are a bunch of little children running about. Come back later, and it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience.

Museums are often a good place to find free wifi in London so keep that in mind if you’re ever in a pinch and in dire need of internet access.

British Musem

4. Tour the House of Parliament

Just like the Queen’s Gallery, touring the House of Parliament is one of the most underrated things to do in London.

You get to go inside Westminster (not the church but the big famous building that has Big Ben) and tour around the actual place bills and laws are debated in the UK.

Before you start dozing off, it is actually quite interesting!

You can either take a guided group tour or go on a self-guided 90-minute audio tour. The audio tour is what I did and what I recommend for solo travellers.

It gives you more freedom to go at your own pace compared to taking a guided group tour.

There are only limited days you can tour the House of Parliament, so I recommend buying your ticket online in advance. You can also show up at the ticket office across the street from Westminster right outside the metro station and try to snag a last-minute ticket.

I will admit that touring the House of Parliament is a bit expensive (as most sights in London are).

Tickets range from £19 to £29 depending on what type of ticket you qualify for. You can find a list of ticket types and prices here.

This is a surprisingly fun and unique way to spend an afternoon in Central London.

Even if you’re not too into politics, the inside of the House of Parliament is stunning and well worth the price of admission alone.

You also learn about a number of interesting historical events that took place in the building.

All in all, this is definitely something you should considering doing when alone in London if you have the money and can get a ticket.

5. Take in a West End Show

One of the best things you can do alone in London as night is go to a West End show. I go to at least one show every time I’m in London and absolutely love it every single time!

The West End is similar to New York’s Broadway. There are dozens of theatres in the district, and you can choose from a wide variety of different shows.

I don’t recommend you purchase your tickets in advance through the theatre unless there is a specific show you’re dying to see.

There are two different ways to get discount theatre tickets either the day of the show or a day or two before it:

  • TKTS booth in Leicester Square
  • TodayTix app

I personally use the app 99% of the time. It is so convenient, and you can book your tickets on your phone from wherever you are and not have to worry about going all the way to Leicester Square.

Not only that, but the TKTS booth often has a long line to get tickets. It isn’t uncommon for you to waste an hour or so waiting in line to get tickets.

That just isn’t how I want to be spending my time in London!

With TKTS, you get your tickets right at the booth when you purchase them.

With TodayTix, you have to pick up your tickets at the box office at the theatre. Be sure to arrive at the theatre early enough to get your ticket and bring photo ID.

I’ve never had a problem collecting tickets when I purchase through the TodayTix app.

I just walk up to the box office, say I’m collecting my tickets, and they give them to me!

West End Show, London

A Word of Warning

I’ll always encourage you to go to a West End show. They’re absolutely fabulous and a fun way to spend a night alone in London.

However, there is one thing you need to be aware of, and that is intermission.

I always feel a bit weird during intermission because there is never any wifi in the theatres, and I can’t scroll around on my phone.

I just sit there and wait for the show to begin again.

So, if you’re going to a West End show alone, have a plan to make the intermission time fly by!

Bring a book, go for a walk around the theatre, or grab a snack or drink.

Many London hotels provide guests with a complimentary smart phone they can use during their stay.

If you’re lucky enough to stay at a hotel that offers this, catch up on the news or random Google searches. You won’t be able to access your social media, but at least you have a phone to keep you distracted!

Lastly, if you’re a frequent traveller, you may want to consider investing in a Solis wifi device.

It is your own personal pocket wifi device that gives you access to the internet pretty much anywhere and everywhere you go.

There are a few countries it doesn’t work in, but it does work in the UK.

You always have access to the internet, can scroll social media, keep in touch with family and friends, and use Google Maps to your heart’s content (big selling feature for me).

I got my Solis in 2019 and adore it.

Be sure to use code TRAVELSWITHERICA for 10% off your purchase if you decide it is the right internet solution for you and your travels!

6. Join a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are one of the best things to do in any city you visit! You get to explore part of the city with a local tour guide, and it doesn’t cost you anything except a tip.

Please be sure to always tip your free tour guides! The only money they make is from your tips!

There are tons of free walking tours in London, and you can find a free walking tour for pretty much any interest you have!

There are tours about Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter, WWII, Graffiti, different areas of London, and, of course, the royal family and history.

You can choose from a variety of different tour operators based on what you want to see and what time works best for you.

I’ve used Free Tours by Foot a number of times in London and have had a good experience each time.

But I’m sure you’ll have a great experience no matter who you go with!

This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in London alone because you’re joining a group of other tourist and listening to a guide.

There will be a lot of people on your tour, and it is easy to stay at the back of the pack and go unnoticed if you want.

Free walking tours are also a great way to meet other travellers. Many people who join free walking tours are younger, and you may be able to meet some people to tour around with for the rest of the day.

No matter what, I highly recommend taking a free walking tour near the start of your trip.

I’ve been on countless free walking tours all over the world, and they provide so much valuable information about the city you’re visiting you wouldn’t otherwise have.

A free walking tour can put a city in a whole new perspective and give you a new way of looking at it for the rest of your trip.

Big Ben, London, UK

7. Visit Kensington Palace and Explore the Gardens

Kensington Palace and its gardens are a very interesting thing to do in London. If you have any interest in the royal family or the history of the royal family, this should be a must-do for anybody visiting London.

You get to tour various parts of the palace including the King and Queen’s sleeping rooms, ball rooms, and art rooms.

There are also limited time exhibits that often feature outfits worn by royal family members.

Kensington Palace is a unique opportunity to learn quite a bit about royal history and the modern royals.

Kensington Palace is a popular attraction, so you’ll want to purchase your ticket online in advance.

You can just show up to the palace the day you want to visit, but there is a good chance all the reservations are full, and you won’t be able to tour the palace.

Even if you don’t want to go inside the palace, you should spend some time walking around the gardens.

They are huge and feature a lot of unique sights and statues for both royals from long ago and more recent royal family members.

Kensington Gardens connects to Hyde Park, so you can easily visit both in a single day.

Kensington Palace may seem like one of the odder places to go alone in London, but, trust me, it is worth the visit.

True, there isn’t an audio guide you can hide behind like some of the other attractions, but, just like the rest of the museums, people will assume you’ve just separated from your group.

If they even notice you at all!

Don’t let being nervous about being a solo traveller in London hold you back from visiting the sights you want to see!

Things to do in Kensington

Kensington Palace

8. People Watch in Trafalgar Square

I love people watching, and there isn’t a better place in London to people watch than Trafalgar Square.

It is a hub for tourists, street performers, and all things odd and interesting.

Grab a coffee to go and sit near Trafalgar Square while you drink it. You never know what you’ll see.

The square often has a number of pop-up events and markets, so you may get to experience an even more unique side of London.

Trafalgar Square is definitely full of tourist and not a place you’ll find many locals, but it is an interesting place to take a quick break, watch tourists, watch a few street performers, and take in the hustle and bustle of the area before you move onto somewhere else.

It is a just a short walk from Westminster on the way to the West End and China Town.

Most tourist will naturally walk through the area, so you may as well slow down and enjoy the chaos.

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9. Take a Day Trip

London is such a small taste of what the UK has to offer. It is super tempting to stay in London and explore everything it has to offer, but you should consider taking a day trip.

There are tons of cities you can visit on a day trip from London that only take a few hours to get to by train or bus.

My top picks are Brighton, York, and Bath.

All three cities give you a taste of a different side of the UK and gets you out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you can only choose one, I highly recommend Brighton. I love it so much!

Taking a day trip outside London may seem intimidating when you’re travelling alone in London, but it is actually super easy.

You just need to hop on the train, get off, wander around the city, and hop on the train again when it is time to leave.

Not only is taking a day trip one of the best things to do alone in London, but it also helps you develop your solo travel skills and become a more confident traveller!

41 things to do along the Brighton Seafront

10. Go Back in Time at the Globe

I never miss the chance to watch a show at the Globe if there is one playing when I’m in London. It is an exact recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe, and they put on authentic Shakespearian plays.

Now, I’m not a Shakespeare fan, but there is something completely different about sitting in the Globe watching a Shakespeare play. It is so much fun!

You should purchase your tickets in advance. I like to pay for a seat, but many people choose to pay for the cheapest ticket and stand in front of the stage.

That gives you the best view, but you also have to be at the theatre super early to get a good spot and have to stand before the show, throughout the show, and during intermission.

It is definitely a young person’s game.

If you’re not in London when there is a play running, you can take a tour of the Globe.

You get to go behind the scenes and learn about the history of the building and Shakespeare.

Both are super fun, but if you can only choose one, see a show. It is worth every pence you pay for it!

Globe Theatre London

11. Tour HMS Belfast

This is another hidden gem in London and one of the best things to do in London alone.

I adore the HMS Belfast. I actually stumbled upon it by accident the third time I was in London and was looking for unique attraction I’d never done before.

Boy am I glad I found this one!

The HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving WWII Navy Warship, and it shot some of the first shots at the D-Day landings.

It is one of the most interesting things to do in London, but so few people know about it.

The ship sits in the River Thames right in front of Tower Bridge and across from the Tower of London.

Tens of thousands of tourists look at the ship every year and have no idea what they’re missing out on.

You get an audioguide and weave your way through the ship exploring all the levels and learning about what life on the HMS Belfast was like.

I promise even if you’re not into this sort of thing, you’ll have an amazing time and be so glad you did it!

You don’t need to reserve your tickets in advance because it is such an underrated London attraction.

You can show up pretty much whenever you want and tour the ship.

Just like the Queen’s Gallery, it is an audio tour, so nobody will notice if you’re standing in front of an area all by yourself. They’ll simply thing the rest of your group is ahead or behind you and not bat an eye.

Plus, they’re so involved in their own tour that they likely won’t even give you a second thought at all.

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HMS Belfast, London

12. Walk Along the Thames

The river Thames is one of the most iconic sights in London but so few people take the time to take in its beauty.

A lot of London’s top attractions are near (or on) the Thames, and you should take a little extra time to walk along the Thames.

There are plenty of cafés and restaurants along the Thames. Sit down, have a cup of coffee, and appreciate the Thames.

There is so much history mixed in with the Thames. It has played a huge role in London and the UK’s history, and it deserves to be appreciated.

You can even take a boat ride along the Thames if you want to see more than just what you can cover by foot.

My personal opinion is that walking along the Thames is sufficient, but you may think otherwise!

13. Watch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony

Watching the changing of the guards ceremony is a classic thing to do in London.

The actual ceremony is quite a long, drawn out process that takes about 45 minutes, but you don’t need to (even be able to) see the entire ceremony.

The part you want to watch is the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and that takes place at 11am.

You’ll want to get there early though to get a good view! 10:45 should be plenty of time to get a prime view, and 10:50 will get you a decent view.

The best viewing area is near the Victoria statue right in front of the palace. The second best is along Marlborough Road, so you can watch the guards marching before the changing over ceremony.

Don’t be nervous about watching the ceremony alone. The people around you will be chatting with their friends and family and won’t even notice you.

If they do, they’ll either assume you’re saving a spot for the rest of your group or strike up a conversation with you.

This is one of those things to do alone in London that some people are nervous about, but you shouldn’t be.

You don’t want to miss out on an iconic London experience just because you’re a little shy about being there alone!

Changing of the guards, London

14. Window Shop on Oxford Street

Oxford street is one of the most famous shopping streets in London. It is filled with both big brands and small shop owners.

There is plenty to see and do on Oxford street even if you don’t spend a dime.

In fact, I think window shopping on Oxford street is one of the best things to do in London alone. You get to people watch and blend in like a local going about their own shopping.

Plus you get to pop in and out of stores to see what is in style or perhaps find a unique gift to bring home to a loved one.

I like to get off the main street and wander around some of the side streets. You get out of the hustle and bustle, and that’s where you’ll find the most unique and local items!

Oxford street is within walking distance of the British Museum, so you can plan to visit both in a single day!

15. Spend a Morning at Camden Market

Camden Market is one of the most popular things to do in London for both tourists and locals alike.

It is located near Regent’s Canal and has over 1,000 stalls selling everything and everything you could dream of.

From music to fashion to food, Camden Market has it all!

It is quite busy, so I recommend going earlier in the day on a weekday to not feel so claustrophobic and be able to move around easier.

The market opens at 10am everyday, so try to get there as close to opening time as possible.

Grab a drink and spend a few hours wandering around the market. It is one of the best things to do in London by yourself, and you won’t regret it!

Food Stall in Camden Market

Conclusion

As you can see, there are tons of things you can do in London alone.

London is truly one of the most welcoming cities to solo travellers, and it is a great city to start your solo travel journey in.

I 100% believe you shouldn’t let travelling alone hold you back from anything you want to do.

Your uncomfortable feeling will disappear once you’re experiencing the attraction. You’ll regret it in the long run if you don’t visit the attraction you’re dying to see.

All of the things to do alone in London on this list are very easy for beginner solo travellers. Nobody will care that you’re alone, and nobody will bat an eye at you.

But, these aren’t the only things to do alone in London. Anything you would be keen on doing with a friend or family member can easily be done alone.

I challenge you to put aside the fact that you’re travelling alone and plan your dream vacation to London!

It truly is one of the best cities in the world!

How to Travel from London to York (The Easy Way!)

York is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, but it is also extremely underrated. It is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of London. The best part: it is super easy to travel from London to York!

You can visit York as a day trip from London, but I suggest spending a weekend there to get a better sense of what York has to offer.

You’ll be happy you booked the extra day in York once you get there and fall in love with the city!

The two main ways to travel from London to York are by train and bus. The train is significantly faster than the bus, but it is also quite a bit more expensive. The bus takes almost five times as long as the train. It is a good option for people on a tight budget that are spending multiple days in York. It is not a good option for people taking a day trip to York from London. You’ll need to take the train if you’re doing a day trip.

In this post, we’re going taking an in-depth look at both the train and bus to help you decide how you want to travel from London to York.

Both modes of transportation have their pros and cons, and this post will help you figure out what is right for you!

Before We Get Started

One of my least favourite parts of travel is figuring out how to travel from one city to the next.

That’s why I create these travel guides for you!

Having all the information you need to decide how to travel from one city to the next is a time saver.

I’ve written a few other UK transportation guides. Hopefully they can help you plan your holiday!

Options One: Taking the Train from London to York

I think taking the train to York from London is your best option.

It is the most expensive option, but it is the quickest. If you’re only visit York as a day trip or are on a short holiday, it is worth the extra money to take the train rather than the bus.

One of the perks of taking the train (although it should not be a deciding factor) is you can connect to free wifi onboard!

This makes the journey go by quickly, and you can plan what you’re going to do in York on your way there!

Just be sure you protect your online information and data by installing a VPN on your devices!

You never know where or when someone might decide to try to hack into your phone and find your banking information!

Tower Bridge, London

How Long Does the Train from London to York Take?

The train is super quick!

You can travel to York from London in less than 2 hours! In many cases, it takes just over an hour to arrive in York from London!

The difference in time depends on how busy the tracks are and how many stops the train takes.

This information will be readily available when you’re booking your tickets so be sure to pay attention to it!

If you need to get to York as quickly as possible, make sure you’re buying a ticket for the fastest train possible!

A tourist’s guide to wifi in London

How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?

This is the part that hurts.

And I mean really hurts!

Train tickets in the UK are not cheap. In fact, they are outrageously expensive in my opinion.

It is hard to pinpoint an exact price because there are so many factors that go into it, but you can expect to pay between £20 and £100 for a one-way ticket.

On average, tickets costs between £29 and £54.

Yikes right!

That is a pretty penny for an hour train ride! There is no way around it though.

A train ticket from London to York is going to be expensive, but there are some ways you can reduce the price.

Train tickets are less expensive the further you are from the departure date. They get more expensive the closer the day of departure is.

Tickets normally go on sale 3 to 6 months in advance, and you want to buy them as close to 3 to 6 months in advance as possible.

I know this is a bit of a pain. Especially if you’re more of a wing it kind of traveller like me.

But the advance planning is very much worth it when you realize how much money buying your ticket in advance can save you.

Other factors that go into the cost of a ticket include the time of day and day of the week you travel.

The number of stops also impacts the price of your ticket.

Essentially, if you travel during peak times on a train with limited stops, you will be paying a premium for the convenience.

If you travel during off-peak times on a weekday on a train that makes multiple stops, you will save money on your ticket.

Where to Purchase Train Tickets

You can either purchase train tickets online in advance (recommended) or buy them in-person at the train station before you depart.

I prefer to purchase my train tickets online in advance, so I can save money on my ticket!

There are multiple website where you can purchase train tickets, but I prefer to buy mine through the rail agency operating the route.

In the case of the London to York train, it is operated by London North Eastern Railway.

It is super easy to buy your tickets through their website. They accept foreign credit cards, and the process is quite smooth.

You may have to pick up your ticket at a ticket machine before departure, but it doesn’t take long at all.

You simply type in your reservation code and last name, and your ticket pop right out!

The other option is to purchase your ticket at the station before departure.

This is a great option for last-minute travellers or people who want to pay with cash.

The price of your ticket will probably be much more expensive though since it is so close to the time of departure.

Either way works great, and it really depends on the type of traveller you are!

Albert Memorial

Where Does the Train Depart from in London?

All train from London to York depart from Kings Cross Station.

Kings Cross Station is one of the largest train stations in London so be sure to leave yourself a lot of time to find your platform in the maze of the station.

Especially if it is your first time being in Kings Cross Station!

Kings Cross Station is located in central London and is serviced by the following underground lines:

  • Circle
  • Piccadilly
  • Hammersmith & City
  • Northern
  • Metropolitan
  • Victoria

Yeah. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was one of the biggest stations in London. Those are just the underground lines and don’t include the overground trains going to and from other cities!

There is clear signage throughout the station, so you shouldn’t have too much of an issue finding your platform.

If you have any issues, there are tons of information booths around the station you can stop and ask for help at.

Where Does the Train Arrive at in York?

You will arrive at York Railway Station.

The railway station is located a touch outside of central York, but it isn’t much of an inconvenience.

You can walk to central York in 15 to 20 minutes.

You can also hop on a bus if you don’t want to walk. Or, of course, you can always take a taxi to central York. It shouldn’t cost more than £6.

All things considered, York Railway Station is in a pretty good location, and it isn’t much of an issue getting from it to hustle and bustle of central York.

Pros of Taking the Train from London to York

  • It is the quickest mode of transportation available
  • Convenient departure and arrival locations
  • Many trains run from London to York throughout the day

Cons of Taking the Train from London to York

  • It can be quite expensive
  • You have to plan and purchase your tickets in advance
  • Luggage store can be limited on the train

Option Two: Taking the Bus from London to York

Your next best option is to take the bus from London to York.

The bus takes significantly longer than the train, so it isn’t the right option for everybody.

I would only recommend the bus if you’re on a longer trip and can dedicate the better part of a day travelling from London to York.

If you have the time in your schedule, taking the long way to York from London is a great way to save some money.

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How Long Does the Bus from London to York Take?

The average length of the bus trip to York from London is 6 hours.

Yup. At least three times longer than the train. In a lot of cases, it takes 5 more hours to travel by bus than by train!

Your bus ride could take longer than 6 hours as well. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, there is no telling how long it will take you to get to York from London.

Just keep that in mind when you’re deciding how to travel from London to York!

York, UK

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

This is the best part about taking the bus to York from London.

Bus tickets start at £7.50!

Sometimes you may have to pay a little more than that, but it will be way less expensive than taking the train!

You also don’t have to worry about booking your bus ticket in advance like you have to with the train.

Bus tickets don’t increase in price the closer you get to the date of departure, so you don’t have to stress about pre-planning your trip to York.

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

Just like with the train, you can either purchase your tickets online in advance or buy them at the bus terminal on the day of departure.

There isn’t really a benefit to choosing one over the other so choose what works best for you!

There are a couple different website you can purchase bus tickets through.

My two favourites are National Express and Megabus.

I would check out both providers and find the price and departure time that suits you best.

Your other option is to purchase tickets at the bus terminal right before you depart.

Just be sure you look at the bus schedule online to know when the bus is departing and arrive at the station with plenty of time to purchase your ticket in case there is a line.

Where Does the Bus Depart from in London?

Buses from London to York depart from Victoria Coach Station.

It is right in the heart of London and is a super convenient location.

It is a very busy station though. Be sure you leave yourself plenty of time to figure out where you’re going and where you need to be.

The following underground lines have stops at Victoria Station:

  • Victoria
  • Circle
  • District

The coach station is just steps away from the underground station and is quite easy to find.

Just follow the signs!

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in York?

Buses arrive at York Bus Station.

It is right beside the train station and is in a convenient location.

Just like the train station, you either need to walk, take a bus, or grab a taxi to get to central York.

It is a pretty easy journey though and won’t take long.

Pros of Taking the Bus from London to York

  • It is the least expensive option
  • Dedicated luggage storage under the bus
  • You don’t have to purchase your tickets in advance

Cons of Taking the Bus from London to York

  • It takes a long time to arrive in York
  • There aren’t as many departure times as the train
  • May run into traffic and be delayed
Big Ben, London, UK

Option Three: Renting a Car and Driving

The final way you can travel from London to Bath is by renting a car and driving.

I don’t recommend this option unless it is part of a larger road trip around England.

Renting a car just to drive from London to York isn’t worth the hassle. By the time you pick up the car, drive it, find parking, drive back to London, and fill it up with gas, it doesn’t save you time or more.

Conclusion

So, there are really only two viable ways to travel from London to York: by train or by bus.

Both options have their pros and cons, and it really comes down to have much time you have and what your budget it.

I personally think it is worth the extra money to take the train, but I know not everybody has a big enough budget for that.

If you do take the bus, I highly, highly recommend you spend two or three days in York to make the travel time worth it.

If you have to take the bus and only have one day to spend in York, I think you’re better off staying in London and exploring more of it.

No matter how you choose to travel to York from London, it is well worth the journey.

York is a beautiful city, and it is a nice compliment to London. It gives you more of an idea of what life outside of London is like as well as different architectural styles.

How to Travel from London to Bath (The Easy Way!)

Visiting Bath is one of the most popular day trips from London and over six million people visit the city every year! The good news for your is that is it super easy to travel from London to Bath!

Although I will say that you probably don’t want to rush your trip to Bath. There is more to see in Bath than just the Roman Baths, so I suggest you spend two days in Bath if you have the time!

There are three main ways to travel from London to Bath: train, bus, or on a group tour. I think the train is the best way to travel from London to Bath. It is the quickest, affordable, and gives you the freedom and flexibility to tour Bath at your own pace rather than be on the tour guide’s schedule.

Of course, it all comes down to your travel style and preferences.

You may be like me and enjoy solo, independent travel or your might before the convenience of taking a group tour to Bath from London.

This post will help you decide what is best for you!

We’re covering all the different ways to travel from London to Bath and breaking down the pros and cons of each transportation method.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a much better idea which transportation method to Bath from London is right for you!

You’ll probably have to take public transportation when to get to your departure location in London. Read my ultimate guide to the Oyster card to save money on public transportation in London!

Before We Get Started

I enjoy writing these transportation guides for you because frankly I hate trying to figure out how to travel from one city to another.

It takes too much time, and the information is rarely in one place.

So once I figure out how to travel between cities, I like to give you all my insider knowledge in one place to make your life easier than mine was!

I often find myself referring back to my own transportation guides when I revisit a country or city, so I rely on them too!

Here are the other UK transportation guides I’ve written. Hopefully they help you plan your UK holiday!

Tower Bridge, London

Option One: Taking the Train from London to Bath

As I said before, taking the train is my favourite way to travel to Bath from London.

It is the quickest way to travel to Bath, and it gives you the most freedom to have the day or weekend trip that you want.

Plus it is significantly less expensive than paying to go on a guided tour of Bath from London.

If you book your tickets in advance that is!

The Great Western Railway is the train line that operates between London and Bath.

The good news about Great Western Railway is that they have a good wifi program and most trains offer guests reliable free wifi onboard the train!

The trip from London to Bath doesn’t take long, but it is still nice to be able to access the internet.

Even if it is just to access a map and figure out what you want to do in Bath.

Just be sure you’re being internet safe and using a VPN on your phone while connected to public wifi.

You never know what the intentions of the other people using the internet are.

In most cases, they are just casual users, but you want to protect your online data from the few bad apples out there.

Nothing ruins a holiday more than having your banking information stolen and having to cancel all your bank accounts when you’re supposed to be relaxing!

How Long Does the Train from London to Bath Take?

The train from London to Bath takes about 90 minutes!

Of course, there are some trains that take a little longer and some that are a bit shorter.

It depends on how busy the rail lines are, but it will definitely be less than 1 hour and 45 minutes!

A complete guide to wifi in London

How Much Does a Train Ticket Cost?

This is where things get a little bit merky.

Train tickets in the UK are a bit of a pain, and aren’t made for the spontaneous.

You get a better price on your train ticket the earlier you purchase it, and you pay a premium price if you purchase your ticket to Bath from London just a day or two in advance.

It is difficult to pin down exactly what your train ticket will cost because of how much they fluctuate.

On average, your train ticket from London to Bath will cost between £15 and £40 each way.

Again, this depends a lot on how far in advance you purchase your ticket.

Tickets go on sale three months in advance. The closer to the three month mark you can buy your ticket, the better price you will get!

Things like the time of day and day of the week you travel from London to Bath also play a roll.

If you buy your ticket in advance and travel during off-peak time on a weekday, you will get the best ticket price.

You will pay a lot more for your ticket if you purchase it last minute and travel during peak times on a weekend.

This needs to play a role in your decision on how to travel to Bath from London.

If you like to plan things last minute, taking a guided tour or the bus may be a better option than taking the train.

Bath, England

Where to Purchase Train Tickets

You have two choices when it comes to buying your train tickets:

  • Buy them online in advance (recommended)
  • Buy them at the train station before departure

Both options work perfectly fine, but I recommend buying your tickets in advance to save some money!

Tickets can be purchased online through the Great Western Railway website.

The website is super easy to use and accepts foreign credit cards as payment.

Just be sure to read whether or not you need a hard copy of your ticket, have to pick up your ticket at the station, or if an electronic ticket will suffice.

It depends on the route, but, in general, you will most likely have to either print your ticket or pick it up at the station before getting on the train.

Most of the time an electronic ticket will not be accepted.

The other option you have is to purchase your tickets at the station before departing.

You can purchase them the day you leave or go to the station a few days in advance and buy your ticket.

The earlier the better!

Where Does the Train Depart from in London?

Trains from London to Bath depart from Paddington Station.

It is in the centre of London and has a massive Underground hub attached to the train station.

The following Underground lines service Paddington Station:

  • Hammersmith and City
  • Bakerloo
  • District
  • City

That makes it pretty convenient, and you should have no trouble easily getting to the train station.

Tips for surviving the London Underground

Where Does the Train Arrive at in Bath?

Every train to Bath from London arrives at Bath Spa Station.

It is right by the water and a stone’s throw from the historic centre of Bath.

It is a very convenient arrival location, and in most cases you can walk to your hotel from the station without much hassel.

Pros of Taking the Train from London to Bath

  • Quickest option
  • Convenient arrival and departure locations
  • Many departures every day

Cons of Taking the Train from London to Bath

  • You have to book your tickets in advance to get a decent price
  • Limited luggage storage on the train
  • The train may be busy, and you might be stuck standing

Option Two: Taking the Bus from London to Bath

Your next option to get to Bath from London is to take the train.

This is a good option for people on a longer trip, are spending more than one day in Bath, and more time to spend in transit.

I don’t recommend people visiting Bath as a day trip from London take the bus. You spend too much time in transit and not enough time exploring Bath.

The bus is also the best option for people on a super tight budget.

It is the least expensive way to travel from London to Bath and is the least likely form of transportation to hurt your wallet.

How Long Does the Bus from London to Bath Take?

It is a little trickier to nail down exactly how long the bus from London to Bath takes.

A lot of it depends on how busy the roads are, and if you get stuck in a traffic jam or not.

On average, the bus to Bath from London takes just over three hours.

So, twice as long as the train does.

But that’s not too bad, and it doesn’t cut into your time at Bath too much if you’re spending more than a day in the city.

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

This is without a doubt the best part of taking the bus! It is super affordable and is the best option for budget travellers.

You can expect to pay anywhere between £5 and £15 for a bus ticket to Bath from London!

That’s absolutely amazing and is a steal of a deal in the UK!

Kensington Palace

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

Just like the train, you can either purchase your bus tickets online in advance or in person at the bus station.

I suggest buying them in advance just to be sure you get on the bus you want.

Sometimes the buses are full (especially during peak season), and you have to wait around for the next bus before you can get on.

That isn’t a huge issue since there are buses running frequently between the two cities, but I still like to be prepared and buy my ticket in advance.

You can purchase your ticket online through the National Express Website.

In most cases, you can show an electronic ticket and don’t need to print out your ticket.

It is always best to read the fine print and double check before assuming an electronic ticket will work though!

The second option of purchasing your tickets at the station on the day of departure works fine too.

You just need to be sure to arrive at the bus station early enough to make sure you have enough time to buy your ticket before the bus departs.

You don’t want to show up at the station, find a long queue, and then miss your bus because you’re still in line!

Where Does the Bus Depart from in London?

The bus departs from London Victoria Coach Station.

It is right in the heart of London and is just a few steps away from the Victoria Underground station.

The following lines stop at Victoria Station:

  • Victoria
  • Circle
  • District

Victoria Station is the second busiest underground station in London, and it covers a lot of territory.

You will have to do a fair bit of walking to get from the underground station to the bus station, so be sure to budget in a lot of time for that!

I suggest at least ten minutes.

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Bath?

The bus arrives at Bath Spa Bus Station.

It is steps away from the train station in Bath and just a short walk from the heart of the city.

It is a super convenient location, and you can walk pretty much anywhere you want to go from the bus station.

Albert Memorial

Pros of Taking the Bus from London to Bath

  • By far the least expensive route
  • Don’t have to book your ticket in advance to get a decent price
  • Dedicated luggage storage under the bus

Cons of Taking the Bus from London to Bath

  • It takes twice as long as the train
  • Not a good option for people taking a day trip to Bath
  • May run into traffic and be delayed

Option Three: Taking a Guided Tour to Bath from London

The next option you have is to take a guided tour from London to Bath.

This is without a doubt the most popular way to travel to Bath, but it is also the most restrictive.

You don’t have any control of your trip to Bath.

You’re 100% at the whim of the tour guide and the other passengers on the tour.

On the other hand, it is the least stressful way to travel to Bath.

Basically everything is looked after for you, and all you have to do is show up and have a good time!

A guided tour can also end up being quite expensive.

You really need to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what the best choice for you is!

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never taken a guided tour to Bath from London, so I can’t give you a personal recommendation. This tour looks pretty decent though!

Oh, by the way, that isn’t an affiliate link. It is just a tour that I thought was an okay price and an okay option. Do your own research and find the right tour for you!

Bath, England

Option Four: Driving from London to Bath

Your last option is to rent a car and drive to Bath from London.

I don’t recommend this unless it is part of a larger road trip around the UK.

It isn’t worth the hassel of picking the car up, driving, parking, and gassing up before you return the car.

If you’re going to use the highway to get to Bath, you may as well take the bus!

Conclusion

Are you any closer to deciding how you want to travel from London to Bath?!

I hope this article helped you figure out the pros and cons of each transportation method and start you on the path of deciding how to travel to Bath.

Bath is one of the most popular tourist destinations in England and for good reason!

It is well worth taking the time to leave London for a day or two and explore the city!

9 Tips for an Unforgettable Solo Trip to London

London is one of the best cities in the world, and it is so easy to plan and execute an epic solo trip to London!

In fact, London might just be the easiest city in Europe for solo travellers to navigate.

Especially inexperienced solo travellers.

I’ve been to London way more times than a person needs to, and I never get bored of it.

There is an amazing public transportation system, tons of tourist attractions for you to explore, and while the city has a reputation for being expensive, there are ways to visit London on a budget!

All things considered, if you’re planning your first solo trip to Europe, London should be at the top of your list!

Heck! Even if your’e planning your millionth solo trip, London should be in the running.

It is that good of a city!

In this post, we’re covering the top 10 tips and tricks you need to plan a solo trip to London.

It is pretty easy and straightforward to plan a solo trip to London, but there are a few very important things you need to know about before you embark on your solo trip to London.

And I’m spilling all those secret tips right now!

Things nobody tells you about solo travel

1. London is More Walkable than You Think

The biggest misconception I had about London on my first visit was that it was a massive city, and you have to rely on public transportation to get around.

That is simply not the case!

London is a very walkable city!

In a lot of instances, it is easier to walk from place to place rather than take the Underground. This is especially true when you’re in central London and walking between major tourist attractions.

It may seem like you should take the metro from Westminster to Piccadilly Circus- especially if you’re looking at a metro map and not a normal city map.

But you don’t!

The walk talks about ten minutes, and it takes significantly less time than taking the Underground does.

Especially since with this example you need to transfer lines, which means the journey will take even longer!

So, don’t just look at the metro map and think things are far away.

They really aren’t!

And even places that are a bit further away are very walkable.

There are tons of parks in London, and in most cases your walk from one place to another will be beautiful and filled with nature!

I like to walk as much as possible when I’m on a solo trip to London.

It saves a lot of money, and you stumble on things you wouldn’t otherwise see.

Plus it is a nice way to get some exercise and make room for all the yummy food you’ll be eating throughout the day!

So, pull out your Google Maps and figure out how long it takes to walk from one place to another rather than just guessing based on a map.

If it takes less than half an hour to walk there, I say go for it!

Tower Bridge, London

2. Public Wifi is Basically Non-Existent

Unfortunately, the public wifi network in London leaves a lot to be desired.

In fact, it is downright disgraceful how difficult it is to find public wifi in London. Even a lot of restaurants and cafés don’t offer free public wifi to guests!

This can make it a bit difficult and frustrating for solo travellers in London.

You may find yourself in the awkward situation where you’re dining alone and don’t have anything to distract you. Or perhaps you’re unsure where to go next or where to eat or the currency conversion.

Tips for eating alone at restaurants

There are plenty of reasons why someone travelling alone in London may need to access the internet, but you are often limited in where you can access it!

There are a few options for accessing the internet when you’re in London:

  • Rent pocket wifi for your trip
  • Invest in your own personal wifi hotspot (Skyroam is my favourite)
  • Use your phone data
  • Some hotels provide a complimentary cell phone for you to use while you’re in London. You won’t be able to access your social media or personal apps, but it is better than nothing!
  • Research what restaurants and tourist attractions offer complimentary wifi
  • Simply live without accessing the internet throughout the day

The lack of public wifi isn’t the end of the world, but it is something I like to warn you about.

You would expect such an international city to offer a better public wifi system, but it doesn’t.

A complete guide to wifi in London

No Matter What You Have to be Internet Safe

No matter how you choose to access the internet while you’re in London, it is important that you’re internet safe while you’re online.

Even if you rent a pocket wifi device or have your own Skyroam, you will be accessing public wifi at some point when you solo travel in London.

Whether it be at a hotel, the airport, or a restaurant.

You put yourself at risk whenever you use a public wifi network! Anybody and everybody can access public wifi networks, and if they want to, it is relatively easy for them to steal your private online data.

Including your banking information!

And yes. Even public wifi networks that have passwords are still considered to be public wifi, and you have to protect yourself!

The only way you can protect your online information is by installing a VPN on your devices.

A VPN essentially cloaks your devices and prevents prying eyes from accessing your online data.

It also helps prevent Google from using your online habits to serve you with those annoying targeted adds!

A VPN makes using a public wifi network as safe as using your home wifi network where you’re the only person who knows the password.

In my mind, having a VPN on all your devices is an essential (an non-negotiable part of travel).

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my years of travel, and I have to tell you that I hated most of them.

VPNs have a tendency of slowing your devices down to a snail’s pace, and it can get frustrating to use them. Oftentimes, I found myself turning off my VPN because my phone/laptop was operating so slowly!

That all changed when I found NordVPN!

I’ve been using NordVPN since 2018, and they are the only VPN provider I’ve continued my subscription with past the first year.

They are the fastest VPN on the market, and that is such an important competent when it comes to choosing a VPN to protect your online data while you travel.

Plus you can cloak your location and make it look like you’re in a different country than you actually are!

This allows you to access Netflix libraries from other countries!

It may not sound like much, but I promise you’ll become addicted to exploring new Netflix libraries and all the fun shows and movies you can’t access in your home country.

I highly recommend checking out South Korea’s Netflix library!

A NordVPN subscription costs less than the price of a single latte per month.

There is zero excuse not to protect your online data while you’re on the road. The small price you pay to protect your online data is well worth it when you compare it to the cost of having, say, your banking information stolen while you’re alone in London.

My philosophy is that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online data from prying eyes!

3. Don’t Eat near Popular Tourist Attractions

This is one of the best tips I can give you for your solo trip to London!

The restaurants and cafés near the most popular tourist attractions charge you significantly more than places outside of tourist hubs, and the food tends to be not as good.

I’m specifically thinking about the line of restaurants on the walk from Westminster Abbey to Trafalgar Square.

Avoid those restaurants at all costs!

And if you’re in dire need of some food when you’re in these major tourist areas, stick to chains like Pret a Manger where you know the food is good and the prices fair.

Even though they are chains, I highly recommend everybody try Pret and Nando’s when in London. They are affordable, and the food is delicious.

If you’re looking for good food, get off the main tourist train and find your way to some of the lesser known neighbourhoods.

You can always find good food in Chelsea, Earl’s Court, and Angel neighbourhoods.

London South Bank also has some great restaurants and has a great vibe. Especially if you’re able to snag a seat overlooking the Thames!

But where ever you choose to eat, your wallet will thank you if you avoid the most popular tourist destinations.

Your stomach will thank you too!

Eating alone

4. It is Worth Paying to Stay in Zone 1

The London Underground system is broken up into different zones, and the fare price is based on what zone you’re travelling in and between.

Zone 1 covers central London and the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

The problem with zone 1 is that it is where the most expensive hotels are too.

Makes sense since it is so close to all the tourist attractions.

It can be tempting to cheap out and stay in a less expensive hotel in zone 2 or 3, but I don’t recommend that.

Especially for people on a solo trip to London!

Why You Shouldn’t Stay Outside Zone 1

The first reason I suggest that people stay in zone 1 is the convenience of it. You are so close to the major tourist attractions, and you can walk a lot of places.

The second reason I don’t suggest staying outside of zone 1 has to do with the cost of transportation.

Both in a fiscal sense and in terms of the cost of your time.

It can take a long time to travel from outside zone 1 to whatever tourist attractions you want to visit.

This means you’re stuck on the metro for an extended period of time. You will most likely have to transfer between lines as well, which adds even more time to your commute!

Staying outside of zone 1 also means you’re essentially reliant on public transportation.

Your life is dictated by when the metro/bus are (or aren’t) running, and you don’t really have the ability to walk everywhere from your hotel like you do in zone 1.

So while it may seem like it isn’t worth staying in zone 1, and it is a better choice to save money by staying outside central London, I caution you to think long and hard before you make that choice.

When you factor in the convenience of being in central London, the ability to walk, and the added cost of transportation, it is definitely worth staying in zone 1!

My personal favourite neighbourhood to stay in is Earl’s Court.

It is on the outskirts of zone 1 just before zone 2. The hotel prices are pretty good, you pay zone 1 metro prices, and you can still walk pretty much anywhere you want to go in under an hour!

Flying Alone

My Favourite Place to Book Hotels

9 times out of 10 I book my hotels through Hotels.com.

I find their search function so easy to use, and they often have the best prices on hotels. Excluding, perhaps, booking directly through the hotel.

Always be sure to compare the Hotels.com price to the price of booking directly with the hotel!

Outside the ease of using the site, the reason I love Hotels.com so much is their rewards program!

It is the easiest hotel program to earn free stays with!

Once you stay 10 nights in any Hotels.com hotel, you earn a free night!

I’ve earned and redeemed countless free hotel nights, and it hardly takes any effort to earn a reward. It makes travel much more affordable. Especially if you’re like me and travel for extended periods of time.

My secret little tip is to save your hotel redemption for a stay at an airport hotel. I always find I don’t want to use my own money for these hotels, and I love using my rewards night there!

But do whatever you want with your rewards nights just as long as you take advantage of them!

5. Museums are Your Best Friend

If your initial reaction to this tip is to roll your eyes, read on a little bit further and hear me out!

London has some of the best and most celebrated museums in the world, and the best part is that the vast majority of them are free to visit!

You can visit world class attractions without spending a dime, and that is why you should visit as many museums as you can while on your solo trip to London!

In Kensington alone, there are three museums right next door to each other!

They’re all different, so I guarantee you’ll find something you’re interested in checking out.

And if you don’t like the museum, you just leave! It didn’t cost you a dime, so you don’t have to explore the entire museum just to get your money’s worth!

If you only have the chance to visit one free museum while you travel alone in London, I suggest it be the British Museum.

It has a little something for everybody and has some of the most priceless artifacts in the world!

The museum is quite busy as you can imagine! It is best if you avoid visiting it on the weekend if at all possible.

No matter what museum you choose, take the time to wander through at least one. It isn’t really a trip to London without visiting a museum or two!

Be sure to check if there is a price of admission before you arrive at the museum!

The majority of museums in London are free to enter, but there are a few that have an admission fee, and they’re normally quite expensive!

Unless you’re obsessed with the topic matter of a museum with an entrance fee, it is best to stick to the free ones!

The best things to do in Kensington

Natural History Museum London

6. Get Discounted West End Tickets

I wholeheartedly believe it isn’t a true trip to London if you didn’t go to the theatre!

New York’s Broadway gets a lot of attention for its theatre shows, but London’t West End shouldn’t be overlooked!

There are 39 theatres in London’s West End showing everything from famous musicals to obscure shows you’ve never heard of before.

I’m a huge theatre lover, but even friends and family who don’t love the theatre have enjoyed seeing a show on the West End.

The only problem is that tickets can be quite expensive. Especially if you buy them in advance and see the most popular shows.

There is a way around this though!

There are two discount theatre ticket providers in London:

  • Today Tix
  • TKTS

Today Tix

Today Tix is my personal favourite place to purchase West End tickets at a discounted price.

All you have to do is download the app, look through the shows, and find one that sounds interesting and is in your price point.

The tickets will be delivered to the theatre on the night of your show, and all you have to do is show a piece of ID to pick them up!

My favourite parts about Today Tix is that it is an app, so you can purchase your ticket whenever and where ever suits you best.

You can also purchase tickets for shows a few days in advance, so you’re not limited to only buying tickets for shows showing on that particular day.

It is a very flexible ticket platform.

TKTS

TKTS is similar to Today Tix, but you have to go to their booth in Leicester Square and purchase your tickets in person.

You can also only purchase tickets for shows being performed on that day.

The lines at the London TKTS aren’t nearly as long as the ones at their New York locations, but you can still often find yourself waiting for half an hour or so until it is your turn to purchase tickets.

The good news about the London TKTS location is that you can go to their website and see what shows they have tickets for that day and the prices.

This eliminates the potential of you waiting in line and them not having tickets for the show you want to see!

But, overall, it is kind of a pain to use the TKTS booth while in London, and I suggest using the Today Tix app instead!

7. Make Time for a Day Trip

It is so easy to get caught up in all London has to offer and spend your entire trip just exploring London.

I get it! I’ve visited London multiple times and just stayed in the city the entire trip.

But that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your solo trip to London!

The UK is an amazing part of the world, and there is so much to see outside of London and so many amazing cities that are just a short train ride away!

I’ve even managed to take a day trip to Wales from London in the past!

One of the best trips I can give you for when you’re partaking in solo travel in London is to get out of the city and see what else there is to explore!

You can take an organized day trip to some of the most popular towns and locations around London.

Or (if you’re like me and like to do everything yourself), you can hop on a train or bus and head to another city to explore by yourself.

One of my top recommendations for a day trip from London is Brighton.

It less than two hours away by train and has a completely different vibe than London. You can check out a detailed guide on how to travel between the two cities here.

It is definitely one of my favourite cities in England!

No matter where you choose to explore, I don’t think any solo trip to London is complete without exploring somewhere a bit outside the city to get a deeper understanding of the country outside of the capital city.

41 things to do along the Brighton seafront

Royal Pavilion Brighton

8. Parks Aren’t Lit at Night

London is typically a very safe city for solo travellers, but there is one exception to that: the city parks during the night.

I know this is an odd tip to have in a post about solo travel in London, but I think it is an important one.

It is certainly one I didn’t know about, and it resulted in a stressful walk back to my hotel after a West End show one evening!

I want to help you avoid this experience!

I just assumed when I was walking home one night that the parks would be lit up, so I planned my path to walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Park.

Well, to my surprise, Hyde Park was pitch black with not a light in sight, and Kensington Park was already closed for the evening.

Of course, I could have changed paths and walked along a more lit street, but I’m stubborn, and I was already a bit of a ways into Hyde Park when I realized there were no lights.

At that point, I just wanted to walk as fast as possible to get to the end of the park and find some lighting.

So, if you’re ever walking around at night while on a solo trip to London (or anytime really), be sure you walk on main road and leave the parks for daylight hours.

If you find yourself in a situation when there are no lights, and you’re quite nervous about walking alone, be sure to pull out your cellphone and either use the flashlight app or call someone who can talk with you throughout your walk.

You should still be safe, but your heart will probably be pounding.

City streets will result in a much more relaxing walk home!

The best things to do in Kensington

Unique Solo Travel Safety Tips

9. Get an Oyster Card

I know I’ve talked a few times about how you can walk central London with little to no issue, but you will still need to use public transportation while you’re in London.

Sometimes you just can’t get around using public transportation, are too tired to walk back to your hotel after a long day, or don’t want to walk in the dark.

I feel you!

Even just getting to and from the airport requires you to use public transportation in most instances.

And that is where the Oyster card comes in!

The Oyster card is London’s transportation card. It saves you a bit of money on fares and saves you a lot of time because you just tap in and out of the metro/bus and don’t have to worry about purchasing a ticket each time.

I believe having an Oyster card is an essential part about travelling to London!

You have to pay a  £5 deposit when you get your Oyster card, but it is fully refundable if you choose to return it at the end of your trip.

I still have my first Oyster card from 2014 and keep using it each time I visit London, but if you don’t think you’ll be back, definitely return it for a refund.

That is a short and sweet explanation of the Oyster card.

There is more you should know, but the main thing to know if that you need to have an Oyster card on your solo trip to London!

Everything you need to know about the Oyster card

Kensington Palace

Conclusion

Solo travel in London is an unforgettable experience.

There are so many different things to see and do, and the city has a vibe and culture that is unbeatable!

There are so many different cultures and people in the city, and you never know when you’ll stumble upon a unique piece of culture, history, or food while you’re wandering through London.

As I said before, I truly believe that taking a solo trip to London is one of the easiest trips to take to learn the ropes of solo travel.

It is super easy to navigate the city, there is an attraction for anyone and everyone regardless of your tastes, and you won’t be overwhelmed with culture shock.

Plus so many flights to Europe land in London, so you may as well stop in and enjoy London before embarking on the rest of you European vacation.

It is not a city you want to miss out on!

A Tourist’s Guide to Wifi in London

For such an international city, the public wifi in London is severely disappointing.

It isn’t like many other international cities where you can hook into public wifi at nearly every cafe, restaurant, and museum.

You have to work for your wifi in London, and it gets frustrating at times.

The public wifi in London isn’t very accessible. It is difficult to find a cafe or restaurant that allows you to access their wifi, the complimentary wifi at museums is very slow and oftentimes so overwhelmed that it doesn’t work, and the Cloud and O2 public wifi systems in the United Kingdom is unreliable at best.

You need to have a plan for accessing wifi before you arrive in London.

In this article, you’re going to learn about the public wifi in London (including the Cloud and O2) and discuss alternatives to public wifi you can consider.

Spoiler: if you know you’ll need access to internet throughout the day, don’t rely on public wifi in London.

I’ll help you find a better alternative!

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Public Wifi in London: Where to Find It and How to Use It

If you’re used to travelling in countries like Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Singapore, and Taiwan, you’ll probably be disappointed with the wifi in London.

I’m not saying public wifi is impossible to come across in London, but it isn’t as easy as you think.

You can’t walk into just any cafe, restaurant, or pub and expect there to be free wifi for you to tap into.

It’s unfortunate, but it is the truth.

Wifi at Cafes, Restaurants, and Pubs

I’m never not surprised by how few dining establishments have free wifi that guests can use.

It is a nice surprise and not an expectation.

While many restaurants don’t offer free wifi to guests, you can count on a few chains to always have wifi available to customers.

If your’e desperate for wifi, head into one of these places, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find some free wifi to use:

  • McDonald’s
  • Starbucks
  • Costa
  • Pret a Manger (my personal favourite)

There are a few other chains that offer free wifi, but the establishments listed above are the easiest to find, and you can order a drink and be able to use the wifi.

Many mom and pop restaurants and pubs offer complimentary wifi to guests, but you never really know who does and doesn’t before you commit to eating there.

A lot of places will advertise they have free wifi for guests, but you have to connect through the Cloud. I’ll get into the Cloud more later, but it isn’t the best option and many foreigners have trouble using the Cloud.

So while a restaurant may have a sticker on their door advertising free wifi, you may not be able to easily access it.

St. James' Park London England

Wifi at Museums and Other Tourist Attractions

London is famous for having a lot of free museums! It is a wonderful way to save some money while in London.

Kensington is home three world-class museums that are free to enter. If you’re looking to hang out in a museum, this is the place to go!

On of the best things about most of the free museums in London is that they have complimentary wifi!

You can easily hook into the museum’s wifi and access the glory of the internet. It is public wifi so be sure you have your VPN turned on to protect your online data!

The free wifi at museums is fairly reliable.

On your average day, you’ll be able to access fairly high-speed internet.

The issue is when the museum is busy (a.k.a. on weekends and evenings).

There are so many people trying to access the internet at one time that it slows down to a screeching halt. In many instances you won’t even be able to access the public wifi at all.

So don’t expect to be able to access the free museum wifi during peak hours.

You’ll just get frustrated!

While museums are my favourite place to access public wifi in London, there are a number of other tourist attractions that offer free wifi to guests:

  • Tower of London
  • Royal Alberta Hall
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • The gardens and shop at Buckingham Palace
  • The British Library

A few of the most popular tourist attractions in London have free wifi, but, as you can see, a lot of them don’t.

It is unfortunate, but at least you know what to expect before you arrive!

O2 Wifi

O2 wifi is the most reliable public wifi in London in my experience.

You can access O2 wifi in many restaurants, pubs, and public spaces around London.

You need to register and create an account the first time you connect to O2 wifi, and then you will automatically connect whenever you’re at a location powered by O2.

In my experience, the automatically connecting part doesn’t happy every time I’m somewhere serviced by O2. I find myself having to log in manually more than half the time.

My issue with staying logged in and automatically connecting to O2 wifi may boil down to the fact that I have a Canadian SIM card.

There have been instances where I haven’t been automatically connected to O2 wifi in London while my friend with an Irish SIM card has.

There may be some correlation between how successful you are at using O2 wifi and where you’re from. I don’t have enough data to back that hypothesis, but it is my working theory at this point.

All things considered, I’ve had more luck using O2 in London than the Cloud.

Please don’t forget to have a VPN on your phone if you’re using public wifi in London. It is so important to protect your online data and information!

Globe Theatre London

The Cloud

I had heard about how great the Cloud is and how easy it is to access free public wifi in London before the first time I visited in 2014. I was anticipating being connected to wifi nearly all the time and was super excited about it!

My experience in 2014 and every time I’ve been to London since (which is a lot) hasn’t lived up to my expectation.

The Cloud has literally only worked on my phone once in all the time I’ve spent in London.

And even that one time lasted for minutes before it disappeared again.

Nobody I’ve travelled with- no matter where their SIM card is from- has had any luck accessing the Cloud either.

I’m not sure if it is because I don’t have a Sky account (TV and internet provider in the UK) or what the issue is, but it is a bit frustrating at times.

You shouldn’t expect to rely on the Cloud when you’re in London.

If you need access to reliable internet, the Cloud is probably not the right choice for you. You don’t want to be in dire need of internet for work or personal business and not be able to connect.

Then you have to pay an outrageous amount of money to tap into your phone’s data!

Complimentary Cell Phones Provided by Hotels

Many hotels in London are providing guests with a complimentary cell phone in their room that has unlimited data on it.

You can take the cell phone with you when you go out exploring for the day and use it to access as much internet as you want.

It is so helpful to have access to Google maps if you’re exploring London by foot!

You can Google to your heart’s content, look up what restaurant you want to visit, or keep up on the news.

I don’t recommend you sign into your personal social media accounts or use the hotel’s phone to order anything that you have to put your credit card details into to purchase.

It simply isn’t safe, and you’re risking your personal data’s privacy.

Other than not being able to access social media, I’ve quite enjoyed it when I’ve taken the hotel’s cell phone out into London with me.

I don’t know how people survived before Google maps!

The Issue with Relying on Phones Provided by Your Hotel

The major downside to the cell phones that the hotels provide is that you’re not able to hot spot them and use that data to power your personal cell phone’s internet access.

I’ve tried multiple times and have never been successful.

But it isn’t that big of a deal. It would be a nice addition, but at least I’m able to keep myself somewhat entertained during meals and play intermissions and have access to Google maps if I get lost.

I’m a big fan of hotels providing guests with a cell phone to use during their stay. It adds a layer of freedom and comfort.

It seems to becoming more and more popular amongst hotels in London, so there is a decent chance your hotel will have a cell phone for you to use in the room.

Just make sure you remember to charge it!

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Renting Pocket Wifi in London

If you need more reliable wifi in London, you can rent a pocket wifi device.

A pocket wifi gives you access to wifi no matter where you are as long as you’re in the device’s range.

I’ve used pocket wifi devices a number of times in the past, and they work really well.

They provide quick wifi, and you can connect multiple devices to them. Most of the time you can connect up to 5 devices, but it can vary depending on the make of the pocket wifi machine.

Renting pocket wifi in London is fairly inexpensive. You can often rent it for about £5 per day.

It is is the perfect alternative to relying on free public wifi or spending a lot of money from using your phone’s data.

Just pay attention to whether you can pick the pocket wifi up in London or if it needs to be mailed to your home or hotel.

Hippocket Wifi is the least expensive pocket wifi in Europe, but you can only pick it up in person in Paris. If you want to use the pocket wifi anywhere else, it either needs to be mailed to where you’re staying or to your home.

This is definitely the London wifi solution for you if you want reliable wifi and have multiple people travelling in a group.

It is so inexpensive if you share the cost between multiple people!

St James' Park

Skyroam: The Wifi Solution for Frequent Travellers

I invested in a Skyroam in 2019 and am so happy I did!

Skyroam is a personal wifi hotspot that you own and can take anywhere in the world! It works the same as a pocket wifi you rent, but you pay an upfront price to own the device and then have to pay for wifi on top of that.

It certainly isn’t inexpensive. This is a wifi solution for people who travel on a regular basis and want access to wifi wherever they go.

If you’re a casual traveller, then renting a pocket wifi or relying on public wifi in London is probably the most cost effective option.

But if your’e like me and travel the majority of the year, then Skyroam might be the next travel gadget you want to invest in.

It took me a long time and a lot of research before I decided to buy my Skyroam. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the cost of the machine, and I thought the rates they were charging for wifi were a bit too much for my budget.

But now that I’ve used my Skyroam on quite a few trips and on multiple continents, I’m so happy I splurged and bought one.

It has made my travels so much more enjoyable and freeing!

I don’t have to worry about sticking to a certain path because I’m relying on offline Google maps anymore. There is no way I can get lost!

Plus I’ve found some of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at by reading reviews of what food is around me when I get hungry.

Skyroam isn’t for everybody. But if you’re looking for a long-term wifi solution, it might be right for you.

Let’s Talk About Internet Safety

It is so important to keep your data safe when you’re travelling.

You are at risk of having your data stolen and sold whenever you use public wifi.

This includes public wifi at hotels and cafes that are password protected.

I’ve had friends who didn’t protect themselves while using public wifi have their banking information stolen. You do not want to deal with that headache!

The best way to protect your online data is by using a VPN. A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is basically an invisible forcefield that goes around your online activity to protect it.

Using a VPN makes using public wifi in London as safe as using your private wifi at home.

Nobody can access your online data and steal it.

Internet safety is no joke and isn’t something to be taken lightly. You need a VPN to protect yourself whenever you travel and use public wifi!

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of VPNs in my many years of travel. Most of them I haven’t liked and have never renewed my subscription with.

The only VPN I’ve ever enjoyed is NordVPN.

It blows the competition away.

Most VPNs slow your internet speed down so much that it becomes frustrating to use your phone, laptop, or tablet.

NordVPN is the only VPN I’ve used that doesn’t slow down the internet speed, which is a huge selling point.

Nobody wants to sacrifice internet speed if they don’t have to!

You can connect up to 6 devices on one NordVPN account, so you can protect all your devices for one low fee.

NordVPN lets you cloak your location. You can set your location to show you’re in any country of your choosing, and you’re able to unlock that country’s Netflix catalogue and watch shows you wouldn’t have access to in the country you’re actually in.

Plus NordVPN often has killer sales where you can save nearly 70% on your purchase.

There is no excuse not to protect your online data with NordVPN before you land in London!

Conclusion

The wifi situation in London is disappointing at best and frustrating at worst.

It can be fairly difficult to track down reliable public wifi in London, and your best bet (as unfortunate as it is) is to head to the nearest McDonald’s and connect to their wifi.

That’s what I normally do when I’m in desperate need to wifi in London and don’t have my Skyroam on me. Just order a drink or a snack, and you’ll be able to use their wifi. I’ve never encountered a McDonald’s in London that has a time limit on their wifi, which is very much appreciated!

The most reliable way to get wifi in London is to either rent a pocket wifi device or purchase a Skyroam.

The cell phone provided to you at your hotel is a nice touch, but you won’t have access to your personal social media accounts. It kind of sucks, but it is better than nothing!

London is a very walkable city, so it is nice to have access to Google maps in case you get lost.

If you don’t have reliable access to wifi while in London, be sure you download Google maps offline to help you in case you get lost!

London also has an amazing system of having maps for tourists all over the place. You can find them every few blocks, and they’ll help you find your way if you’re lost and don’t have Google maps.

No matter how you choose to source your wifi in London, is is essential that you protect your online data by having a VPN on all of your devices!

15 Things to do in Kensington, London

Kensington is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in London! There are so many things to do in Kensington that you can easily spend an entire day there without visiting any other neighbourhood or sight in London!

There are a lot more than 15 things to do in Kensington, but these are my favourite 15 activities that I think you should check out while in London.

One of my favourite parts of the Kensington neighbourhood in London is that most of the main attractions are free! It is a great area to visit in London if you’re on a pretty tight budget.

It is also home to some of the coolest hotels in London!

Even if you don’t stay in Kensington, it is fun to stop into some of the hotels for a cup of tea just to experience the chic, fun vibes they have.

1. The Science Museum

The Science Museum is one of many London museums that is free to visit. It is located along Exhibition Road, which is one of the main roads in Kensington.

The Science Museum is huge and has a number of different exhibits geared towards both children and adults, so it is perfect for the entire family!

There is an interactive lab where children can participate in hands-on learning and watch science experiments performed by staff and volunteers.

The medicine gallery is the newest addition to the Science Museum and is home to one of the most incredible collection of medical history and devices. It includes the world’s first MRI machine and Fleming’s penicillin mould.

The exhibition has artifacts covering 500 years of medical history and is a dream come true for any aspiring medical student!

The museum also has a number of short-term exhibitions that rotate multiple times per year. These exhibitions cover a range of different science-related topics ranging from robotics to cyber security to dark matter and more!

The special exhibitions are free to enter, but due to their popularity, you normally have to reserve a time slot to visit the exhibition in advance.

Finally, the Science Museum has an IMAX theatre. These are short 40-minute films shown on a huge scream, and the cinematography often makes you feel like you’re moving along with the camera.

There is a fee to watch the movies, and you can purchase your tickets at the Science Museum.

The Science Museum is one of the more popular things to do in Kensington, but it is by no means the most popularIt is rarely packed inside the museum. You can enjoy your visit without too many crowds.

2. The Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial is on the outer rim of Kensington Gardens and is an enormous statue of Prince Albert. Prince Albert was Queen Victoria’s beloved husband who passed away in 1861.

Queen Victoria erected the memorial in honour of Albert in 1872, and it was completed in 1876 when Albert’s statue was placed on the memorial’s throne. Queen Victoria convinced the government to pay for the memorial, and the project was approved in 1863.

It took over a decade for the Albert Memorial to be completed from start to finish!

The Albert Memorial is free to visit and is personally one of my favourite things to do in Kensington! I make sure to walk past it at least once every time I’m in London.

Albert Memorial

3. 18 Stafford Terrace

This is the perfect thing to do in Kensington for anybody interested in the Victorian era. You tour a Victorian house owned by the Sambourne family. Mr. Sambourne was a cartoonist and wealthy man during the 19th Century.

Stafford Terrace is an example of what was known as the Aesthetic Interior trend. This trend focused on having “exotic” items in the house. Stafford Terrace features items from Japan, China, and the Middle East.

Stafford Terrace was preserved by the Sambourne family descendants and was opened to the public in 1980. In 1989 ownership of Stafford Terrace was passed to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and they have remained the owners of the house since that time.

18 Stafford Terrace is open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 2pm to 5:30pm. Admission is  £9 for adults and  £7 for concession tickets.

You do not need to book your tour in advance.

Stafford Terrace is one of the more unique things to do in Kensington, and it is worth planning your visit to Kensington around their opening times, so you can experience it!

4. Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Kensington! It is the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. It is also home to a number of royal family members, but you’re not able to get anywhere near their homes.

You get to see Queen Victoria’s childhood rooms, the King’s State Apartments, and the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.

It takes a few hours to see everything Kensington Palace has to offer, so you’ll want to make sure you schedule enough time at the palace. You don’t want to be rushed a miss out on anything!

Kensington Palace is open every day from 10am to 4pm.

Tickets cost £17.50 for adults and £8.70 for children. You can book your tickets online in advance to save a little bit of money.

In addition to saving a little bit of money, you get an entrance time when you purchase your tickets in advance. This allows you to skip the queue and enter Kensington Palace as soon as you arrive! This will save you a lot of time in the ticket queue- especially during peak tourist season.

If you only have time to do a few things in Kensington and are a royal fan, I would highly recommend you make the time to visit Kensington Palace. You’ll have an amazing time!

Kensington Palace

5. Holland Park

Holland Park is one of my favourite parks in all of London. It isn’t as popular as the more famous parks like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, and that’s one of the reasons I love it.

Holland Park tends to be quieter than the more famous London parks and tends to attract more locals than tourists. It is quiet and peaceful, which makes it one of the more relaxing things to do in Kensington.

Holland Park features a Japanese garden, peacocks, and lots of picnic areas. There are always a lot of locals walking their dogs, so if you’re looking to pet some pups while in London, this is the place for you!

Holland Park is open every day from 7am to dawn.

6. Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens is located right outside of Kensington Palace is one of eight royal parks in London.

You’re not allowed to bike in royal parks. If you’ve rented a bike and are biking through central London, you’ll have to park your bike somewhere else and walk through Kensington Gardens.

There are countless things to do in Kensington Gardens that it almost feels overwhelming. You can very easily spend a few hours strolling through the park and still not see everything it has to offer.

There are maps of Kensington Gardens at every entrance. I recommend you spend some time looking at the map and deciding what sights are most important to you.

The Serpentine Galleries and Peter Pan statue are two of the most popular things to do in Kensington Gardens, and you’ll probably want to visit them.

The Diana Playground is a popular area for children to blow off some energy. It features a giant pirate ship along with a number of other playground staples. It is the perfect place for anybody travelling with children.

Kensington Gardens is open from 6am to dusk every day of the year. It closes earlier than other parks in the area, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when planning your trip to Kensington.

Some of the prettiest streets in all of London surround Kensington Gardens so be sure to take some time and wander around admire the gorgeous architecture.

7. Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in London and one of the most popular things to do in Kensington.

It is always busy with both locals and tourists, but it is so large that it rarely feels crowded. Unless you’ve visiting on a gloriously sunny weekend day in the summer. Then it will be absolutely packed!

Hyde Park has a lot of history and is probably best known for the Speaker’s Corner where people like George Orwell would speak publicly and try to convert the masses to their political way of thinking.

Serpentine Lake is in the middle of Hyde Park and divides the park into two halves. It is probably the most popular and busiest part of Hyde Park. There are cafes, benches, and you’re able to take a paddle boat out onto the lake.

One of my favourite things to do in Hyde Park is rent a bike and cycle around the park. It is quite relaxing and allows you to see all of the park easily. You just need to be careful not to accidentally cycle into Kensington Gardens.

8. Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most famous music and entertainment venues not only in London but in the entire world.

It hosts concerts, Cirque du Soleil, stand-up comics, and more. The Royal Albert Hall has also hosted a number of the Royal Variety Shows, so it is a very prestigious venue to perform at!

In additional to attending a performance, you can also take a guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall. Guided tours take place nearly every day and last 60 minutes.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance, and you select a time slot for your tour when you purchase your tickets. Tickets cost £14.25 for adults and £7.25 for children. Concession tickets are £12.25.

The tour begins at the cafe located at door 12.

The Royal Albert Hall is a bit on the pricey side, but it is a music lover’s dream. If you only have the budget to do one paid thing in Kensington, I would suggest visiting Kensington Palace.

However, if your budget allows, the Royal Albert Hall is would be one of the paid things to do in Kensington that I would recommend.

Royal Albert Hall

9. The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is another one of London’s amazing free museums! It is located right on Cromwell Road, which is the main road running through the Kensington neighbourhood.

The Natural History Museum has a number of permanent exhibits including a dinosaur exhibit, an evolution exhibit, a human anatomy exhibit, and much, much more.

There are also a number of temporary, rotating exhibitions that come to the Natural History Museum. They are normally only there for a few months, so you might want to check their website rel=”nofollow” to see what is on before you go.

You normally have to pay to visit the temporary exhibits, and they can be quite expensive to visit. However, the temporary exhibits are phenomenal, and if it is a subject matter you’re interested in, it is well worth the price of admission.

The museum is open every day from 10am to 5:50pm, and the last entrance is at 5:30pm.

There are often a number of school groups touring the museum during the day, and it can get quite crowded and congested. It is still well worth visiting, but it is something you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your visit.

10. Kensington Church Street

Kensington Church Street is not a street full of churches but, rather, a street full of shops.

It is best known for its art and antique shops, and it is very easy to lose track of time exploring all the shops and finding goodies to bring home with you! The street dates back to the 1700s, so the architecture and buildings are beautiful and worth admiring.

The street is located just behind Kensington Palace and is pretty easy to find. You’ll know it when yo see it!

This is one of the best things to do in Kensington in the afternoon when the rest of the tourist attractions are packed with people. It is a nice break from museums, history, and parks.

11. The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms is a very famous pub in Kensington Church Street. It is recognizable from the colourful flowers growing up the outside of the pub.

The inside of the pub is home to a collection of Winston Churchill memorabilia- hence the name.

This is definitely the place to stop in for a pint while shopping on Kensington Church Street and exploring everything the Kensington neighbourhood has to offer!

The pub also features a full menu. The menu is made of completely of Thai food, so it has lots of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

The Churchill Arms is also one of the most Instagrammable places in London so be sure to have your camera ready!

12. Shop at Harrods

Harrods is one of the most iconic and famous department stores in the world. It is on a lot of tourists’ list of sights to see and is one of the most popular things to do in Kensington.

On any given day up to 300,000 people visit Harrods, and there are 330 different departments. Harrods is a gigantic store!

It is a multi-level department store that sells everything from home decor to makeup to clothes to tourist souvenirs. It really has it all!

A lot of people are surprised about how high-end the goods at Harrods are. Most of the things they sell are more expensive than what the average person can afford.

Take the stairs or escalator up to the second floor were you’ll find the Harrods gift shop and all the tourist souvenirs and Harrods-branded items.

Even if you only spend a few minutes in Harrods just to see what the fuss is about, it is worth stopping by. It is a lot of fun wandering through all the unique and expensive things they sell.

Harrods

13. Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum is an art gallery housed in the former home of Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton. It is located just outside Holland Park near High Kensington Street.

The museum has a large collection of paintings by Victorian artists including 81 of Lord Leighton’s oil paintings. The rooms inside the museums are basically pieces of art as well so be sure to leave time to admire the interior design of each room.

Leighton House Museum is only open on Saturday and Sunday, and the hours of operation are 10am to 5:30pm.

Tickets are £9 for adults and £7 for a concession ticket. You cannot purchase tickets in advance, so you have to purchase your ticket at the door when you arrive at the museum.

This is one of the lesser known things to do in Kensington, but it should be on your radar. This is an especially fun attraction for anybody who loves art or the Victorian era.

14. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is my favourite museum in the Kensington neighbourhood! It is the world’s leading museum that focuses on art and design.

The Victoria and Albert Museum has a wide variety and range of exhibitions that cover centuries of art and design. There is a large section on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (not really a surprise). But there are also exhibits on fashion, furniture, paintings, theatre, and more.

The museum has a number of rotating, temporary exhibits as well. The temporary exhibits range greatly in what is featured. They can be anything from wedding dresses to cars and anything in between!

The permanent exhibits are free to visit, but there is a fee for many of the temporary exhibits. The entrance fee varies depending on the exhibit, and tickets can be purchased online in advanced or at the museum.

You can easily spend three or four hours at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and it is by far the largest museum in the Kensington neighbourhood.

It is open every day from 10am to 5:45pm and on Fridays it stays open until 8pm.

This is one of the most popular things to do in Kensington, so it is often quite busy. It isn’t as busy with school children as the Natural History Museum, but it gets crowded with tourists.

Victoria and Albert Musem

15. Indulge in High Tea

What is more British than going for high tea in London? The clotted cream and scones are to die for!

There are tons of places to go for high tea in the Kensington neighbourhood. It is a nice neighbourhood with an mid- to upper-class population, so there are a number of restaurants that offer a high tea service throughout the week.

You can find a restaurant serving high tea at a number of different price points. It isn’t uncommon for high tea to cost £30 per person, so it definitely isn’t always an inexpensive experience. Of course, there are places that serve high tea for less than £30.

High tea comes with tea, scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets like cakes. It is a lot of food, and you always leave feeling full.

So even if it does cost more than your average meal out, it will be well worth your money, and you’ll leave full and happy to have had a new experience.

One of my favourite places to have high tea in Kensington is at the Kensington Orangery. Not because it is superior to the rest of the restaurants in the area but because that is where I went for tea with my mom the first time I took her to London, and it holds a special memory for me.

The Kensington Orangery does accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free guests, so it is a great place to go if you have dietary restrictions. The restaurant is located just off to the side of Kensington Palace and is a great place to stop in for high tea after touring the palace.

Wherever you decide to go for tea, be sure to book reservations in advance. Most restaurants require you to have reservations in advance because they are booked to capacity and cannot accommodate any walk-up guests.

How to Get to the Kensington Neighbourhood

The Kensington neighbourhood is quite large, and there are number of different public transportation methods you can use that will drop you off in different parts of Kensington.

Nearby Underground Stations

There are a number of underground stations around the Kensington area. They include:

  • Hyde Park Corner
  • High Street Kensington
  • Gloucester Road
  • Sloane Square
  • Holland Park
  • South Kensington

I told you there were a lot of them!

Where you decide to get off depends greatly on what things you’re doing in Kensington and what underground lines are most convenient depending on where you’re staying.

I always like taking the path that requires the fewest transfers. They always seem to slow the process down. If a stop is within three or four blocks of where I’m going, I’ll happily get off and walk the rest of the way rather than transfer to a different underground line.

There are maps of the underground in each station, online, and you can even pick up a pocket map at any station. Having a map will come in useful when you’re planning your path to your next attraction.

If you are using an electronic map, be sure to download it to your phone, so you can access it even if you don’t have WiFi!

Pro tip: Don’t forget to use your Oyster card to save a little money on transportation!

Buses

There are countless bus routes throughout London. Kensington is in central London, so it is serviced by a number of different buses.

You can use Google Map to determine what bus you need to catch to get to Kensington or ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host what bus you need.

Hyde Park

Conclusion

There are so many things to do in Kensington that it is impossible to see everything the neighbourhood has to offer in just one day! Kensington has so many diverse things to do that no matter what you’re interests are, you’ll be able to find something you enjoy!

Kensington has a nice mixture of museums, history, nature, shopping, and dining. It is a popular neighbourhood amongst both tourists and locals.

I personally think a visit to Kensington (even if just for an afternoon) should be on everybody’s London itinerary.

How to get from Brighton to London

Brighton is an amazing city in the south-east of the United Kingdom. It has a wonderful seafront and one of the coolest royal sights I’ve ever seen- the Royal Pavilion. It is so easy to get from London to Brighton and from Brighton to London that there is no excuse not to go!

Whether you take a day trip from London to Brighton or spend a few days relaxing in the city, you’ll have to get back to London at some point.

This post will help yo decide how best to get from Brighton to London. It covers all the major transportation methods, so you can pick your own route from Brighton to London.

I’m not going to cover cycling because so few people would choose that route, but it is a possibility. It is approximately 75km from Brighton to London, so a fit, cycling enthusiast could make that journey. But, let’s be honest, most of us aren’t that fit.

This post covers the three major transportation options: train, bus, and car. It gives you all the information you need to choose how you want to get from Brighton to London.

Option One: Taking the Train from Brighton to London

This is by far the most popular way to get between the two cities. It is quick and convenient, so it is perfect for every kind of traveller. The train is also the fastest way to get from Brighton to London.

The train covers approximately 90km, but it doesn’t need to compete with traffic. This means it is nearly always on time, and the trip only takes about an hour and a half!

The Southern and Thameslink operate trains from Brighton to London. These are two of the main train operators in the United Kingdom and are very reliable. They normally depart and arrive on time with very minor delays if any.

The main difference between the two train companies is that Thameslink does not have dedicated luggage storage at the front of the cars and The Southern does. This isn’t normally an issue for people but can cause a few issues if the train is very busy.

If you take a Thameslink train, you either need to be strong enough to lift your luggage overhead onto the racks above the seats or stand near the door with your luggage.

Standing isn’t too big of an issue because it is such a short journey, but it is always nice to have a seat and rest your feet for a while.

Where to Trains Depart From in Brighton?

Trains from Brighton to London depart from Brighton Station. It is the only train station in Brighton and really easy to find!

If you’re near the Brighton seafront, the Lanes, or the Royal Pavilion, you simply walk up Queens Street (one of the major streets in Brighton) until you get to the station. You don’t need to worry about turning onto another street once you’re on Queens Street.

This makes it super easy to get from anywhere in central Brighton to Brighton Station. I promise it is very difficult to get lost. If you do manage to get lost, keep walking up away from the water, and you should eventually come across street signs pointing you towards the station.

Where do Trains Arrive At in London?

Obviously London is far larger than Brighton and has many more train stations. This means you have the opportunity to decide what major London train station you get off at.

The London stations you can get off at are:

  • King’s Cross/St. Pancras Station
  • London Victoria
  • London Bridge
  • London Blackfriars

You can also get off the train at Gatwick Airport, which is a huge plus! You don’t even need to transfer. The journey to Gatwick Airport takes approximately 45-50 minutes, so it is very quick!

St. Paul's Cathedral London England

How to Choose What London Station to Get Off at?

The London station you alight at will depend on where you’re staying in London and what is most convenient.

You’ll want to get off at either:

  • A station you can walk to your accommodation from or
  • A station where a nearby Underground station has a line that goes to your accommodation without needing to transfer

By getting off at a station that is either near your accommodation or has a direct Underground line to your station, it will be very easy for your to get to your next accommodation.

For example, if you’re staying in Earl’s Court (my favourite area to stay in London), you will probably want to get off at King’s Cross/St. Pancras because the Piccadilly line is right there.

If you’re staying in The City (the one mile radius of central London), you’ll want to get off at London Victoria because you can most likely easily walk to your accommodation.

Be sure to do a little research before you purchase your train ticket to figure out what London station you should get off at.

Everything You Need to Know About Train Tickets

There are so many different different trains you can take and websites online trying to sell you train tickets that it can be a bit confusing.

I know I’ve fallen victim to a third-party site selling train tickets at an inflated price. These websites look like they’re legitimately a website for the train company, but they aren’t. They charge you an inflated ticket price and a booking fee.

It is really easy to get confused and spend too much money on a ticket by booking through sites like these.

Where Should You Purchase Tickets From?

There are a number of places you can purchase tickets from and get a fair price:

You may still have to pay a booking fee if you purchase your ticket online, but at least you know you aren’t overpaying for the ticket itself.

When it comes to purchasing tickets in person at Brighton Station, you can either purchase them at a ticket counter or at a ticket machine. Both options are convenient, easy to use, and normally pretty quick. There may be a short queue during peak hours, but they move pretty quickly.

If you’re purchasing your tickets at the machine, remember these helpful tips:

  • Not all machines accept cash. Make you go to a machine that accepts cash if you don’t want to use your credit card.
  • Double check whether you’re purchasing the correct ticket type. I was in a rush last time I purchased a ticket from Brighton to London and ended up purchasing a same-day return rather than a one-way ticket.

Types of Tickets

There are variety of different types of tickets you can purchase. Most of them are generic anytime, peak, or off-peak tickets that allow you to get on any train from Brighton to London within a given time period.

Peak hours are when the train is expected to be busiest, and you need an anytime ticket to ride them. Off-peak hours, on the other hand, are sold when the trains are pretty quiet and are less expensive.

There are also super off-peak tickets that are sold for either quite late at night or very early in the morning. These tickets are very inexpensive and great for people who tend to be awake outside of standard human hours.

When you purchase tickets online, you normally have to choose a specific departure time. However, when you pick up your tickets at Brighton Station, it normally says either off-peak or anytime on the bottom right-hand corner.

You can hop on any train that matches that description even if it is a bit earlier or later than the train you booked.

Overall, the types of tickets you can purchase for your journey from Brighton to London are pretty straightforward. You can get on any off-peak train if you have an off-peak ticket and on any train if you have a anytime ticket.

Price of a Ticket from Brighton to London

There is a large variance between how much tickets can cost. It depends on what type of ticket you purchase, the day of the week you’re travelling, and the time of year.

Typically, weekend trains in the middle of summer departing during peak hours are going to be the most expensive. Weekday trains leaving at off-peak hours during the off-season/shoulder season are going to be less expensive and super off-peak trains will be the cheapest.

Whether you purchase a single journey ticket or round-trip ticket will also impact the cost. You tend to get a bit of a deal if you purchase a round-trip ticket versus purchasing two single journey tickets.

For a general approximation of how much tickets can cost (please don’t quote me on this!), tickets from Brighton to London can cost anywhere between £5 and £25.

Brighton Palace Pier

Can You Use Your Oyster Card to Travel from Brighton to London?

Unfortunately, you cannot use your Oyster card while travelling from Brighton to London. It would be very convenient if you could, but Brighton is outside the Oyster card fare zone.

Do You Need to Purchase Tickets in Advance

I don’t think you necessarily need to purchase tickets in advance. You can easily show up at Brighton Station when you want to leave, purchase a ticket, and hop on the next train.

Of course this may not work in the peak of summer, and you may need to purchase tickets in advance during that time of year.

But, in general, you don’t need to worry about purchasing tickets in advance. You can purchase tickets in advance if they make you feel more secure, but it isn’t mandatory.

Advantages to Taking the Train from Brighton to London

There are a number of advantages to taking the train from Brighton to London. Here are a few advantages to help you decide whether taking the train is the right transportation method for you:

  • It is reliable and rarely runs behind schedule
  • You can be flexible and hop on whatever train works best for you
  • The trains are spacious and clean
  • You can get off at multiple station in London

Disadvantages to Taking the Train from Brighton to London

There aren’t many, but there are a few disadvantages to taking the train between the two cities:

  • There isn’t always dedicated luggage space
  • The trains can be busy, and you might have to stand
  • The price of the ticket is mid-range. It is cheaper than taking a car but more expensive than taking the bus so may not be the best option for budget travellers

Option Two: Taking the Bus from Brighton to London

The National Express runs buses from Brighton to London. They depart from the Brighton Coach Station and arrive at London Victoria.

The bus is less expensive than the train, but the journey normally takes at least an hour longer. Most buses between Brighton and London take 2.5 to 3 hours, but if you’re not in a hurry, buses are a great option!

Buses have dedicated luggage space under the bus, so you don’t have to worry about wrangling your luggage like you do on the train. You simply give your luggage to the driver when you’re boarding and forget about it until you arrive in London.

Buses depart from Brighton to London every 30 minutes (less often during the middle of the night). You shouldn’t have a problem finding a bus that departs for London that fits your schedule.

Where do Buses Depart from in Brighton?

Buses depart from the Brighton Coach Station. The coach station is located near the Brighton seafront so don’t go to the train station thinking you’ll catch a bus there!

The coach station is located on Pool Valley just off of Grand Junction Road (the main road running east to west near the seafront). It is a two-minute walk from the Brighton Pier towards the Royal Pavilion.

Use those landmarks as a guide, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the Brighton Coach Station.

Where do Buses Arrive at in London?

Buses arrive at London Victoria. London Victoria is the main bus station in central London as well as a major underground station.

No matter where in London you’re staying, it will be fairly easy for you to get from London Victoria to your accommodation. Whether you walk, take a city bus, or ride the underground, you should have a fairly direct route that doesn’t require many, if any, transfers.

Because London Victoria is a large bus station, it can be easy to get turned around and get a bit lost. Make sure you follow the signs inside the station, so you get where you want to go.

There are signs that point you towards the underground and local buses as well as maps on the wall of central London to refer to if you’re walking to your accommodation.

Everything You Need to Know About Tickets

The National Express is the only bus company operating buses from Brighton to London, so it is pretty easy to navigate purchasing a bus ticket.

Where Should You Purchase Tickets From?

There are two ways you can purchase bus tickets from Brighton to London: online or in person at the station.

Purchasing tickets online is a great option during peak season because it ensures you have your ticket and don’t risk missing the bus you want. You can purchase your tickets online quite easily.

If you purchase your ticket online, you will need to show the ticket to the driver when you board the bus. You can either print out the ticket or load it on your smartphone to show your driver.

Screenshots of the ticket are not accepted. You need to be able to pull up the reservation and show them the full ticket they sent you. You’ll need internet access to do that, so you may want to load it at your accommodation or a cafe before you head to the bus station.

Please note there is a small service fee if you purchase your ticket online.

You can also purchase your tickets at the station either with a representative or directly from the driver. This is a great option for spontaneous travellers who want to have the flexibility to head from Brighton to London whenever they feel like it.

The downside of purchasing your ticket at the station is that you may not be able to get on the exact bus you want to. This is especially true on the weekends during peak season.

You may have to wait for the next bus for there to be room for you. This isn’t too bad considering buses travel every thirty or so minutes and the bus station is close to the seafront and lots of cafes.

Price of a Bus Ticket from Brighton to London

The good news is that bus tickets from Brighton to London are very affordable even if you purchase them last minute!

Tickets range from £2.50 to £5! That is a really good price for a train within the United Kingdom! The more expensive tickets tend to run during peak hours and the less expensive tickets are normally for buses leaving during off-peak times.

Tower Bridge London England 10 Best European Countries for Solo Female Travellers

Advantages of Taking the Bus from Brighton to London

There are a number of advantages of taking the bus from Brighton to London:

  • It is the least expensive way to travel between Brighton and London
  • Your luggage is underneath the bus, so you don’t need to worry about lifting it overhead or standing because there is no where to store it
  • You won’t ever have to stand because they don’t oversell buses
  • The seats are comfortable

Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Brighton to London

Similar to taking the train, there are a number of disadvantages of taking the bus from Brighton to London:

  • The bus takes longer than any other method of transportation
  • Your journey could take longer than expected if there is a traffic delay
  • It is not as accessible as the train, and people living with disabilities may have more of a struggle boarding and alighting the bus versus the train

Option Three: Driving from Brighton to London

The third option you have is renting a car and driving from Brighton to London.

The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is, of course, dependant on traffic and what route you decide to take. There is a main highway from Brighton to London, so it is fairly easy to drive between the two cities.

There are a number of logistical things that need to be considered before deciding to drive from Brighton to London:

The Price of a Rental Car and Gas

You need to consider whether it is worth spending the money renting a car versus taking the train or the bus. This will depend a lot on your entire travel plans.

If you’re doing a multi-week driving tour through the United Kingdom and going to rural areas that are difficult to access via public transportation, then a car may be worth the additional price.

However, if you’re just driving from Brighton to London and nowhere else, a rental car probably isn’t worth the additional cost.

Driving on the Left-Hand Side of the Road

People in the United Kingdom drive on the left-hand side of the road. It can be difficult for people from countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road to adjust to it.

Be sure you’re comfortable and confident driving on the left-hand side of the road before you consider renting a car and driving from Brighton to London.

Pro Tip: It is always easier to adjust to driving on the left-hand side of the road if you have a passenger. The passenger can help you read signs and let you know if you’re getting too close to the curb on their side of the car.

Advantages of Driving from Brighton to London

As with the other methods of transportation, there are a number of advantages of driving from Brighton to London:

  • You have complete freedom. You’re able to choose when you leave, what route you take, and where exactly you arrive.
  • It is the quickest way to get from Brighton to London
  • You’re able to stop and visit other smaller communities during the drive if you want

Disadvantages of Driving from Brighton to London

I personally think driving from Brighton to London has the biggest disadvantages. It may not have the most disadvantages, but the disadvantages it does have are pretty hard to overcome.

  • It is by far the most expensive way to get from Brighton to London
  • You have to drive on a side of the road you may not be familiar with
  • The journey could take longer than anticipated if there is a traffic jam
  • There is a chance you could get lost. You could take a wrong turn somewhere along the way and have a difficult time finding your way back on track
Brighton Seafront

My Recommendation

I always believe you need to choose whatever transportation method works best for you and your style of travel. My preference may not be your preference, and that is okay.

That being said, I personally think the train is the best way to get from Brighton to London. It is very convenient, and I appreciate that there are multiple station is London you can get off at.

My second choice would be the bus with driving my last choice.

Conclusion

I hope this post illustrated that it is easy to get from Brighton to London and that there are multiple different ways you can make the journey.

Each transportation method has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to choose whatever one works best for you. It is hard to go wrong with any option, but I would encourage you to think seriously before you rent a car and drive from Brighton to London.

No matter how you choose to travel between Brighton and London, I hope you’re able to experience everything both cities have to offer! They are both amazing cities and two of my favourite United Kingdom cities.

Visiting the Queen’s Gallery in London

The Queen’s Gallery is an underrated sight in London. A lot of people don’t know it exists and miss out on visiting this fantastic sight.

The Queen’s Gallery is located right beside Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews (two other great sights to visit while in London)!

This post will help you plan your perfect trip to the Queen’s Gallery and help you decide whether it is a sight you want to see while in London.

What Exactly is The Queen’s Gallery?

The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery that hosts up to 450 pieces from the Queen’s private collection. The exhibition is changed three to four times a year, so you have the chance to see a variety of different artwork.

The exhibitions at the Queen’s Gallery are curated and displayed based on a specific theme. All the artwork in that specific exhibition revolves around that theme, so you get an in-depth understanding of it.

A lot of the themes appeal to a wide audience and some are more appealing to a specific niche. The website has a listing of the exhibitions for the year, so you can decide if you’re interested in it or not.

Some of the previous exhibitions included:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci (a collection of his drawings)
  • Kind Edward VIII (a collection of photographs from his explorations)
  • King George IV (a collection of artwork he collected)
  • Russia (a collection of royal artwork and photographs from Crimea)

All of the exhibits are nicely curated and span a number of rooms. It can get a bit crowded for popular exhibits like the Leonard Da Vinci one, but it is often pretty quiet. This is especially true if you visit on a weekday.

The Queen's Gallery Buckingham Palace

Ticket Information

You can purchase tickets directly from the Royal Trust Collection website or purchase them on-site when you arrive at the Queen’s Gallery.

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: £13.50
  • Over 60: £12.20
  • Student: £10.80
  • Under 17/Living with a Disability: £6.70
  • Under 5: Free
  • Family (2 adults and 3 under 17): £33.50

There are also discounts for groups of 15 or more. Information for that can be found on the Royal Trust Collection website as well.

Combo Tickets

You also have the option of purchasing combo tickets. These tickets allow you into additional Buckingham Palace sights at a lower cost than purchasing each ticket separately.

The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews

This combo ticket allows you entry to the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. These two royal sights are open all year around, so you can visit whenever you’re in London.

Ticket prices for The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews combo ticket are as follows:

  • Adult: £23.00
  • Over 60: £21.00
  • Student: £19.50
  • Under 17/Living with a Disability: £12.00
  • Under 5: Free
  • Family: £58.00

There are also reduced fares for groups of 15 or more.

The savings don’t come out to more than a few pounds per ticket, but a combo ticket still saves you a little bit of money.

Strangely enough, the price for the combo ticket is different whether you go to the webpage for The Queen’s Gallery or the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews shows the price as being a few pence higher than The Queen’s Gallery webpage.

I’m not sure if the price would get sorted at checkout or if it is a typo on the website. Just to be save, you should purchase your tickets through The Queen’s Gallery website rather than the Royal Mews website.

Royal Day Out

The Royal Day Out gives you access to The Queen’s Gallery, the Royal Mews, and Buckingham Palace.

It is a full-day ticket with entrance times for each sight and is perfect for any royal lover! You start the day off by visiting The Queen’s Gallery, then head to the Royal Mews, and finally end at Buckingham Palace.

Ticket prices for the Royal Day Out are as follows:

  • Adult: £49.00
  • Over 60: £44.50
  • Students: £42.00
  • Under 17/Living with a Disability: £26.50
  • Under 5: Free
  • Family: £142.50

Again, the savings aren’t huge with the Royal Day Out ticket, but it is worth it if you’re interested in all three sights.

What is Included with Your Ticket

Your ticket includes an audio guide that describes the artwork you’re viewing. It includes information on the artist, historical information, and information about the artwork itself.

It is very detailed, and there is the option to click through to a different recording to learn even more about various pieces. The audioguide is put together by the curator of the exhibit and often has experts explaining certain aspects as well.

Your ticket also includes free locker use and coat check if you don’t want to carry your coat or bag around. You may be asked to put your bag in a locker if it is on the bigger side so be prepared for that.

The Queen's Gallery Buckingham Palace

Upgrading Your Ticket to a Year-Long Pass

This is one of the best features of visiting any Royal Trust Collection sight! You’re able to convert your single-day ticket to a year-long pass when you exit.

Simply visit an employee on your way out and ask to convert your ticket. They will stamp the back of your ticket with the date and have you sign it. Once you’ve done that, you’re able to visit The Queen’s Gallery anytime you want for the next year!

It is the perfect way to keep going back and visiting all the different exhibits the gallery hosts throughout the year for one low price.

Technically when you do this, you’re telling the Royal Trust Collection that they can treat the price of your ticket as a donation rather profitable income. It is a win-win for both you and the Royal Trust.

I highly recommend you convert your ticket to a year-long ticket when you leave even if you don’t have another trip to London planned.

You never know when you’ll be back, and you may be thankful you now have free entry into The Queen’s Gallery rather than having to pay all over again.

Getting to The Queen’s Gallery

How you get to The Queen’s Gallery will depend largely on where in London you’re staying. Most people will take the Underground but some neighbourhoods (like Victoria) are close enough for you to walk.

Underground

For people taking the Underground, the three closest stations are:

  • Victoria (Victoria, Circle, and District lines)
  • Green Park (Piccadilly line)
  • St. James’ Park (Circle and District lines)

Each of these three stations are within a ten minute walk of The Queen’s Gallery. St. James’ Park is probably the furtherest away and Victoria and Green Park are pretty similar.

Don’t forget to use your Oyster card if you’re using public transportation.

Buses

There are a number of bus routes that run right by Buckingham Palace. The bus is probably the best option for people who don’t want to walk very far after they alight public transportation to get to Buckingham Palace.

Be sure to check the bus routes before you leave to see what bus you want to catch and how often it runs. Don’t forget that the Brits drive on the opposite side of the street as North Americans so be sure you’re heading the right direction!

You’re able to use your Oyster card on buses as well. You only need to tap when you get on the bus and don’t need to tap when you get off.

How Long Should You Spend at The Queen’s Gallery?

This is a difficult question to answer and is highly dependant on how interested you are in the artwork being displayed.

The average person can easily spend an hour viewing the artwork and listening to the audioguide.

People who are very interested in the artwork can spend upwards of 90 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery and possibly even two hours.

The Royal Trust Collection website recommends budgeting 75 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery in order to see it all, so that is a pretty good guide to follow.

Purchasing Souvenirs at The Queen’s Gallery

There is a large gift shop in the entryway of The Queen’s Gallery. It has everything from fine china to keychains to guidebooks to jam. Nearly everything you want to purchase as a souvenir can be found at the gift shop.

The gift shop is a bit on the pricey side, but it is all branded to Buckingham Palace and the royal family, so you can find a number of unique items.

Be sure to have a budget for the gift shop and stick to it! It is easy to get carried away and purchase a bunch of stuff that looks cool that you really don’t need.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Conclusion

The Queen’s Gallery is a great addition to any London itinerary. It is central and easy to get to, allows you to see artwork you can’t see anywhere else, and is relatively inexpensive for a royal attraction.

The fact that you can convert your ticket to a year-long pass makes The Queen’s Gallery even more attractive. It is the ticket that keeps on giving throughout the year. The fact that you can go back an unlimited number of times is great for budget travellers.

Whether you end up going back to The Queen’s Gallery or not, it is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It is truly fun for the whole family!

5 Reasons You Should Visit the Royal Mews (London)

The Royal Mews is where Queen Elizabeth II houses some of her horses and carriages. It is a working stable to this day even though it has been in use for decades.

I went to London a dozen times before I visited the Royal Mews. I thought it wasn’t going to be anything special, and I wasn’t keen on seeing horses. But was I ever wrong! The Royal Mews was a great experience, and I am genuinely happy I decided to tour them.

I’m going to try to convince you to visit the Royal Mews with this post! These five reasons will hopefully sway you to visit the Royal Mews and enjoy all they have to offer! They are a pretty unique thing to do while in London.

The Royal Mews London

1. You Can Visit The Royal Mews as Part of the Royal Day Out Package

The Royal Day Out package is a combination ticket you can purchase that allows you to tour Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery, and the Royal Mews all in one day.

The combination ticket gives you a slightly reduced fare compared to what you would pay if you purchased all of the tickets separately. It is with this ticket that I finally visited the Royal Mews.

The Royal Day Out ticket is great because you are able to see three amazing London attractions at a reduced price, and they are all in the same area! The attractions are within blocks of one another, so you don’t have to worry about navigating the London Underground (don’t forget to pick up an Oyster card if you do plan on using the Underground though)!

Please be aware that the Royal Day Out combination ticket is only available when Buckingham Palace is open to the public. The Palace is open every year in the summer when the Queen is in Scotland. You can find the opening times for Buckingham Palace here.

2. You Get to See the Gold Stage Coach

The Gold Stage Coach is without a doubt the most impressive part of the Royal Mews tour. It is an extravagant coach that members of the royal family use during special occasions.

This coach is normally reserved for coronations but is used from time to time for other very special functions. The Gold Stage Coach was last used in 2002 by Prince Philip during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

It is impossible to describe how grand the Gold Stage Coach is, but it is a sight that should definitely be seen!

The coach is housed in the last area of the tour, and it is staged with horses and a driver in order to give viewers the full effect of the coach. You are able to walk around the entire coach and get a decently close view of it. You get a better view of this coach than the other coaches because of the way it is staged.

If you’re not sure on whether you want to go to the Royal Mews or not, the Gold Stage Coach should help convince you to visit.

Gold Stage Coach Royal Mews

3. It is a Working Stable

The Royal Mews is still a fully-working stable. Employees groom the horses, train them, feed them, and clean up after them. The horses are taken out for exercise every morning.

The tour starts with a quick peak into the horse stables. You can take pictures of the horses and admire them. If you’re lucky, there will be an employee grooming or feeding the horses, and you can ask them questions about the horses or their job.

It is a bit unusual for a working stable to be in the heart of a major city, so it makes for a pretty cool experience. If you’re travelling with children, this makes for a great experience!

One of the reasons I waited for long to visit the Royal Mews was because I was reluctant to spend money on seeing horses in captivity. It just felt unsettling to me, but it ended up not being a worry.

There are only a few horses you can look at, and they are very well looked after. The majority of the tour involves looking at the coaches rather than the horses.

4. It is a Fun Way to Learn Royal History

As mentioned above, the majority of the tour is spent looking at the different coaches that are on display. Each coach has a lengthy description that tells you the history of the coach and other interesting facts.

Touring the Royal Mews is a great way to learn about a part of royal and British history that isn’t always spoken about. You learn about the origins of the coaches, during what occasions they are used, and oftentimes told about a modern historic moment that they were used.

It is really interesting to learn all about the coaches and their history! The Royal Mews is the perfect attraction for an hard-core royal fan.

The Royal Mews also makes it fun for children to learn. They can put on costumes to look like the drivers, sit in a coach, and learn how to dress a wooden horse. The curators made it extremely easy for children to engage in the exhibit and learn from it.

There is a complimentary audio guide that is included in the price of admission. It is very well done and contains a lot of information while not being too dry. I really think the entire exhibit is put together is a way that makes it fun, informative, and accessible to everybody.

The Royal Mews Coach

5. The Royal Mews are Open Nearly All Year Around

The Royal Mews are open to visitors from February to November each year. This means you’re able to visit them basically anytime your visit London unlike Buckingham Palace that is only open during the summer.

The fact that the Royal Mews are open nearly all year around gives you the flexibility to plan your trip to London at whatever time of year works best for you. This means you can snag a good flight deal whenever it pops up and still be able to see a royal attraction.

It is, unsurprisingly, most busy during the summer when Buckingham Palace is open. The Royal Mews are least busy when Buckingham Palace is closed, so if you can go in the spring, fall, or winter, you won’t have to worry about navigating the high crowds.

Being able to go to a royal attraction is a great benefit for royal fans like me!

Conclusion

Are you convinced yet?

You should be! The Royal Mews is an underrated attraction in London and is well worth visiting. I can’t understate how cool it is to see all the coaches. They are incredibly impressive and show you a different side to royal history.

Anytime of the year is a great time to visit! The summer season allows you to purchase the combination ticket and see the Palace, Mews, and Queen’s Gallery all in one day. Visiting outside the summer season will allow you to enjoy the Royal Mews with lower crowd levels.

No matter what time of year you visit you are bound to have a great time! Visiting the Royal Mews only takes 60 to 90 minutes, so you’ll be able to visit a number of other London attractions in the same day.

I highly recommend visiting the Royal Mews while in London. It took me years to finally visit it, but I’m very happy I did. I think you’ll have a great time at the Royal Mews as well!

How to Get from London to Disneyland Paris

At first glance it may seem difficult to get from London to Disneyland Paris, but it really isn’t. You can get from London to Disneyland Paris with little to no hassle, and there is one route you can take that requires no transferring!

There are four different ways to get from London to Disneyland Paris. You can take the train directly to Disneyland Paris, the train to central Paris then the Paris metro to Disneyland Paris, you can fly, or you can take the bus.

This guide will only cover the first three methods because I don’t think taking the bus is practical or worth even suggesting to you.

The bus takes almost six hours and requires two to four transfers. That is way too much of a hassle when the Eurostar train is much quicker and than the bus.

In addition to telling you about all your different options to get to Disneyland Paris from London, this guide will also give you guidance on choosing the right option for you and your travel style.

Knowing the pros and cons of each travel method will help you choose what will work best for you. Different modes of transportation work best for different people, and my goal is not to tell you what works best for me but guide you in finding what works best for you!

Eurostar Train from London Directly to Disneyland Paris

This is the most direct, convenient, and quickest way to get from London to Disneyland Paris. Eurostar has one direct train a day from London St. Pancras station directly to Marne-La-Vallée (the train station located right at Disneyland Paris).

It leaves London at 10:15am and arrives at Disneyland Paris at 2pm. It is so quick and easy, but the downside is that there is only one train per day, and you may have to get up fairly early to catch the train depending on where in London you are staying.

NOTE: The direct train does not run between London and Disneyland Paris between early January and mid-February. You need to plan an alternative route if you are travelling during this time.

You will have to use the London Underground to get to St. Pancras in most cases, and that can take upwards of 45 minutes if you’re staying on the opposite side of the city and need to transfer to multiple different lines on the Underground.

Getting Train Tickets

You need to purchase your tickets online in advance on the Eurostar website. Tickets are available for purchase 180 days in advance. You should purchase your tickets as early as you can! This will give you the most options when choosing your seats, and Eurostar ticket prices increase as the date of departure gets closer and closer.

Eurostar tickets aren’t cheap to begin with, and they become extremely expensive if you’re booking tickets only a week or two in advance. I don’t normally plan things very far in advance when I travel, but I always get my Eurostar tickets the day I decide I’m going to be taking the train between London and Paris.

You need to print your ticket before you board the train. You will need a physical ticket. Unfortunately having an electronic ticket is not good enough, but hopefully that will change soon!

Eurostar Train from London to Disneyland Paris

Be Sure to Get to the Station Early!

It is essential that you arrive at St. Pancras at least half an hour before your train departs! You need to go through security as well as customs, so be sure to have your passport or EU residence card easily accessible!

It is airport-style security, so you will have to remove your belt and remove any loose change from your pocket. Your bags will go through a scanner and by x-rayed. You will then go to a customs counter to get your passport stamped or your residence card checked.

Then you are free to board the train when it is time.

The entire process goes pretty quickly, but you don’t want to be too rushed. It is always safer to leave a little extra time than not enough and be stressed and rushing.

The first time I took the Eurostar from London to Paris, there was an issue with the Underground, and I arrived at St. Pancras ten minutes before the train departed! The staff was incredibly helpful and got me through security and customs quickly then escorted me to the train, but it was far too stressful!

Disneyland Paris Packages that Include the Train

You have the option to book a package directly through Disneyland Paris that includes your Eurostar train directly from London to Disneyland Paris. You can learn about the packages on the Disneyland Paris website.

A few of the features include:

  • Complimentary luggage transfers from the train to your Disneyland Paris hotel
  • Activity and colouring sheets for children on the train
  • Round-trip direct train from London to Disneyland Paris and back
  • Park tickets for the duration of your stay
  • Accommodation at a Disneyland Paris hotel

This package option can be a good choice for some families. You need to review all of the package features before you make your decision. The inclusion of luggage transfers and the Eurostar tickets being arranged for you probably isn’t enough to justify the package price.

However, if you get a good deal on the hotel and the extra perks are attractive to you and your family, the package may be a great option. You really need to crunch the numbers of what the package costs versus what it would cost to pay for everything out-of-pocket. Oftentimes the package deals don’t save you as much money as they claim to.

The Pros and Cons of Taking the Train Directly to Disneyland Paris

Pros:

  • It is direct! This is by far the most attractive part of this transportation method.
  • The trains arrives steps away from Disneyland Paris. You don’t need to worry about figuring out how to get to Disneyland Paris after you get off the train.
  • It is quick. The journey takes less than three hours!

Cons:

  • The train from London to Disneyland Paris only leaves once per day.
  • Last-minute tickets are going to cost you a pretty penny.
  • It doesn’t run between early January and mid-February.

Eurostar Train from London to Central London

The next option is to take the train from St. Pancras station in London to Gare du Nord in Paris. Trains leave London for Gare du Nord approximately once per hour (normally at half past the hour). This means it is a lot easier to fit catching this train into your travel schedule because there are many more trains that leave.

The train from London to Central Paris takes about two and a half hours, so the transportation time to Paris is comparable to taking the train to Disneyland Paris directly.

This train is also direct, so you don’t need to worry about transferring to another train during your journey. You still need to go through security and customs, so all the previous advise regarding getting to the station early is still important!

Tickets

All of the ticketing information that was outlined in the section about the train directly from London to Disneyland Paris still stands.

You should book your ticket as early as possible and up to 180 days in advance. Even though there are a lot more train options, it doesn’t mean that it is less of a risk to wait and book your ticket closer to the date of departure.

Eurostar still raises their ticket prices the closer it is to the date of departure. There are a lot of different train options, but it is a very popular route and often sells out. This is especially true if you are travelling on a weekend, during peak hours, or over a holiday.

Ticket prices will already be more expensive during those times than they are during non-peak times, and they will only go up in cost the longer you wait.

Trust me. You don’t want to procrastinate about booking your Eurostar ticket. You will end up regretting it in the long run, and you may even decide that taking the train isn’t worth it because the price has increased so much.

So please, please take my advise and book your train ticket early!

Eurostar International Departure

Getting from Gare du Nord to Disneyland Paris

You’ve made it from London to Paris but now you have to get from central Paris to Disneyland Paris. In order to do that, you need to take the RER train to Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy. You can either take RER B or RER D. Both RERs run very frequently.

In this post, I am only going to take about the RER B because it is the simpler of the two routes.

The first step is to follow the signs for the Paris Metro/RER. They will be easily visible as you walk from the train platform. Once you are in the portion of Gare du Nord that houses the RER, you will need to purchase tickets.

There are green ticket machines that allow you to purchase tickets without queuing to purchase them from a ticket booth. The ticket machines are very easy to use and offer many different language options if you don’t speak French.

Pro Tip: Walk past the first set of ticket machines you see right when you enter the station. They are always the busiest! There are more ticket machines further into the station that are less busy.

A one-way ticket from Gare du Nord to Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy costs €7.50. The ticket machines accept cash, debit, and credit.

Navigating the RER Once You Have Your Ticket

Now that you have purchased your ticket and are ready to get on the RER, follow the signs for RER B in the direction of Robinson / Saint-Rémy-lés-Chevreuse.

You can get on any train that stops on your side of the platform as you are getting off at the very next stop. Don’t get comfortable when you board the train because it isn’t a long ride!

You get off at Châtelet Les Halles (the next stop after Gare du Nord) and transfer to the RER A. The transfer from the RER B to the RER A is incredibly simple. You simply walk from one side of the platform to the other.

The RER A has two different routes, so you have to be careful to make sure you get on the correct train. You need to get on the train that ends at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy. If you get on the incorrect train, you will have to backtrack and get on the proper train. It is a hassle that is easily avoided by ensuring you are on the correct train.

There will be an overhead display on the platform showing the end destination of the train. If it doesn’t say Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy, don’t get on that train.

Trains to Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy run approximately every ten to fifteen minutes.

The journey once you get on the RER A takes just over half an hour so get comfortable and enjoy the ride. You don’t have to worry about accidentally missing your stop because Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy is the last stop on the line.

The Pros and Cons of Taking the Train from London to Gare du Nord

Pros:

  • It is quick and doesn’t require you to transfer trains.
  • There are multiple departures every day.

Cons:

  • You have to navigate the Paris metro.
  • It takes longer than the Eurostar directly from London to Disneyland Paris when you factor in the time you’re on the metro.
Disneyland Paris Castle

Flying from London to Paris

The last option is to fly from London to Paris then taking public transportation to Disneyland Paris. You can often find inexpensive flights from London to Paris by using Sky Scanner or Google Flights.

The inexpensive flights you find are often on budget airlines like Ryanair or EasyJet. This means you have to be cautious of extra charges like baggage, pre-booking a designated seat, and printing a boarding pass at the airport that can increase the price of your ticket.

You may also have to fly out from smaller airports like Stansted that don’t have the best ground transportation options. Or land at Beauvais-Tillé in Paris, which doesn’t have great ground transportation options either.

I advise you not to land at Beauvais-Tillé as it takes approximately three hours to get from the airport to Disneyland Paris. It is worth it to pay a little bit more for your flight to land at Charles de Gaulle.

It would be ideal to get a flight out of Heathrow or Gatwick and land at Charles de Gaulle in Paris. This will give you the easiest and quickest flying route from London to Paris. If you can’t land at Charles de Gaulle, Orly Airport would be the next best option to land at.

Landing at Charles de Gaulle

There are three ways to get from Charles de Gaulle to Disneyland Paris.

TGV Train

This is the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to get from Charles de Gaulle to Disneyland Paris. It costs €17.50 per person one-way and only takes 15 minutes once you’re on the train. The train doesn’t run as frequently as the metro, so it is possible you will have to wait up to 30 minutes for the next train to arrive.

The TGV leaves from terminal two and is one level below the ticketing counters. You take the train in the direction of Marne-la-Vallée and get off at Marne-la-Vallée (2 stops away from Gare du Nord). You don’t need to book tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the airport when you arrive.

This is the method I would recommend to most people.

The Magic Shuttle Bus

This is a bus that takes you from Charles de Gaulle to Disneyland Paris. It costs €23 for adults and €10 for children over the age of two. Children under the age of two ride free.

The Magic Shuttle Bus also departs from terminal two between sub-terminals 2E and 2F. Once you are near 2F, you will take exit 8 and walk outside until you reach the bus.

The bus rides takes approximately 90 minutes. It is more expensive and takes longer than the TGV, so I don’t recommend this option.

A Taxi

The final option is taking a taxi. A taxi costs €76 on average and takes approximately 40 minutes. This is quite expensive, and I wouldn’t recommend it to smaller groups. I would only suggest this as an option to people with a larger group where €76 is close to the cost of using public transportation.

You can get a taxi in any terminal, and they are available 24 hours a day.

Disneyland Paris France

Landing at Orly Airport

Just like with Charles de Gaulle, there are three way to get to Disneyland Paris from Orly. They are via RER, the bus, or a taxi.

Taking the RER

Taking the RER to Disneyland Paris from Orly requires two transfers and takes approximately 90 minutes. The cost of the entire journey is €10.

You start by taking Orlyval from the airport to Antony. At Antony you transfer to the RER B. You must make sure you get on an RER B train that stops at Chatelet Les Halles. At Chatelet Les Halles you will get off the train and transfer to the RER A.

As described earlier, you need to ensure you get on an RER A train that ends at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy. You get off at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy and walk directly to Disneyland Paris. It is as simple as that!

The Magic Shuttle

Orly has a Magic Shuttle that takes you directly to Disneyland Paris. The bus runs seven days a week between 9am and 7:20pm, and it costs €10 for an adult and €10 for a child. The shuttle takes 90 minutes on average, but it can take longer if there is a lot of traffic.

The Magic Shuttle departs from both the South and West terminals. They depart approximately every 40 to 80 minutes depending on the time of day. During peak hours, they depart more frequently at every 40 minutes. At off-peak hours, the bus runs less often at every 80 minutes.

The Magic Shuttle drops guests off at the Disneyland hotels. If you are going straight to the parks without dropping off your luggage, you should get off at the Disneyland Hotel stop as that is the closest hotel to the park entrance.

This is the most popular method of getting from Orly to Disneyland Paris, so it is quite often very busy. It isn’t guaranteed that you will be able to sit with your family.

I would recommend this as the best option to get from Orly to Disneyland Paris.

It takes the same amount of time as the RER, but you don’t need to transfer. You just get on the bus and get off. There is no need to figure out if you’re getting on the proper train and going in the right direction. It is far less stressful.

By Taxi

The final option is to take a taxi from Orly to Disneyland Paris. Below are the prices for a taxi to the parks:

  • 1-4 passengers – € 65
  • 1-5 passengers – € 70
  • 1-6 passengers – € 75
  • 1-8 passengers – € 80

You can pre-book your taxi here. If you don’t want to pre-book a taxi, you can pick up a taxi at any terminal when you land.

This is a good option for people with a large group. It is potentially less expensive than taking your entire group on the shuttle, and you don’t have to wait for the next shuttle to arrive.

Pros and Cons of Flying

Pros:

  • It is great for people who are staying near an airport in London or who are going directly from London to Disneyland Paris without leaving the airport.
  • It is a great alternative for people who are afraid of taking the train.
  • You can use frequently flyer miles or points to save money if you have them.

Cons:

  • It takes a lot longer than the train by the time you get to the airport, go through security, board, fly, disembark, go through customs, and then take public transportation to Disneyland.
  • It is often more expensive than the Eurostar.

So What Mode of Transportation Do I Recommend?

This is a difficult thing to answer because, as I said at the start, everybody has different travel needs. I think what will be most helpful is to highlight what type of traveler would enjoy each of the three different options. This will help you choose what is best for you!

Train Directly from London to Disneyland Paris

But my personal favourite method of transportation is taking the train directly from London to Disneyland Paris. It is just so convenient!

This is the best option for people who are staying on or near Disneyland Paris property. It takes away the stress of trying to get from Gare du Nord or Charles de Gaulle to Disneyland Paris.

You simply get off the train and head to your hotel. It is the least stressful way to get from London to Disneyland Paris.

I would highly recommend taking the Eurostar from London to Disneyland Paris directly to anybody who is going to Paris specifically to go to Disneyland Paris and isn’t doing anything else in Paris.

Disneyland Paris France

Train from London to Gare du Nord

Taking the train from London to Gare du Nord is great for people who are staying in central Paris or who are doing more in Paris than just Disneyland Paris. This option allows you to arrive in central Paris and then find your hotel in central Paris before heading to Disneyland Paris for a day trip.

This is also a great option for people who are travelling from London to Disneyland Paris during the winter when the direct train isn’t running. It gives you the convenience of taking the train with just a little extra hassle of taking the RER from Gare du Nord.

The train to Gare du Nord also gives you more flexibility than the direct train from London to Disneyland Paris because it runs more often. It is easier to fit into your travel schedule than the direct Eurostar train that only leaves once every morning.

Flying from London to Paris

This would personally be my last option. It is by far the longest option and often isn’t less expensive than taking the Eurostar train.

I think this could be a good option for people who are landing in London and going directly to Paris without leaving the airport or people who are travelling to Disneyland Paris from a different city in England other than London.

Taking a flight may be quicker and more convenient than going all the way into London then catching a train to Disneyland Paris.

But I wouldn’t recommend this option to people who are staying in central London. It is much easier to take a train from St. Pancras to Paris than head all the way to the airport and flying to Paris.

Conclusion

It is very easy to get from London to Disneyland Paris no matter what transportation option you choose. You could take the train first thing in the morning and still have half a day in the parks!

I would recommend looking into taking a Eurostar train. They are quick, convenient, clean, and you can find less expensive tickets if you book far enough in advance.

It is super easy to get from London to Disneyland Paris, and it makes a great addition to your Europe trip. I mean who doesn’t want to spend a few days at Disney?