London is a VERY large city, for several centuries the world’s largest. It is also a hugely popular tourist destination. Well known sites like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace (when it is open, and the streets nearby even when it’s not) are very crowded. Just walking down the street you’ll hear many foreign languages being spoken. This guide is deliberately intended to take you to a fascinating part of the city which is not quite so busy, but packed with both historical importance and current action. It’s planned to be first of a series.
Every itinerary needs a dramatic starting point and an exclamation point to end it. So why not begin with Tower Bridge, set for many movies, including the dramatic scenes from Sherlock Holmes, and end with London’s most recognizable sight, Big Ben. We’ll include glimpses of the modern; The Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge; The London Eye; and historical reference points like The Globe Theatre, St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Saviour’s (Southwark Cathedral).
And because London is fast becoming one of the world’s best gourmet dining centers, the itinerary includes a stop at the legendary but also very up to date Borough Market (if you schedule this itinerary on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, plus some dining recommendations along the way).
Some activities will require advance reservation, e.g. The London Eye, The Globe Theatre. Others are open only on a few days each week, e.g. The Borough Market.
The Itinerary - Overview
Starting out from Tower Bridge you’ll explore the South Bank of the River Thames where modern buildings have taken the place of structures that were destroyed by heavy bombing in the 2nd World War, but many historical buildings survived or have been restored. This fascinating part of London is often missed. Along the way, the north shore of the Thames is filled with interesting vistas and tempting detours – by all means be tempted if you’re in the mood for crossing the magnificent but controversial Millennium Foot Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral or Tower Bridge to The Tower of London. These are great experiences that could extend this itinerary into a 2nd or even a 3rd day. Towards the end, two sights will dominate your view, one of London’s most popular modern attractions, The London Eye, and the magnificent of The Houses of Parliament and its iconic clock tower, Big Ben. Because The Borough Market is open only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, this tour is particularly well suited to those days of the week. However, it makes a wonderful tour even if this activity is left out, there is so much to see along the way.