If you follow along on social media, you know I recently had a super whirlwind trip to London. I felt so lucky to be there, that I knew I wanted to take full advantage of any free time to see the sights. I had only been to London once before and it was more than 15 years ago — and only for a brief layover — so the entire city felt new to me. The day before I left had a full morning and afternoon free, so I hit the ground running. Today I’m sharing all the details of my one day in London and how I spent it!
My Day In London
I stayed at the Langham London, which is a mega-posh luxury hotel. It’s a large property (over 300 rooms) and has a full gym, pool, several lounges, a craft cocktail bar and two restaurants. I ate breakfast there both mornings and loved the pastries (carb lover). They also have an assortment of fresh pressed juices that were delicious. It’s one of those places that the staff works overtime to make sure you’re enjoying your time, so take full advantage of all the good city advice the bell staff and concierge have to offer.
I started out by leaving the hotel and heading toward Notting Hill. My friend Trish happened to be in town, so we met up for a quick coffee at Urban Meadow and hug before heading our separate ways. Sometimes the world feels so big, yet so small!
From there, I walked toward Portobello Road Market and through all the colorful streets of Notting Hill. It’s such a charming area and I could have taken photos of the colorful doors, foliage-covered houses and flower-draped stores all day. On my next trip to London, I definitely want to spend more time here!
I reached Portobello Road Market and wow — everyone is right about this being a great area to shop! There are street vendors, boutique stores and then higher end shops, which means there is definitely something for everyone. In between, there are coffee shops, gelaterias, and restaurants. I would have loved to spend the entire day here, but I knew there were other places I wanted to see. I didn’t leave without a few souvenirs though!
Stores I enjoyed in the area include Happy Socks (they have special London edition socks), Whittard of Chelsea (tea and drinks), Stumper & Fielding (men’s store) and Daylesford (home goods and candles).
From Portobello Market, I made my way to Hyde Park, where I wanted to see the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. The park itself is gorgeous and there were lots of people out with their dogs, which I loved. I wove around the park until I got to Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I have a moderate to severe appreciation (obsession?!) for Kate Middleton, so Kensington Palace was a must. The grounds were so lush and I really loved seeing the architecture. You can pay to go inside, but I skipped that since I had places to be. Next time!
At Kensington Palace, I took the exit at the far side of Hyde Park and made a left. This was intentional, because I was walking to Buckingham Palace next and wanted to make sure I could see all the pretty gates entrances to Hyde Park along the way. They didn’t disappoint, plus the park was lined with fresh holly!
This is a good place to add that London was enjoying a BEAUTIFUL fall day — mid 60s and sunny. I’ve been told this is unicorn weather, but I appreciated it immensely and it made this walking tour completely doable. I also loved that the leaves were changing colors and everything looked so quintessential “fall”.
The walk from Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace is not for the faint of heart — it’s about 2 miles — but I loved every second of it. Being in a major city that is so walkable was a real treat. I popped in and out of a couple shops along the way, but mostly enjoyed just taking in the views.
When I got to Buckingham Palace it was packed, but I didn’t mind, because the palace itself is just so grand that anything else just looks tiny in comparison. I spent a little bit just admiring the architecture and watched the guards (sad to report — no fuzzy hats or red coats) before moving on.
I needed to start making my way back to the Langham, so I maneuvered through Picadilly Circus and then back up toward my hotel. That night, I rejoined the group I was traveling with and we ate at J. Sheekey. It’s a popular spot for seafood and the service was terrific.
All in all, my day in London was SUCH a treat and I can’t wait to head back one day. If you liked this post, you might also enjoy my tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.