This London 3 Day Itinerary is perfect for a summertime trip to the UK’s capital. Soak up culture and the sun in a city that really knows how to enjoy itself when the weather’s fine. We’ve put together an itinerary that includes many of London’s best attractions and landmarks, but has a summery twist on it. Featuring…
- The attractions you won’t want to miss during your trip
- Advice on getting around town using breezier form of transport
- Some ideas on where to eat each day
- And much, much more
London 3 Day Itinerary for Summer: DAY ONE
Let’s start our London 3 day itinerary in Westminster. Look up to admire Big Ben, a symbol among symbols in a city of symbols. It sticks up from the Palace of Westminster like a thoughtful, interruptive index finger, primed to make a salient political point about something or other. Of course, Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, not the tower. But everyone calls the tower Big Ben anyway. Still, it’s good to know the facts. Tell your travelling companion. If travelling alone, tell a complete stranger. They might not thank you for it, but they will pass it on as their own fact sooner or later.
Head into Westminster Abbey
, entry to which is included with The London Pass. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Westminster Abbey has been the traditional coronation church of the British monarchy since the 11th Century. It was also used as the venue for Kate and William’s wedding. Learn the history of the abbey using the multimedia guide, and get to know the life and work of the famous Brits commemorated there. It’s best to go early in the morning, as it gets pretty crowded later on. It also closes relatively early, at 3.30pm on most days.
Photo by Charles Postiaux on Unsplash
It’s summer, so we need to cool off. A boat cruise on the River Thames may seem like the kind of treat only accessible to the super rich, but not so. Your London Pass gives you access to a 24 hour ticket on City Cruises’ Thames River Boat Cruise
. That means you can head up and down the Thames as much as you like during that 24 hour period.
So we’re hopping on at Westminster Pier, heading east along the river, trying to catch some breeze if we can. The breeze may not be a certainty, but catching sight after sight of London’s biggest landmarks is. Ahoy there, London Eye! Hello, Tate Modern! Lovely to meet you, St Paul’s Cathedral. Greetings, Tower Pier.
Right, let’s hop off here at Tower Pier.
Just as you’re getting your legs adjusted to being back on dry land, we’re here. The Tower of London
. London’s most famous fortress. London’s most popular prison. It was even a zoo for a period. Now it’s one of London’s top attractions and it’s included with The London Pass. It houses a museum that covers every stage of its history, and has an impressive number of gates, rooms and towers open to the public. We used to only be allowed in the prison bit.
See the famous resident ravens, get jealous looking at the Crown Jewels and say hello to the Beefeaters. You could spend much of your day here. But we need some food, we need some sun, we need to keep moving. We’ve only got 85% off this London 3 day itinerary left.
Cross over magnificent Tower Bridge and stroll along the south bank of the River Thames. What can we see from here? HMS Belfast
. That’s included with The London Pass too, so pop on there to see Britain’s most famous WWII ship still in existence. Or log its position to come back to later. It’s a busy old business this London 3 day itinerary malarkey.
You’ll come to Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest food markets the capital has to offer. Whip around the stalls selling speciality food products, seasonal veg, fresh meat and other local produce. Grab some street food from one of the many superb vendors at Borough. Gujarati Rasoi is popular year-round for their veggie (and often vegan) Indian dishes. In summer, they set up their kulfi cart, selling lemon, pistachio, chai and mango flavour Indian ice cream. If you fancy a sit-down meal, head over to Padella, a small plate fresh pasta place known for its scarily long queue, and the fact that it’s definitely worth the wait.
And here we are at the end of all our wanderings. The Wooden O. Shakespeare’s spiritual home in the capital. The perfect way to round off the first day of our London 3 day itinerary. Join the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Tour
at the Guided Tours entrance. They run every half hour and transport you back to the Elizabethan era, when Shakespeare was riding high in the charts and this spot on the south bank saw the debuts of plays that would change the course of English literature, the English language and the National Curriculum forever.
It’s summer season at Shakespeare’s Globe, so Shakespeare classics are played out on the outdoor stage every day. Grab yourself a ticket for standing (requires some degree of stamina) or sitting (requires only the usual amount of stamina one uses during a Shakespeare production) and let the magic in. Head back to your hotel reciting your favourite lines, speaking in iambic pentameter, satisfied. Treat yourself to a glass of wine and some food close to where you’re staying. Then get some rest. We’ve got a busy day tomorrow.
London 3 Day Itinerary for Summer: DAY TWO
Buckingham Palace and The Changing of the Guard
Let’s begin Day Two of our London 3 day itinerary nice and early. Head to Buckingham Palace for 9.30am, having booked your tickets in advance. Tour the famous residence of the British Monarchy, taking in the grandeur and history of the State Rooms and the palatial magnificence of the gardens. Buckingham Palace is only open to the public during summer, so it’s a great summery thing to do during your London 3 day itinerary.
Get down the area in front of the palace for 11am for the Changing of the Guard. This traditional ceremony—when the Queen’s household guards swap in and out of their duties to protect the palace—is a must-see for those coming to London. It’s all pomp and ceremony and a symbol of Britain, the Royal Family and London.
Photo by Debbie Fan on Unsplash
Head up to Little Venice to take Jason’s Original Canal Boat Trip
along historic Regent’s Canal. The tour includes live commentary, and takes you past Regent’s Park, London Zoo and more. Pre-booking of Jason’s Original Canal Boat Trip is advisable. You can make a request to book on their website HERE
. All 24 hours for your booking to be accepted. This one-way summery canal boat ride is included with The London Pass.
Camden Market is a great place to be in the summertime. Pop yourself down at a canal-side beer garden, go shopping for retro clothes and souvenirs, and indulge in some of the best street food the city has to offer. Grab a ludicrously cheesy toasty from The Cheese Bar; pick up some deep fried treats at Oli Baba’s (the home of halloumi fries); or enjoy a superlative stuffed pitta at Magic Falafel.
Nearby London Zoo
is a treat whatever the weather, but it’s particularly enjoyable when the sun’s out. Just show your London Pass at the door for entry. Once inside, it’s really down to you and the creatures that float your ark. Daily afternoon events include Penguin Beach Live, the Pygmy Hippo Hot Tub and the Tropical Bird Tour. Outside of these allotted events, just enjoy strolling in the sunshine and saying hello to all the residents.
Photo by Richard Cook on Unsplash
As the evening draws in, head to an outdoor cinema, a favourite activity of many a sun-starved Londoner keen not to spend another evening inside, alone, with nothing but Netflix for company. There’s a popular one in Merchant Square, not far from London Zoo, and the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House draws in a big crowd too. Check out the listings for other London outdoor cinemas to find the one that best suits your plans and tastes. The Luna Cinema, Pop-Up Screens and the Rooftop Film Club are among the best in town, with screens across the capital.
London 3 Day Itinerary for Summer: DAY THREE
It’s the final day of this London 3 day itinerary. So what have we missed? Well, we’re pretty sure there’s no better way to start your day than a trip to Kew Gardens
. This historic botanical garden is a true London treasure, beautifully sculpted, rich in flowers and plants from across the planet, different wonderfully curated zones and a number of walking routes. So let’s start our final summertime day in London at Kew, soaking up the sunshine, getting the names of all the plants wrong, skipping on the grass. Dip into the onsite cafe for some seasonal lunch, or a sublimely refreshing cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Entry to Kew Gardens is included with The London Pass. Find out more below.
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash
Let’s get back into Central London for a bus tour. It’s a been a busy few days, we’ve seen a whole bunch of attractions, but there are some more to hoover up. Even if it’s just from the comfort of an open top bus. A bus ride is lovely in the sunshine, and the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours
included with The London Pass offer a wealth of alternative routes around the city. And, as the name makes clear, you can get off and back on whenever you like.
Just choose the right tour for you and the things you want to see before you leave town. For instance, the Best of the West Route run by Big Bus London takes in iconic landmarks such as Harrods, the Natural History Museum, Kensington Palace, Notting Hill and Marble Arch. The Essential Tour run by Golden Tours takes you from Buckingham Palace east to Tower Bridge, past St Paul’s Cathedral…entry to which is also included with The London Pass and thoroughly recommended if you have the time.
You can find out all about the different Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour options offered with The London Pass by bashing that button below.
We need a vantage point from which to look over all we’ve done during this London 3 day itinerary. There is no higher vantage point in the capital than The View From the Shard
. Let’s head up the super fast lift, perhaps take a glass of something bubbly from the bar and admire the sun as it sets on this London vacation. You can see all the landmarks and highlights of your London 3 day itinerary from this privileged perch high in the sky. And entry is—you guessed it—included with The London Pass.
Photo by Genevieve Perron-Migneron on Unsplash
That concludes our London 3 Day Itinerary: Summer Edit. If you have anything to add, ask or get off your chest, let us know in the comments below. If not, be sure to check out the other attractions you could see with The London Pass during your summertime visit by clicking the button below.