Since I’ve moved to England, London was one of the top places I wanted to visit as soon as I could. I’ve been to London more times than I can count over the past 3 years. I’ve walked around a lot of the different areas in Lonon. I’ve taken the Overground and Underground countless times. And we’ve driven to London and through the heart of London several times as well. When you visit London walking is one of the best ways to see it. I mean you can take a bunch of taxis and Uber’s but that price tag is going to add up. There are so many places to walk to throughout London. So, every time I go I feel like I experience something new.
London is said to be parallel to New York City. Why? Maybe because London is massive like New York. Hmmm. Or maybe because it’s a big melting pot of different cultures, such as of the British, Asian, Indian, African, French, and American cultures.
Oh but maybe it’s the other side of London people don’t necessarily brag about. On the not so pretty side…yes you will see homeless people on the streets, you’ll see entertainers scattered about trying to make a dollar. And you’ll come across similar SMELLS too…. Eww..yup smells of urine in the streets. So yeah it kind of does remind me of New York.
LOL…But all Jokes aside.
London is still a magnificent beautiful city. The different areas of London are vast and distinct. Like Shoreditch is a hip cultural town, and Chinatown is full of Asian culture. No matter what you are looking for, I think London will pique anyone’s interest and you will fall in love just as I have.
Walk It Like I Talk It
In the article, I will be taking you on a walking tour in a part of London. This part of town you will walk through is mostly in West End, aka the Theatre District. Like New York, London is massive and there are a lot of things to do, be we’re going to walk thru a portion of it.
This self-guided walking tour will take you through some of the most popular places to see like Chinatown, a Royal Park, places memorializing heroes, and the famous shopping district. So it’s a little bit of everything for everyone.
So without further ado, let’s have fun on this self-guided walking tour through London.
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Looking for a place to stay?
There are so many places and areas to stay in London. There are top brands of hotels that you recognize and other local European brands. If you are staying for a short time then you should book a room in Central London.
- Try Booking.com for budget friendly to luxury hotels.
- Hotels.com is also another great accommodation website to find the best deals.
- The Marriott Bonvoy Group hotels are also a favorite of mine and are located here too.
- Or if you prefer to stay in a hostel, there are options for those too.
- IHG Group is excellent like the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. I stayed at Intercontinental Luxury Hotel in Greenwich and it was amazing with incredibel views of the Thames River!
Map of London City Walk Guide
Take A Walk in Kensington Gardens
If you love beautiful gardens, walking around in nature while getting some history and culture then you must visit Kensington Gardens. Kensington Gardens may sound familiar to you. That’s because it’s the gardens of Kensington Palace. In 1689 The King and Queen William and Mary bought a home in Hyde Park and named it Kensington Palace. This was the start of creating the stunning landscapes for the beautiful gardens.
Enjoy a calm and serene walk through this Royal Park. It’s a step back from all the hustle and bustle of the city center of London. While walking through the park you will come across many impressive sculptures and monuments. Particularly, don’t miss the statues of Peter Pan and Queen Victoria.
Another notable place to see along your walk is the Italian Gardens. It’s a water garden that’s a show stopper. It’s absolutely picturesque.
Oh They Famous
This park and gardens are super famous too. This park was featured in one of my favorite movies “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”.
Also, make sure to visit the memorial playground of Princess Diana. It’s located on the western side of the park near Kensington Palace. Additionally, check out the Serpentine, which is a lake that splits the Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park.
You can visit the gardens any time of the year. Of course, springtime would be a great time to see the flowers in bloom. It was still exceptional when I visited during the fall.
The gardens are open daily at 6:00 AM, but closing times vary.
Speaking of Kensington Gardens, knock off two things at once. Take a walk through Hyde Park after your visit from the gardens. I mean it’s practically on the same turf so why not?
Hyde Park is a beautiful and humongous square. Take a walk through this park and take in the scenery.
During our walk to Hyde Park, there were protestors out. Which is nothing to be surprised about because protesting goes on a lot in London and parts of England. But the ones I’ve seen have been calm, cool, and collected.
Anyways, Hyde Park is a huge park where concerts and events are held. The Winter Wonderland, which is an event that happens every year, is also held there.
Try to check out the Rose Garden, the best time is summer. You’ll see the fountains, the Boy and the Dolphin, and Diana the Huntress.
Hyde Park is exceptionally beautiful in the Fall as well. You’ll see all the different hues of leaves changing into orange, red, and brown. It’s a special time to see mother nature at its best. But if you go around that time, don’t forget to dress warm! The wind in that large field almost blew us away.
Walk Down Oxford Street
Next, take a walk down Oxford street. Oxford Street is a popular part of the city that’s known as the shopping district. Oxford Street is located in the West End.
Some of the stores you’ll see are.
- Mark and Spencer
- Dune London
The retail stores above are some of my favorite stores to shop at while I’ve been living in England. So just a few details on these stores.
Primark is a popular retail store because it produces the latest fashion trends but is cheaper than department store brands. This is great because you can still look good, keep up with the trends without breaking the bank. They first opened in Belgium and now have operated all over Europe and 8 stores in America.
Other notable favorites are H&M (which in my opinion is better in the UK than the US). I think they have more fashionable selections, especially winter clothes.
BTW I think that London fashion is the best. I had to step my game up once I moved to England. But I appreciate the fact that people step out of the house looking good and fashionable. From beautiful Peacoats, Trench Coats, Boots, cute hats, and scarves, they know how to put an outfit together.
Anyway, another favorite is TK Maxx, which is the US TJ Maxx. When I saw this after moving to England, I was floored. However, TKMaxx is very similar to the US version in that there are great finds of top brand products for less. Like TJMaxx, you just have to be in the mood to search for the best things.
Not Your Average Boots
Oh, you should check out the Boots store. Boots is not what you may think, it’s actually a health and beauty store. It kind of reminds me of Ulta. I especially love Boots because it has Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products and Pixi.
I know I just named retail stores, but there are also shops for everyone, especially if you want to take some souvenirs back home. Oxford Street is a wonderful place to look as you will see a variety of stores. It gets really busy here so don’t be alarmed by the number of shoppers that are out there with you.
Walk Around Piccadilly Circus & Leicester Square
Next walk to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Leicester square is a pedestrianized area. Here you can find somewhere to eat, shop, and explore. This is also part of the West End area. In the square, you may see street performers and acts.
One of the main attractions is M&M’s World London. There are M&M stores in other places in the US and Shanghai. But this M&M store is the largest in the world. It has 4 floors, massing over 35,000 sq feet!!
The candy comes in all sorts of colors. You can customize the M&Ms with names, words, etc. The candy is a little pricey, but I’m sure the kids will love it there. I have a teenager and she loves exploring the M&M shop. In this M&M shop, they have the World’s biggest chocolate wall. Don’t forget to check that out.
After that, walk over to the LEGO Store. If you have small kids with you, they’ll love seeing all the different choices of LEGOs and themes. It’s located right across from M&M World, so your kids will be in heaven.
Finding Some Grub
If you are ready to eat with the family, then walk over to the Rainforest Cafe’ and grab a bite. It’s a cool place to eat with the family. It’s not just a regular ole restaurant. You will feel like you are eating in the jungle with its unique rainforest sound effects and aesthetics. Great for fun family dining.
Since I’m an American living in the UK, I like to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe’ sometimes. It’s of course an American-style restaurant with American entrees and drinks.
However, there are so many restaurants to choose from British, American, and Japanese cuisine.
I’m sure it’s something in this area that will please everyone’s tummy.
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Relax in Trafalgar Square
Another popular area that’s a must-visit along your walk is Trafalgar Square. This is a nice square to explore, relax, and people watch.
Here, you’ll see the reason why most people visit this square, and that’s to look at the iconic Nelson’s column. Nelson’s column is a huge 264-foot column with Admiral Horatio Nelson statue on top of it. Plus at the base of the statue, surrounding Nelson’s Column are four Lions, supposedly protecting the monument.
Admiral Nelson led the war against the French and led them to victory. In fact, It was named Trafalgar Square after the win of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
While there, also take in the beauty of the 2 dazzling fountains.
Additionally, the square is also known for having protests and demonstrations there, which are totally approved by the mayor. So, this area has kinda become a political epi-center.
There are several other historical statues that you can admire and get some history. In the center of it all since it has museums, the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Walk through Chinatown
Next, walk to Chinatown. While in London, Chinatown is a place you must visit at least once. It’s a very busy and vibrant area in London but don’t let that stop you. It has some of the best places to eat authentic Chinese cuisine. Not only that but the culture of Chinatown is amazing.
While walking through Chinatown, you’ll see so many aesthetically pleasing areas. We always love the backdrop of the arch of Chinatown and the ambiance it brings. The glorious red lanterns are floating in the sky throughout Chinatown. It’s so adorable, you’ll want to take those really cool pics here.
I mean when you step into Chinatown it’s like you are in another city. It’s so unique and distinct from everywhere else in London.
Also stop at one of the markets to buy some Asian food and drinks like green tea, alcohol like SoJu, noodles, chips etc.
Stop for some desserts along your walk. You’ll find some of the best dessert spots to eat in Chinatown. So go ahead and treat yourself.
There are also a plethora of restaurants in Chinatown too. One we tried was Dumplin’s Legend. We went there for the Dim Sum. It was delicious, however just to forewarn you, their customer service was not the greatest. However, the food was good and I think it was still worth it for some authentic Chinese cuisine.
Walk to Covent Garden
Last but not least, walk over to Covent Garden. Covent Garden has become one of my absolute favorite places to visit in London. Covent Garden spans over 9 streets and has a pedestrianized Piazza. The cobbled-stone Piazza makes for a stunning backdrop for your Instagram photos, especially on a beautiful sunny day.
Covent Garden is a sought-after area of London to visit for locals and travelers. The energy and liveliness of this area is marvelous.
There are so many things to see and do in Covent Garden, but for now, I’ll just name a few.
So in this self-guided walking tour, by the time you make it over to Covent Garden, it’ll be time to eat dinner.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Eat dinner at the Ivy Market Grill on Henrietta Street or any of the many notable restaurants around. Buns n Buns is another popular place to eat inside the market building. Or if you want a quick bite then try Shake Shack.
Go Shopping Again
If you can afford it, then go shopping at some of the Luxury stores such as Christian Dior, Tiffany & Company, Chanel in the Covent Garden Piazza. But if you are on a budget (like me) then you can shop at places like H&M, Debenhams, Zara, ..etc. There are also several souvenir shops in and around London to check out.
Beautiful Street with vibrant colors
Next, walk down Floral Street. The walk down Floral Street is so enchanting with its beautiful flowers covering buildings and its cobble-stone streets.
After that walk to the Infinity Chamber. It’s located in Conduit Court, tucked in between buildings at the end of Floral Street. It’s quite fun to walk through while seeing the changes in the colors. Don’t forget to take some really cool photos here.
Another thing you can do is, check out the Royal Opera House. They are now reopened and are offering tours. For more info check out their website.
Covent Garden also has some of the Best Desserts in London. If you want an after-dinner treat, scope out one of the dessert shops.
There is so much to do just in this part of London. You can find out other Things To Do in Covent Garden here.
Looking for other things to do around London and England. Scope out these posts to get you started.
- 1 Day in London Itinerary
- Best Instagrammable Dessert Spots in London
- Romantic Weekend in Bath, UK
- Road Trip to Cornwall
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