There is so much to see and do in the English capital that, sometimes, deciding how to spend your holiday in London can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate list of the top 10 things to do in London on your next vacation in 2020. All attractions listed are close to the Park Grand Hotel and are places that every visitor to London must experience, at least once.
1) Watch a West End Show
London’s West End is globally renowned for staging some of the greatest and most diverse theatrical shows in the world, ever since Shakespeare first graced the London creative scene. Watch one of the golden oldies such as Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera or Matilda, which have been delighting theatregoers for years. Or, check out our guide the most anticipated theatre shows opening in 2020!
2) Picnic in a Royal Park
A lazy picnic is as firmly rooted in London eating culture as taking afternoon tea. With a backdrop of huge green parks garnished with blooming flower gardens and tranquil lakes, London is the perfect place to indulge in a summer picnic. Make your own hamper with fresh produce from the Marylebone Farmer’s Market, or ask your accommodation near Paddington Station London for the best place to buy picnic treats.
3) Delve into history at a museum
The best thing about London’s museums is that the majority of them admit free entry to their permanent galleries! So there’s no excuse to not visit at least one during your holiday. You can dive deep into art, archaeology and culture at the British Museum from all around the world. If you loved Jurassic Park, find your own Jurassic World at the Natural History Museum. Or, peruse fine silks, jewels and sculptures at the V&A Museum.
4) Eat at a food market
London is a Shangri La for foodies, with plenty of Michelin starred restaurants, delicious takeaway options, and international food from all corners of the globe to choose between. There are also more and more food markets and gourmet pop ups cropping up every season in the city. Grab breakfast near Paddington from Portobello Road, Leather Lane or Berwick Street Markets. Or, journey east to Shoreditch where you can make a night of it at Dinerama, a split-level cluster of stalls touting global fare, innovative cocktails and craft brews.
5) Take a Thames boat cruise
Few things compare to the simple thrill of doing a spot of sightseeing by boat! There are several boat businesses operating tours down the Thames. City Cruises have the monopoly on the best boat cruises in London, and offer sightseeing and dining cruises by day or night. If you fancy getting an adrenaline kick, book a speedboat tour with Thames RIB Experiences instead. Their boats reach the fastest speeds and your cruise is accompanied by a guided tour, plus the James Bond theme tune!
6) View London from the clouds
If you’ve managed to save yourself some pennies by booking one of London’s special offers on hotels, put the money you saved towards getting a sky-high view of the city. The View at the Shard boasts the highest birds-eye view in town, with observation platforms on the 69th and 72nd floors. The London Eye is another attractive option, particularly on a blustery day. If you want to see the London skyline on a budget, the Sky Garden atop 20 Fenchurch Street is free to visit, but you must book around three weeks in advance.
7) Wave at the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and office of the British monarchy. You can visit the palace any time of year and take photos of the facade from the gates or watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. If you’re lucky, you might spot Her Majesty being whisked away from the grounds to attend state business! If you visit London during the summer months (25 Jul – 4 Oct 2020) when the Queen is out of town, you can even explore inside the State Rooms of the palace.
8) Take a day trip
London certainly doesn’t fall short on things to see and do, but if you are planning an extended weekend in London for 2020 or a week-long holiday, you might want to consider a day trip out of the city. From the Park Grand Hotel, you can visit a nearby town that is only one hour or so away from the city. Paddington Station serves Oxford, Bath and Bristol cities which offer a whole new level of art, culture and activities. You can punt down the River Cherwell in Oxford, relax in the only thermal spa in Bath, or track down legendary Banksy street art in Bristol.
9) Get to grips with the British sense of humour
Great Britain is known for having a distinguished sense of humour, encompassing sarcasm, deadpan and wit, plus a love of puns. One of the best nightlife things to do in London is to check out the comedy scene. There are clubs around Covent Garden and Leicester Square, with acts performing on a nightly basis. The Comedy Store, the Top Secret Comedy Club and 99 Club Leicester Square are good starting points, for emerging comedians and household names. After a night of comedy, you’ll never fail to see the irony in a situation again.
10) Hang out in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square has been the cover of many guide books and is a typical postcard scene of the city, so it’s one of the must-see destinations for any London tourist. It’s where you can crane your neck at the Nelson’s Column, pose for selfies with the four Landseer Lions and relax by the gushing fountains and watch the daily life of London. You can also explore exquisite masterpieces of European art dating from as far back as the 13th-century at the National Gallery, home to works of Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh and Rembrandt.