10 London Itineraries: Choose Your Own Adventure

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Want to visit London but feeling overwhelmed by all the things there is to see and do? These sample London itineraries will give you a taste of some of the options based on interest to help get your planning started on the right foot.

The photo collage shows the Tower Bridge next to Buckingham Palace, a tea party, and a red phone booth.

“Let’s take the kids to London this year.” My husband had no idea how that simple phrase would put me into a monthlong tailspin when he proposed it earlier this year.

On the surface level, that sounds like a fantastic idea. But all you need to do is search “Things to Do in London” and you will be overwhelmed within minutes by the incredible amount of options available in this giant metropolitan city.

After spending 6 days in London with my family, I can promise you two things:

  1. You will NEVER see it all in one trip. Trying might destroy you.
  2. You could visit London 5 trips in a row and still not see everything.

To help you narrow down your options, I have pulled together 10 sample itineraries for a visit to London based on interest and who you’re bringing as your travel companions.

These lists are not meant to be exhaustive, they are just a taste-test to give you an idea of what a London vacation could look like if you pluck out only the flowers that are most interesting from that garden of options.

I believe the perfect family vacation actually combines 1, 2, or even 3 of these itineraries so that every member of the family is happy. Mix and match them to your heart’s desire!

In the Footsteps of Royals

The sign for Buckingham Palace Road

If you love The Crown, read all the gossip you can about Will & Harry, and can remember where you were the day that Diana married into the Royal family, this tour is for you.

Fans of the Royal family could plan a visit to London to see the top sights:

  1. Tour Buckingham Palace
  2. Watch the Changing of the Guards at St. James Palace
  3. Visit Kensington Palace: The official London residence of Prince William and family.
  4. See Westminster Abbey: The site of the coronations and several Royal weddings.
  5. Shop at Harrods
  6. Visit the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park
  7. Have Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason’s
  8. Visit the Crown Jewels at The Tower of London
  9. Do a Day Trip to Windsor Castle

London for History Buffs

A caricature of Winston Churchill in his museum.

If you love to read historical fiction, enjoy documentaries, and are obsessed with the rich history of England, this tour is for you:

  1. Visit the Tower of London: Be ready to spend at least 2+ hours here!
  2. Spend an Afternoon at the Churchill War Rooms: The Churchill museum alone is worth your visit, there are countless incredible artifacts from Winston’s life on display.
  3. Tour Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral
  4. Visit Parliament and Stop By 10 Downing Street
  5. Visit the British Library: See the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s First Folio, and Michelangelo’s Illustrations and more in the Treasures Gallery.
  6. Tour the British Museum: See the Rosetta stone and a bust of Nefertiti.
  7. Walk Across the Tower Bridge and Visit the Welcome Center
  8. Take a Day Trip to Stonehenge

The Harry Potter Tour

If you’re traveling with kids, you could add a full blown Harry Potter day to your adventure or you could plan the entire trip around the popular boy wizard.

  1. Book Tickets for the Harry Potter Experience: Do this immediately, they sell out quickly.
  2. Book Tickets to See The Cursed Child
  3. Shop the Harry Potter Department at Hamley’s Toy Shop
  4. Visit Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station
  5. Ride a Double Decker Hop On, Hop Off Bus at Night
  6. Visit the Reptile House at the London Zoo
  7. Visit Leadenhall Market: Diagon Alley!

Girls’ Trip to London

A young girl holds shopping bags in front of Marks & Spencer.
My daughter after a major shopping trip to replace clothing when the airline lost her luggage.

Whether you’re traveling with your girlfriends or planning a mom-daughter trip to London, leave it to the ladies to have an amazing time:

  1. All the Shopping!: Harrods, Marks and Spencer, Fortnum and Mason, Oxford Street, Liberty, and so much more. The shopping in London is amazing.
  2. Afternoon Tea: Plan an elegant tea and get dressed for the occasion.
  3. Theater Tickets Every Night: Pick your favorite shows in advance or take the luck of the draw with last-minute discount tickets purchased the morning of.
  4. See Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe

Romantic Getaway

My husband and I are already chatting about what a return visit to London would look like if we went without the kids. I think it could be a perfect spot for a romantic getaway:

  1. Visit the Sky Garden for Coffee and Pastries
  2. Plan Dinner and the Theater: Dine out before viewing something in the West End or Soho
  3. Stroll the Gardens: There are so many amazing and huge green spaces in London for strolling hand in hand.
  4. Pick Up a Luxury Hamper from Fortnum & Mason for Breakfast in Bed
  5. Share a Kiss at the Top of the London Eye
  6. Eat Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Borough Market
  7. Plan a Day Trip to Paris
  8. Visit the Notting Hill Bookshop

London for Nature Lovers

A white swan is swimming in the water.

If you prefer to spend your vacations breathing in all the fresh air and taking in as much nature as you can, even a cosmopolitan city like London can be an excellent choice:

  1. Go Horseback Riding in Hyde Park: Visit the Hyde Park Stables for more information.
  2. Go Kayaking on the Thames
  3. Go Birdwatching in St. James Park
  4. Visit the Natural History Museum: Perfect for a rainy day.
  5. Ride the Ferry Boat to Greenwich and Visit the Observatory
  6. Take a Day Trip to Stonehenge

Foodie Adventure

A food stall filled with breads at Borough Market.

If you love to sample all the popular Instagram foodie hot spots, shop the local markets, and enjoy strolling local grocery stores on your vacation, this list is for you:

  1. Visit Borough Market: Endless food stalls, a foodie’s dream.
  2. Eat in Chinatown: Buy smaller plates from several establishments for sampling.
  3. Dine at a Traditional British Pub
  4. Hunt the Best Fish and Chips
  5. Try a Classic Sunday Roast
  6. Enjoy an Afternoon Tea
  7. Visit Marks & Spencer Food
  8. Buy ALL the Cadbury Chocolate
  9. Eat a Traditional British Breakfast

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

If you’re married to an engineer like I am, you may enjoy trying out all the methods of transportation you possibly can!

  1. Ride the Underground
  2. Take the Uber Boat to Greenwich
  3. Ride the Docklands Light Rail
  4. Walk Over the Tower Bridge
  5. Walk Under the Thames via Pedestrian Tunnel
  6. Rent Bikes to Roll Around Town

For more information on these ideas, be sure to read my tips on the best way to get around London.

Music Lovers

London can be heaven for music lovers, from enjoying live music performances to spotting famous homes of beloved musicians, here are just some ideas to get you started:

  1. Take Your Picture on Abbey Road
  2. Visit the Abbey Road Studios
  3. Spot Freddie Mercury or John Lennon’s Houses by the Blue Plaque
  4. Take the David Bowie Walking Tour
  5. Buy Merch at the London Beatles Store
  6. Spot All the Sights Mentioned in Taylor Swift’s “London Boy”
  7. Enjoy a Drink at Covent Garden while Listening to Street Musicians
  8. Take a Jazz Dinner Cruise on the Thames
  9. Eat Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus

Just for the Kids

Two young girls stand with a toy bear dressed like a London guard.
Yes, even teenagers are kids at heart. My girls loved Hamley’s toy shop.

If you’re traveling with little ones, London can be a super sweet place to vacation with kids:

  1. Visit Hamley’s Toy Shop
  2. Spot the Peter Pan Statue
  3. Take a Ride to Paddington Station and Look for the Paddington Bear Statue
  4. Buy Tickets to the Shrek Experience
  5. Ride the London Eye
  6. Visit the Swans at Hyde Park
  7. Have a Tea Party
  8. Watch the Street Performers at Covent Garden
  9. Buy Tickets to See Matilda the Musical

More London Travel Tips

There’s so much to plan when you’re preparing to go to London, don’t miss these top tips:

The photo collage shows the Tower Bridge next to photos of a girl shopping, a Buckingham Palace sign, and a tea party.

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