2018 London Bucket List
The UK capital has many things to offer residents and tourists – from parks and recreational facilities, to a selection of wonderful restaurants, and all manner of entertainment – and it offers arguably more than anyone can enjoy in a lifetime. With so much to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down what do enjoy.
There are a number of “London bucket list” options, and we’ve chosen ten of our favourites for 2018:
- See a West End Show
London is known for its stylish West End – a district full of tourist attractions, art galleries, and entertainment – the most popular of which are the incredible theatres. Popular theatres include the London Palladium, Theatre Royale, Apollo Theatre, and the Royal National Theatre, to name a few, all showing a number of different shows and productions depending on the time of year.
From ever popular musicals to comedy, dramas and plays, to shows for kids, it’ll be hard to choose just one to watch! If you have the time to spare, why not see a variety and enjoy the best of London’s West End?
- Visit the Natural History Museum
One of the must-see attractions in London is the incredible Natural History Museum. Free to attend, this museum contains over 80 million items across numerous collections including botany, palaeontology, and zoology, and is world-renowned.
The museum is also famous for its dinosaur skeletons, making it a superb outing for families (and big kids, too!). With new exhibitions opening all the time, no two visits are quite the same! Definitely an attraction to add to your London bucket list!
- Eat at Borough Market
London is home to a variety of street foods and market stalls – you just have to know where to go! Borough Market is a favourite of locals and tourists, with the full market open Wednesday to Saturday. There are a few traders open on Monday and Tuesday, so there is a smaller selection, but less busy crowds.
You’ll find traders selling a wide range of produce from around the world – from fish to chocolate, and everything imaginable in between. Whether you’re a foodie, looking for a souvenir or gift, you won’t leave Borough Market empty handed!
- Watch the Oxford v Cambridge boat race on the River Thames
Cambridge and Oxford – two ancient universities with a rivalry known throughout the United Kingdom! They come together in London for an annual boat race every year around Easter time, drawing in thousands of spectators along the banks of the Thames.
The course is approximately four miles long, stretching from Putney to Mortlake, and is one of the most exciting events – especially if you’re right there watching the action unfold!
- See a ballet at the Royal Opera House
London has a superb offering of theatre, and there’s nothing quite as special as watching a performance at the Royal Opera House. One of the world’s leading Opera companies, you can watch everything from ballet to opera to musical acts.
It is also home to the Royal Ballet, so if you’re looking for something you absolutely must do in London, you have to see a ballet at the Royal Opera House at least once. With breath-taking sets and costumes, and incredible performers, it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.
There’s something for everyone here – just make sure you book in advance!
- Have a quirky afternoon tea at Pret-A-Portea at the Collins Room, The Berkeley
Afternoon tea is a classic treat, and there is an eclectic choice of venues all across London. One of our favourites is the quirky tea at Pret-A-Portea at the Collins Room, The Berkeley. It’s a bright dining room with glass tables and silver chairs, bringing the essence of high tea to London. It offers a stunning selection biscuits and sponges (all fashion-themed), you might even be lucky and see a Jimmy Choo-inspired “shoe” cake!
For those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth, the savoury selections are equally decadent, with mini bagels, cheese cupcakes, and beautiful canapés to choose from. Just be warned, you won’t find any traditional jam and scones here!
- Listen to live jazz at Nightjar
Nightjar is consistently listed as a “must attend” venue for anyone visiting London. Indeed for tourists and locals, there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the UK capital. Nightjar is called “a hidden slice of old-school glamour on the fringes of Shoreditch,” and is considered by many to be one of the best bars in the world.
Not only is it a stunning, speakeasy-style bar with plenty of comfy seating, there’s table service, an extensive cocktail menu (themed, of course, to pre-Prohibition, post-war, etc.), and live music played every single day. If you love jazz and blues, it’s certainly somewhere special, and a fantastic alternative to overcrowded bars and nightclubs!
- Visit the Tower of London
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting a castle! The Tower of London is set on the banks of the River Thames, and is actually a fortress. Historically a prison, the Tower of London offers tours, ice skating, ceremony of keys, and you can also catch a glimpse of the superb Crown Jewels.
A wonderful day out for history buffs, or those who love architecture, you can see animals and birds, visit the associated museum, and even enjoy an interactive adventure here. The Tower of London is not to be missed!
- Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
One of the most iconic sights in London is Buckingham Palace, and the Queen’s Guard outside the golden gates, who dress in the traditional red tunics and bearskin hats. You can make a trip to this landmark extra special if you time it to watch The Changing of the Guard ceremony outside the palace!
The formal ceremony is accompanied by music and is also known as Guard Mounting. It is completely and takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, so there is plenty of opportunity to see this fantastic ceremony – just make sure you arrive early and get a good spot!
- Enjoy Kyoto Garden at Holland Park
Kyoto Garden is a part of Kensington’s Holland Park, and one of the most staggeringly beautiful areas of London. While Holland Park boasts a children’s play area, sports facilities, and even a cafeteria, the Kyoto Garden is a tranquil slice of beautiful Japanese design – perfect for quiet reflection.
Kyoto Garden contains a pond full of koi carp as well as a bridge at the bottom of a waterfall. It is peaceful and idyllic, perfect for when you want some peace and quiet in the hustle and bustle of London!