Hullo forums. My beau and I will have a long layover in London on the way back from a trip to Croatia in late March. We fly into London at 3 PM on a Monday, and then fly out again at 10:45 the next morning. Accounting for travel time to and from the airport, getting through security, and a little bit of sleep, I’m guessing we’ll really only have 7 or 8 hours to explore. Any thoughts on a fun adventure/mini-quest we could go on in that time?
The small William Blake room at the top of the Tate Britain is sublime if you’re into his engravings, and making your way there allows you a peripheral experience of a huge variety of art without diverging from your goal.
Similarly incredible: the jewelry room at the V & A.
Both museums are free to enter and don’t require much line except a bag inspection.
Go to Soho, see a show at the theater, look for some of the 7 noses of London, make out in pretty alleys!
As an alternative, if you’re up for a bit of a walk and the weather is good, a meander along the Southbank is a pleasant way of passing the time. You can see the Globe Theatre, head past the Shard and get a view of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London on the other side. London can be lovely to look at as dusk falls.
Otherwise, if you’re sticking around the very centre (Soho and Covent Garden), I also recommend the National Portrait Gallery as a free museum with no bag checks. For a very quick ‘very British’ experience, all the iconic royal portraits of our monarchs are in there. For quirkier stuff, London is packed with AO-listed oddities and many of them are outside in the street. Every time I go back to London I try and tick off more from my checklist!
I agree that the National Portrait Gallery is well with a visit. I also love wandering around Covent Garden - cute shops, good restaurants, and street performers. A little touristy, but still fun. Afternoon tea at the Savoy is a delightful luxury and the Egyptian exhibit at the British Museum is impressive. My husband grew up in London and we visit often – and we still love the double decker bus tour that takes you by all of the highlights. (you can get off and on the bus as you wish) Enjoy!
I’m not sure if you’d get there before the shops close, but you would absolutely love Cecil Court!
Also, if you find yourself in the Trafalgar Square area, the Trafalgar St. James’ rooftop bar offers a fantastic view over the square/of the skyline.
I second the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. You’ll also enjoy going around Covent Garden but one interesting side trip I went to was Seven Dials - it has a very interesting history.
Totally agree with Anya , both the British Museum and the V & A make for a brilliant couple of hours.
Jamayzing Clayton and Lukert also make some good suggestions as Tate Britain and Tower of London are pretty cool places for national history /culture.