2-day Itinerary for the best of Dream City London for Christmas – Day 1

From the magical nursery rhymes of ‘London Bridge Falling’ and ‘Pussycat visiting the queen in London’ to being the city of our dreams, London as a city has always enchanted the aspirant inside us. The British capital London is a wonderful eclectic city brimming with culture, architecture, shopping, cuisine and much more to explore, which entices many travelers all over the world.

Our flight landed at the north terminal of the Gatwick airport. We took a free shuttle to the south terminal and boarded a Thameslink train to London Bridge. We had visited the UK for the Christmas holidays and were delighted to see the streets, shops and the buildings dazzling with decorative lights.

St Paul’s Cathedral
There is an entrance ticket for the cathedral and visitors are provided with a multimedia handset for guidance through the sections of the cathedral.

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The first breathtaking view that visitors encounter when they enter the 300 years old St Paul’s is the exquisitely ornate central aisle that leads to the most interesting part of the cathedral – the dome. It is the second largest cathedral dome in the world with beautiful Grisaille paintings by Sir James Thornhill. American Memorial Chapel or the Jesus Chapel commemorates the 28k Americans died in Britain in Second World War.

One can climb the 257 steps up to the Whispering Gallery to experience the acoustic quirk which makes a whisper against its walls audible on the opposite side. Or climb the 528 steps to the golden gallery for the panoramic views of the city. The crypt in the basement houses the tombs of nation’s noble heroes such as Lord Nelson, Duke of Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren.

The street opposite to St. Paul Cathedral has some of the best food joints for light breakfast or even brunch. Our next stop was London Bridge. We visited the Hay’s Galleria which hosted a huge Christmas market with more than 100 lovely wooden chalets selling a wide variety of food items, sweets, and gifts.

HMS Belfast
One can spot the magnificent HMS Belfast standing between the two prominent bridges London Bridge and the tower bridge. A visit to the HMS Belfast provides with a free audio guide tour that narrates the stories of war and life onboard for the crew from Second World War to the year 1963.

Tower Bridge
The tower bridge is an iconic symbol, which makes a picture–postcard view of the marvelous city of London. The two soaring towers of the bridge are connected by walkways at the upper level. Bridge hosts Tower Bridge Exhibition which includes access to high-level walkways and a visit to the Victorian engine rooms for an understanding of the history of the remarkable bridge.

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We crossed the bridge to visit the London tower taking pride walking on the legendary tower bridge which we have been seeing all the time in pictures and movies. The kiosks at tower pier offer various options for tickets for a combined cruise and city attractions which you can choose from.

Tower of London
Yeomen or the Beefeaters, the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London host the guided tour for the tourists, which are recommended for the fun-filled stories of the Tower history.

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The Tower complex is located on the bank of the River Thames and is surrounded by defensive walls. The central tower called White tower was considered as the powerful fortress and has served as a royal palace.

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It contains the impressive Royal Armories collections including the 300-year-old exhibition ‘Line of Kings’ and an 11th-century Romanesque chapel.

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The tour of the crown jewels room was the most breathtaking tour of all with a spectacular display of more than 100 historic ceremonial objects including swords, rings, plates all of gold and more than 20000 precious gems. The royal Crown Jewels are still in use by Queen for important national ceremonies.

Cruise
As the dusk fell the entire city was illuminated with gleaming lights. We hopped onto a cruise on the Thames and sailed under the numerous bridges watching the red buses, pedestrians, and the trains over the bridges and the Tower Bridge fading away in the distance.

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The House of Parliament, the London Eye, the Big Ben all inundated with colorful lights was a captivating sight to behold.

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We were already done with the major attractions of our dream city on day1 and day2 seemed to be more of a relaxed trip with shopping and Christmas markets. Read the remaining part of the itinerary for the best of London here.

How was your experience of visiting these places from our Day 1? Do share with us in comments.

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36 Comment

  1. Renee says: Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! So great that you take your daughter with you!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes Renee we had a great time. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  2. I love London! SO so much to do there, we covered everything you guys did here! Walking along the Thames is relaxing! But being a big fashion victim I also loved Oxford Street πŸ˜‰

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree with you Amy. We were in London only for a couple of days and wanted to do the best of the city. We did visit Oxford street on day 2 πŸ™‚

  3. This is the typical and traditional London tour πŸ™‚ But London is such a great and big place that I don’t mind going back again and again!
    Nice pictures πŸ™‚

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree with you Florence. We already want to go back to London πŸ™‚

  4. Such a beautiful place and these pics are really very beautiful, I’d love to visit London for once thanks for sharing this great post..

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Anupam. London is a beautiful place indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. London is one of those places that everyone needs to visit! Your trip looked so fun! Great itinerary!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Adina. Glad you liked it.

  6. Chris says: Reply

    Great pictures, I always wanted to go to London, I love their TV shows and always loved seeing the locations. Hopefully one day.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Chris. Happy Travelling!

  7. Is a dreamy city, I think! There’s so much fun visiting different places.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Visiting London is indeed everyones dream πŸ™‚ There is so much to see and do.

  8. Well spent two days! Perfect guide for those staying in shorter days. Thanks for this and will be looking forward to more of your travels.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Jessica. True that if one has more than 2 days there is so much more to see. Would be happy to see you again!

  9. Sandra says: Reply

    Looks like you had a great trip. My daughter is visiting London after high school. I may have to tag along!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes Sandra, London is an awesome place and there is so much to do there. We had a great time and we are sure your daughter would have a memorable trip too πŸ™‚

  10. LAURA says: Reply

    Looks like you had a great trip! We made a quick day trip to London in March and I absolutely loved it! x

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes Laura we had a great time. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. bee says: Reply

    Reading this gives me a clear idea of where to go next time I’m in London. Let me head over to Part two for more tips.
    Thank You.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Bee. We are glad you found our blog helpful to plan a trip to London. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  12. Varun says: Reply

    Never been to London before. But it still falls in my bucket list. Your two posts on your itinerary is going to be useful for me. I like the day 2 itinerary more πŸ™‚ For trafalgar’s square.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Varun. Happy Travelling!

  13. Lily says: Reply

    What a great way to start a short trip to London. I live here and really take London’s beauty for granted sometimes.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      London is indeed a wonderful city with so much to do.. We are surely going to revisit this dream city!

  14. Katie says: Reply

    London is so much fun. Can’t wait to go again.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Katie. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Tescha says: Reply

    London is one of my favorite destinations. I had the opportunity to be in the choir at St Pauls Catheral. Pretty remarkable

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Wow.. That sounds like a great experience. Lucky you πŸ™‚

  16. London is such a beatiful, magnificent place to visit. M wife and I are contemplating on going to London for a vacation. Great to see the places we can visit.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      London is an awesome place indeed. There is so much to see and do. Do plan for more than 2 days πŸ™‚

  17. houssem says: Reply

    This looks like a wonderful trip! can’t wait to visit London

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes it was a wonderful trip. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Sharon Lin says: Reply

    Looks like a great trip! I really have to visit London someday!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes it was Sharon. Thanks for stopping by.

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