At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. This year especially looks set to be an exciting and intriguing tournament, but remember that there’s a whole city to explore in between the matches – and it would be a shame to miss out on some of the highlights in London while you’re there. Here we outline our top five sights you should consider adding to your itinerary.
Strapped for time between match days but still want to explore the city? Take a tour! It’s the quickest way to get around all the sights while learning some history along the way. There’s a number of different tour options from cruises along the Thames, where you can cruise day or night, to the classic hop on and hop off sightseeing bus. If you have the time and the weather is on your side, we suggest grabbing a map and exploring on your own terms. Buckingham Palace is within walking distance of popular locations like Westminster where you can find Big Ben and the London Eye; it’s the best way to discover the city.
The Royal Parks
London is a modern city steeped in years of royal history, and there are eight royal parks scattered throughout the city. Each park deserves a visit, but these are the two we think stand out for their own reasons. Hyde Park is located right in the centre of London and is the perfect spot if you want to escape the city for some nature and fresh air for an hour or two. If you take a walk to Buckingham Palace as we suggested above, you’ll make your way through St James Park, one of our favorite parks in the city. Home to over 40 pelicans and numerous squirrels and wildlife and with views of the Duke of York Statue and the Mall, it’s a one-stop shop for a number of tourists.
A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without a shopping trip. Take a wander down Oxford Street, and experience the hustle and bustle of the longest shopping street in Europe. This street is packed full of the UK’s most popular stores like Selfridges, John Lewis and Primark; if you’re traveling to Wimbledon from overseas you’ll want to hit these first. Looking for something a little more luxurious than the high street? Take a detour off Oxford Street towards New Bond Street where you can find British classics like Burberry and Russell & Bromley.
Much like the shopping, London is a food lover’s paradise, with something to satisfy all taste buds. If you fancy a traditional full English breakfast, take yourself over to Basinghall Street to Hawksmoor and tuck into one of the best full English spreads the city has to offer. If dinner is on your mind, Mildreds is the ideal spot, especially if you’re a vegetarian or looking to try something a little different on your trip. We recommend trying out one of the two curries on the menu; you won’t be disappointed.
Spend your time away from the tennis courts exploring the numerous museums the city has to offer. From the National History Museum to the Tate Gallery, the variety of museums will leave you spoiled for choice. We advise visiting the Museum of London if you would like to learn more about the history of the capital from prehistoric to modern times.
Over the course of the Wimbledon fortnight, London will be even more electrifying and busy than usual, with many pop-up events around the city coinciding with the tournament. Want to learn more about what you can do in the city? Download our London travel guide. It’s the ultimate companion for planning your trip.