If you want to fit in the biggest sights in London and you are short on time, this is a great walk for you. It takes me just over an hour to complete this walk, with time for taking photographs. Of course, you can take it slower and grab a bit to eat or really slow down in St James’s Park before you take on the tourists at Buckingham Palace!
Firstly, I hop onto the tube to Embankment. To get to Embankment you need to get on either a; Bakerloo, Circle, District or Northern line train. As you exit the station, walk Southwest towards Northumberland Avenue and turn onto Victoria Embankment.
Walking along the Embankment, I like to cut through Whitehall Gardens. They are so pretty and often get overlooked. I continue halfway through the gardens and exit via the main gates. There should be a pedestrian crossing a short way ahead from the gates, take that crossing and you should have the perfect shot of the London Eye.
Chill for a bit on one of the many benches along the Embankment, do some people watching…
After you are sufficiently chilled and you have the best shot of the Eye, there is an iconic red phone box along the road, with many red buses and black cabs whizzing by. Challenge yourself, can you get all three in one shot. I once got a phone box, a red bus and big ben in one shot and I am surprised it didn’t make it to my CV!
Continue on the Embankment and you will see a familiar (clock)face appear from the trees. Continue until you reach the Westminster tube station entrance, here you can get a great shot of Big Ben and the tube station signage – very Instagram of you.
Turn left onto Parliament Street. You will continue on this street until you reach the Horseguards, two mounted guards surrounded by tourists! Along this street you will find The Cenotaph (National War Memorial) and the entrance to Downing Street (Prime Minister’s residence) before you reach the horseguards. Be aware that there may be protests around Downing Street as it is a political hub in England. Protests are usually small and peaceful, but be aware of your surroundings.
Once you have reached the two horseguards, marvel at their intricate uniforms, stern expressions and magnificent horses. You can stroke the horse and have your photograph taken with the horseguards – they will not talk to you! If you time it right, you can watch the changing of the guard, which happens every hour from 10am until 4pm.
Walk through the central archway, along the gravelled exercise grounds and head straight over to St James’s Park. Walk straight through the park, snapping photographs of the quaint walkways and lake. Upon exiting the park, you will be greeted by Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial. At Buckingham Palace, you can indulge in a private tour, or simply hang around the gates to catch a changing of the guard ceremony.
When you visit London, please take whatever This is just my favourite walk. I’m not a tour guide and I don’t know all of the road names. Full disclosure, I’m not even that good with directions. Basically, if you want to hit up all of the main sights of London super fast, this is how I would do it!
What is your favourite walk around your home city?