London weekend getaway: 72 hours to remember
London welcomes over 19 million tourists every year, and that’s no surprise: Rich in history and culture, the city is famous for its iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and its West End theatre district. Planning a London weekend getaway can seem daunting, especially if you don’t know where to check out, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. We’ve lined up a perfect weekend getaway for you, but you can mix and match this sample itinerary to fit your schedule, budget or needs. Taking in the sights from the River Thames and in some of the highest buildings the city has to offer, our guide will help you form a weekend in London that you’ve always dreamed of.
What to do in a London weekend
Kickstart your weekend with an energetic adventure! A day for the thrill seekers and those wanting to sit back and relax, the day is sure to have you marvelling over everything about the capital.
Start your morning with a double-helping of London’s most iconic attractions. See the city come to life from the water and the sky as you enjoy The London Eye and River Cruise. Once you’ve boarded the 443 feet tall structure, view London from a different perspective as you take in the sights on a rotation like no other. On a clear day, the views stretch as far as 40 kilometres away and you can see as far as Windsor Castle! This is a great opportunity to take photos with the whole of London as your backdrop.
Once you’ve been on the London Eye, check out the spectacular views on the River Cruise for a different outlook of the city. During the cruise, you’ll ride by some of the city’s top landmarks including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tower of London, so sit back and enjoy while your tour guide gives you fascinating information and statistics.
Inject some excitement into your afternoon by checking out one of the matinees in the West End? Brimming with shows, there’s plenty of choices available, but one laugh-out-loud musical we recommend is The Book of Mormon. Telling the story of Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, these Mormon missionaries are sent to Uganda to spread the faith. But when faced with poverty, famine and AIDS, the Elders quickly realise they’re not the only ones giving lessons, for they have lessons to learn too. Outrageously funny and tongue-in-cheek, The Book of Mormon is a feel-good show that’s shocking, yet you’ll fall in love with the characters.
Enjoy an evening of luxury as you treat yourself to a Saturday evening pre-show meal and a West End theatre classic. For dinner, why not visit Mint Leaf? Serving modern Indian cuisine in the heart of Piccadilly, Mint Leaf is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that’s popular with theatregoers, and even the odd famous face! The menu’s packed full of flavoursome favourites including biryanis, kormas and koftas. Cooked on a traditional tandoor oven, with a griddle, tawa plate and open grills, Mint Leaf will put some fire in your evening.
To book a table at Mint Leaf, call Encore Tickets at (+44) 0207 400 1255.
After a non-stop day, take in the city’s history and culture. Founded in 50AD by the Romans, London is rich in history. Holding its own in riots, plagues and a certain Great Fire in 1666, learn more about the story of London as you visit locations that leave you in wonder over London’s past.
If you’re not the Sunday morning lie-in type, take a leisurely walk around some famous London museums. Free of charge, they’re a great place to while away the hours as you take in award-winning exhibitions. In particular, South Kensington is a London museum hub, with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural Science Museum and the Natural History Museum all within walking distance of each other. Get up close to objects that have changed the world and displays that will leave you in wonder!
For your afternoon’s entertainment, you’re going to need to take a trip to court. Don’t worry though, you’re not in trouble. See famous British writer Agatha Christie’s tale come to life at London County Hall as you experience the drama of the courtroom in Witness for the Prosecution. For many years, London County Hall was the home of London’s local government. With an octagonal council chamber in the centre, you’ll feel like you’re in a court session and seeing the drama unfold from all angles. Take your pick at where you sit in the venue, from the galleries to sitting in the jury, make up your mind at Witness for the Prosecution in a theatre experience that’s a crime to miss.
Celebrate that you’ve made it through a London weekend with a visit to one of the most popular attractions. Standing at 310 metres above the city, The Shard has become a recent addition to the London skyline. 244 metres up the building sits The View from the Shard and it’s a view that has to be seen to be believed. Take in the view from the 72nd floor as the floor to ceiling glass windows allow you to take in a 360-degree panorama of the capital. We recommend a night-time booking with a cocktail in hand so you can maximise your Shard experience. One thing’s for sure, The View from the Shard is a national treasure to add into any London weekend itinerary.
Let the Monday morning commute rush past you as you take advantage of the green spaces in Central London. If it’s a stroll in St. James Park or just sitting and watching the world go by on Primrose Hill, you’ll quickly realise that the city isn’t always fast-paced. By enjoying London and going a little bit slower, the city’s vibrancy will shine through and it’ll make you fall in love with the city even more.
Bask in the grand surrounding of the Waldorf Hilton and enjoy one of the finest afternoon teas on offer. If it’s a crisp glass of champagne you’re after, or a specially crafted tea only found at the Waldorf Hilton, this afternoon tea is guaranteed to make you feel like a royal. With an array of pastries, cakes and sandwiches, you can’t enjoy a London weekend and miss your chance at a decadent afternoon tea like this one.
Tie up your final evening by throwing caution to the wind and having a rocking Monday night! Make your Monday feel like a Friday at Cabana, the home of hot-hot-hot Brazillian food! Dine in a friendly atmosphere with good music and good vibes, and with a menu offering churrasco fried chicken and a feijoada hot-pot, feast over Brazilian classics at Cabana and let the good times roll.
To book a table at Cabana, call Encore Tickets at (+44) 0207 400 1255.
After Cabana, let your senses open up at Waitress. When Jenna Hunterson enters a pie baking competition to try and start a new life for her child, you’ll be whisked away to a whole new world. With a star cast, you’ll be singing lyrics all the way home from your London weekend and hoping that you can bake these pies!