Tourist for the Day in London

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The London Pass is a ticket to some of the top London attractions. Put simply, it’s a card that gains you entrance to loads of the main landmarks and sights in the city. In theory it sounds simple, but if you want to get the most out of your £49 one-day pass you’ll need to become The Planner.

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Getting the Most of the London Pass

With so many things to do in London (it is a capital city afterall), you’ll really need to use the detailed guidebook that comes with the pass, or the app, to work out what you want to see or do. When I accepted the kind offer to try one out for the day I had no idea how much advance planning I’d need to do.

A lot of the attractions close at 4/5pm, so you’ll want to start your tourist day early enough to squeeze in as much as possible, but not too early that you’re tired before you even get going. Sightseeing is fun, but exhausting! If you have the option of staying overnight in London the night before, I’d definitely recommend doing so. The Nadler Hotel is a lovely affordable luxury right in the centre. It’ll mean that you can really max out the London Pass.

Once you’ve sorted your accommodation and travel options, you’ll need to decide what you want to see. Pick your favourites and then check out the opening times so you can plan your itinerary accordingly. There’s no point going from one side of London to the other and then back again. You’ll lose time and your Oyster card will be rinsed. Ideally you want to create a loop or at least, one flowing line.

Talking of lines, it’s worth pointing out that the London Pass doesn’t allow you to skip the line. At most attractions you’ll still need to queue up. You’ll need to factor this into your planned adventure. It won’t prevent rain either, but as this is England, what else would you expect?!

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A Royal Sightseeing

This suggested plan will give you value for money, as well as a good use of time.

♥ River Thames

Start at Tower Pier and hop on the City Cruises boat down the River Thames to Westminster Pier. This will take thirty minutes (not including any queues) and the regular price for the hop off/on boat is £18. You can find the City Cruises timetable here.

♥ Westminster Abbey

Walk for about five minutes to Westminster Abbey to see where the famous wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton took place. It’s a stunning building (even if like me, you’re not religious). Sadly you can’t take pictures inside, so you’ll have to make do with these sneaky snaps.

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On a Saturday the last entrance is usually at 1.30pm. You should check the website to ensure it isn’t closed due to a private event. Entrance usually costs £18, which seems a lot. However, Westminster Abbey doesn’t normally receive grants or aid. Plus, it’s huge so you could easily spend a few hours here.

♥ Royal Mews

A ten minute walk will take you to the Royal Mews. This is where you’ll be able to see some of the Royal horses and really grand carriages. The horses are absolutely massive and the carriages totally over the top – they have to be seen to be believed. Unless you’re really into history thirty/forty minutes is enough at this attraction. The entry fee is usually £8.25 and sadly doesn’t include a ride in the carriage.

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♥ Wellington Arch

Walk another ten minutes to nearby Wellington Arch. It’s right near Hyde Park corner. Go in the tiny lift right up to the third floor. From here you’ll have a view of London that’s different to the typical London Eye shot. You should be able to see London’s Royal Parks and the Houses of Parliament. If the weather isn’t great it won’t blow your mind, but it’s still a nice time-out and you can see the horses up close. Again, if you’re into history you’d probably enjoy the exhibitions. Entry is usually £4.20.

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♥ Royal Albert Hall

Hyde Park Corner station is close by, so hop on the tube for five/ten minutes to visit this last landmark. With your London Pass you can enjoy a tour of this iconic venue. However, bear in mind that tours are usually on the hour and finish at 4pm. Although you can sit in the cafe, you can’t look around the venue without going on the hour long tour. If you’re a super duper planner, phone up to book ahead to save disappointment. Entry without the pass is usually £12.25.

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The Verdict

Total spend without the London Pass: £60.70 I’m not going to lie, it’ll be a full on day if you get the one-day London Pass. It’ll be fun, but you’ll be exhausted from dashing in and out. If you’re not fussed on spending at least £49 (the cost of the card) you could easily enjoy a more leisurely pace. Equally, if you’re determined to rinse it you could try to sample everything on offer – Hampton Court, art galleries, museums, tours and more. Let’s just say you’ll need your walking boots on! You can find out more about the London Pass here.

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Big thanks to London Pass for letting me try the one-day card.

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