In last week’s post I started to share my 2012 Olympic mascot trail pictures with you in the form of a 4 day London itinerary. I love doing walks around London especially when there’s something interesting or different to see. These pictures were taken on a pop up sculpture trail during the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games. Today’s post is the 2nd day of my suggested London itinerary and covers the area just north of the Thames river from Trafalgar Square to the City.
Grab a map book or check Google maps to work out this route. This walk is about 5km. Please click on the links that I’ve provided on each attraction name for more information.
Day 2 of London itinerary – Trafalgar Square to the City
Starting at Charing Cross station you come out to Trafalgar Square which is surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historic buildings. This square is home to Nelson’s Column, the iconic stone lions, the famous Fourth Plinth and a lot of pigeons. If you’re interested in art you can also visit the National Gallery.
From Trafalgar Square, you can easily walk to Covent Garden. It is about a 9 minute walk and is a popular tourist area with many shops, restaurants, elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities. There are often street performers providing entertainment to the public.
Next stop is St Paul’s Cathedral. From Covent Garden you can either walk on the embankment along the river or you can walk through the Covent Garden area to get to St Paul’s. It is about a 2km walk.
I highly recommend visiting St Paul’s. It is an incredibly beautiful place with unique architecture and worth the admission fee. If you’re feeling fit and energetic you have the option to climb to the dome of the cathedral. There is also a well kept garden around St Paul’s if you’d like to sit and stop for a rest.
Close to St Paul’s is One New Change shopping centre. It has a mix of high-end and high street fashion, gifts and restaurants in a glass-walled complex.
St Paul’s Cathedral is located in the City of London. This is a term used to describe this area as London’s major financial and business district. If you’re interested in architecture and history this is a nice area to walk around as you will find a mixture of modern and historical buildings. I warn you though during lunch hours the streets are filled with business people and office workers so it can get a little chaotic.
Leadenhall Market is a 15 minutes walk from St Paul’s. It is another unique and modern shopping and eating destination set in a Victorian market place.
The Gherkin is close to Leadenhall Market and is one of my favourite buildings in this area. It’s a bullet-shaped office tower made of swirling light and dark glass. The best way to admire this building is from a sky high restaurant or bar overlooking the city where you can get breathtaking views.
This leads me to the final destination on this route. The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street spans three floors and offers uninterrupted views across the City of London. It is free to visit but you need to book in advance from their website. It is worth checking out the garden and views. You can also eat at one of the restaurants to enjoy the views for longer but you will probably need to be book in advance too.
I have mentioned many attractions along this route. If everything appeals to you it may be too many to fit into one day Pick a few that appeal most to you and visit those especially if you only have a few days in London.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the Wenlock and Mandeville pictures that I took along this route. Watch out for next week’s post for the “Day 3 London Itinerary” post.
If you missed Day 1 of my suggested London itinerary then check it out here:
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Have you walked along this route? Please feel free to share your comments with me.