5-Day Girls Trip to London
Arts & Culture
Exploring London can make such a fun girls trip full of shopping, shows and delicious eateries from cultures around the world. Being such a large city, it’s wise to schedule your activities by neighborhood to minimize travel time and maximize the fun!
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The Ampersand Hotel
This stylish Kensington hotel from 1888 combines contemporary excellence and classic English charm with 111-rooms, a bar, restaurant and drawing rooms.
InterContinental London Park Lane, an IHG Hotel
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Day 1: Westminster
Buckingham Palace is open to interior tours in July through September. At any other time of year, you can view the Changing of the Guard from the exterior and take a stroll through leafy Hyde Park.
Get your Instagram shot of Big Ben, then take a tour of Westminster Abbey, where almost every royal wedding and coronation has taken place, including the most recent one, for King Charles III.
Take your Afternoon Tea on the go with Brigit’s Bakery London. Board an adorable vintage double-decker bus for a narrated guide to London with Afternoon Tea combined. Reserve a table on the top deck for better views of the city. And don’t worry, the tables have cup holders so your tea won’t spill!
Get off your feet and see the lights of the city come up with a Sunset Cruise on the Thames River. Drinks and canapes included!
Day 2: Kensington
Kensington Palace is officially a royal palace, but is open for tours to the public, and you may catch an incredible exhibit. Learn the history of couture fashion and view numerous gowns from British royalty and current pop culture at the Crown to Couture exhibit, which is displayed at Kensington until the end of October 2023. Outside of the exhibit, Kensington is the place to learn about Queen Victoria’s childhood and unlikely rise to the throne as a young girl of 18.
Slow down and enjoy lovely nature at Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. If the weather is nice, you can bring a picnic and enjoy a stroll, or rent a bike and cycle through the parks. Just make sure you stick to the marked paths.
Shop at Portobello Road Market on Friday or Saturday for the most vendors, complete with vintage and secondhand clothing, collectible books and jewelry, gift and souvenir shops, and food stalls from countries all over the world.
Day 3: Soho/Mayfair
Reserve Brunch (or any other meal) at Sketch, a restaurant that screams art installation, with multiple lavishly decorated themed rooms. The 3-Michelin star food and drinks are delicious. If you’ve ever wanted to be a fashion designer, walk a couple of blocks to Liberty of London and do some shopping in this high-end shop (featured in the recent movie Cruella). There is one floor dedicated to their own luxury fabric line.
Check out Piccadilly Circus on your way to the expansive Trafalgar Square, where art lovers should visit the National Gallery.
Eat dinner at Chinatown or Covent Garden, then take in a show at the West End. We loved Moulin Rouge at the Piccadilly Theatre for its gorgeous sets and pop culture music medleys that you will want to sing along to. We also loved Six, a new musical based on the six wives of Henry VIII. This show had more of a concert vibe, with each singer belting her heart out about why her marriage to King Henry VIII was the most devastating. London is a perfect place to see this musical!
Day 4: City of London
Start your day at the Tower of London if you want to see the Crown Jewels – the line gets long later in the day. Then meet a Yeoman Warder for an interactive and entertaining tour of the grounds.
St Paul’s Cathedral is a working church, but you can take a tour and see the intricately designed interior, and especially the famous dome. Climb the dome if you have the energy and get the full view of London from above.
Eat your way through Borough Market’s many food stalls – whether you are in the mood for incredible European pastries, nutty British cheeses, fine wines from France, Italian paninis, Indian street food, traditional Malaysian clay pot cooking or just some locally sourced produce, Borough Market has something for everyone. They are committed to sustainability, traceability and diversity and require their traders to use the best practices for sourcing their food.
Day 5: Trip to Windsor Castle
Make sure you get advanced tickets to beautiful Windsor Castle, as it is not open every day to visitors. Windsor is an easy train ride away from central London. Please leave time before or after your Castle Tour to shop and eat in the charming town of Windsor (the few streets between the train station and the Castle).The Castle Tour includes St. George’s Chapel, where royal weddings take place and Queen Elizabeth II is buried, Queen Mary’s Dollhouse collection, ornate state apartments and reception rooms, St. George’s Banquet Hall and a small museum of porcelain China dishes.
Back in London, hit up Dishoom for dinner, where the eclectic vibe and delicious Indian food aren't the only things to feel good about. For each meal they sell, Dishoom donates a meal to a child in need.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Nadia Bess’s guide, Cocktails & Culture: 3 Days in London.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to London.