The Perfect Itinerary for 7 Days in London and Edinburgh

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Advisor - Isabelle Newcomb
Curated By

Isabelle Newcomb

  • International Travel

  • London

  • England

  • Edinburgh

  • Arts & Culture

  • Couples Travel

  • City Travel

  • Group Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Food

  • Multi-Destination

large buildings during daytime
Curator’s statement

After studying abroad in the U.K. for a semester in college, I can definitely say that it is one of my favorite countries in the world! There is so much to see and do here, which is why I made this perfect itinerary for 7 days in London and Edinburgh. This itinerary takes you to two of the largest cities in the U.K., London and Edinburgh, and is itinerary is pretty jam-packed, making it best for solo travelers, couples and active groups!

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Where to stay

Day 1: Arrive in London

people standing in large building

You’ve made it to London! Depending on when you arrive, you may be pretty tired from the flight. Take some time to relax and get used to the time change. If you are up for it, make your way to an English pub!

My suggestions are:

Day 2: Sightseeing in London

large building next to cars and big red buss during sunset

Today we are visiting all the important spots in London! I know it sounds super touristy, but the best way to get around is a Hop On Hop Off Bus tour! Big Bus London has multiple different bus routes that will take you all over the city, and the good thing is, you can hop off at any time if you want to walk around somewhere!

My suggestions for stops to get off at and explore for a little bit:

  • Piccadilly Circus - The London version of Times Square.

  • Big Ben and Westminster Abbey - Whitehall.

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral.

  • Tower of London/London Bridge.

  • Buckingham Palace.

  • Oxford Street.

You get to end a perfect sightseeing day on Oxford Street, one of the most popular shopping streets in all of London! You have to eat at Market Hall West End, there are two bars and eight restaurants, making it the perfect spot for any eater! If you aren’t too tired, try out another pub tonight!

Day 3: Borough Market in London or travel to Edinburgh

large buildings with cloudy skies

We have two options for the day, depending on whether you want to spend more time in London or in Edinburgh!

Option 1: We will leave in the early morning to board the 4-hour train to Edinburgh. Once in Edinburgh, get ready, because we are hiking an extinct volcano with the best view of the city, Arthur’s Seat! There are two hike options, Arthur’s Seat is a bit more strenuous but with better views, while the other option is Salisbury Crags, which is easier but the view is not as wonderful.

Option 2: Sleep in a little bit and head out to Borough Market when it opens at 10 AM. There are tons of stalls with merchants, lots of food options and produce/flowers. There are so many food options, you definitely want to stay here for lunch! We will head out of London in the late afternoon for the 4-hour train ride. We don’t want to get into Edinburgh too late, we have an early day tomorrow!

Day 4: Visit Loch Ness & Glencoe

large body of water surrounded by mountains

On day 4 of your 7 days in London, we will be taking a full-day trip to none other than…Loch Ness! Home of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, this beautiful lake cannot be missed. On this trip, we will also get to see Glencoe, an area with breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands. Maybe we will even spot the adorable Highland Cow, or as the locals call them, coos!

If you are feeling up for it after the tour, we have to go to a classic Scottish Pub!

My Suggestions:

  • The Bow Bar.

  • Dirty Dick’s Pub

  • Sandy Bell’s.

Day 5: Visit Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile

large castle perched on a green hill on a cloudy day

We will head out early (we want to miss the crowds) to visit the famous Edinburgh Castle, a beautiful, medieval castle overlooking the city of Edinburgh. After doing an awesome tour of the castle, we will do some shopping and sightseeing through The Royal Mile, the historic street next to the castle. The Royal Mile has tons to see: parliaments, a cathedral and churches, walking tours, shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Lunch Suggestion on the Royal Mile:

In the evening, we will hop on the 4-hour train back to London.

Day 6: Harry Potter Studio, Oxford, Stonehenge or the Natural History Museum

large stone building next to plants with cloudy skies

Today we are leaving the city to explore, and we have options! For the Harry Potter lovers, we are going to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio. This tour includes tons of original HP sets, clothing and props, as well as interactive exhibits! Another option is to do a walking tour of HP filming sites in London city if you aren’t up for leaving the city.

Another option is to visit Oxford, home to Oxford University, the oldest university in England! The city is compact and scenic, perfect for a half-day trip and filled with amazing architecture.

We can also take a day trip to Stonehenge. This mysterious stone circle is most often visited by either half or full-day trips from London, with a guided tour.

Don’t like any of these options? I suggest spending the first half of the day at a museum. I recommend the Natural History Museum for the nature-loving travelers or the National Gallery for art lovers!

For dinner/the evening, I suggest making your way to Chinatown, the vibes are great and it’s even better at night!

Restaurant Suggestions:

Day 7: Final day in London

aerial view of city at nighttime

So sad, we have to leave! Depending on when your flight departs, you may have time for a bite to eat.

Breakfast Suggestions:

Lunch Suggestions:

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my 7-Day Itinerary for Exploring La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to London, part of our larger series on travel to England.