Visitors renting luxury London apartments at Marlyn Lodge do so for many reasons. Some need comfortable yet affordable accommodation for business trips, some for events such as weddings, and others for romantic city breaks or a family holiday. Many visitors are lucky enough to be staying in London for a number of days, or even weeks, allowing them to really explore the many attractions the city has to offer.
However, some visitors are only with us for one or two nights so must plan their time carefully if they want to see something of this wonderful city.
So what would we recommend for the short-term visitor?
The following suggested one-day itinerary is suitable for both family parties and adults. We have deliberately minimised the use of public transport in our suggestions. Although efficient and excellent value for money, you’ll want to be spending as much time as possible seeing London rather than stuck on a bus or underground train – especially if you are travelling with children. Luckily Marlyn Lodge is so close to many of London’s best attractions.
Morning: Breakfast and the Tower
Making an early start, we’d recommend grabbing a bite of breakfast from one of the many cafés and eateries round the corner from Marlyn lodge. These include a Starbucks, Pret-A-Manger, EAT or from the Tesco Express that is right under our building.
Then take the short 5 minute walk to spend the morning at the Tower of London. Your early start will help you beat the crowds and we’d recommend a guided tour from a friendly Beefeater. He will tell you about the many significant historical events that took place here; from the imprisonment of Guy Fawkes, the mysterious death of the “two princes” and the execution of Anne Boleyn. And you won’t want to miss a viewing of the crown jewels housed there.
On leaving the Tower of London, take the short walk across the Tower Bridge (which has a wide pedestrian walkway) taking in views of the River Thames. If you are very lucky; you might see this beautiful and iconic bridge open for a passing ship.
Lunchtime by the river
Having reached the south bank of the Thames, walk westwards along the very pleasant riverside walk. This fully-pedestrianised walk soon takes you away from the hustle and bustle of traffic yet allows you excellent views of the city and you’ll soon be passing City Hall and HMS Belfast on the riverside.
There are many places along the riverside here which would make a perfect place to stop and have lunch. Just beyond HMS Belfast (which has its own riverside café) is the Hay’s Galleria shopping area which will leave you spoilt for choice when it comes to lunch. Lunch by the river provides a perfect opportunity to take in views of the city as it is today; mixing the classical beauty of landmarks such as Tower Bridge, with new architectural icons such as “The Gherkin” and “The Cheesegrater” which make up the modern financial district.
An afternoon of choice
Staying close to the river gives you many options for spending the afternoon. If you are feeling brave enough, the London Dungeon is very close to Hay’s Galleria on Tooley Street. Perennially popular with visitors, it provides an entertaining guide to some of the more macabre and ghoulish events in London’s history; but perhaps not recommended for the under-12s.
Alternatively, walk a little further west down the river to find Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Tate Modern gallery. The Globe offers 90-minute guided tours, or if you are here in summer, you may want to spend the afternoon watching one of the bard’s great plays in the round. If art is more your thing, the Tate Modern is home to one of the best collections of modern art in the world, all displayed in a fantastic setting.
By now you might be a little tired from walking. We’d recommend taking a River Bus (route RB1) from either London Bridge City pier or Bankside pier (the boats run every 20 minutes) and travel west along the river to the London Eye, making a round trip all the way back to Tower Millennium pier. A boat rip along the river like this is one of the best ways to enjoy the sights of London, taking in views of the Houses of Parliament / Big Ben, Somerset House, Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre.
Dinner at St. Katherine’s Dock
Disembarking at Tower Millennium Pier, take a short 5 minute walk to the historic St. Katherine’s Dock. Once a thriving centre for trade during the Industrial Revolution, the dock’s former warehouses have been transformed in recent years into a thriving area of chic offices, apartments and a wide selection of excellent riverside restaurants and bars. This is a perfect place to finish off your day in London; enjoying a relaxing meal by the river.
Late evening thrills
But if you still have the energy, you could end your day with something a little bit different. About a 15 minute walk from St. Katherine’s Dock, the Whitechapel district is forever associated with the notorious Jack the Ripper and the unsolved mystery of the "Whitechapel Murders". The popular Jack the Ripper tours start at Aldgate East station at 7.30 every evening and take you to the scenes of these grisly crimes; giving you a real feel of life in Victorian London. As with the London Dungeon, the subject matter of these tours would make them unsuitable for under-14s.
After such a packed day in the city, you’ll certainly be glad to return to the comfort of Marlyn Lodge.