London on foot

Published 21st April 2021

If you’ve got time on your hands London offers almost limitless possibilities for diversion. Whether it’s world class museums, designer shopping, iconic historic sights or epic nightlife that float your boat, it’s all here in spades. And if you’re staying with us you don’t need to go schlepping all over town to sample the very best our city has to offer – we’ve got it right on the doorstep for you.
So slip on your sensible walking shoes and hit the pavement with us – we’ve broken down some of the top local spots, arranged by distance from HQ (that is to say, the Lime Tree):

Hop, skip and a jump (within 250 yards)

  • Peggy Porschen – the world-famous designer cake shop, resplendent in pink and choc-full of gorgeous cupcakes and event pieces, literally can’t be missed
  • The Thomas Cubitt – a cherished local gastro-pub with a neo-Dickensian aesthetic, mouth-watering food and a compelling range of ales
  • Barry’s Boot Camp – if you need to work off all that cake and ale, go and see Barry. Set in a post-industrial unit in trendy Ecclestone Yards, this is the largest London studio of the high-class fitness outfit
  • Daylesford Organic – this deliciously posh organic farmshop and café on Pimlico Road is a feast for the eyes
  • Bayley & Sage – a smart delicatessen and grocer bursting with vibrant fresh produce and homemade treats
  • Jo Loves – created by Jo Malone CBE, the meteoric perfumer behind some of the world’s most adored fragrances, this lovely boutique offers both signature scents and a ‘fragrance bar’ in case you want to get more creative
  • Hotpod Yoga – this trendy studio in Ecclestone Yards offers hot yoga for all levels. Book a class and you’ll be sweaty and stretchy before you know it
  • Joanna Wood – retail store of the award-winning interior designer, bursting with elegant furnishings and curios
Short stroll (about 1/2 mile)

  • Buckingham Palace – the official residence of everyone’s favourite reigning monarch, the palace opens its State Rooms for visitors during the summer months while the Queen’s Gallery is open year-round to share Her Majesty’s impressive art collection
  • Sloane Square – thriving hub of Chelsea with iconic pavement cafes, the ever-so-civilised Peter Jones (one of London’s best-loved department stores) and access to the tube network via the eponymous Underground station
  • Kings Road and Sloane Street – world class retail with a full range of designer brands and high street stores including Tiffany, Gucci, Hackett and Prada
  • Chelsea Flower Show – the world famous horticultural event, hosted at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is a mainstay of the summer social calendar
  • Saatchi Gallery – this contemporary art museum, housed close to Sloane Square in the impressive former headquarters of the Duke of York, champions emerging artists and never fails to engage and entertain

Invigorating walk (about 1 mile)

  • Natural History / Science / Victoria & Albert museums – one sentence can’t begin to do them justice, so suffice to say these are world class museums and simply a must-see for visitors to London (and miraculously still free of charge)
  • Harrods – the mothership of luxury retail, it isn’t subtle but it is mightily impressive – highlights include the food hall and the toy department
  • Chelsea Physic Garden – London’s oldest botanical garden – hidden discretely away behind historic brick walls just north of Chelsea Embankment – is a beautiful space for reflection, relaxation and education
  • Parliament Square – a veritable hub of heavyweight historic sights, including Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (it’s actually the name of the bell, don’t you know), plus access to Westminster Pier and its river cruises
  • Churchill War Rooms – the underground nerve centre where the British government directed the Second World War effort has been frozen in time to give you an insight into what it took to pull off victory
  • Hyde Park – covering some 350 acres slap bang in the centre of the city, this huge royal park has plenty to offer: dip your toes in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, brave an open water swim in the Serpentine, or just take in the views across the lake from a waterside café
  • Tate Britain – while Tate Modern, a mile east up the Thames, is the powerhouse of contemporary art, this original Tate is an elegant neo-classical edifice dedicated to showcasing British art up to the 20th century
Phew! We’re feeling exhausted just writing about all these marvellous places, let alone actually visiting them. No doubt there’s more than enough here to keep even the most committed sightseer busy for a few days, but if you need further ideas just ask us – we’re always happy to help you get the most out of any London sojourn.