What’s the next step after booking flights and a hotel for a London trip? Sunny friends, there are several activities you should book in advance of your trip to London. Do you know what they are and how to do it?
If not, you must keep reading.
As TripAdvisor‘s #1 World’s Best Destination for 2019, London features tons of amazing things to do for a short or long trip. However, this means that the most popular activities require that you must book in advance if you want to do them.
London Trip Book in Advance: Theatre Tickets
Rivalling New York City, London has an impressive Theatre district. Rather than going to all the theatre’s websites individually, I have found Hellotickets to be the most useful website to purchase tickets in advance.
Current shows for which you can buy tickets on their website include:
- The Phantom of the Opera
- Motown the Musical
- TINA- The Tina Turner Musical
- School of Rock- The Musical
- Disney’s Aladdin
- Mamma Mia!
- The Woman in Black
- Matilda the Musical
- The Lion King
- The Book of Mormon
- Les Miserables
- Thriller Live
- Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
- Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
- The Prince of Egypt
On their website you can also buy tickets for Fast-Track London Eye Tickets, Hop-on Hop Off Original London Sightseeing Tour, Heathrow Express, Stansted Express, Gatwick Express.
London Trip Book in Advance: Day Trips
Another aspect of the HelloTickets website that I like is the numerous day trips available. The list includes:
- London Escorted Paris Day Trip with Champagne Lunch on the Eiffel Tower
- Stonehenge Shuttle Bus and Independent Day Trip
- Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich + private viewing of Leeds Castle
- Day Trip from London- Lunch in the Cotswolds
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Oxford Tour
- London in One Day Tour
- London Day Trip- St Paul’s Cathedral, Changing of the Guard, Tower of London, Thames Cruise with Harrods Cream Tea
- Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath Tour
- Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Lacock and Bath Tour + Pub Lunch
- Leeds Castle, Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Tour
- WWII Tour: Churchill War Rooms & Westminster
- England in One Day: Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford & the Cotswolds
- Downton Abbey: Visit to Highclere Castle
- London Rock Tours- Half Day Tours
London Trip Book in Advance: Attractions
Chances are that you will want to visit London’s attractions at some point when you are here. There are several passes and tickets I recommend, having used them myself or for family and friends.
The London Pass is the most popular combination ticket available. The most popular attractions on the list of 80+ things to do in London included on the London Pass are:
- The View from the Shard
- Tower of London
- Westminster Abbey
- Windsor Castle (Free return train journey from London Paddington via Slough)
- Kensington Palace and The Orangery (Kensington Palace is not open from 6-17 January 2020)
- Hampton Court Palace
- ZSL London Zoo
- Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Tour & Exhibition
- Churchill War Rooms
- London Bridge Experience and London Tombs
- Thames River Cruise
- St Paul’s Cathedral
I have indicated in italics the attractions above in which you can skip the line if you have a London Pass. In my 5 Day Itinerary for a Super Tourist, which is part of the Guides to London series I have published, you can learn which attractions are in close proximity of one another. The London Pass is best if you plan to visit many attractions in one day that are in close proximity of each other.
One Day on the London Pass itinerary example from my Guide:
- The Tower of London (£28)
- Tower Bridge Exhibition (£10)
- The Monument to the Great Fire of London (£5)
- St Paul’s Cathedral (£20)
If you paid for each individual attraction, the total for one adult would b £75. However, a London Pass is £63.
So, I suggest you buy a London Pass in advance of your trip and include an Oyster Card with it if you are keen to see many attractions. Note that if you purchase more than one day, they have to be used consecutively and it starts as soon as you go to your first attraction.
Next is the London Eye combination ticket. Again, I reference how to use this in my 5 Day Itinerary, but it can give you access to:
- The London Eye
- Shrek’s Adventure
- The London Dungeon
- SEA Life London
- Madame Tussaud’s
The first four attractions are all literally next to each other in Southbank, this ticket is worth having in advance because lines there are extremely long. I went to all four in one day and wrote a review of the experience.
London Trip Book in Advance: Harry Potter
If you have plans to do anything Harry Potter related while you are in London, then realise that you are not a minority. Those books are big business here. I think I have been to every Harry Potter attraction in London and Oxford, including spending the night in a Harry Potter themed hotel!
With the opening of Gringott’s Wizarding Bank at the Warner Bros Studio Harry Potter Studio Tour, an already popular London attraction became even more difficult to visit. If you’re planning on going there, it’s quite a distance from Central London, so I always suggest booking something through a tour company in advance.
For more on all things Harry Potter related, visit my Guide to Harry Potter.
London Trip Book in Advance- More Ideas
I can’t possibly cover every activity for every type of person. However, if you have less than 5 minutes, you can learn about several more in this YouTube video on the Sunny News weekly edition.
London Trip Book in Advance- Final Thoughts
If you’re planning on having a fantastic food experience while you are in London, then subscribe to the Sunny in London weekly email and immediately get the ‘Local’s Pocket Restaurant Guide to London.’ It’s the ultimate free travel accessory for your London trip. It features top recommended restaurants from a local, organised by neighbourhood. With it you can easily find a place to eat when you’re on a London street. Downloading the file to your phone means finding a fab foodie place- fast!
As part of the welcome, you will also receive several other free downloads (Best Time to Visit and Things to Do, London Airports, British Food) that will guide you through trip planning, plus a weekly edition of the hottest happenings in London.
Please leave any questions you have for your trip below. Also, if there are specific guides you would like me to publish for you, put those ideas in the comments too.
For related London Trip Planning blog posts and videos:
- Eating Traditional British Food– What You Must Know
- Best London Restaurant Guide for Foodies
- What to Do in London That’s FREE and Cool! (YouTube Video)
- How to Spot American Tourists in London (YouTube video)
- Secret Things to Do in Covent Garden (YouTube video)
- Things to Do in Hyde Park
- Tips for Food to Eat When Visiting London (YouTube video)
- The Best Hidden Pubs in London (YouTube video)