The ultimate guide to the attractions of London!
12th November 2023
One of the most connected railway stations in London, with links to Stansted Airport, Kent and Brighton, Victoria Station welcomes millions of commuters and tourists every year. Located in the London borough of Westminster, Victoria Station is surrounded by vibrant culture and history, making it the ideal place for any visitor of the capital to explore.
Opened in the 1860s, Victoria Station is rich in history, once a popular location connecting the London’s West End to short forays into Europe. But on a far more sombre note, Victoria Station played a monumental role during the first world war, as troops departed from the station to make their ways to the battlefields at the Western Front.
In the 1980s the station was completely revamped, and a shopping centre was added providing plenty of places to keep your interest before the train arrives. But, if you have more than a day or two to spend before hopping off to your next destination then, of course, there are plenty of attractions to visit. This central transport link, which sits in Transport for London Zone 1, has plenty of great things to do roundabout. Here are some of our top picks of activities in the local area:
Whether it is your first time visiting the UK capital or if you are a seasoned visitor, no trip to London is complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace. A mere 10-minute walk from the station, you can catch the changing of the guards at 11am, take some classic holiday pictures or try and catch a glimpse of the king! If you want to experience the life of a king, take a tour of the palace and discover the beauty of the 19 statements and the magnificence of the palace gardens!
Whilst we are on the topic London’s regal past, we couldn not mention Westiminister Abbey! The Coronation church since 1066, Westminster Abbey is less than a mile from Victoria Station. A magnificent example of Gothic architecture, the abbey has been the splendid venue for 16 royal weddings, as well as the recent coronation of King Charles III. It’s also the final resting place for 30 kings and queens, including Queen Elizabeth I, Edward the Confessor and King Henry V.
The oldest royal park in London, the 57 acres of greenery of St James’s Park has much to commend itself. Pelicans, for instance, have resided in the park since 1664 and now almost 400 years ago over 40 pelicans live happily in St. James’s Park! As well as pelicans, St. James’s Park is infamous for its flowerbeds, as they are often seen in bloom in photographs and videos of Buckingham Palace. The park is worth a visit and definitely holds THE best spot to picnic in the capital!
Visit the home of the British Parliament and take a look at the world’s most famous clock tower. The Houses of Parliament sits in what was once the Palace of Westminster. Built in 1097 by King William II, the present Gothic structure was rebuilt in 1854. It boasts more than 1100 rooms, 100 staircases, 11 courtyards and a riverside terrace measuring 200m. The Union flag is flown from a flagpole on its southern tower to denote the fact parliament is sitting. The tower featuring Big Ben measures 100 metres tall, is four-faced, and the bell in it chimes with every passing hour, and is one of the most iconic buildings in London!
Come and experience British Art from the 1500s to today at the Tate Britain. The collection is free and open daily from 10am to 6pm. Entrance to exhibitions is charged individually (usually £5 per person) and it’s always better to book beforehand.
This famous music hall has hosted such huge sell-out musicals as Fame, Grease, the premiers of Billy Elliot, The Buddy Holly Story and is currently home to the hottest musical on the block - Hamilton. Whether you are a musical lover or not, experiencing a live performance at one of London’s West End theatres is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the culture of the city.
See some of London’s most iconic sites from the water. There are so many scenic river cruises to choose from. You can, for instance, opt for a ‘hop on, hop off’ tour. Then again why not make an occasion of it and have dinner onboard? How many people can say they’ve dined on the river Thames? Whichever cruise you choose, every trip is a great way to explore the city and visit London’s most famous landmarks.
Waterstones, Sweaty Betty, Marks & Spencer, Hotel Chocolat and Charles Tyrwhitt – you’ll find them all, and more, at this giant shopping centre. There’s also a host of popular dining destinations to choose from, such as The Ivy, Five Guys, Ole & Steen, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, and Browns.
Situated in nearby upmarket Belgravia, Eccleston Yards is a brand-new cultural centre complete with yoga studios, gyms, bars and cafes. The former industrial centre also hosts pop-ups, such as a Sunday farmers market and the occasional ‘fresh air’ gym session and is the perfect place to wander. Alongside are creative studios and a number of small businesses for you to discover.
Just a hop, skip and jump from Victoria Station, as they say, Flight Club is a fancy darts-themed pub which can actually get quite competitive. Look out for this franchise appearing all over the capital. Practice your aim and impress your friends by getting in first so you can hit 180 without blinking.
Pimlico’s Regency Café is one of London’s best-kept breakfast and dining secrets. It also happens to be one of the city’s more popular filming locations. Established back in 1940, this ‘traditional’ café retains its white tiled art deco interior while still serving up some of the best fry ups known to London! Regency Café is not only famous for its fry-ups, but is also a favourite filming location, you may even recognise the café from Rocketman, Layer Cake, Brighton Rock or Pride, to name just a few! Whether you are craving a big breakfast, or to recreate an iconic scene from your favourite film, Pimilico’s Regency Café is a must when in the city.
Whether you are here for just a few hours, or for a few days, the borough of Westminster is definitely worth a visit. Whether you're looking for shopping, dining, entertainment, or simply a place to relax and people-watch, there is something for everyone. Experience the vibrant culture of Westminster for yourself, with tickets starting from just £9.90, Stansted Express ensures hassle free travel from Stansted Airport to London Victoria Station.