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While it's tempting to explore London's iconic sights by black cabs or red buses, walking is the best way to sightsee. This 4.4km route takes you through some of the best sights of London, and it's one I share with my friends when they visit.

Starting the Route

Start at Waterloo station and take exit number 6 toward South Bank and York Road. Cross the street and walk towards Azzuro Kitchen + Bar. Go past Waterloo Tap along Sutton Walk under the railway tracks, and on the other side, you'll find Concert Hall Approach. Turn left here and head towards the River Thames.

South Bank

You'll see the entrance to South Bank Centre at the top of the colorful stairs. It's the largest art center in the UK, and you can check out the exhibitions and shows here.

Down by the river there are always lots of things you can do, such as exploring the outdoor food market facing the river, enjoying outdoor street entertainment, browsing a large outdoor second-hand bookstore under the bridge, and experiencing the young London vibe in the summer months at Between the Bridges, London's largest outdoor bar with food trucks.

London Eye

Continue walking west along the river, and you'll come across the London Eye on your right. It takes around 30 minutes to ride the Eye, and you can purchase tickets online in advance. Keep walking and you'll also pass by other attractions like the London Dungeons, Shrek's Adventure London, and the Aquarium.

Big Ben

When you spot the iconic building across the river, it's the perfect spot for a photo with the building known as Big Ben. However, Big Ben isn't the name of the building nor the clock. It's actually the name of the Great Bell which famously rings us in on each New Year. For the perfect photo, stand further back from the subject and zoom in. You can also see the famous red buses glide past on Westminster Bridge.

Parliament Square

Cross the bridge, but be careful of the traffic when taking photos by the road. On the other side, you'll arrive at Parliament Square Garden, where you can find the statue of Sir Winston Churchill facing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey to his right, and some iconic red telephone boxes to his left.

The Red Lion Pub

If you're hungry, head to The Red Lion pub on Parliament Street for traditional British food like pork pies, scotch eggs, and a pie board, which I highly recommend.

The pub was a regular place for Charles Dickens and, unsurprisingly, politicians and serving British prime ministers. If you're interested in political history, this is the best place to have a meal!

St James' Park

Afterward, walk down Great George Street to St James' Park. Here, you can do a loop of the park and take in the great sites of Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and the Horse Guards Parade. The parks are one of the best things about London, offering green spaces to escape the often-overwhelming rush. In St James' Park, you'll find ducks enjoying themselves in the lake, a playground, gentle trails, and a view of Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace

Exit the park to get a closer look at the palace. If you're there at 11 am, you can watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony, which takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and daily in the summer. You can also book tickets in advance to take a tour of the palace.

The Mall and Horse Guards Road

Going clockwise around the park, walk down the tree-lined Mall where marathon runners and royalty have often paraded. At the end, take a right into Horse Guards Road to reach Horse Guards Parade, where you can watch the Changing of the King's Life Guard at 11 am daily or enter The Household Cavalry Museum. Further down on Horse Guards Road, you may come across crowds of protesters gathered around a set of gates. You've arrived at Downing Street, the home of the prime minister.

King Charles Street Arch

You won't be able to enter the street, so continue down Horse Guards Road and take a left in King Charles Street, where you'll walk through the historical landmark King Charles Street Arch. You'll arrive at Parliament Street opposite The Red Lion pub. From here, you can take the underground to your next destination.


Tour or Explore?

Verdict: Explore!

This walk is easily done without a guide, all you need is a good sense of direction and trusty Google Maps! If you find this


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