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How to Spend a Spare Hour in Central London


Your meal is finished, business plans done and dusted, and shopping done: you have an hour to kill before your train home. With so many options for things to see and do, it’s difficult to decide on something for just one hour – so here are a range of options to suit all personalities and pockets.

Picnic in the Park

Central London boasts five royal parks to choose from for a relaxing picnic, so it’s easy to find a spot nearby. These were originally hunting grounds kept for the use of the royal and elite, but over the 19th century were opened to the public for use. Both St. James’ and Hyde Park have central lakes frequented by fowl – children will love feeding their sandwich crusts to the ducks, and all have ‘Boris’ bike stations nearby should you fancy a scenic cycle.

Pamper Yourself

If a visit to the elite spas and make-up artists of Chelsea and Kensington is too much of a stretch on time, get yourself to Knightsbridge and visit Harrods for a browse of the high-end beauty treatments to fill your hour as part of their ‘Urban Retreat’ range. At the Moroccan Hammam, inspired by millennia-old decor and treatments of Morocco, you can choose from massages, facials, and exfoliation wrap treatments all clocking in at 50 minutes, leaving you just enough time to get to and from the tube station.

See the Southbank

It’s often easier to list what isn’t available at the Southbank, as there is so much on offer. With the London Eye and Houses of Parliament as a backdrop, you can enjoy street performances, shop for books, grab a drink at the BFI bar, watch skateboarders show off some tricks, see an exhibition or show in the Festival Hall, or enjoy some delicious street food. It’s advisable to check the website on the day to see what’s on.

Visit a Market

No matter what day you visit, in London there is a market for every interest. Food? Check out the Southbank food market, Brixton market, Berwick Street market, or the oldest in town, Borough market. Not hungry but like clothes? Portobello market is perfect for vintage finds, Camden market for goths and independent designers, Spitalfields for vintage in London’s tailoring quarter, and Greenwich for independent fashion and cute crafts.


Author: joinengland

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