London has so much to offer in terms of things to do for a girls day out, from relaxing spa breaks to unique activities such as afternoon tea on a bus, the city has you and your BFF covered.
Read on to find out some of my top things to do with your galpal when visiting the city.
B-Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Experience a quintessentially British pastime with a superb twist. Tick off two things that London is best known for – its afternoon tea and big red buses blended into one glorious afternoon activity.
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The B-bakery afternoon tea bus tour is truly a must-do activity with your best friend. When my oldest school friend came to visit London recently, I knew that we had to try this afternoon tea with a difference. Onboard the vintage red bus, we were able to take in the city’s best sights, whilst enjoying some of the most delicious cakes, pastries, sandwiches, hot drinks, and prosecco. We were also lucky enough to hop onboard the Chelsea Flower Show Edition – meaning the bus was decked out with the most beautiful floral decorations – perfect for the gram!
Highlights of the tour included, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Downing Street and more.
Prices start from £45 per adult and the sightseeing tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on traffic.
Tours depart from 12:30 and 15:00 tours from 8 Northumberland Avenue, off Trafalgar Square and 12:00, 14:30 & 17:00 tours depart daily from Victoria Coach Station.
London’s Sky Garden is located at a whopping 35 floors up at 20 Fenchurch Street and boasts two bars, two restaurants and, of course, that famous 360-degree view across London.
With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this lush urban jungle provides fantastic views of the famous skyscrapers of London, with an open-air terrace providing views across the Thames. The Sky Garden has been designed to create an open and vibrant place of relaxation away from the hubbub of the city, offering visitors a rare chance to experience London from a different perspective – making it the perfect place to catch up with your bestie over a cocktail or two, in a green space without leaving the city.
You’ll be able to gaze out at The Shard, The Gherkin, the ‘Cheesegrater’, Tower Bridge and, of course, the River Thames, just to name a few.
Although a visit to the Sky Garden is free, you might want to book ahead, as it can get pretty busy, as, with any good freebie in a busy city, slots fill up fast. I would also recommend visiting as sunset if possible, as this is when you’ll get the best views.
Book your free visit online between 10am and 6pm on weekdays and 11am to 9pm on weekends.
Walk-ins are also welcome: Monday to Friday: 7am to 10am and after 6pm; Saturdays: 8am to 11am and after 9pm; Sundays: 9am to 11am and after 9pm.
Drinks & Crazy Golf at Swingers
If you and your bestie are feeling on the active (but not really) side, then you’ll love Swingers Crazy Golf. With two different locations in London; The City and The West End you can choose between two nine-hole courses, both inspired by the British summertime.
The City branch offers the rather glamourous lighthouse and windmill course, meanwhile, in the West End, the courses have been inspired by the 1920s; complete with its very own big wheel and helter-skelter.
After 9 or 18 holes of crazy golf, you’ll no doubt be peckish. Have your pick at an excellent range of street food on offer from; pizza pals Made of Dough (West End) and Pizza Pilgrims (City), burger buddies Patty & Bun (both), Mexican mavericks Breddos Tacos (both), and ice-cream ingenues Hackney Gelato (West End only).
There are also five bars (yes, five bars) where you’ll be able to order almost any cocktail you would like – and you can even cart these around the golf course with you.
Marshall Street Spa
What better way to relax with your gal pal than escaping from the busyness of the city for an afternoon of zen at this London gem.
Upon arrival, you’ll be wowed by the buildings 1930s design and inside you’ll be greeted by the warm and welcoming staff and find an incredible selection of facilities that will help you both to unwind, relax and enjoy your time together in the most blissful of settings.
The spa itself offers a wide selection of leisure and spa facilities for the perfect day of pampering, from a sauna and steam room to a relaxation area and treatment rooms where you can indulge in a variety of spa and beauty treatments.
On top of all of this, the Marshall Street Spa can be found based in the handiest of locations, right in the centre of London’s trendy Soho area, just a few minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus station and not far from many of the city’s top attractions. Not only is this perfect for those visiting London and hoping to fit in other activities, but also perfect for those who are wanting to grab a bite to eat in the city before or after visiting the spa.
My go-to treatments tend to be either a facial or a massage, but I can highly recommend the spa’s Swedish massage which starts at £35 for 30 minutes and body treatments, such as the Devine body massage, a relaxing body massage featuring a combination of 4 plant oils. This leaves your skin feeling luxuriously softened, moisturized smelling utterly delicious. Other treatments on offer include radiance boosting facials, hot stone and deep tissue massages, just to name a few.
Open seven days a week from 10am-5.30pm, and situated in the heart of charming Greenwich, this large indoor market houses over 100 stalls selling jewellery, clothes, second-hand furniture, handmade gifts, and general bric-à-brac. For those interested in antiques, make sure you visit on a Tuesday and Thursday for a greater number of stalls, or any other day for arts and crafts focus.
Take your time browsing the many stalls with your best friend and no doubt after all that browsing you’ll find yourselves with rumbling tummies. Need not worry about having to search for somewhere to eat, as on any given day you’ll find around 40 food and drink stalls selling all sorts of cuisines.
The market is owned by Greenwich Hospital – the Royal Navy’s oldest Crown charity – and on top of providing tourists and locals with a great day out, also provides charitable support to serving and retired personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their dependents.
You can travel to Greenwich by train from London Bridge for the quickest journey, which takes just eight minutes, or if you fancy making a proper day out of it, I recommend travelling by boat for a scenic view.
Kensington Palace and gardens
Kensington Palace has a rich royal history for those boffin besties (much like myself and my best friend) who fancy spending an afternoon learning something together. It happens to be the birthplace of Queen Victoria and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not to mention being the home of a host of Georgian monarchs who have all left their mark on this impressive Palace.
You can explore their vast state apartments which contain an array of beautiful paintings and sculptures. The palace is also located at the western end of Kensington Gardens which extends from Hyde Park.
Once inside, you can explore the extravagant rooms and spaces that have played a part in many royal moments through the ages. Take the time to wander through the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, where you’ll also get to see rare works from the Royal Collection.
There are usually further exhibitions taking place at the palace and we absolutely loved the latest exhibition – Diana: Her Fashion which traces the evolution of Diana’s style; from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance, and confidence of her later life. Highlights include the pink blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981 and the ink blue velvet gown, worn when the princess danced with John Travolta.