Have you ever wanted to visit London and absorb all it has to offer? Like, have you wanted to see Big Ben up close, The Shard, or better yet, a VIEW from The Shard while drinking champagne!? London is a beautifully diverse city filled with history and charm. It’s such a popular and iconic place to visit! My first time in London was back in 2015 when I studied abroad there for 4 months. I loved it so much that in March of 2022, I decided to go back and visit on my own!
That’s right, a solo trip to London! Only this time, I’m an adult with a full-time job, so I couldn’t stay for 4 months. I decided to visit London, solo, for 8 days. When I was studying abroad in London, I was with my friends most of the time. Everywhere I went, I was always with someone. This time, I was on my own. If no one else can or will travel with you, as was the case with me back in 2022, then go solo! London is an AMAZING place for solo travelers, especially female travelers.
With that amount of time, what was I going to do that I haven’t done before? Thus, my 8 day London itinerary was born, which centered on new activities and events I could do as a solo female traveler. Here is the 8 day itinerary I created for my solo trip!
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Day 1: Arrival in London
If you're taking a solo trip to London, chances are you're probably going to catch a night flight. Though the jet lag stinks, arriving in the morning hours of London has its perks! Arriving at 8am for instance, as I did, gives you ample time to get yourself together, explore, and get used to the area you're staying in.
Itinerary for Day 1:
The first day in London looked something like this:
- Breakfast at Selina Hostel in Camden - this hostel has a little area where you can get drinks and food. That's what I did when I first arrived in London, because I was super hungry.
- Meeting up with cousins
- Walking through Kensington Park with my cousins- it's a wonderful park to take a casual stroll through
- Walking from Kensington Park to Knights Bridge - you'll be surprised how close areas are to each other
- Lunch at EL & N Café - a very cute and "Instagrammable" café. The vegan chocolate cake and iced matcha rose latte I ordered were delicious. My cousins and I enjoyed eating that cake!
- Walking around Knights Bridge some more - lots of cute little shops, cafes, and restaurants to check out!
- Dinner at Franco Manca with my cousins - a lovely little pizza place near Lancaster Gate in London. It's on a street that's FILLED with cute shops, restaurants, and other cafes as well
- Relaxing and catching up with my cousins - at this point, it had been 7 YEARS since I last saw them! We had a lot of catching up to do.
- Check-in at my hostel at 10:30pm
- Met some lovely people in my dorm room - we made plans for the following day and you'll soon see what we got up to!
As a solo traveler, especially if you're female, you should be fine getting around on your first day in London. London is loaded with cute places to see. You can stick to a particular area like I did, or meet up with friends/family (if you have any in London), and explore. Get a feel for the area during the day, what's around, and make the most of it!
Even when you're traveling solo, you're never alone. You can make friends with other solo female travelers like I did, create plans, and explore together! You'll have the best time and create the sweetest memories.
Day 2: Exploring with Friends
My second day in London was all about walking around and exploring this great city with my new friends! There's nothing like sightseeing, walking throughout London, and enjoying the moment with fellow female solo travelers.
Itinerary for Day 2:
With my new friends by my side, here's what we got up to:
- Took the tube to Goodge St. and walked down the street - random sightseeing at its finest! We didn't plan this at all. We literally just picked this station at the last minute, got off the tube, and started walking.
- Had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien - lovely little café
- Walk to Oxford St - such an iconic street to visit! It's so busy, packed with stores galore, you can easily spend a whole day here
- Shopping on Oxford St - my new friend wanted to do some clothes shopping, so I just followed her. We went to a few stores such as Primark, H&M, Pull&Bear, and more. Our other friend met us here, and the three of us continued to store hop
- Visit Big Ben - when you think of London, you think of Big Ben! Such an iconic and popular place to visit in London.
- Dinner at Nando's - classic restaurant to eat at in London
- Grocery run at Sainsbury's - we needed some snacks for our dorm. For me in particular, I needed snacks for my day trips the next 3 days.
- End the night at The Zoo Bar and Club in Leicester Square - I'm not a club person but my new friend wanted to go, so she invited me along.
You can do a variety of things with the fellow travelers you meet. London is just the place for it too, because the possibilities are endless! It was nice to just hang out with my new friends, get to know them, while exploring this wonderful city.
Day 3: Day Trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford
There are plenty of beautiful places to visit outside of London, as there are in the city itself. When you're visiting London on your own, you should do at least one day trip to a place outside the city. It's just nice to see other amazing places in England. Even if you're traveling solo, day trips can be a great experience! Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford are just a few places you can explore as part of a day trip. Click here to see the tour I took through GetYourGuide!
Itinerary for Day 3:
I had a bright and early start to my day, because I had to meet my day trip group at Victoria Coach Station at 7am. Our day trip itinerary looked like this:
- Visit Windsor Castle for about 1.5 hours - you have enough time to go through the state rooms but not much time for anything else
- Visit Stonehenge for about hour - shuttles run every 15 minutes from the visitors center to the stones or you can walk about 30 minutes across the field
- Visit Oxford University in Oxford - afterwards, you have about 30 minutes to either eat or wander around
- Return to London around 5pm to 6pm - I went back to my hostel to relax for the rest of the night (boring, I know)
This day trip consisted of a larger group. Despite the large group size, I still managed to talk to a few other tourists in the group and enjoy the day. It can be a bit intimidating doing a day trip by yourself. That was not the case with me and I'm sure you'll feel the same.
Day 4: Day Trip to The Cotswolds
My day trips weren't over yet. Oh no, I had another couple of days worth of day trips to go on! I made it a point this time around in London to do day trips outside the city. Even though I was solo, I didn't let that deter me. The tour I took through GetYourGuide is here!
Itinerary for Day 4:
With yet another early start to my day, I took the tube to the Mercure Kensington Hotel near Earl’s Court Station to meet my group. I was going on a day trip to the Cotswolds! I was super excited to see this section of England. We departed London in the morning to start our tour of the Cotswolds:
- Drive to Burford ("gateway to the Cotswolds")
- Wander around Burford - I explored a little church, cemetery, the little shops and cafes in town
- Scenic drive to our next destination, Bibury - this area if filled with beautiful rolling hills, stone walls, and little country houses
- Spend about an hour in Bibury - I did this little loop trail around the pond near the drop off point
- Scenic drive to Bourton on the Water
- Spend 1.5 hours in Bourton on the Water ("The Venice of the Cotswolds") - cute canals and bridges, bustling village center, options for cafes, restaurants, and attractions. I also walked through a little neighborhood and got some lunch at the Chip Shop
- You guessed it, another scenic drive to Stow
- Spend 45 minutes in Stow ("Stow on the wold") - cute little high street, lovely church and cemetery (which I, of course, explored), and quaint neighborhoods which I walked through
This trip was filled with beautiful scenic drives and stunning little villages. Besides the time restraint, there was nothing I didn't enjoy on this day trip to the Cotswolds!
Day 5: Day Trip to The Seven Sisters & South Downs
The third and final day trip I had from London was a trip to the Seven Sisters and South Downs in England. An hour train ride from the London Bridge Trail Station to Brighton Station was only the beginning of this cool sightseeing day trip! This amazing tour can be found right here!
Itinerary for Day 5:
Little did I know this day trip would be full of great memories and interactions! This is where I’d meet more fellow solo female travelers, explore cool hidden gems in the south of England, and see the beauty of the Seven Sisters. I highly recommend this day trip, especially if you’re traveling solo and want to explore areas outside of London. This is the itinerary for the day:
- Devil’s Dyke - this was our first stop of the tour. You got to see this beautiful overlook of Sussex, walk to Devil’s Dyke, and learn how this dry valley got its name
- Middle Farm - the second stop of the trip. We had lunch, explored this cute little hidden gem of a farm, and viewed the many items this place had
- The Long Man of Wilmington - this hidden gem spot has a very interesting backstory to it. You learn about this carving, it’s relevance to the area, and you get to see more of the country side of South Downs
- Beachy Head - this was the halfway point of the trip. You’re on the English coast with beautiful views of the white cliffs of the are and the sea. It wasn’t very crowded or touristy, perfect for a quiet stroll, point for pictures, or lunch!
- Birling Gap - second to last stop of the day trip. Definitely more touristy but still beautiful nonetheless. Stay at the top of the white cliff or, like I did, walk down to the stony beach below to get beautiful views!
- Seaford Head (The Seven Sisters) - the final stop of the tour. Walk along the quiet, local trail of Seaford Head to get to the cliff edge. Here, you’ll look to your left and gaze at the beauty of the Seven Sisters.
- Brighton - the tour bus drops you off here in Brighton. You can either take the train back to London or stay for a bit. I stayed in Brighton for dinner with the new friends I made. We then took the train back to London.
This was definitely the best day trip I took. I love nature and landscape scenery, so to see the English coast and country side of South Downs/Sussex was amazing! The group size was very small and I easily made friends with two other female travelers.
Day 6: The Shard, Tower Bridge, Leaden Hall Market, and More!
For me, I was done with the solo day trips. I loved seeing more of England and I highly recommend you do the same. Any solo traveler, even female travelers, can do it!
Now, I was back in London for the remainder of the trip. I had an experience booked, so that was the only thing I knew I had to do this day. However, I wanted to make the most of the day and decided to do a few extra things before AND after my experience.
Itinerary for Day 6:
I planned a busy day of walking around and exploring some parks I haven’t been to before. In the morning, I:
- Started walking from my hostel in Camden to Regent’s Park - it’s a beautiful little park and it was a warm Spring day. Perfect combo for a stroll
- From Regent’s Park I walked to Primrose Hill - yet another beautiful little park. I walked through just a fraction of it, primarily along the river
- Walk from Primrose Hill to The Shard Experience - well, walked from Primrose Hill to the tube, which took me right to the entrance for this experience
- Spent a couple hours at The Shard Experience - I paid extra to have champagne while enjoying views of London *selfie sticks and tripods aren’t allowed* Click here for the tickets!
- I walked from this experience to Tower Bridge - an iconic place to visit in London. I wanted to recreate my blog/YouTube banner picture here, so I had to go back and get the picture!
- Dinner at Emilia’s Crafted Pasta - the one I went to was near Tower Bridge. The pasta, dessert, and aperol spritz were all delicious. Highly recommend!
- Walk along the Thames Path - I wanted to get beautiful views of Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and the city of London
- Walk through Leaden Hall Market - a classic spot to visit, especially if you’re into exploring markets or a Harry Potter filming location
- Walk through the Financial District - you see the Gherkin, other financial buildings, and more of London
- End the evening at Tower Bridge - I had to get a picture of it in the evening and I was meeting up with my cousin here
It’s a lot of walking, I know. However, I believe if you want to truly explore and see London, you pick an area and START WALKING. I promise you, you’ll see so many beautiful things.
Day 7: Notting Hill, Brick Lane, More Walking!
This day was all about exploring different parts of London I've yet to visit. To make it harder on myself, I decided to WALK for most of the day! I wanted this walking journey to be full of sightseeing cute little neighborhoods and areas. You can't quite replicate that same experience by taking the bus or tube everywhere. Plus, I love walking, so it wasn't a problem for me.
Itinerary for Day 7:
This behemoth of a day walking would take me to multiple areas in London. My two primary goals were to see Notting Hill and Brick Lane. However, I also wanted to go to Fortnum & Mason for afternoon tea. This is the route and itinerary I planned out:
- Start by walking from Camden to Notting Hill - this was a 2 hour walk but I got to see so many beautiful homes, walk along the river path, and see sections of London I've never seen before. It was worth it (for me, at least) when I saw the beautiful, pastel colored homes of Notting Hill
- Walk from Notting Hill to Fortnum & Mason in Mayfair - yet another 2 hours of walking through multiple neighborhoods and parks (Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park). But I got too anxious and didn't get afternoon tea
- Lunch at Everbean - had to give my feet and body a break from walking. And to refuel with food and drinks
- Take the tube from Mayfair to Brick Lane - you get off at Liverpool St. and walk about 10-12 minutes to Brick Lane. My feet hurt like crazy, so the tube was a good choice to get to this area
- Explore Brick Lane - street art, graffiti, trendy shops, restaurants, and clubs, it’s one of the coolest places in London
- Explore the side streets of Tower Hamlets - next to the apartment buildings, the tube station and buildings are filled with graffiti art. It's so cool to see! I even saw an artist creating something on the wall
- Walk around Whitechapel - if you have time, take a Jack the Ripper tour here! I did one back in 2015 but not this time, though I recommend you do so
- Walk around Shoreditch
- Walk through Splitfield Market - a little market I unexpectedly stumbled across while walking through Whitechapel. It's a small market with multiple vendors, very cute place to visit
- Walk from Splitfield Market to Emilia's Crafted Pasta in Tower Bridge - it was time for dinner and I walked through the streets, taking in the views of London as the sun set
- Walk the back streets from Tower Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral - a great way to burn off some calories and take in the views of the city at night. I was also waiting for my cousin, so I decided to kill some time by walking
After hours of walking, 15+ miles in total, needless to say I was completely exhausted and achy later that night. However, with all that walking, both in the morning and evening, I felt completely safe and comfortable. Not once did I feel uneasy, scared, or uncomfortable. I enjoyed the solo walks, sightseeing, and meals I had.
Day 8: Last Day in London
This was my final day in London. It was bittersweet but I knew this day would come. At the time of my trip in March of 2022, negative COVID tests were still needed to enter the USA. My priority in the morning of my last day in London was to get a COVID test. I took the bus from Chalk Rd in Camden to Mayfair. After I successfully got a negative test result back, it was time to make the most of my final day.
Itinerary for Day 8:
With a negative COVID test in hand, check-in for my flight complete, it was time to start my day!:
- Eat breakfast at Pret-A-Manger - classic place to get food from
- Take the bus back to Camden Town to walk around the Camden Market - my hostel was close to this market, so I had to walk through and explore this place before I departed
- Take a walking tour of Brixton - the lovely girl I met on my day trip to the Seven Sisters was doing this tour and I thought I would too. This FREE tour by Free Tours by Foot was awesome and I highly recommend it!
- Lunch with my new friend at Brixton Village Market - we talked for a couple hours and had a wonderful time
- Visit my cousins one last time - I had dinner with my cousins and enjoyed the evening
And that was it. I went back to my hostel, packed my belongings, and set my morning alarm for my flight the next day. I loved visiting London again! The experience I had traveling as a solo woman was nothing short of amazing! I had the best time, met the best people, spent time with family, and saw new places.
This itinerary didn't include all of the touristy places to visit, because I had visited a quite a few of them before. However, a lot of them are clustered near each other. So, you can take this itinerary, tailor it to your own solo London trip, and add or take away places so you can see the places on your bucket list. But if you need a rough idea on what to do in London when you're traveling solo, this itinerary is a good place to start!
Is London safe for female travelers?
For the most part, London is very safe, especially for female travelers. I honestly felt more safe walking the streets of London at night than I do here in the USA.
Although it’s a big and diverse city, in my experience, it’s not too intimidating or scary to travel around.
That’s not to say that crime is completely absent from the city, which is not true. There’s crime everywhere and London is no different. However, the level of crime here is not on the same level as some other cities here in the USA.
Overall, I felt comfortable and safe walking around London, no matter the time of day.
Is 8 days enough time to explore London?
In my opinion, there’s never enough time to explore London. Even when I LIVED here for 4 months, I still couldn’t see and do it all. There’s always something new to see and do here in London.
However, depending on your interests and what you intend on doing in London, 8 days may be enough. It might be more than enough for what you’re looking to do on a trip to London. Especially if you’re sticking to tourist attractions, you can see them in a few days time.
But if you’re looking to do more than the typical tourist stuff, then you can definitely allot more days to exploring local spots and hidden gems.
Is it easy to get around in London?
London has a very thorough and clear public transportation system. There’s signage all around, they’re clear and concise, trains and buses (usually) are on time, and it’s efficient.
When I was traveling London solo, I didn’t have a problem at all navigating the trains (or underground) and buses. However, delays, detours, and closures can and do happen. Be sure to check the transportation website before hand to ensure lines are running in a good manner.
Can you easily meet others as a solo traveler?
For sure! Whether you're staying in dorms, walking about, on day tours, activities, you're sure to meet other solo travelers. I met quite a few solo female travelers on my solo trip, it was fairly easy to meet others. It's not always easy for others and I understand that.
By nature, I'm more introverted until I get comfortable around people. So, being very outgoing and talkative isn't something I naturally do, especially when I'm solo traveling. Yet, in London, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and talk to other travelers who were solo. Like I said, when solo traveling, you're never alone. There are other female solo travelers out there!
Are you singled out as a black female in London?
In my personal experience, I didn't have anyone single me out as a black female in London. London is a very culturally and ethnically diverse city. Like NYC, it's a melting pot of people from all different walks of life. I felt very comfortable walking around London as a black female.
Though, like with any place you travel to, there are certain parts that are unsavory. I didn't really venture into areas like. However, as a black female, I do know that racism is everywhere and it can happen at any given time. Thankfully, the two times I've been to London, that never happened to me. If you're a black female walking around London, you should be fine but do exercise caution and awareness at all times.
Can you easily walk around London?
Absolutely! London is a very walkable city. You don't have to walk over 2 hours from section to section like I did, that's a lot of walking. All you have to do is pick a section of London (i.e. East London) and just walk around. Unless you're in the more suburban parts of London, you won't have any issues walking around or getting from point A to point B.
If you love walking like myself, then give yourself the whole day and walk from section to section. Trust me, you'll see so many beautiful little areas of London you wouldn't normally see taking public transportation.
Is London expensive?
This goes without saying but yes, London is a very expensive city! There are activities and things you can see and do for free or that are cheap. You can walk around and explore like I did, do free walking tours, ghost tours, sightseeing, hiking, you get the idea. Plus, you can go to the local grocery store like I did to get some snacks, food to cook your own meals, or go to pubs.
It is possible to travel to London and not spend a ton of money. Although, I would recommend having extra money on hand. Depending on the type of traveler you are, the activities you're into, and what you're looking for on your solo trip, this may require more or less money.
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