The best way to utilize your limited time in London would be to create a comprehensive list of attractions and things you'd like to do in London ahead of time. Auto Europe has over 60 years' experience in the travel industry, assisting a wide variety of clients plan the perfect travel itinerary for their upcoming self-guided tour of the UK. Take advantage of Auto Europe's extensive travel resources and suggestions for things to do in London with your British rental car. As you plan for your upcoming excursion, utilize our resources found in this guide and elsewhere on our website, and if you have any questions or concerns that aren't answered in these resources, don't hesitate to contact one of our travel experts toll-free at 1-888-223-5555, they're standing by 24/7 to field any questions or concerns you may have.
The Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London, and is the most visited modern art gallery in the world, with nearly 5 million visitors per year. Hugging the left side of the River Thames, the galleries are in the former Bankside Power Station, which has been masterfully decorated to accommodate thousands of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. The Tate Modern holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to present day, as well as an impressive collection of international modern and contemporary art. After spending several hours exploring Tate Modern, cross the Millennium Bridge (as seen in Harry Potter 6) to the outskirts of historic London City.
Founded in 1839 by expanding the exotic garden at Kew Park, the Kew Gardens, located in the borough of Richmond, is the largest living collection of plants in the world, with over 30,000 different types of plants, while the herbarium has over seven million preserved plant individuals. In 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, and ever since, the gardens have become one of London's most popular tourist attractions. In the park itself, there are dozens of noteworthy attractions, such as the treetop walkway, and dozens of plant houses and conservatories housing some of the rarest and most beautiful species. Also worth noting are the massive Pagoda and the smallest royal residence in the United Kingdom, the Palace at Kew. Because the Kews Gardens is so massively popular amongst tourists, acquiring public transportation to the gardens can be tricky and expensive, thus making a car rental or private chauffeur of the utmost convenience! Exhibitions change throughout the year so be sure to plan accordingly and research the best season to visit London for the specific places you want to go and see.
Hyde Park is one of London's largest parks and most popular relaxation destinations in the city. Originally founded as the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the park has since become a traditional location for protests and demonstration as well as London's most visited park along with adjacent Kensington Gardens. The southwest corner of the park has several noteworthy attractions, such as the Kensington Palace and the Princess Diana memorial, and the Round Pond, a gorgeous spot to watch the swans and enjoy a good book. Travelers look to escape the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan London would surely enjoy a day of relaxation at Hyde Park.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest museum dedicated to decorative arts and design, and houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million artifacts and objects. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the museum was founded during the early years of their reign in the area known as "Albertopolis", where the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum can also be found. The Victoria and Albert Museum houses objects from over 5,000 years ago, from cultures of Europe, North America, North Africa, and Asia, including ceramics, textiles, glass, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, art, and photographs. The museum has an especially noteworthy Italian Renaissance exhibit (the largest outside of Italy) and arguably the best collection of Islamic art and artifacts outside of the Muslim world. In addition to having excellent galleries and exhibitions, the museum's gift shop is also superb and offers reproductions of various artifacts and paintings found in the museum.
London is without a doubt known as a premier shopping destination, with thousands of designer stores and brands operating in the city, travelers from around the world visit London and its many boutiques to purchase among the finest designer products in the world. London also sports some of the best value shopping in the world, and we here at Auto Europe highly recommend shopping at Primark and Harrods, two very high quality department stores that offer home wares, clothing, and cosmetics at excellent prices for the value you're receiving. The Primark can be found on Oxford Street, while Harrods is just sought of Hyde Park, at the Knightsbridge tube stop.
The Church, located in Brixton, is one of London's hottest party spots. The Church is among the most popular spots for students, backpackers, and young adventurers seeking a crazy time in London, and is essentially a giant frat party that begins at noon on Sundays, and ends at 4 PM. After paying your admission ticket, you'll be routed to the bar, where you will purchase three drinks at once (and then carry them around in a plastic bag around your waist, not kidding) before the show begins. Church is a combination of a giant frat party, comedy show, rock concert, and strip club, and is most certainly NOT for lightweights or mere social drinkers, folks will be getting seriously drunk here. Church is ideal for younger travelers hoping to meet both locals and foreigners alike, as the Church attracts younger crowds from across the city and the world, but the most common visitors to the Church are surely tourists from America, Australia, and New Zealand. Although perhaps not appropriate for children or the refined, sophisticated traveler, Church is an excellent way to blow off some steam and meet other young travelers.
If you're in London and you were envisioning a day trip (or longer) to the mainland, the Channel Tunnel or "Chunnel" is arguably the most convenient and affordable way to do so. The Chunnel is less than a three hour train ride to Paris, and makes an excellent weekend trip for travelers looking to explore the rest of Europe. We recommend acquiring a London Travel Card or Paris Visite to acquire unlimited Metro and bus travel around these respective cities, allowing you to conveniently and affordably tour these picturesque cities. Alternatively, you can rent a vehicle in Paris or London and assuming your supplier permits, take it on the Chunnel to either destination.