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  • lifeunbound21


Updated: Jun 30

My sister Kate & I set off for a two week trip to South Africa and added in a 10.5 hour layover in London to see the city. We made the most of every moment there! We took an overnight flight into London and another overnight to Africa so we were free from 11:30am - 9:30pm to explore the city.

We wanted to see as much of the major tourist sights as we could since we were just briefly blowing through so we grabbed the Heathrow Express and took it to Paddington Station. It's a 22 minute train ride that runs every 15 minutes from the airport.

Before heading to the train, we wanted to stash our luggage. Heathrow has an amazing service right on your way to the train where you can store your luggage while you tour the city - The prices range depending on the length of time. We chose the 3-24 hour time frame which was 15 Euro/item. As you exit the arrivals area at Heathrow, there is a desk that sells the round trip ticket for the Heathrow Train and they will point you to the luggage storage just down the hall. Super easy & no pre-booking needed!

We wanted to visit the London Eye and take a riverboat cruise during our layover so from Paddington Station we went downstairs to the London underground (Tube). Take the Bakerloo Line and get off at the Waterloo Station. You don't need to pre purchase tickets for the Tube which makes it very easy. You can just tap your credit card at the turn styles and hop on. That being said, you can only use one credit card per person, so if you're paying for multiple people, consider getting a day pass.

From the Waterloo Station its a short, two block walk, to the London Eye. We bought tickets right there and took a ride on the Eye to see the city which lasts about 30 minutes. The line to ride was fast moving and the views of the city were stunning. Even though I don't love heights, I felt pretty comfortable on this ride and was glad I did it.

At the base of the Eye, we caught our next activity which was a pre-booked river boat tour through Viator that we scheduled for 2:45pm.

This tour was 40 minutes long and went from Big Ben to the London Bridge and offered a lot of history and information about the city. It's well worth the $20 and time to see the views from the water.

From here, we hopped back on the Tube and made our way to Dishoom for an early dinner at 4:00pm. Visit Dishoom's Kensington location: here . The portions are large so we split the Dishoom House Chaat, Grilled Malai Mushrooms, Mutton Pepper Fry and finished with some Chai Tea for desert. This restaurant has a lot of locations around town and is some of the best Indian food I've ever had. I recommend making reservations to stay on time!

After dinner we still had time to walk through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace!

From Hyde Park, we hopped back on the Tube to Paddington Station, grabbed the Heathrow Express back to the airport and were back at Heathrow by 6:30pm with more than enough time to catch our next flight. It's really amazing how much of the city we got to see. We loved the park, the gardens and the beautiful architecture of the city. I highly recommend extending layover times when you can and get out and make the most of your time in a new place.

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