My Living in London Bucket List

Confession: I haven’t told my work that I am moving to London. Since I haven’t even applied for my ancestry visa yet, I feel that’s fair. But it is very, VERY hard to concentrate on my work when all I can think about is my new life in London!

Keep Calm I'm Moving to London


I want to experience as much as I can there and not waste a day. I am going to resist my natural urge to hang out in my jammies and watch my latest Netflix obsession. How can I when there is so much in London and the UK to do!

And so, inspired by “100 days of happiness”, bucket lists, and photo-a-day type projects, I am going to create a Living in London bucket list, so I can be sure I make the most out of this adventure.

My goal is to do something new from the list each day (bonus for doing more than one!)

What’s on my list?

I’ve started with touristy type items, since I haven’t been to the UK before, there are an awful lot of to add. I’m not restricting the list to just London activities – there are many day, weekend, and maybe even longer trips I hope to take. London is a great home base for traveling to Europe. I’ve also been adding things I’ve read on websites, blogs, and twitter that other travelers, expats, and locals are doing and places they’ve been going to.

I would like to come up with at least a year’s worth of things to do. Some are momentous and require some planning, while others are little things that can be done on a whim. I’m sure my list will grow when I get to London, but at least I have a place to start.

Without further ado, my must-do-a-day list (in no particular order):

  1. Big Ben
  2. London Bridge
  3. Piccadilly Square
  4. Notting Hill
  5. Pose in front of a red telephone box
  6. Westminster Abbey
  7. St Pauls Cathedral
  8. London Underground
  9. Try a chip buddy butty (thanks FM 😉
  10. London Eye
  11. Platform 9 ¾
  12. London Open Top Bus tour
  13. Take a river cruise on the Thames
  14. Go to Beigal Bake on Brick Lane
  15. Harrods
  16. Primark
  17. Oxford Street
  18. Camden Markets
  19. Covent Garden
  20. Borough Market
  21. Twinning’s Tea Shop
  22. Have traditional afternoon tea
  23. Go to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe
  24. National Gallery
  25. British Museum
  26. Tate Modern
  27. Tate Britain Galleries
  28. The Guildhall
  29. Natural History Museum
  30. Visit the tombstone of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard
  31. Shakespeare’s Globe.
  32. Watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony
  33. Visit the 5 Historic Royal Palaces
  34. Worlds oldest hat shop, Lock and Co
  35. Kew Gardens
  36. Abbey Road
  37. Trafalgar Square
  38. Walk over Tower Bridge
  39. Painted Hall in Greenwich
  40. Feed the ducks, swans and squirrels in St James Park
  41. Portobello Road
  42. Soho Noses
  43. Visit family in Scotland
  44. Visit at least two countries in Europe
  45. Eat Yorkshire pudding in Yorkshire
  46. SantaCon
  47. Christmas pudding race in Covent Garden
  48. Good Sunday at Widows Son in Bow
  49. Circle line pub crawl on the 6th Feb (or the nearest Sat!)
  50. Row a boat in Regents Canal
  51. Prince Charles Cinema’s themed nights
  52. Food market in Greenwich
  53. Victoria and Albert Museum
  54. Ghost bus tour
  55. Cocktails in the OXO tower
  56. Highgate Cemetery
  57. Sherlock Holmes pub and Restaurant
  58. 221b Baker Street
  59. Have a pint at the Cheshire Cheese on Fleet St.
  60. Saturday brunch at the Brockley Markets

Hmmm…. looks like I’m going to have to do more research if I’m going to do a least one thing a day for a year!

And here’s where I need your help. What sights, places, events, or restaurants would you recommend I add to my London bucket list?



25 thoughts on “My Living in London Bucket List

  1. LondonKiwiEmma says:

    Oh, I shouldn’t worry, so many things will fall at your feet: I recommend adding SantaCon, the Christmas pudding race in Covent Garden, celebrating Good Sunday T the Widows Son in Bow, the Circle line pub crawl on the 6th Feb (or the nearest Sat!), row a boat in Regents Canal, see Shakespeare at the globe…

    • Lisa says:

      These sound great! I doubt many travel guides would have listed most of these. Thanks Emma!
      Ps. I’m looking forward to more of your city food posts… I’m adding ” Eat Yorkshire pudding in Yorshire” now!

  2. Pottsy says:

    A bucket list is a great idea, before your new life in London becomes too normal and you get back into those jammie wearing netflix ways (I lived there for 8 years and totally failed to make the most of it). Here’s a few things you may want to consider adding to the list: go to one of the Prince Charles Cinema’s themed nights although it’s a cool cinema for normal nights too, food market in Greenwich, Victoria and Albert Museum (Next to the Natural History Museum), Ghost bus tour, cocktails in the OXO tower, London duck tour, and go in and watch the live debates at Parliament. Good luck!

    • Lisa says:

      It will be a bit of a struggle, but I Must. Resist. Jammie. Takeover. Thanks for these suggestions – I’m adding them to the list!!! Where did you live in London? Any other tips for an expat?

      • Pottsy says:

        I lived in Greenwich, which has lovely parks, easy river access and a great vibe, but it’s a bit out of the centre. There are so many really distinct areas of London, each with their own feel, there really is somewhere for everyone. You are going to have fun exploring!

      • Lisa says:

        There really are a lot of unique boroughs in London! It’s a little overwhelming especially when it comes to deciding where I’d like to live. But I’m excited to explore it all!

  3. Lisa says:

    Maybe Highgate Cemetery? There are so many great things to do in London, Time Out do a great book called something like 1000 things to do in London. You’ll never be bored!

  4. Elle says:

    I was in the UK for a week recently, and had a day in London (not enough time at all!) As an avid reader and fan of Sherlock, I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes pub and Restaurant, it had good food and awesome memorabilia, nothing from the new show but pictures from some of the original films, manuscripts from the books and things like that. It’s worth checking out.

    I also went to Platform 9 3/4 which was a lot of fun!

  5. littlecity says:

    This is a great list. Have a pint at the Cheshire Cheese on Fleet St. It’s over 300 years old. Impossible not to think about everyone else who’s drunk there before you! It’s only five minutes’ walk from your #7, St Paul’s (where you should go with a friend to the Whispering Gallery).

  6. richardjulian says:

    You should definitely try traditional pie and mash – there’s a place in Tooting and one in Petticoat Lane market which is also a great place to visit! You should also sample all the different traditional ales Britain has to offer – you’ll never anything like them anywhere else in the World! The Bree Louise and Somers Town Coffee House in Euston are both worthy of a visit but any traditional pub centrally located will suffice – ask the barman if you can sample some first! If you’re heading up to Yorkshire, I can also heartily recommend visiting the Peak District in Derbyshire, often overlooked by tourists but a stunning place with friendly people. Enjoy!

    • Lisa says:

      Oh yes, I will DEFINITELY be trying a traditional pie and mash, and ales! Thanks for these great suggestions – adding them all to my bucket list!

  7. earthtojadeblog2 says:

    You’ve got a great, rounded out list here! I’d add the Brockley Markets in as well, great place for Saturday brunch and not too far to walk from Lewisham DLR station.

  8. Selene says:

    I am so incredibly jealous that you are moving to London! I lived there for 6 months while studying abroad and I ache to go back! What I would recommend to add your already impressive list is:
    – (Window) Shopping: Selfridges (the original department store in London), Liberty, and all the shops along Regent’s Street (between Oxford Street and Leicester Square), Fortnum and Masons (the tea provider for the royal family. The store is like a huge lovely pantry)
    – Food: Sunday Roast, dim sum in Chinatown, Dishoom Bombay Cafe in Soho (affordable, beautiful, and delicious), the Duck and Waffle (located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower)
    – Entertainment: WEST END SHOWS! Ballet, Opera, Harry Potter Studio Tour, etc.
    – Spots: King’s Cross Station, St. Pancreas Hotel (right next door. “Wannabe” from the Spice Girls was filmed there, as well as Downton Abbey), walk around the Financial District/Leadenhall Market (it’s like walking through Diagon Alley)
    – Feeling Fancy: attend an evening art gallery show at Whitechapel, dine at one of the many Michelin-rated restaurants
    I hope all goes well with your transition to London! I know that you will never be bored!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks! I have actually participated in a few Hasher runs/events when I was living in West Africa and Nepal. Excited to hear that there are groups in the UK too!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for the tips! This tea tour bus sounds perfect to me 🍰! I’m planning to do your “what to see in London” weekend itinerary in the spring!

  9. Tania says:

    Congratulations on your Visa. I’m from Wales in the UK but I was stupidly excited to move to London. I can also sympathies with having to tell the family you’re leaving. I’m living in Korea now and my family has really come around to the idea. Skype is the greatest invention of all time.
    When I was in London I loved the Covent Garden flower market. You have to go early but it’s worth it. I wrote a silly post about things here…
    GOOD LUCK and can’t wait to read about your adventures 😀

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