Hen do sightseeing: London's top 20 attractions

Explore London’s must-see attractions on your hen do

London is world renowned for its amazing attractions, must-see sights and spectacular landmarks. So, if you’re on aLondon hen weekendand have a little extra time, make sure to explore some of these unforgettable places.

Brick Lane London **editorial**

Brick Lane

Brick Lane is an area full of vibrant sights and sounds. It’s a place rich with a diverse history of settlers. In the north of Brick Lane, there’s a mix of vintage shops, street food, street art and market stalls in the Old Truman Brewery. The southern half of the street is known for its curry and Balti dishes. It’s also a great place to try traditional Jewish beigels.

Nearest station: Aldgate East

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Buckingham Palace London attraction

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen, is a must-see sight. It’s one of the few working royal palaces in the world. Every day at 11.00am is the changing of the guards, a quintessentially British display, so be sure to get there early to avoid missing out.

Nearest stations: Green Park and St James’s Park

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Camden Market **editorial**

Camden Market

With millions of visitors each year, Camden Market is a popular spot to find all things quirky. Stretching across several markets, it’s home to vintage fashion, fascinating artwork, handmade jewellery, artsy craft stalls and more. It even still has its original alternative atmosphere where you can pick up band T-shirts and futuristic clubwear. Be sure to stop for a bite; the delicious street food is some of the best in London.

Nearest stations: Camden Town and Chalk Farm

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*EDITORIAL USE ONLY* Carnaby Street London

Carnaby Street

Under the iconic arch of Carnaby Street is a world-famous fashion destination. British brands, concept stores, flagship stores for top beauty brands like MAC and Too Faced and one-off pop-ups make it an innovative place to experience London’s fashion culture. Food is a big part of Carnaby Street too, with more than 60 independent restaurants, bars and cafes serving food from around the world. Try Kingly Court for a three-storey, delicious dining experience.

Nearest station: Oxford Circus

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**editorial** China Town London

Chinatown

Not-so-hidden between Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue is Chinatown, home to a vibrant Chinese community. Get a taste of the Far East with traditional Chinese gates - paifang, sculptures and colourful lanterns. There’s everything from the popular restaurants and bakeries to souvenir shops selling little trinkets and gifts like the lucky maneki-neko (beckoning cat).

Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus

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Covent Garden Market **editorial**

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market is an iconic London landmark known for its fun street performers and surrounding designer stores. The Apple Market is filled with crafts and lovingly handmade jewellery, prints and watercolours. Over in the East Colonnade Market, there are fragrant artisan soaps, jewellery, handbags and sweet treats. For gifts and trinkets, try the Jubilee Market across the piazza.

Nearest station: Covent Garden

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**editorial** Hamleys london

Hamleys

Britain’s most famous and loved toy shop, Hamleys, has existed since 1760 making it also the oldest. Its home on Regent Street has more than 50,000 toys and seven fun-filled floors of games, plush toys, the latest gadgets and more, so it’s no surprise that it’s the world’s largest toy store. There are plenty of hands-on demonstrations making it entertaining for adults and kids alike.

Nearest station: Oxford Circus

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Hampstead Heath London

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a huge, 800-acre park, a favourite among Londoners with some of the best sweeping views of the city. With rolling hills, dense woodlands, lovely meadows and the landscaped grounds of Kenwood, it’s easy to get lost in nature, but that’s part of the experience. Explore vibrant wildlife with over 180 species of bird, 23 species of butterflies, grass snakes, bats and a diverse array of plants and flowers.

Nearest station: Hampstead

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Harrods London **editorial**

Harrods

Harrods is a huge department store at the height of luxury retail. With seven floors and 330 departments, you could easily spend a whole day here, overwhelmed by choice. It’s stylish yet outrageously over-the-top in the best way, from the dress code to the impressive toy department and selection of designer labels. The world-famous food hall is the real star of the show; it’s filled with extravagant delicacies.

Nearest station: Knightsbridge

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Houses of parliament, London

Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as the Houses of Parliament, is where parliament regularly meets. It’s split into the green House of Commons and the red House of Lords, which is home to the ornate and elaborate Sovereign’s Throne. Westminster Hall is the oldest part, a magnificent medieval hall with a huge oak roof, which is where Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty.

Nearest station: Westminster

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Hyde Park London

Hyde Park

Set in the heart of London is its most well-known park, Hyde Park. It’s a relaxing, green open space, perfect for a stroll or a picnic. Throughout the year there are tons of events including sports, summer concerts, film nights and the annual Winter Wonderland. The Serpentine is London’s oldest boating lake, with row and paddle boats available for hire and even an area for swimming, should you feel brave enough.

Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner

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Leicester Square London **editorial**

Leicester Square

The beating heart of the West End, Leicester Square is the capital’s number one entertainment destination. Known for its big cinemas and theatres, it attracts Hollywood’s finest to walk the red carpet. It’s filled with glamorous, world-class nightclubs, restaurants and casinos. Talented buskers entertain crowds of tourists and locals alike across the atmospheric open plan square.

Nearest station: Leicester Square

London Eye

London Eye

Hop aboard the largest Ferris wheel in Europe: the iconic London Eye. At an impressive 443 ft tall, you can enjoy unforgettable views of 25 miles in every direction. Take in London’s skyline and experience the unique landmarks like never before.

Nearest stations: Waterloo and Westminster

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Piccadilly Circus London

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s busiest destinations, known for its flashing, bright billboards, not unlike New York’s iconic Times Square. It’s the gateway to the West End with plenty of shops and theatres to keep you entertained. See it at night when the area really comes to life, transforming into a buzzing nightlife spot.

Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus

The Shard - London
The Shard - London

The Shard

The Shard is the UK’s tallest building, instantly becoming a London icon after its opening in 2009. The stunning glass-clad tower has 95 floors, some of these being chic restaurants and others viewing platforms. Book ahead and you can enjoy a glass of bubbly while talking in the views - from landmarks like the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.

Nearest station: London Bridge

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Millennium Bridge - St Paul

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral has been one of London’s most majestic buildings since 1675. Climb 257 steps to the incredible Whispering Gallery, where, if you whisper along the wall, someone more than 32m away will be able to hear you. Climb even higher to find the outdoor Stone Gallery and Golden Gallery, both with breathtaking views of the capital.

Nearest stations: St Paul's and Mansion House

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Tate modern London

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is home to modern and contemporary art from around the world. Housed in the old Bankside Power Station, you’ll find the vast Turbine Hall, where big installations are held. There’s everything from interactive installations to works including Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.

Nearest stations: London Bridge and Southwark

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Gherkin The City London

The Gherkin

The Gherkin, officially named 30 St. Mary Axe, became a popular addition to London’s skyline back in 2003 with its unique design. Despite its glass spiral structure, there’s actually only one piece of curved glass at the very top making it fascinating to look at. It’s a working office building, so you can’t go up, but there is a ground floor restaurant and every Thursday KERB’s street food vendors set up here.

Nearest stations: Aldgate, Liverpool Street and Bank

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**editorial** Walkie Talkie London

Walkie Talkie

The City’s sixth tallest building, 20 Fenchurch Street, was nicknamed the Walkie Talkie building by unimpressed Londoners after its distinctive shape. When it was first built, it was discovered that its reflective windows were melting the bodywork of cars below, earning it quite a reputation. Now, it’s known for the Sky Garden, the observation deck on its top floor.

Nearest stations: Monument and Bank

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Westminster Abbey London

Westminster Abbey

Westminster is a beautiful Gothic church that has been the grand setting for everything from coronations to the royal wedding of Kate and William. It’s also the final resting place of many royals as well as influential scientists: Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and, more recently, Stephen Hawking. It’s still a working place of worship with regular services.

Nearest station: Westminster

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Sightseeing is just one idea for an unforgettable hen do. There’s so much more to see and do, so make sure to check out moreLondon weekend ideasto really make the most of yourhen weekend. Whatever you choose to do and see in the city, London is the perfect backdrop.