Best things to do in London on a lovely Sunday

2 January 2021 Off By Preeti Asri

Blessed are we since we can enjoy Sunday, the only day of the week when we can truly experience some time to ourselves. Well this is not a quote by any luminary or poet but rather a self-created one! Wouldn’t you agree though that it talks of a basic feeling common to us all? The best day of the week, Sunday and a typical routine of breakfast in bed and possibly a lazy day cozying up to Netflix with an incoming food order completing the picture.

That’s where we’re hell bent on giving you a nudge since a lovely Sunday is essentially an invitation for you to make the most of the diverse attractions that the Capital has to offer while keeping the family engaged happily in the last few hours prior to the start of another dull working week! From jaunts covering Hyde Park to unleashing your bargaining powers at flea markets, there’s a lot in store for Londoners on calm and picturesque Sundays. Feeling outdoorsy already but stuck for things to do on a Sunday in London? Check out our list of recommendations below.

Things to do in London on Sunday- Your handy to-do list 

London has its own set of charms and some contemporary marvels too. Here are some of the best things to do in London this weekend (provided you break out of your stupor that is!). 

Checking out fantastic virtual tours 

There are a plethora of virtual tours available for Londoners and tourists alike including the likes of the smashing Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ Virtual Tour. Infuse some much-needed Harry Potter magic into your life with the exclusive exhibit unfurled by the National History Museum. Magical creatures from the fascinating world created by JK Rowling finally surface at this virtual exhibition in tandem with real-world artefacts and specimens from the collection housed at the Museum as well. This is one apt experience for those lazy Sunday afternoons. 

Walking The Line 

For those looking to get out of their hotels in UK for a lovely stroll or two, you can always walk The Line (no, not literally!) which is right between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, while viewing majestic sculptures lovingly created by top artists alongside the waterways and docks dotting East London. The biggest sculpture quest will lead you roughly till 3 miles of pristine waterways including the River Lea and also the Royal Docks along with a chance to go straight over the hallowed Thames along the Emirates Air Line. Do remember that while the walking trails are absolutely free as they should be, completing the whole circuit in a day’s time will require a little extra for the DLR jaunt and cable car ride alike. 

Digging into London’s best Sunday brunches

Once you’ve satisfied your queries regarding are hotels open in UK and have booked yourself a nice place to stay in the Capital, you should look to savor a hearty and welcoming brunch in London on a Sunday. Enjoy your leisurely sip and bite amidst tranquil surroundings at establishments like Peggy Porschen or even Palm Vaults which offers yummy vegan cakes along with delightfully pink lattes. 

Both places will give you ample motivation to fire up that Insta again while the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings are where you’ll find classic pancakes and poached eggs within a verdant plant laced conservatory while Balthazar is for the hoi-polloi of the city with its sophisticated vibe. Riding House Café at Fitzrovia is a casual marvel worth checking out while Senor Ceviche or Breddos Tacos are ideal for those looking for a more vibrant and buzzing Latin mix. Duck & Waffles has the best view and so does Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden while Sea Containers will leave you mesmerized with its beautiful riverside views as well. 

Go bargain hunting at London street markets 

There are several vibrant street markets that you can readily access from top UK hotels in London. Sunday markets are truly worth venturing out on lazy weekends including the beautiful Columbia Road Flower Market where you can pick up some beautiful flowers. Leaf through classic and vintage books at the Southbank Center Market or even check out the bustling arena at the Greenwich Market. You can also chance upon some vintage picks at the Brick Lane Market while lovers of art and design should check out the Covent Garden Market which is a treasure trove for chancing upon delightful gifts, prints and handcrafted jewelry alike. 

Give the kids an unforgettable family outing

Create special memories by taking the kids out on a charming Sunday in London. Get a sightseeing pass for a hassle-free Sunday sojourn that covers all the attractions they ever wanted to visit! Take your brood to lovely London zones situated outside of Zone 1 which has its own share of quirky and innovative attractions while they can take a raft of pictures at spots including the Tower Bridge glass walkway (watch out if you have vertigo!) and even the quaint Piccadilly Circus which is forever-buzzing and also the Leake Street Arches nestled at South Bank. There are tons of fun activities in store with your children that you can indulge in. After all, that’s what Sundays are for right? 

London waterways to the rescue

If you’re not up for anything major, simply soak up the fun alongside some of London’s prettiest waterways from Richmond to the west till Greenwich to the east. There are several riverside pubs for that occasional pint or too if you wish as well. Treat yourself to the exhilaration of stand-up paddle-boarding for gorgeous canal views all around Paddington while relaxing on a charming river cruise thereafter. 

Speedboat rides are all about knee-jerk excitement and the ruffling wind in your hair while quieter travelers may consider a walk beside Regent’s Canal right between Camden Town and Little Venice with multiple spots for photo-ops and lovely hangouts worth finding out. 

Make it a culturally uplifting Sunday

Call yourself a true blue cultural connoisseur? Go on a nostalgia inducing journey at The Cartoon Museum or simply derive more inspiration at the lovely Photographers’ Gallery which should find a place in your photo feed without a doubt! Satiate your intellectual curiosity by digging deeper into the Roman history of London while you’re at the London Mithraeum or simply track the city’s course till the modern ages at the Museum of London. If you have little ones accompanying you, simply give them a treat of a lifetime at the London Transport Museum with iconic buses for company or a tete-a-tete with dinosaurs at the London Natural History Museum. In fact, Cutty Sark is where you can all indulge in some pretty intense adventures underneath the massive masts as well! 

Gobbling up a fantastic Sunday-special lunch

Sunday roast is a London tradition that you dare not break (if your tummy really needs some me-time and love!). For the ultimate experience for gastronomes, head to Simpson’s in the Strand or even to the iconic Ritz where carvers dish out tantalizing beef pieces onto plates from accompanying trolleys while The Guinea Grill at Mayfair is all about classic old-school London lunches on Sundays. 

Looking for something more casual? How about a log fire and snuggly vibe? Try The Holly Bush at Hampstead Heath for a wonderful ambience or even Blacklock Soho for the tempting meats on offer. Covent Garden based Cora Pearl is where you’ll have musical performances thrown into the mix while the same can be said for Boisdale Canary Wharf. You can even choose to while away your Sunday noon with delectable dim sums for company at top Chinese restaurants including Hakkasan, Ping Pong and even the 100+ dumpling collection boasted by Orient London. Cantonese cuisine also truly comes alive at Weekend Yum Cha at the Chinatown-based Yauatacha.

View some crazy entertainment with the best Sunday performances

A West End show is arguably the best way to bring the curtains on a lovely and relaxing weekend. Choose from the best London shows and musicals for a wonderful Sunday night in the Capital. You can also choose from a plethora of live entertainment options including The Comedy Store for those much-needed gags and laughs, pulsating live music at The Blues Kitchen or simply some laidback music venues for watching emerging performers and bands in action. Film buffs may perch themselves into plush and snuggly armchairs at Electric Cinema, Regent Street Cinema or BFI Southbank for catching a movie or two. 

Best free activities to do in London on Sundays

While the best things in life may not always be free, there are sure plenty of them in London that you can check out on your next Sunday. 

Now that you know of some great ways to spend your Sunday in London, it’s time you check out UK hotels and plan out your itinerary with your family in tow! Of course, there are several other attractions that you can always take a closer look at including the likes of the Borough Market which is Britain’s most popular food market and also the Maltby Street Market that opens between 11 AM and 4 PM on Sundays. You’ll love the Ropewalk railway arches and bevy of startup vendors and traders here. Kids will love a trip to SEA LIFE in London where they can explore several marine creatures in what promises to be a jaw-dropping experience by all means. 

  • Thames Mudlarking – In case you’re wondering what the term actually means, it actually refers to looking out for trinkets along the banks of the river Thames and is actually a popular activity (call that a sport- no we’re kidding!) with the locals and tourists alike. In fact, as the history books will tell you, this was taken as a profession in London till the early 20th century and is still a wonderful hobby to have on Sundays whenever the river is at low tide. Mudlarking along the shores of the Thames is how you can spend a delightful Sunday afternoon if you wish! 
  • Museum Hopping – Art is something of a cherished passion for Londoners and you’ll be pleased to know that almost all national UK museums here have free entry for visitors on all days of the week. The Museum of London will leave you spellbound with its fascinating exhibitions covering music, history and a lot more while the accompanying Postman’s Park public garden is a must-stop on your museum trail. Head to the big trinity of museums in London including the globally acclaimed Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the hallowed Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). You’ll come back feeling greatly enriched for sure. 
  • The Changing of the Guard – An age-old tradition that draws visitors in droves even today, the Changing of the Queen’s Guard has been inextricably linked with the royal family’s life ever since the year 1665 and the tradition continued even when Queen Victoria shifted here to Buckingham Palace back in the year 1837. The official ceremonies are accompanied mostly by delightful music and take place on Sundays although you should check the schedule beforehand for holidays or inclement weather. If you’re in the zone already, watch out for the everyday Four O’Clock Parade, the dismounting ceremony held at the famous Horse Guards building. 
  • Outdoor Garden Delights – London is truly what we call a green city and you can spend your Sunday relaxing at the Kensington Roof Gardens that were set up in the 1930s and offers lovely themed gardens atop a leading department store. You can visit one of the numerous royal parks in London including the 57 acre gargantuan St. James’s Park which is filled with colorful blooms or even the Primrose Hill in north London which comes with a delightful view of its own. Succumb to the charms of the secret garden Hampstead Heath with its pergola going up to 800 feet in terms of length while southwest London has its own charming Kew Gardens for visitors to enjoy. 
  • Southbank walks – Taking a walk is often the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon or evening, particularly after you’ve just wolfed down a meal of epic proportions! Walk alongside Southbank, the entertainment and cultural hub alongside the Thames River in the very heart of London. You can view several attractions on the way including the National Poetry Library, Southbank Center performance spots and the iconic Tate Modern Museum while the BFI Southbank Mediatheque is a short but stimulating respite from the eccentricities of the weather gods, particularly for its amazing collection of movie archives. Not too bad for a little Sunday walking odyssey right? 
  • Flea Market Shopping – London has flea markets sprouting up in even the unlikeliest of places on Sundays although the Hackney Flea Market at Stoke Newington’s Church Street is a must-visit. Hunt for vintage fabrics, jewelry and even furniture here at fabulous bargains. You’ll be rather surprised to know that some items here may date back several hundreds of years as well! 
  • London Street Art Trails – If you literally have an eye or nose for art, hop onto a London street art trail where you’ll discover beautiful pieces of art on several major thoroughfares. You can soak in the vibrant and culturally stimulating ambience courtesy the walls which are consistently painted and then repainted by top artists from across the globe. In fact, the beauty of London is that you’ll rarely find the same street art piece twice at the same place at intervals! Venture through East London hubs like Shoreditch and even places like Sclater Street, Middlesex Street or Brick Lane for an incredible experience by all means! 

Pub hoppers will love some of the most charming and oldest joints in the city which open on Sundays including Ye Olde Mitre, Nell of Old Drury and even Prospect of Whitby while cooler and newer ones include The Rake, The Dove and Cask and Glass among others. If afternoon tea and not a pub crawl is what makes your Sunday come alive, savor the same in style when in London, complete with scones, smaller sandwiches, champagne and tea of course! 

Ronnie Scott’s is a jazzy lunch spot on Sundays with nice music for company while spending a quiet time in London is also an option (considering the ever-busy streets and thoroughfares on weekdays). Venture to Liverpool Street and the Old Spitalfields Market while rounding it off with a drink at the West India Quay as well. No matter what you opt for, you’ll be the first one to agree afterwards that London simply has the best Sunday scene ever! Here’s to a glorious upcoming Sunday of your own! 

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