8 Unrushed & Relaxing Things to Do in London, United Kingdom

There’s much ado, but we just want the sweet, sweet nothings! In all its metropolitan bustle, here are the most relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom.

Friends enjoying drinks at a rooftop bar.

We’ve all heard of the horror stories: a vacation in a city is quite far from relaxing. Of course, London is no exception, what with its myriad of places to see, things to experience, tchotchkes to buy, et cetera. But don’t let a jam-packed itinerary keep you from the mental benefits of a well-deserved break. 

Despite all its urban bustle, there are actually a good number of relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom:

1. Visit One of the Many Parks

London boasts an abundance of green spaces, ensuring you’ll find a quiet corner to relax and enjoy nature. Hyde Park, one of the largest royal parks, is perfect for strolling, picnicking, and just unplugging. For those who appreciate beautiful open spaces and rose gardens, Regent’s Park offers both, along with the tranquil Queen Mary’s Gardens. Richmond Park, where deer roam freely, also provides great walking and cycling opportunities. 

2. Tuck Away into a Museum

Visiting museums on weekdays sans the crowds can truly transform into one of the most relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom. At the British Museum, you can explore world-famous artifacts in a grand, peaceful setting. The Natural History Museum, on the other hand, is perfect if you seek to marvel at gigantic dinosaur skeletons and wildlife dioramas. Then there’s the Victoria and Albert Museum, which showcases stunning art, design, and fashion exhibits for the discerning type. 

3. Secure a View at a Rooftop Bar

When the weather permits, rooftop bars also provide relaxing and scenic experiences, high above London’s bustling streets. Panoramic views await at Sushi Samba on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower. Meanwhile, Aqua Shard offers elegant cocktails on level 31 of The Shard skyscraper, providing visitors with stunning cityscapes. And for stylish views of the London Eye and Big Ben, do make your way to Radio Rooftop. 

A historical theater in London.

4. Get on the Water

You know what they say, when the streets become unbearably stressful, take to the waters. A leisurely cruise along the River Thames offers a new perspective on London’s iconic landmarks. And for a fun, relaxed outing, hire a pedal boat on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. Canoeing or kayaking on London’s canals and rivers offers tranquility and a unique way to explore the city. To take it a step further, you can also rent a boat home so you can always be close to the city’s scenic attractions.

5. Sit Down for Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea, enjoyed alone or with company, provides a peaceful respite and is one of the most relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom. Fortnum & Mason, The Wolseley, and The Ritz are among those renowned for their afternoon tea services. They offer dainty sandwiches, warm scones, and fancy pastries. So why not indulge in the age-old British tradition in a cozy tea room or elegant hotel lounge, while you’re at it. 

6. Watch a Play or Musical

You’re in London and not seeing a play? Don’t be outrageous. The National Theatre offers cutting-edge productions in a riverside setting, while Shakespeare’s Globe provides the chance to catch a play in a reconstructed Elizabethan theatre. The West End Theatres also host world-class musicals and dramas, if that’s more your thing. What we can attest to is that watching a play or musical provides a perfect escape into art and storytelling, so why not?

The walkable streets of London, UK.

7. Walk Around

With traffic being one of the main city stressors, it’s time to lace up your comfiest pair of walking shoes. The South Bank offers a scenic stroll with views of the Thames and the London Eye. Hampstead Village and Heath provide charming streets for those who want a more relaxed pace. There’s truly much to see in the capital, and you’ll certainly reduce your chances of discovering more hidden gems if you let everything zip right by!

8. Make It a Spa Day

You can’t go wrong with a spa day when it comes to relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom. ESPA Life at Corinthia provides a luxurious spa experience with a pool, sauna, and steam rooms. Similarly, tranquil treatments inspired by Chinese traditions await at Chuan Body + Soul. And for a holistic wellness retreat, Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre offers yoga, Pilates, and meditation classes to keep you calm and in shape. Do your weary bones a favor and make your vacation feel like one!

Find More Relaxing Things to Do in London, United Kingdom with ThisCityKnows

Even in one of the busiest cities in the world, relaxation is just around the corner. From serene parks to tranquil spas, there are plenty of relaxing things to do in London, United Kingdom. 

Let ThisCityKnows guide you to the most peaceful and rejuvenating experiences. 

Find your calm with ThisCityKnows today!

Patty O.
Author: Patty O.

A city girl through and through, Patty has always planned her adventures in and around urban areas. Through her travel writing, she aims to make a compelling case for the global city as a place of endless discovery and satisfaction. Her goal is to detail how urban exploration can fulfill the desires of anyone and everyone, from cultural and culinary adventurers to historical and supernatural enthusiasts.

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