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What to see & do in London? And eat gluten free.

Going to London for 3 days in April. We have hotel booked. Staying in Fitzrovia district. What should we absolutely must do? Unfortunately, I have to eat gluten free, do any tips on where to eat is welcomed! And finally, where else should we go in England?

7 Answers

answered by
Mary from Leicester

There's a huge awareness of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance in the United Kingdom so you'll find gluten-free (and vegetarian and, increasingly often, vegan) options on almost every restaurant and cafe menu (plus allergy information) from the Wetherspoon's pub chain through ordinary pubs and casual restaurants to national restaurant chains and the more upmarket restaurants. London, inevitably, has a particularly huge range of eating places. Here are a couple of lists of the 'best' gluten-free places to eat in London:

By the way, you'll also find gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options for e.g. sandwiches, snacks etc in large supermarkets (no need to pay Harrods or Selfridges prices unless you want to!), cafe chains such as Costa and Pret a Manger and in many independent cafes too. 

As for 'absolute musts', it really does depend on what your interests are. I'd agree with Courtney's list below but also add Westminster Abbey (pricey but essential if you're into history...attending services is free and Choral Evensong is a wonderful experience even if you're not a believer), Buckingham Palace (from the outside), Horse Guards Parade on Whitehall (the mounted soldiers who stand on guard?), the London Eye (seems to be very popular with visitors!), Tower Bridge (the one which opens up, with the towers), the Tate Modern and/or the National Portrait Gallery if you're into art, the Museum of London if you want to know how the city grew from prehistory onwards,  maybe a West End show....

I'll shut up now. :-)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. United Kingdom (country)
  2. London (city)
  3. Westminster Abbey (attraction)
  4. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
  5. Horse Guards Parade (attraction)
  6. London Eye (attraction)
  7. Tower Bridge (attraction)
  8. Tate Modern (attraction)
  9. National Portrait Gallery (attraction)
  10. Museum of London (attraction)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Claudia from New York City

Here are more to add on to the list:

1. Borough Market - for the history, food and coffee (coffee at Monmouth Coffee).

2. Fortnum & Mason gift and specialty shop.

3. Kensington Palace.

4. Gluten-free Afternoon Tea at Ting Shangri-la at The Shard. You get fantastic views of London.

5. Night tour with See London by Night

6. National Gallery in Trafalgar Square

7. A day trip to the Cotswolds including towns like Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-water and Stow-on-the Wold with Premium Tours

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Borough Market (attraction)
  2. Fortnum & Mason (attraction)
  3. Kensington Palace (attraction)
  4. The Shard (attraction)
  5. National Gallery (attraction)
  6. Burford (city)
  7. Bibury (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

Of course the absolute must dos vary depending on interest but I've taken a bunch of people for their 1st trips and I always seem to include the Tower Of London.  From there it depends on who I'm with but you can't go wrong with the British Museum (Stop OA), the Victoria & Albert Museum, or the National Gallery which are all free to visit and top notch.  If you enjoy markets and are there on the weekends, have a look at Camden Market or Portobello Rd.  You can't go in Buckingham Palace in April but you should at least wander by for a look.  Big Ben may still be under construction but the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are other places you might at least wander by.

I always see a west end show or two, you can even get cheap tickets day of if you stop by the tkts booth in Leicester Square if you don't need a specific show.

When you say you want to go to other places in England, is this in addition to the 3 days in London?  With only 3 days, you'll find enough in London to keep you busy.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tower Of London (attraction)
  2. British Museum (Stop OA) (attraction)
  3. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
  4. National Gallery (attraction)
  5. Camden Market (restaurant)
  6. Portobello Rd (attraction)
  7. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
  8. Houses of Parliament (attraction)
  9. Westminster Abbey (attraction)
  10. tkts (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Hi, Veronica,

It's hard to know what to tell you to do without knowing what you like to do, but here are a few favorites I just offered someone else with a similar question. 

The British Museum - I could spend months here but if you do nothing else, stop in to see the Rosetta Stone. It'll leave you speechless.

Kensington Palace Gardens- they always have one or two great exhibits here no matter what interests you. 

Tower Of London - if you're into British history even a little bit you will love this place. If you're not, I would skip it as the admission is steep. 

Hyde Park- it'll be stunning at that time of year. 

Piccadilly Arcade - if you like shopping you will love this little covered arcade. So, so cute with some really classic brands. I'd try to see it before Starbuck's moves in. 

Natural History Museum - this is generally not my thing but I love this place.

Victoria & Albert Museum - worth going if only for the cafe. If you have any interest in design whatsoever you must go. 

Design Museum - same reason. And TONS of great restaurants around this area.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - oldest pub in London and it feels like it. I don't know about gluten-free food here but they do have some dishes that I think will be OK (like poached salmon). 

I have heard about one gluten-free restaurant from a friend who lives there and has this issue but I haven't actually been. It's called LEGGERO .

I was thinking you might also try Harrods Food Halls since there will be a lot of options. I actually kind of like the food hall at Selfridges but I have a feeling I'm in the minority. 

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The British Museum (attraction)
  2. Kensington Palace Gardens (attraction)
  3. Tower Of London (attraction)
  4. Hyde Park (attraction)
  5. Piccadilly Arcade (attraction)
  6. Natural History Museum (attraction)
  7. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
  8. Design Museum (attraction)
  9. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (restaurant)
  10. LEGGERO (restaurant)
  11. Harrods Food Halls (restaurant)
  12. Selfridges (attraction)
1 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Laurie from Santa Monica

Dunno about gluten-free, but Camden Market has tons of vegan dining options. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Camden Market (restaurant)

answered by
Laurie from Santa Monica

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Beyond Bread (restaurant)

answered by
Kit from Chicago

I put together this extensive list of over 150 things to do in London - Hopefully this will help you plan.

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