A huge part of London’s appeal is that it has something for everyone and attractions for all tastes. By far the largest and most diverse city in the UK, London contains multitudes. However, such a wealth of delights can prove to be too much. Deciding where to stay, organising travel to each attraction, and trying to cram in all the sights, can be overwhelming. So to help you narrow it down, this article focuses on the must-visit attractions and experiences on the Piccadilly Line. That way, you can plan your accommodation and itinerary accordingly and make the most of your time in the UK’s capital city.
The Piccadilly Line is one of London’s most well-known, and it stops near some of the most famous sights in the city. So you can tick off those bucket list activities such as royalty spotting at Buckingham Palace, shopping at Covent Garden> and cycling around Hyde Park. But it can also take you to experiences that might not be on your radar, like strolling along Regents Canal, visiting the expansive grounds of Osterley Park or taking a trip back in time to the Postal Museum.
And who better to tell you all about these must-see spots than travellers who have been there before you? We’ve reached out to a selection of travel bloggers for first-hand accounts of their favourite attractions on the Piccadilly Line. They tell us the stories of their visits, what they loved, what they saw, and what you need to know before you go!
Covent Garden – magical all year round
One of the most famous stops on the Piccadilly Line is Covent Garden. It is home to the Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, and the oldest restaurant in London – Rules. However, it’s the Covent Garden Piazza and its market that attracts most of the visitors.
This world-famous market is a fantastic shopping spot where you can buy unique handmade artwork and one-off souvenirs. It’s also filled with amazing bars and restaurants catering to all tastes. You can try Japanese food in Sushisamba – a beautiful spot with great food in the heart of London, or sample delicious ice creams in Morelli’s Gelato.
I couldn’t miss a visit to Covent Garden with my partner in December because it is the most magical season of the year. We fall in love with the shops’ and restaurants’ winter ornaments and Apple Market decorations each year. Giant illuminated mistletoes, and one of the biggest Christmas trees in London, make Covent Garden a must-see place in winter – it’s one of our favourite things to do in London in winter.
However, whatever the month, the seasonal decorations in Covent Garden always take my breath away. The jaw-dropping festive decorations, impressive pumpkin displays in autumn and colourful flowers in spring make it one of the most Instagrammable spots in London all year round.
Recommended by Paulina from UK Every Day
Address: Covent Garden Piazza – Cranbourn Street, London, WC2H 7AR
Nearest Underground station: Covent Garden
Buckingham Palace – a royal delight
There is no question that one of the best attractions I’ve visited along the Piccadilly Line is the iconic Buckingham Palace. You may have heard of it!
Originally built in 1703 and adopted by Queen Victoria as the flagship building of the British monarchy in 1837 – Buckingham Palace is easily one of the most famous buildings in London. The Royal Family’s primary residence is easily accessible from either Hyde Park Corner or Green Park stations. Walk to the palace gates by following the wide street known as The Mall, the red surface of which was designed to give the appearance of a giant carpet leading up to the palace.
The best time to visit is definitely late morning. I timed it just right and had the opportunity to see the bizarre spectacle of the Changing of the Guards. This free event is classic English tradition at its most eccentric, and it takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11 am (and every day at 11 am in June and July). It spans three locations (Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks) and is not only a top Piccadilly Line attraction but one of the best sights in London too!
I’ve also visited Buckingham Palace during the summer, as this is the only chance the public has to tour some of the State Rooms and Gardens beyond the gates. I bought my ticket online in advance for £30, and I advise you to do the same because they get snapped up fast!
It’s also possible to buy Royal Day Out tickets from the Buckingham Palace website. They are slightly more expensive (which is why I didn’t opt for one), but this pass will give you a day to remember as it includes entrance to the Palace, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery.
Whichever ticket you opt for, there’s no doubt a visit to Buckingham Palace will go down in your history books!
Recommended by Steph Parker from Big World Small Pockets
Address: Buckingham Palace – London, SW1A 1AA
Nearest Underground station: Monument
Something for everyone at The British Museum
When planning my family’s epic England adventure, I knew that The British Museum was a must-see on my list. My husband and I went when we backpacked through Europe in college, and I wanted to return with my whole crew, including my three kids, my husband, and my parents.
The British Museum is a short stroll across Russell Square from Russell Square Station, off the Piccadilly Line. We arrived when it opened at 10:00am and entered through the back of the museum off Montague Place. We stopped for a selfie with the massive Easter Island head and continued into the Great Court, which is simply enchanting. The space is open and cloud-like, with clean lines, white stone, and an incredible glass ceiling.
I could have spent all day just wandering the museum, but I knew my children would not. Luckily, the museum understands this and offers scavenger hunt guides for children. So we picked up the Museum Explorers Ancient Greeks and Egypt guides, and off we went.
My fourteen-year-old passed on the guide but wandered the halls happily with his grandparents, while my eleven-year-old completed one at his own pace. My six-year-old and I had a great time finding the animals on terra-cotta pottery and posing like Greek goddesses. We examined the Rosetta Stone and the Sutton Hoo helmet, but we all agreed that our favourite rooms of the British Museum were tucked away on the Upper Floor: the Money Room and the Clock Room.
The Money Room, room 68, shows the evolution of money throughout time. The Clocks and Watches display, rooms 38-39, holds beautifully crafted timepieces from as early as the 1500s up to the "antiquated" (according to my 11-year-old) digital alarm clock. We were all mesmerised by the Congreve rolling ball clock, which has a zigzag track on which a ball rolls to regulate time instead of a pendulum. My kids saw it as a cool marble run creation, which I love.
The British Museum did not disappoint in sparking curiosity and wonder for our multigenerational family experience.
Recommended by Kyleen Bontrager from The Bonnie Traveler
Address: The British Museum – Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Nearest Underground station: Westminster
Push your trolley onto Platform 9¾
As every Harry Potter fan knows, the Hogwarts Express leaves from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. And, even if you’re a Muggle, it’s possible to visit it – although, sadly, you might not be able to magic your way onto the train.
Unlike the platform in the book, which is accessed by walking quickly through the wall between platforms 9 and 10 – the more muggle-friendly version can be found next to The Harry Potter Shop at the Northern end of King’s Cross Station.
The location is clearly marked on Google Maps, and anyone can visit and take photos with the trolley, frozen midway through the station wall. This is open whenever the station is, and you can line up and have a friend take your photo at any time.
However, if you want to pose with props like a wand or the scarf of your favourite Hogwarts house or have one of the staff take your picture, you’ll need to come when the shop is open and pay for a photo slot. I didn’t know this bit and was travelling solo, which is why there’s no picture of me leaping around in my best robes!
Once you’ve had your picture taken, why not jump back on the Piccadilly Line and have a glass of Butter Beer at the Harry Potter bar in Covent Garden? Or, see the Harry Potter statue in Leicester Square?
Recommended by Helen from Differentville
Address: Platform 9¾ – Ground Floor, King’s Cross Station, Euston Road, N1 9AP
Nearest Underground station: King’s Cross St Pancras
Stroll along Regents Canal Towpath from King’s Cross to Camden Town
King’s Cross is a busy stop on the Piccadilly Line, well known for being a major hub of travel, entertainment, food and leisure. But visitors may not know that it’s also the start of a lovely walk along the Regent’s Canal to Camden Town.
Any good London itinerary should include some of the many incredible off-the-beaten-path walks the city has to offer. These trails lead you away from the famous sights, modern skyscrapers and museums to show you the real face of London and its inhabitants.
I walk this path usually on the reverse with my husband and our six years old twins, as I live closer to Camden, but it works even better starting from King’s Cross.
After leaving the station and reaching the Regent’s Canal, cross the bridge, and you will arrive in one of the newest – or at least most recently developed – areas of the capital. Originally used to store goods, this area was largely abandoned and left to degrade after World War II. It became a part of the rave party scene in the 80s before money was invested in the 90s to bring out the area’s potential. Much construction is still going on, but the area is now full of shops, gathering spaces and activities.
After the bridge, you will arrive at Granary Square, enjoy the magnificent space, play in the water fountains (perfect for the kids), and then explore, shop and drink in Coal Drops Yard. If you’d like some recommendations – Coal Office, Casa Pastore, and Dishoom are my absolute favourite stops for food!
Then, head up to the beautiful elevated garden, expertly crafted along the canal over the old railway viaduct. As you walk, enjoy the scenery, the pace and the colour. Stop for pictures under the giant ex-gasholders now converted into flats or beside the vibrant houseboats you’ll see along the way.
This walk will take around 45 to 60 minutes and culminates in the newest, refurbished part of Camden Town. An area filled with options for tasty food and refreshing drinks in case you need a break to refuel.
Recommended by Clotilde from A Princess Travelling with Twins
Address: Granary Square – Good’s Way, London, N1C 4DP
Nearest Underground station: King’s Cross St Pancras
Take a tour of Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the most well-known urban parks in the world and has great significance in London’s culture and history. The park was opened in 1536 by Henry VIII when he took the land from Westminster Abbey and used it as a hunting ground. As the city developed, the park retained its prime location, surrounded by upscale districts like Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair, and Paddington.
Today, it is a wonderful location for Londoners and tourists to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Visitors can take a walk, ride a bike, have a picnic, row a boat, and so much more.
Since my friends were visiting London and only had one day, I decided to plan a biking tour to explore all the highlights in Hyde Park and nearby places. We rented Santander bikes at the park’s Lancaster Gate and began our tour at the Italian Gardens. We took a loop around the park and were pleasantly surprised by the number of attractions, landmarks and photo-taking spots we passed.
We headed to Kensington Palace and admired the impressive architecture of the Palace Pavilion. Next, we passed the Serpentine, the park’s largest lake on which it’s possible to row boats, although we didn’t on that mid-July day. Instead, we took a stroll along the trails around the water and took pictures at Serpentine North Gallery.
Exiting at the Albert Memorial, we were ideally situated to continue our trip at the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum). The site is only a few hundred metres away, and it’s a world-renowned art museum with an impressive decorative art collection.
Recommended by K from Knycx Journeying
Address: Hyde Park – London, W2 2UH
Nearest Underground station: Hyde Park Corner
Postal Museum and Railway – a trip back in time
Why is England the only country in the world that doesn’t list its country on a stamp? How was the mail delivered to the soldiers in the trenches in WWI? Did the posties deliver even during the Blitz of London? These and many more questions can be answered during a visit to the Postal Museum.
The Postal Museum and Railway offers a fascinating glimpse into London’s history. The museum contains some wonderful stories and legends about mail delivery errors, the Great Train Robbery and even Titanic stories. Plus, you can take a journey back in time with a trip on the Mail Rail, a driverless tube train that used to carry the mail under London.
The Museum follows a timeline which covers nearly 500 years of the postal service, which the Museum calls the "first social network", a brilliant tagline!
When you enter, you’ll see interactive displays of uniforms and the types of transportation used to deliver the mail. There are some remarkable mail carriages and vehicles dating back to when the service first began up until the War era.
Then, across the road from the main museum, is Mail Rail. You head downstairs to the tunnels, where you board the tube train. I admit to being a tad claustrophobic, so I was unsure about this part. However, the images projected onto the old tunnel walls gave us a wonderful historic view of the Royal Mail and what the workers had to endure throughout the Victorian age and WWII. So, I am glad I braved the trip and would recommend the experience.
The Postal Museum has fun zones for kids where they can dress up, make their own stamps and even learn about Morse Code. Plus, there’s a cafe and gift shop where you can pick up some unusual gifts to take home with you.
Recommended by Faith from XYUandBEYOND
Address: Postal Museum and Railway – 15 – 20 Phoenix Place, London, WC1X 0DA
Nearest Underground station:Russell Square and King’s Cross St Pancras, Farringdon (Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan lines) Chancery Lane (Central Line).
Feed your curiosity at the Science Museum
London’s Science Museum has been thrilling curious-minded visitors of all ages since it opened its doors in 1857. It’s certainly been a favourite haunt of my son’s since our first visit when he was five.
Located in leafy South Kensington, The Science Museum is easily accessed via the Piccadilly Line. It’s on Exhibition Road, only moments from the South Kensington Underground station. And it sits near both the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, so you can make an educational day of it!
Visitors enter the Energy Hall on the ground floor, where they have a chance to see historic steam engines from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Exploring Space is full of rockets telling the story of space exploration, while in Making the Modern World, you’ll find "Puffing Billy" the steam locomotive, the command module from the Apollo 10 space mission, and Watson and Crick’s famous double helix.
Exploring further, you’ll find the Medicine Gallery and the Secret Life of the Home, or you might prefer to discover the intricate Clockmakers Museum or the fascinating Information Age, which traces the development of computing and communications.
While the Science Museum is free to visit, visitors are encouraged to make a donation to help with costs. Expect to spend around two hours exploring the museum galleries, although you could easily spend longer, especially if you visit some of the paid exhibits.
The best time to visit is early! Aim to be at the door on the dot of 10am, so you can explore before the crowds arrive. After your visit, there are plenty of handy eateries nearby, with the rather splendid Honest Burgers on your way back to the tube station.
Recommended by Coralie Thornton from Grey Globetrotters
Address: Science Museum – Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD
Nearest Underground station: South Kensington
Osterley Park – expansive grounds and grand architecture
Osterley Park is a ten-minute walk from the Osterley tube station on the Piccadilly Line. This beautiful park holds a special place in my heart and makes a wonderful day out in West London.
Once you leave the busy A4 road and walk through what was once Osterley village, you will feel as if you have left London behind. Osterley Park, with its huge expanse of green and the grand stately home at its heart, is a hidden gem in Greater London. Most of the estate is owned by the National Trust, so there are fees to enter the house and part of the grounds. However, the free-to-use grounds are beautiful and much loved by tourists and locals alike.
On entering the park gates, visitors walk up a long tree-lined avenue which leads to Osterley Park Lake, a favourite spot for families to feed the ducks and swans. Bordering the lake is Osterley House, originally built in the 1570’s and extensively remodelled in the 1760’s under the guidance of Robert Adam. It is the most extensive and intact work by Robert Adam you will find today.
Visitors can tour the house to learn what life was like in the Georgian era. Our favourite rooms are the lavish State Bedchamber and the colourful Tapestry Room. Adjacent to the house is the old stable block which is now home to a cafe and shop.
There are extensive grounds to explore, which offer peaceful wooded trails or open green spaces ideal for picnics. The park has a full timetable of activities such as den building, bird watching, cinema nights or kayaking on the lake. You can also visit follies, sculptures and summer houses in the gardens, and it was outside one of these summer houses that my husband proposed to me!
Osterley Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for an easy day trip from London.
Recommended by Sinead from Map Made Memories
Address: Osterley Park – Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB
Nearest Underground station: Osterley
Come and see it for yourself!
Now you’ve read about all the sights, what are you waiting for? Head to the big smoke to start exploring! All you need is a tube map, a camera, and fantastic accommodation close to any of the Piccadilly Line’s 53 stations. Then you can be visiting these attractions in no time!
See you in London!