What to do with an extra day in London

Though the majority of London is doable in 2 days, if you have a third day (or more!) to spend in the city, here’s what I recommend:

Harry Potter Studio Experience

Diagon Alley set at Harry Potter studio

If you only have three days in England and you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books and films, this deserves your entire third day.

The studio experience walks you through the making of Harry Potter, from hand-carving thousands of wands and props, to the mechanics and special effects behind flying cars, broomsticks, and people.

You can walk down the actual Diagon Alley set, through the Great Hall of Hogwarts, and past a full model of the Hogwarts Castle, which was used for flyover shots throughout the films.

Depending your fascination, it can take well over five or six hours to get through the entire studio, so allocate an entire morning and afternoon. By arriving early, you’ll be done by the time the main crowds hit around 2 to 3pm.

Buy your tickets online well in advance, and make sure to add the digital guide – it’s well worth the small additional cost for the depth of information it provides.

British Museum

Photo © The Londonist

If you’re into very old artifacts, this is a good museum for you. Museum-lovers can spend full days here, wandering through the various sections past over 8 million items.

It’s free (yay!), so you can also pop in to see just a few items, like the Rosetta Stone (yep, the real one) and some Egyptian mummies.

British Library

The British Library from inside above
Photo © Sky.com

Book lovers can marvel at the 150 million volumes housed here, the second-largest library in the world. Along with floors upon floors of books, the library also holds some interesting pieces of history, such as the napkin where John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote some of their lyrics for the Beatles.

Science Museum

London Science Museum interior

I’ve never been to the Science Museum, but apparently it’s quite interesting for even the non-science-oriented folks. While you’re in South Kensington (aka near Buckingham Palace or Harrod’s) you can drop in for a quick visit or spend a few hours here on a rainy afternoon.

It’s also free and very interactive, and you’ll see famous pieces of science history, such as the first jet engine and an entire floor devoted to medical devices.

Sir John Soane’s house by candlelight

Sir John Soane's House in London

For a more obscure way to spend some extra time, you can take a tour of the home of one of England’s most eccentric collectors via silent (and a little bit creepy) candlelight tours.

Sir John Soane – a notable architect of the late 18th and early 19th centuries – obsessively collected art, furniture, and architectural ornamentation in his spare time… and his spare rooms. He turned his house full of collections into a museum to give access to ‘amateurs and students’, resulting in this domestic, eclectic place.

On the first Tuesday of every month (as of the writing of this post), you can take candlelit tours of the space and watch as shadows play tricks on your eyes amongst the vast, cluttered rooms.

You can also find the best things to do in London in the evening as well as how to spend two days seeing the top sights in the city.

What would you do with an extra day in the city? Share it in the comments below!

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