{UK} our 11D London/Edinburgh/Bath/Oxford itinerary + top 5 highlights & food recommendations

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Hello lovelies, I’m glad to report that I’m back from the glorious land of tea & former colonisers with sunlight deprivation, an unhealthy obsession with Scottish haggis, and firsthand experience traipsing down London’s murky-puddle-filled cobblestone pavements.

My travel and med school buddy Weixuan, who I vacationed with in Korea last year, first floated the idea for a UK trip in early January. Within days, we had booked our flights and began planning our itinerary for this 11D11N trip (5-18 Mar).

It was our first time in the UK, so we planned with unbridled enthusiasm, pooling the best recommendations from our friends to create a laundry list of things to do and places to eat in each city. We were relatively spontaneous, only making rough dinner or musical plans the night before, then packing each day’s schedule according to our location and energy levels.

We agreed that 13 days (including the flights) was a little bit too long, and we felt fatigued towards the tail end of the trip without our usual fix of Asian food, spice & rice…or maybe we’re just twenty-something grandmas. But either way, here’s our full itinerary + cost breakdown/accoms details + our top 5 food & experience recommendations!


our itinerary (5-18 March)

Our itinerary was 11D11N, excluding 2 full days spent flying. It involved a lot of walking and was fairly food-centric, with nearly no expenditure on tourist traps.

Day 0 (Sun)SG ✈️ Dubai ✈️ London
Day 1 (Mon)🏨 Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras
🍽️ Dishoom Covent Garden (Indian)
🥾 Covent Garden, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square
🏛️ National Gallery
🥾 Big Ben, Parliament House, Westminster Abbey, River Thames
🍵 Waterhouse cafe-bookstore
🍽️ Barrafina (Spanish tapas, 1 Michelin star)
🎭 Les Misérables
Day 2 (Tue)🍽️🛍️ Camden Market
🏛️ The British Museum
🍽️ Gold Mine Chinatown (famous roast duck)
🛍️ Carnaby St, Oxford St
Day 3 (Wed)🍽️ Browns Victoria (brunch)
🏰 Buckingham Palace
☕️ New Acre Cafe
🏛️ Natural History Museum
🏛️ Science Museum
🍽️ Flat Iron Westfield (steak)
🥾 Harrods
Day 4 (Thu)🍽️ Cappadocia Cafe & Bistro
🥾 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour London
🍽️ Brasserie Zedel (French)
🎁🛍️ Whittard of Chelsea Regent Street (famous tea)
🎁🛍️ Fortnum & Mason St Pancras (famous biscuits)
Day 5 (Fri)🍽 Giraffe @ King’s Cross Station
London 🚆 Edinburgh (Britrail pass Day 1)
🏨 ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge – Royal Mile
🥾 Edinburgh Royal Mile, St Giles’ Cathedral
🍽️ Oink Victoria Street (pulled pork sandwich)
🥾 Grassmarket
🍦 Mary’s Milk Bar
🥾 Princess Street Gardens
🌅 Calton Hill
🍽 Bertie’s Proper Fish & Chips
Day 6 (Sat)🚌 Loch Ness & Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh
– Drumochter Pass, Loch Laggan, Laggan Dam
– Callander
– Commando Memorial
– Fort Augustus + Loch Ness cruise
– Glencoe Visitor Centre
– Three Sisters of Glencoe
Day 7 (Sun)🍽️ Cafe Edinburgh (Scottish breakfast)
🏰 Edinburgh Castle
🍽️ Vittoria on the Bridge (Italian)
🏛️ National Museum of Scotland
🥾 Dean Village
🛍️ Princes Street
🥾 Greyfriars Kirkyard
🍦 Alandas Gelato
🍽️ The Mussel and Steak Bar
Day 8 (Mon)Edinburgh 🚆 London (Britrail pass Day 2)
🏨 Heeton Concept Hotel – Kensington London
🥾 Portobello Street Market
🍽️ Kiln (Thai)
🎭 Phantom of the Opera
Day 9 (Tue)✨BATH DAY TRIP✨
London 🚆 Bath Spa (Britrail pass Day 3)
🍽️ Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum (Bath’s famous Sally Lunn buns)
🏛️ The Roman Baths
🥾 Bath city centre, Pulteney Bridge, Bath Abbey
🍰 Mokoko Coffee
Bath 🚆 London
🍽️ Dishoom Kensington (Indian)
🥾 Hyde Park (there were Underground/TFL rail strikes, so we had to walk 3km to Paddington Station)
London 🚆 Oxford (Britrail pass Day 4)
🥾 Gloucester Green
🏛️ Bodleian Library tour
🥾 Covered Market
🍽️ Taste of China
🥾 Christ Church
🏛️ Oxford University Museum of Natural History
🏛️ Ashmolean Museum
Oxford 🚆 London
🍽️ Marugame Udon
Day 11 (Thu)🥾 London Bridge
☕️ Monmouth Coffee Company
🍽️ Borough Market
🥾 Tower Bridge, Tower of London
🥾 Leadenhall Market, financial district
🛍️ Spitalfields Market (vintage)
🍽️ Marugame Udon
Day 12 (Fri)London ✈️ Dubai ✈️ SG

Fun or maybe not so fun fact: On our second week, we experienced authentic Londoner life, with rail/TFL strikes coinciding with the NHS junior doctor strikes! There was mercifully minimal inconvenience (apart from having to walk a few extra miles), and I’m all for peaceful strikes for progress!

costs + accommodation

Here’s a rough cost breakdown (in SGD, per pax) for our trip. I spent ~$4.6k all in, with $3k of the budget going to transport & rather pricey accommodation, but it was still worthwhile!

  • Flights
    • Our return flight overlapped with the end of Singapore’s March school holidays, so flight prices might have been slightly higher than usual
      • Return tickets via Emirates Economy Class: $1166
      • Extra legroom seat upgrades for all 4 flights: $482
  • Hotels
    • For London, we picked hotels along the Piccadilly Line as there was a direct Underground train to Heathrow Airport (not the overpriced Heathrow Express). Both were a 3-minute walk to their respective train stations, King’s Cross and Earl’s Court:
      • Point A Hotel London King’s Cross St Pancras: $208/night
      • Heeton Concept Hotel Kensington London: $160/night
    • Our Edinburgh hotel was just a 2-minute walk from the city centre, Royal Mile. There’s another ibis hotel that was located even nearer to the Royal Mile (ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile Hunter Square), so you could pick whichever is cheaper:
      • ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge Royal Mile: $275/night
  • 4-day Britrail Flexipass
    • With this pass, we were able to take unlimited train rides on any intercity train for any 4 days within a month (from the first date of pass usage)
    • I bought the Youth pass (25Y and below) for $262, while my friend bought the Adult pass for $436
  • Harry Potter Studio Tour
  • Loch Ness & Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh: $90.72 for a small-group/16 pax, 12-hour road trip
  • Expenditure: Approx $100/day (£60)

our top 5 (relatively affordable) food recs in London

While I’m usually not a huge spender when it comes to dining out, I’ll admit that I busted my budget dining at restaurants in London — after all, YOLO (You’re Only in London Once), so why the heck not!

London honestly does have excellent international cuisine, with affordable and insanely delicious Asian fare. A mid-tier restaurant dinner for two would set you back ~£20-30/person, which isn’t significantly pricier than eating at quick-service restaurants (£10-15), while offering far better value for money.

Here are our top 5 foodie recommendations that won’t break the bank! We strongly recommend Kiln and Dishoom if you don’t have time to try all these places:

1. Kiln (Thai)

Located at Piccadilly Circus, this famous Thai restaurant often sees queues out the door, and it’s difficult to secure a reservation (we couldn’t). We popped by 15 minutes before opening time at 5pm, and were the first in line when they opened – turns out they accept walk-ins, so we were in luck!

Here’s what we ordered:

  • Slow grilled chicken and soy (10/10)
  • Dry red curry of hake (9/10)
  • Stir fried mutton with chilli (7/10)
  • Pig head meat & fermented mushroom (6/10)
  • Clay pot baked glass noodles with Tamworth belly & brown crab meat (7/10)

Kiln boasts an open kitchen, so we had front-row seats to watch our food get charcoal-grilled or seared over open flames. We would have ordered the whole menu if we could, because everything was really that heavenly.

2. Dishoom (Indian)

Ask anyone what the best Indian restaurant in London is, and Dishoom would invariably be mentioned. With multiple locations across central London, each with different chef’s specials and varied breakfast/lunch/dinner menus, Dishoom has high revisit value.

Our first meal upon arrival in London was breakfast at Dishoom’s Covent Garden branch, and we were blown away at the punchiness of the flavours, even in their signature house chai:

  • Keema Per Eedu [spicy minced chicken, chicken liver, eggs, salli potato chips] (10/10)
  • Bacon naan roll (6/10)
  • House chai, refillable (9/10)

We were also itching to try their dinner menu, so we headed to their High Street Kensington branch another day, opting for:

  • Lamb samosas (8/10)
  • Paneer roll [cheese] (2/10)
  • Murgh malai [chicken thigh in garlic, ginger, coriander stems] (6/10)
  • Nalli nihari biryani [lamb shank biryani beneath a pastry blanket, with chicken liver raita & nihari gravy] (9/10)
3. Borough Market

If you only have time for one market in London, I’d recommend visiting Borough Market. Teeming with all manners of stalls selling produce (cheese, spices, tea), cooked food, fresh seafood and pastries, there’s something for everyone.

After roaming around the whole market and its surrounding areas (which had even more restaurants, cafes and bakeries), we ended up sharing three dishes from these stalls:

  • Turnips – Wild mushroom risotto (10/10)
  • Kappacasein Dairy – Raclette with gherkins, although their toasties are arguably more famous (7/10)
  • Humble Crumble – Shortbread apple & mixed berries custard crumble (7/10)

Other notable fare that we spotted plenty of people feasting on included seafood paella, Padella’s pasta, as well as basic Thai & Singaporean fare. Everything smelled pretty damn heavenly, and we’d have happily tried more if we hadn’t already run out of tummy space!

Borough Market photo dump
4. Brasserie Zédel (French)

Even if you’re not particularly into French food (I’m not), this underground Art Deco French restaurant makes for a bougie dinner experience. Don’t those opulent gilded ceilings make you feel like you’ve been transported right into The Great Gatsby?


Despite the grandeur of the restaurant, it had a rather unpretentious atmosphere, with plenty of casually-dressed fellow tourists chatting comfortably or munching on bread while waiting for their dishes to be served.

We ordered one main each:

  • Roast haunch of venison with a heritage beetroot tart (8/10)
  • Whole lemon sole in brown butter (my friend’s dish)
5. Barrafina (Spanish)

This 1-Michelin star Spanish tapas spot has a cozy ambience, with patrons seated around an open kitchen. Reservations are a must at this place, but we had no issues securing a same-day reservation for an early dinner on a Monday.

They also have a special menu, which changes every day and varies across their 5 London outlets. These were the sharing plates we overordered, and the portions were just about right for us:

  • Rafols Salt Cod a la Catalana (7/10)
  • Iberion Pork Cheeks de Bellota (6/10)
  • Txistorra Tortilla [cured sausage, cheese] (2/10)
  • Fennel, Ajo Blanco (4/10)

our top 5 things to do in London + day trips

I’m pretty sure there’s already a million lists like this, so I’ll just briefly share our personal favourite experiences in London and some tips to maximise your time or money!

1. Catch a musical

No trip to the UK would be complete without catching a West End musical. Even if you know nothing about the shows and pick a random one to watch, you’re guaranteed to be blown away by the production quality and stellar showmanship.

As a massive musical theatre geek, my goal was to watch as many musicals as we had the time or budget for. We managed to make it for Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, arguably the biggest productions currently on West End (other than Wicked or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the latter’s existence of which I refuse to acknowledge…).

A tip touted by pretty much any tourist would be to get discounted same-day tickets at the TKTS booth conveniently located in the heart of the theatre district in Leicester Square. We scored decent tickets at ~30-40% off, buying them just a few hours before each musical.

I reckon we could have gotten discounted seats with even better views if we had visited the booth earlier in the day, but we still had an absolutely great time at the theatre (and singing the aria from Phantom on the streets of London like mad women).

2. The British Museum/Natural History Museum

I couldn’t pick between these fantastic free museums, so they’re both tied! As a bona fide museum nerd and dinosaur/Egyptology enthusiast, I went gaga in both museums. If you have enough time and enthusiasm, you could easily spend a full day in each museum (but we couldn’t due to time constraints).

If you really only have time for one or if you’re taking children along, I’d vote for the Natural History Museum, purely for the insane collections of fossils on display. It also has plenty of educational and child-friendly displays!

Both the non-stolen and stolen artifacts at the British museum, while fascinating to look at, were far too numerous to properly admire and soak up in a day, so we got exhausted and tapped out in under 4 hours.

3. Take a day trip

The UK is definitely way too expansive (and also expensive) to complete in a short trip like ours, so we had to prioritise some places and sacrifice others. We ended up only visiting Bath and Oxford on day-trips, axeing other places on our shortlist for day trips such as Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge & Cotswold. 😦

We bought the 4-day Britrail Flexipass, which let us conveniently hop on any intercity train (from either King’s Cross or Paddington Station) without prior booking.

Bath (1h 20min from Paddington Station)
  • Things to see
    • The Roman Baths – literally everyone who visits Bath explores this place, so you should too. It features an ancient hot spring that Romans believed provided a direct connection to the goddess Minerva, and the Brits later bathed in it
    • Bath City Centre – with plenty of quaint souvenir or artisanal shopes, you’ll be able to pick up a souvenir or two for sure!
    • Pulteney Bridge – there’s cafes and restaurants located inside the bridge/building overlooking the river, making for a scenic brunch spot
    • Bath Abbey – free entry, unlike the overpriced Westminster Abbey
  • Places to refuel
    • Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum – no visit to Bath would be complete without trying Bath’s famous and fluffy Sally Lunn buns (I had the Welsh Rarebit Special)
    • Mokoko Coffee – a chill cafe opposite the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey

Here’s my photodump of most of the places/foods mentioned above!

Oxford (1h from Paddington Station)
  • Things to see
    • Bodleian Library – featured as the Infirmary & Restricted Section in the Harry Potter films, this place is only accessible via a prebooked tour; slots run out fast so be sure to book a few weeks in advance
    • Christ Church – the ultimate stop in your Oxford Harry Potter pilgrimage, this college’s Great Hall, staircases and cloisters would look familiar to Potterheads. Unfortunately also a paid tour, but we were too tired to
    • Oxford University Museum of Natural History – a quaint and less exciting version of the Natural History Museum (not worth visiting if you’ve already visited the London one)
    • Ashmolean Museum – British Museum redux
  • Places to refuel
    • Gloucester Green – this open air market has fresh produce and plenty of Asian street food if you’re homesick and craving delicious food (we sure were!)
    • Covered Market – this quaint historic market has plenty of food/dessert/pastry options and quirky souvenir stores

4. Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour London

This hardly needs any introduction. If you’re a Potterhead, it’s an absolute no-brainer to make a pilgrimage to this place, decked out in your finest robes or house scarf. If you’re not a Potterhead, time to get with the programme! 😛

We booked our tour on Klook for S$151.39 (Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter with Round Trip Transport), opting for pickup/drop-off at King’s Cross Station.

If you don’t have a Klook account yet and want $5 off your first purchase, be sure to sign up via my referral link. 🙂

It’s almost a full-day experience, so be sure not to make major plans that evening! We set off on a slow bus ride at 9.30am, making it to the Leavesden studio before 11am.

Despite it being called a studio tour, it was a free-and-easy experience (small-group guided tours were available at double the price), and we had until 4pm to meander through the massive sets, take plenty of photos, try Butterbeer and spend all our Galleons cash in the souvenir shop.

We were stuck in horrendous London peak hour traffic on the way back, returning to the station at 5.30pm, but we were still high on the magic and didn’t quite mind.

Yet another photo-dump:

the first 2 pics were taken at the actual King’s Cross Station, although a similar photo opp exists inside the studio as well

Compared to the Wizarding World (I’ve been to the one in Orlando), both were magical in their own ways, but I’d recommend the studio tour over the Wizarding World any day if you’re more of a film nerd (like me) than a theme park nerd.

5. Speedrun all the touristy spots without going in

If you’re into paying money to enter overpriced London tourist attractions, you’re gonna hate me for suggesting this. But hear me out, plenty of London’s generic tourist attractions are located really close to each other and can easily be walked past/casually explored within 3-4 hours.

Here’s my suggested speed-run route:

  • Trafalgar Square, National Gallery: under 1h
  • Dover House (changing of the guards & horses on the hour): 10min
  • Big Ben, Parliament House, Westminster Abbey: 30min of photo-taking and admiring the external architecture without entering, cos it’s expensive (and catch a glimpse of the London Eye across the river)
  • Take the Circle/District line to Westminster to Tower Hill: 10-20min
  • Walk around the perimeter of the Tower of London, walk across Tower Bridge, walk along the River Thames, see the HMS Belfast: 30min
  • End up near London Bridge, possibly visit Borough Market for some well-deserved food: 10min walk

A more exciting way to spend money would be on souvenirs for friends/family. We sought out famous yet affordable British brands – Whittard of Chelsea for tea & hot chocolate and Fortnum & Mason for decadent shortbread & biscuits. I’ll confess that I bought a lot of those for myself, and they’re excellent!

I reckon I’ve rambled on long enough; in the second half of the UK series, I’ll be sharing our Edinburgh itinerary and top 5 food/experience recommendations, so stay tuned!

If you have any other questions or want specific tips for your trip-planning, feel free to DM me on Insta or leave a comment below! 🙂

Be sure to follow my Insta or like my Facebook page to stay up to date with my latest adventures, day-to-day doctoring and life updates too! See you over at the next post. 🙂


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