Travel

Best Things to Do in London (tips from a local!)

Best Things to Do in London (tips from a local!)

In search of recommendations on issues to do in London?

As a part of our metropolis guides collection, we interviewed Lucy Dodsworth who lived and labored in London for over ten years, and is now beginning to get to know London as a customer as an alternative of as a resident.

Lucy shares with us her insider recommendations on one of the best issues do in London together with the place to eat, sleep, drink, store and discover.

Why Go to London, UK?

London is a actual world metropolis – with a few of the most well-known buildings, museums and galleries in the world and 2000 years of historical past to go together with them.

Nevertheless it’s not simply wanting backwards, there’s all the time a new bar, play or live performance to see. London can also be probably the most worldwide cities, with individuals from all around the globe making their house right here, so it’s simply as straightforward to get Indian road meals as it’s a roast dinner.

Sure, it’d rain a lot and no individuals gained’t smile on the Tube, however no matter you’re in – from museums to purchasing, rock to opera, finances to luxurious – there’s a London that may go well with you.

Tower Bridge

Best Things to Do in London, UK

  • Stroll alongside South Financial institution: comply with the Thames from the London Eye alongside to Tower Bridge and also you’ll cross a few of London’s most well-known buildings, just like the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Trendy.
  • Get a nice view: to see the town from above, you’ll be able to climb to the highest of the Monument and the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and from February there’ll be a viewing platform on the prime of London’s new tallest constructing, the Shard.
  • Go to the museums: the everlasting collections at London’s museums are free so you’ll be able to dip into as many as you want. Select from huge names just like the British Museum and Nationwide Gallery, or take a look at a few of the smaller museums like Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Cupboard Warfare Rooms.
  • Escape the town into the parks: London has loads of parks and gardens, from the manicured gardens of Hyde Park and St James Park to large, hilly Hampstead Heath and the hidden gardens tucked away in residential squares.
  • Stroll via London’s historical past: London Walks run themed strolling excursions round London, from the haunts of Jack the Ripper and night-time ghost excursions, to Harry Potter movie places and Olympic London.
things to do in LondonContained in the geology gallery on the Pure Historical past Museum

Excursions, Sightseeing & Passes

Viator is the business chief when it comes to excursions, actions, tickets and passes with a record of hand-picked excursions and issues to do in London from native insiders.

Take a look at the London Cross and luxuriate in free entry to 60 of its world-class websites and benefit from particular presents at high quality London eating places and outlets.

Best neighborhoods to discover in London

Covent Backyard was certainly one of London’s early markets and the unique market nonetheless stands in the Piazza. However at this time it’s one of many metropolis’s important leisure and buying areas, with stalls promoting crafts and presents moderately than fruit and veg, with road performers and musicians, surrounded by bars and eating places.

South Kensington is the place to go for museums, with the Pure Historical past Museum, Science Museum and V&A are all in straightforward attain of one another. From right here you’ll be able to stroll up to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, or window-shop on the significantly costly outlets in Knightsbridge.

Bloomsbury is London’s educational coronary heart. It’s nonetheless house to the College of London, the British Museum and British Library, however was made well-known by the Bloomsbury Group of 1930s intellectuals. You’ll discover blue plaques on their former homes throughout the world, together with backyard squares and occasional outlets.

things to do in LondonContained in the British Museum in Bloomsbuty

The place to eat in London

You’ll find meals from virtually any a part of the world in London – like Bangladeshi in Brick Lane, Center Japanese in Edgware Street and Caribbean in Brixton.

Good-value meals chains to look out for embrace Leon, Busaba (Thai), Tas (Turkish), Pho (Vietnamese) and Wagamama (Japanese).

Road meals has actually taken off in London too, attempt Portobello Street Market and the Actual Meals Market on South Financial institution.

My favourite London meals market although is Borough Market with over 70 totally different stalls promoting produce from the UK and past and plenty of tasting samples. When you’re there, don’t miss close by Neal’s Yard Dairy for superb cheeses.

things to do in londonScrumptious muffins on a stall in Borough Market

You’ll be able to’t go to London with out consuming …

For a basic English custom, it’s obtained to be afternoon tea. Ideally with a glass of Champagne to go together with your sandwiches, muffins and pastries, all served on a chic cake stand with a pot of tea.

A number of the most well-known locations for tea are The Ritz or Fortnum & Mason. However I really like the afternoon tea on the Kensington Palace Orangery, in a mild ethereal constructing in the park.

The place to drink in London

Steer properly away from the overpriced touristy bars and golf equipment across the Leicester Sq. and Picadilly Circus. In the event you’re on the lookout for suggestions in a specific space, take a look at the evaluation on the Time Out web site.

A few of my favourites are the Reserving Workplace and Champagne bars at St Pancras – a practice station won’t sound probably the most thrilling place for a drink however the setting is gorgeous.

Or for metropolis views, good for a sundown cocktail, attempt Vertigo 42 in the town. And you may’t beat a cosy pub with a log hearth in the winter, like The Flask in Highgate.

St Pancras Station - Things to Do in London St Pancras Station

Best locations for a night time in town in London

London’s West Finish has a large selection of musicals and performs. For one of the best tickets both ebook in advance or attempt the tickets sales space in Leicester Sq. on the day.

For cinema, small unbiased locations just like the Display on the Inexperienced in Islington, Curzon Soho and Prince Charles supply a broad number of unbiased and overseas language movies.

For reside music, take a look at Ronnie Scotts in Soho for jazz, the Barbican for classical, the O2 for giant names, and the Camden and Dalston areas for up-and-coming bands.

The place to keep in London

London’s not low cost, however yow will discover a few London price range lodging choices.

  • For a finances lodge, the Asian chain Tune have 4 resorts throughout the town from about £35 a night time.

things to do in londonview throughout the Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from Tate Trendy’s Cafe

Best markets & buying in London

London has a wide selection of markets.

A few of my favourites are Borough Marketplace for food and drinks, Portobello Street Marketplace for antiques and style, Camden Marketplace for classic and various garments, and the Colombia Street Flower Market.

Oxford Road is the town’s most well-known buying road, nevertheless it’s principally filled with chain shops and large malls.

For extra fascinating unbiased outlets take a look at Carnaby Road, Covent Backyard or the King’s Street.

Additionally value seeing is Harrods, although extra for its utterly over-the-top décor – particularly at Christmas – than for precise purchasing.

things to do in londonThe lights of Canary Wharf at night time

Festivals & occasions in London

London has tons of of festivals and occasions annually, so you possibly can often discover one thing happening everytime you go to.

For old-school British occasions, there’s the Trooping of the Color in June, a big army parade to have fun the Queen’s Official Birthday (she will get to have two, her actual one is in April) and the Lord Mayor’s Present in November.

Different main occasions embrace firecrackers and fireworks in Chinatown for Chinese language New Yr, the Caribbean fashion Notting Hill Carnival in August, cheering the runners on the London Marathon in April, and getting a glimpse into a few of London’s usually inaccessible buildings over Open Home weekend in September.

Getting round London

Central London is pretty walkable, however the metropolis sprawls out so that you’ll want to use the Tube or bus. Get an Oyster card to get monetary savings on transport – you load it up with cash and contact in and out on the bus or Tube.

Additionally, attempt the riverboat providers alongside the Thames for a scenic view of the town. However be careful for line closures on the Tube at weekends and it closes each night time round 1 am, so that you’ll want to get a night time bus or cab after that.

things to do in londonLondon Underground, aka The Tube

Discovering WiFi in London

Free wifi entry in London isn’t nice however it’s getting higher. There are free wi-fi hotspots in Islington and the Metropolis of London.

In any other case, chain cafes like Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Espresso Republic give free wifi to clients, and there are a entire load of different unbiased locations with wifi listed on the Time Out web site.

Best time to go to London

London’s climate is all the time unpredictable and if it’s dangerous then there are many issues to do inside.

In the summertime, you’ll be able to spend time outdoors in the parks and at outside festivals and occasions.

However winter is a nice time to go to too, with Christmas markets in Hyde Park and alongside South Financial institution, and outside ice rinks in the Tower of London and (my favourite for its lovely setting) Somerset Home.

things to do in londonThe ice skating rink outdoors Somerset Home simply earlier than Christmas

Favourite aspect journey from London

In the summertime, I’d head an hour south of London to Brighton to paddle on the pebbly seashore, eat candyfloss on the pier and take a look at the cool outlets in the slender streets of the Lanes.

In any other case, I’d head west to Oxford to see the well-known college schools, go to a few of the museums and check out punting on the river.

things to do in londonBrighton seashore

Getting there & away

London is a main worldwide hub with 5 principal airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Metropolis, Luton and Stansted. However be careful as though they’re described as ‘London’ airports they’re typically approach out of the town, so that you’ll want to get a practice or bus into central London.

There’s additionally the worldwide Eurostar practice service which runs from Paris and Brussels proper into St Pancras Station in the centre of city.

Best insiders tip for London

To see the ‘real’ London, get out of the centre to a number of the outer neighbourhoods. Every has their very own completely totally different really feel.

  • Attempt Hampstead and Highgate for literary historical past, celeb recognizing and leafy parks.
  • Notting Hill for espresso outlets, retro outlets and vintage markets.
  • Shoreditch for road artwork, hipster boutiques and and Brick Lane curries.
  • Or stand on the meridian timeline and take a look at the Nationwide Maritime Museum and pubs alongside the riverside in Greenwich.
things to do in londonThe Anchor Pub on the banks of the Thames

I really like London as a result of …

There’s all the time one thing happening and you may come again many times and see a utterly totally different metropolis each time.

Plan Your Journey to London

Lodging in London

Flights to London

  • Skyscanner is a comparability web site that searches hundreds of thousands of flights. As soon as you discover your greatest deal, you guide immediately by means of the airline or agent (no additional charges).

Automotive Rental in London

Excursions & Sightseeing

BIO: Lucy is a UK-based editor and designer and part-time traveller. She began her weblog On the Luce for individuals like her who need to benefit from their journey time as they mix their ardour for journey with household, buddies, work, love and on a regular basis life. You will discover out extra about her travels on Twitter and Fb.

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