One of the best cities in the world, so how have we (him and I) narrowed it down to Top 5? Well you lovely people, we have been fortunate enough to have visited London many many times and have found some real gems. WARNING = It does involve walking!
We do not state the obvious tourist spots, you only have to search online to easily find the top 5 touristy attractions in London, some of them fabulous and some of them over priced and not worth it….but if you insist we do recommend the following – Big Ben, Westminster, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace and Gardens, Tower of London.
Museums – If you have oodles of time when visiting London there are fabulous museums, otherwise take in the sites. If time is in your favour we recommend the following…The museum of London (FREE) to learn more about the amazingly dazzling history of London, National History Museum (FREE) because the building itself is worth ogling over & British Museum (FREE) so you can learn more about British-ness in general. Yep all FREE.
As with any city walking around really is the best way to see everything and believe it or not most things in London are fairly close and its often quicker to walk than catch ‘The Tube’. Our underground system is the easiest we have come across in Europe, so if you do want to use it, its fairly straight forward and inexpensive.
Here goes – Our Top 5 London (This was tough!)
- Little Venice to Regents Park & Camden (Canal Walk Approx 5 miles)
Catch the tube or walk to Paddington Station, head towards the signs for Hammersmith & City line and you will literally fall over the Grand Union Canal! Slowly amble along the Canal to Warwick Ave where you can take a short walk to see Abbey Road studios and the famous zebra crossing The Beatles were photographed, the architecture around this area is beautiful so look up. Head back to the canal and follow it all the way to Regents Park (signposted). Regents Park is a royal parks and covers 395 acres, it has toilets (20p charge) and refreshment area, picnic tables and lots of green space. Spend time in Regents Park with some lunch and then head towards Camden. Camden is grubby & quirky but has plenty of awesome markets, shops, coffee shops, places to eat and it has a tube station so you can plan the next part of your journey. We like Camden for an hour or so then the crowds kinda get you!
Harry Potter enthusiasts will love Kings Cross, you can have your picture taken at station 93/4 and its FREE as long as you take your own picture and not buy theirs! Its really worth it, you even wear the Hogwarts scarf. OK I know I keep harping on about buildings but St Pancras (across the road) is really worth a visit, its immense red brick building is home to one of the main hubs for train travel to Europe. Inside is packed with shops & cute coffee shops and its worth a walk through. Once you have refreshed in St Pancras head towards signs for the British Library, literally 2 minutes away. The British Library houses an amazing gallery called ‘Treasures of the British Library’ where you can view documents such as the original Magna Carta to love letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. (Its FREE)
Chelsea is a very affluent part of London and is home to Chelsea Football ground, very large houses and a stream of pretty streets, shops and interesting buildings. The walk literally follows the main high street all the way along and will take in the incredible Michelin House building, its like time stood still (in a good way) and it houses a very nice restaurant (apparently). Crossing Cromwell Road you will pass the Natural History and Science museum on the way as well as The Royal Albert Hall, so it could easily take you a day with stopping off as you go. Finally you reach the very affluent area of Kensington, full of designer shops, hotels and of course home to Harrods. You of course must at least take a look at the foodhall in Harrods, the food looks like a perfectly manicured garden, prettily displayed on a grand scale. From french fancies to fresh oysters its fun to look at and the smell can be mesmerising! We treat ourselves to takeaway lunch from Wholefoods and walk across the road to Kensington Gardens. Choose a bench with an amazing view of Kensington Palace, you can sit and pretend its your home and that your sat in your back garden!
The area made famous by Jack the Ripper, you can download some really awesome FREE walks to see where his victims were found, sounds odd but its very interesting! Follow Bishopsgate Road to the signs pointing you to the left and to Old Spitalfields Market. The quirky old and sparkly new markets combine together most days to offer a buzzy atmosphere! Pick up one off designer scarfs, bags, coats, dresses, jewellery – most of which are handmade by the stall holders. At the weekend street food places pop up and you will spend hours drunk on the aroma’s and spend hours deciding what to eat! Sundays are a good weekend day to visit, more chance to lazy browse! Do head towards a fabulous chocolate shop called Dark Sugar – always busy, always offering tasty hot chocolates – I will say no more. Spitalfields has lots of places to eat, lots of food chains and a few independents but lots to choose from! Just amble around the streets and take in the atmosphere, it really is a fun place to be.
The best time to see Buckingham Palace is with the refuse collectors at 7am in the morning, the spooky stillness of London and lack of tourists really adds to the atmosphere! Once you have taken a selfie in front of the Palace, walk down constitution hill and across Green Park, turn left on Duke of Wellington Place and head on Halkin Street and finally join Belgrave Place before reaching the main street towards Sloane Square. On the way absorb the beauty of green park, old streets and buildings and prepare yourself for the modern Sloane Square. Sloane Square is just a long street of shops, but we like the feel of it with lots of independent places to eat, including an all American crabshack & BBQ called Big Easy, highly recommended.