Ok, ok so I’ve only really lived in London for 4 years so perhaps I’m stretching things by calling myself a Londoner however, I still feel that I have that little bit of extra London Knowledge that can help you to have a fabulous weekend away here.
London is an amazing city and millions of people choose to come here every single year; to shop, to dine, to see the history and glimpse the future. What will your visit bring? Here are a few attractions I feel you must visit, some are fairly obvious but others are on paths less trodden. Have a browse and see what takes your fancy…
1. Southbank and The London Eye
I spent my first year at university living just next to the IMAX at Waterloo so the Southbank has a very special place in my heart. It was the place I paced back and forth upon when stressing about my assignments, it was where I went to take in the sounds of the river and the smells of the street food. It had culture, arts, food and atmosphere all in perfectly equal doses and I still love it to this day. The Southbank is an easy walk from Waterloo station, you could literally spend a whole day down here without the need to adventure further. There is the SeaLife Centre and world famous London Eye which offers spectacular views over the city and a memorable ride. Or visit the fabulous street-food stalls that fill the air with their beautiful aromas. Some of these stands are cash only so if you’re coming from abroad just head over to the King’s Cross Currency Exchange to get some cash to enjoy all the city has to offer.
2. Buckingham Palace, St James Park and Horse Guards Parade
If you’re visiting London and appreciate fine architecture then be sure to go and see Buckingham Palace. When you’re done with the crowds then take a stroll through St James Park which offers a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of The Mall. In the centre of this beautiful green space is St James Park Lake which is buzzing with all manner of wildlife. The swans, ducks and geese are particularly friendly and use to being fed the crusts off of tourists sandwiches. If you walk the length of the park you’ll find yourself at Horse Guards Parade and The Household Cavalry Museum. If you time it just right you may even see the changing of the guards, you can check the times here.
3. Hampstead Heath
When I moved to North London Hampstead Heath became my new go-to place to escape the stresses of the city. Covering 320 hectares this green space is vast and contains several beautiful ponds and even a couple of bathing pools! If you’re visiting in the summer then bring your swimsuit because there’s something deeply romantic about swimming in a natural lake under the summer sun. If you want another fabulous view then make the trek up Parliament hill, the views of London are spectacular and it makes the perfect place for a picnic or date to watch the sunset.
4. The London Dungeon
This is another popular tourist attraction but one that’s seeped with history and is actually very interesting as well as entertaining. I’ve been twice and will admit it makes me jump every time. If you’re visiting the London Eye on Southbank then the London Dungeon is conveniently right next door. You can even purchase combination tickets to get reduced rates if you’re visiting more than one of these popular attractions. If you want the dungeon experience and aren’t coming to London anytime soon then don’t fear, there are other dungeon attractions in Blackpool, Edinburgh, York and Warwick.
5. Regents Canal
Regents Canal starts in Little Venice and ends in Docklands, winding its way through Camden, Kings Cross and Angel and providing a tranquil waterway for everyone to enjoy. You can walk or cycle the majority of the canal and there are plenty of little cafes with some even serving refreshments on the water. If you’re walking the canal near Kings Cross then you’ll most likely see Word on the Water a fabulous floating book-barge filled with quality second-hand and new books alike.
These are just a few of the hundreds of attractions that London has to offer (I haven’t even got started on the museums, that’s a whole other post in itself!) I hope you find something that takes your fancy and have a wonderful time!