Loud, likeable and lovely London, there are many words to describe this crazy, huge city. With so many different museums, sights and foods to discovery there are endless opportunities of what one can do. However after spending around a month in this great city, here is my very large guide to London.
If you are looking for the typical tourist attractions in Central London, then look no further then the following.
The main big sights are as follows
1. Trafalgar square
2. Buckingham Palace
3. The Southbank
4. St James Park
5. Regents Park
6. Hyde Park
7.Houses of Parliament
9. The changing of the Guard
10. Tower Bridge/Tower of London
11. Covent Garden
12. The London Eye
Follow the tube to find a variety of different parts and sections to this great city.
The first tube I will share with you is Oxford Circus
Oxford circus, this leads to the two main shopping streets, Oxford street and Regent street (which is much prettier), they are both usually really busy and only good if you really need something from a big store, but next to Oxfrod circus is Carnaby street, Liberty department store at the beginning of this street is beautiful, Carnaby then leads on into Soho.
Theres a few good vintage shops here…
Beyond Retro on Great Marlborough street (also a good tea place here called Yum Cha and theres a Marks and Spencers where you can exchange your money), Absolute Vintage, Reign and Bang Bang on Berwick street. Berwick street is also really good for street food Monday – Friday and a place called Flat White serves really great coffee.
Theres loads of bars and places to eat around here.
On Lexington street there is Mildreds vegetarian restaurant,
Fernandez and Wells coffee/wine bar
Andrew Edmonds is a really sweet tiny restaurant, basically you can’t go wrong with food on this street.
On Wardour street there is an AMAZING italian bakery called Princi
A good houmous place opposite called Houmous Bros and up the road is the Hummingbird bakery which is really famous for its cupcakes.
If you want good japanese food there is a Japanese supermarketon.
Brewer street and a really good restaurant opposite called Taro.
Off Wardour Street is Old Compton street which is the kind of gay district of London, some good bars at the end of this, go to La Boheme if you’re looking for a paris theme. Theres also Bar Italia which is a really chilled little coffee/bar/food place. Around the corner from here on Charing Cross road, there is a huge bookstore called Foyles if you’re in need of books. Theres also a book/dvd/record shop on this road called Fop where you can pick up some cheap books.
Going out in this area is great, theres loads of pubs, Hip Hop Kareaoke at The Social on Little Portland street is fun and the upstairs bar is really cool. If you like 60s/rock n’roll theres a night on a thursday called Gazza’s at the St Moritz club which isn’t far from here, sometimes it can be amazing, sometimes it can be a bit rubbish, go with a good group of people!
The little bar that serves cocktails in teacups in a basement is called Bourne and Hollingsworth on Rathbone Place.
Theres also a bar called Two floors on Kingly Street (next to carnaby) which is nice, next to this there is also a jazz club!
All of these places are within quite a small space, it’d take you 10 minutes tops to walk between the two furthest from each other.
Around the river
Nearest tube is London Bridge, open Thrusday, Friday and Saturday. This market is a great place to have a stroll around. If you want a day by the river, walk with the river on your right.
After the market is, Shakespeares globe. Here you can see great plays for only 5pound and no need to book in advance. If you want to see a play, just rock up and pay around 5pound
After Shakespeares globe you have Millenium bridge which leads you to St Pauls Cathedral. Both are worth a look, the cathedral is pretty, on the opposite side. However if you stay on the same side (Southbank), you’ll be by the Tate Modern, the biggest contemporary art gallery, its free but even if you don’t go round it all its always worth checking out whats in the main Turbine Hall.
You should rejoin around The National Theatre, next to this is the Haywood gallery which is a really good gallery but you have to pay to get in. Theres also the British Film Institute that has an amazing cinema and a really good film library in the mediatheque. This is above the Southbank skate spot and further along here is mainly restaurants, if you’re going to go to one I would go to the Mexican place Wahaca but theyre all chain restaurants so not the best for culture. If you take the footbridge accross the river by Wagamama (waterloo) you’ll come out the other side to a street called Villiers Street, on here is a really really good wine bar called Gordons wine bar, it gets very busy, so best to go early but its all cave like and cosy! This would then lead you to Charing Cross which is right by Trafalgar square and the end of the Mall by Buckingham Palace.
The best, best, best place in London for food is in the markets in Brixton http://brixtonmarket.net/info/market-cafes/ Franco Manca makes amazing pizza, Honest burgers good burgers obvs, Rosies deli is a really sweet little delicatessan, but if you just wonder around Brixton Village (theres two undercover markets, this ones got a lot more in) you’ll find Thai, japanese, west indian, british, portugese, italian, spanish….loadsss and all real cheap and most of which are bring your own booze. Open late Thurs-Saturday.
The Effra pub in Brixton is great for jazz, especially on a thursday.
Just north of here in Camberwell are loads of pubs, The hermits cave, The Bear, The Tiger are all good. The best fallafel I’ve ever eaten is on camberwell church street and its simply called ‘Fallafel’, theres also a really nice non-greasy chinese called silk road and a good little italian called Caravaggio on the same street.
Next to here is Peckham. Theres a really good bar called Bar Story thats under the railway tracks on Blenheim Grove, its only open until 10.30 but theres a good pub nearby called The Montpellier which is open until 1. Theres also a pool hall on Rye lane thats open til 4 and quite often has student run nights with good music. Theres also The Bussy building on Rye lane which is good to go dancing!
These parts of London are my favourite, and theyre still a bit more undiscovered by people who don’t live there so I would try and stay in the area and try these places out. It has a reputation for being a bit of a rougher area but its really not that unsafe and Ive never had a problem there.
The most beautiful park in London and one of my favourite places is Greenwich Park, its a really nice little villagey place too and the park has deer and observatory and the maritime museum and the BEST viez of London.
Brick lane (nearest tube is Liverpool Street) good vintage shops around here, look for Beyond retro on Cheshire street, Blitz Vintage on Hanbury street and theres a few dotted along brick lane.
Also loads of curry places around here but the best one is further out on Fieldgate Street, its called Tayabs.
Theres 2 really good Bagel shops further up brick lane (walking direction of shoreditch) that do really good bagels for about 120pound From here if you head up brick lane and turn left towards shoreditch you’ll pass the Boxpark http://www.boxpark.co.uk/ which is worth checking out. Go right from here and that gets you to the main junction. Off here if you head up towards Old street, there loads of bars, The book club is a really sweet bar with a nice atmosphere and theres gigs at the old blue but its not one of my fave places, I’m rubbish with remembering the names of bars round here but theres tons so you can easily wonder around and find something and thurs-sat they will be open until about 2 and theres a few around that will open past that. (the tube here would be Old Street)
Back to shoreditch, if you head straight up Kingsland road theres the best Vietnamese places and again a few to pick from, I’ve been to 3 different ones and they were all good! Theres also a nice little wholefoods store here with a good cafe in the back.
Going further up Kingsland road you’ll get to Dalston (I would definitely get a bus from shoreditch to here or its a 30/40min walk with not much to see on the way) I haven’t been here in the day much but theres some real good turkish places to eat at in the eve. The Alibi is a club that can be quite fun, on Mondays (or maybe tues I cant remember!) they show a film followed by heavy metal karaeoke, the film can be a bit quiet but it gets busy later on and its a free club to get into at the weekend, open til about 4. Theres also the pool hall Efes pool hall thats open late and nearby here is Passing clouds which is definitely worth checking out http://www.passingclouds.org/.
The other direction from Shoreditch can take you all the way up to Broadway market, a really great street for little pubs and bars and its by a park and canal which is nice!
Just before that is Colombia road which is really great on a sunday, a big flower market with loads of little shops, nice pubs and street music.
I dont know this area so well however the main sights.
Harrods!!! The huge department store that is beautiful and ridiculously expensive but you have to go see
Near here is also the museum district: The Victoria and Albert musuem which again is beautiful, The natural History and The Science Museum – all free! And theyre all pretty good.
Its all also next to Hyde Park/Kensigton gardens which are really nice.
The Saatchi Gallery is a really nice gallery (nearest tube Sloane square) and this whole are is quite nice to walk around in and feel grand.
Further out is Notting Hill, again beautiful area and its worth going to Portobello market, lots of vintage things and antiques! The Nottinghill Arts club is also a good bar/club.
The Wolseley in Picadilly is beautiful (they now have a french brasserie sister restaraunt called Zedel on picadilly circus that is amazing and not-too-expensive)
The Soho Hotel in soho (if you want to splash out, its about 25 pp and you may need to book)
Drink Shop and Do near kings cross – which is also a really great bar too! Definitely check it out
Galleries worth checking out – Hausser and Wirth in Picadilly, Haunch of Venison in Picadilly, Gasworks in Vauxhall, White Cube in Hoxton, Picadilly and Bermondsey, Matts Gallery in Mile End (this is quite far out), Saatchi, National Gallery (for a Louvre type place), South London Gallery in camberwell (if youre around there).
And after a long read, that bella guide to London.