There is so much to see and do in London and it definitely can’t all be done in a day. I have done a few London guides already; one for nature lovers and another for Harry Potter geeks! I thought I would do a bit of a round-up of a few of my other favourite places split into areas to make exploring a little easier. Make a cup of tea, its a hefty one!!
Starting with my favourite area for food in central London, James Street. Set just off Oxford Street, there is a number of gorgeous eateries but my particular favourite is Grand Bazaar. I recommend their balloon bread and moussaka – delicious!
An obvious one, but I can never resist a visit to Liberty when visiting London, their interiors are the stuff of dreams!
The Japan Centre is another one of my favourites, with constant withdrawal symptoms from my favourite country I love immersing myself within this shop and everything Japanese!
Covent Garden has a beautiful covered market, and I also love walking up and down Seven Dials, a network of beautiful streets. Neal’s Yard is a must visit, a charming vibrant corner off Seven Dials.
Another foody favourite within this area is Souk Medina for their traditional Moroccan dishes, and Dishoom for Indian food with a twist (the breakfast naan rolls are incredible!).
Still on my ‘to visit’ list is Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, but until then I was content with visiting their shop in Covent Garden. It’s nice on the eyes and a danger to your bank balance!
Soho is a rabbit warren of streets that I always seem to get lost in and discover new shops and corners. I adore Gosh! Comics, to fill all my Studio Ghibli needs until I book another plane ticket to Japan!!
We had some gorgeous Vietmanese food in Com Viet, I was full of cold when visiting and wet from the rain and their curry sorted me out!
I love a visit to Borough Market when in London, the smells! the food! the options! It is is open every day except for Sunday and is the perfect pit stop for food.
Whilst exploring London I don’t always make time to visit the wonderful selection of museums and art galleries on offer due to wanting to walk outside and explore all the different areas. I recently made a trip to the Tate Modern and found myself obsessed with the wonderful concrete swirling staircase! The view from the top is breath-taking too. Desperate to tick off the rest, I am looking to visit London soon and have a day of museum and gallery visiting.
The Tate Modern sits beyond the Millenium Bridge, when passing over the bridge be sure to look down – artist Ben Wilson has turned hundreds of chewing gum blobs on the bridge into tiny works of art, turning your walk along the bridge into an art trail! I was fasinated by these little miniscule abstract patterns, creatures and scenes.
Whilst on the subject of food markets, Maltby Street Market is a bit of a gastronomical feast! Open every weekend and set within railway arches selling a great selection of artisan food, it is a must to visit.
Brixton is a great place to shop and grab some food and admire some cool street art. POP Brixton, a community project, has incredible street food, as well as Brixton Village and Market Row for foods from all around the world. You will find here a treasure trove of independent shops and market stalls. From various homewares, to plant shops and clothing, there is something for everyone. On my last visit, our friends introduced us to an amusing little shop, Powerful Hands in Market Row, selling a range of spiritual candles, incense and oil burners for every eventuality from success, to break ups, exorcism and absorbing negativity!
East London has a plethora of quirky areas to discover. Clerkenwell and Exmouth Market for their charming independent shops, Spitalfields Market for a variety of market stalls and eateries, such as Blixen which has a beautiful conservatory area covered in plants, Brick Lane for its vintage treasures and street art, Box Park in Shoreditch for independent designer shops and exhibitions.
Artwork by Bill Giles
If your a stationary nut, then Present and Correct in Clerkenwell should be on your visit list.
I love Shoreditch and always seem to find new nooks and crannies every time I visit. The infamous Columbia Road Flower Market is definitely worth a visit, though can get extremely busy!
Such a pretty picturesque area of London, with the likes of Notting Hill and plenty of ‘Mews’ to discover.
Head to Notting Hill on a Saturday to walk along the beautiful Portobello Road and soak in the atmosphere, market stalls, food and antiques. Look out for Mews Streets too, quaint side streets that feel away from the hustle and bustle of the city, they are truly beautiful. Kings Road is a high-end shopping area, but beautiful just to visit and window shop even if you haven’t got the spends!
There are so many different pockets to north London, from Camden Town and its very quirky Camden Stables Market, to little gems such as Angel and Camden Passage. The markets are wonderful for vintage trinket lovers and you will find vintage shops aplenty. There are so many beautiful independent cafes and shops such as SMUG selling gorgeous prints and homewares. Just a few doors down, you will find Haygen, a beautiful lifestyle store with gorgeous scandi pieces.
Primrose Hill will offer you an amazing viewpoint over the city and is a wide-open space to picnic or just dog-watch at all the passing pups!
Kings Cross is also a really cool area to check out, and Coal Drops Yard is opening shortly which is a new shopping quarter. There is also an array of galleries to visit and exhibitions showcased here.
I love the different types of arcitecture in London, from modern buildings within the financial district such as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building, the Gherkin, the Shard and the Lloyds TSB building with it’s hightech aesthetic, to more brutalist arcitecture like the Barbican, to older arcitecture such as St Pauls and Big Ben, the skyline is truly eclectic.
I am a huge fan of the Underground. It could stem from being a bit of a country bumpkin and normally relying on a lot of driving and walking to get to my destination, so the minute apart tube trains are always amazing to me even after visiting London numerous times per year!
I find the underground tube map app is the best thing to navigate your way round if your not too familiar with the underground. The best way to pay is to use a contactless card as it’s the cheapest way to pay for your journeys, as long as you remember to tap in and out on the yellow readers by the gates. (Forget and you’ll be charged the maximum fee.)
Also remember to stick to the right on the escalators, unless you plan to do your daily steps and walk up them – then use the left!
I do always find its worth checking however, what walking distance you are from your next destination as sometimes it works out quicker to walk and means sometimes discovering new finds along the way!
The bus is equally easy to use and you get a bit of a ‘bus tour’ along the way. Whilst on my last visit to London it was pouring down so we grabbed a bus and I loved how my steamy wet window photos turned out! A simple swipe of your contactless card and you will be charged a standard £1.50 for a single journey.
I hope you enjoyed this rather long London post!