The London Guide for the Uninitiated
London has so much to offer and everyone who visits will be intent on gaining as much from their trip as they can. Some visitors will want to experience the culture, heading to the national museums or art galleries. For others, a visit to the capital wouldn’t be complete without watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square or taking a selfie or two in front of The Houses of Parliament.
However, there is even more to London than originally meets the eye. Maybe you want to experience the cocktail bars, the nightlife or the diverse array of food which is on offer? If so, read on for a little taste of London.
Popular Spots in the Heart of London
It might be a cliché but it really is worth heading to some of the main tourist hotspots. Partly because you can then always say you have experienced them and also because they really are worth seeing. There are plenty of ways to get around the capital, you could download an app and navigate the streets on foot, head down to the Tube or even get a great view of all the main sights from the upper deck of an open-topped bus.
There are many others which you also don’t want to miss. Here is an extensive list of the most popular site seeing destinations, so you won’t miss anything.
- London eye
- Tower of London
- Tower bridge
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Westminster Abby
- Big Ben
- British Museum
- Palace of Westminster
- London Dungeon
- Globe Theatre
- National Gallery
- Kensington Palace
- Hyde Park
- Natural History Museum
- Churchill’s War rooms
- London Zoo
- Tate Modern
It Wouldn’t Be A Visit to London Without A Trip to the Pub
Pubs are intertwined with British culture and you truly get a feel for the city when you experience it propping up the bar. Pubs are also rich in history and a visit can tell you just as much about was had happened down the centuries as a tour of a museum can. If you want to find out where everyone else is heading these 5 most popular pubs, according to Trip Advisor, are a great place to start.
The Mayflower Pub, Rotherhithe. Stepping inside this pub is like a stepping back to the 16th century, although of course all the facilities have been brought right up to date. It’s the oldest pub on the Thames and the original mooring point of the Mayflower Ship, before The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America.
The Queen’s Head, Piccadilly Circus. This is the oldest independent pub in London and it offers great food in its tucked away upstairs restaurant. If you are caught up in the hustle and bustle of central London, this is the place to head.
The Andover Arms, Hammersmith. This offers everything you would expect from a British pub, a cheery welcome and a great lunch and dinner menu. If you are in town at the weekend, why not head along and enjoy their regular Sunday quiz night.
The Victoria, Paddington. If you have enjoyed a long walk around Hyde Park the nearby Victoria offers rest, good food and great company. It might even make you smile to realise that Charles Dickens spent some time just where you are sitting, as he penned sections of his novel, Our Mutual Friend, whilst enjoying a beer.
The Churchill Arms, Kensington. The history of the Churchill Arms is quite fascinating. The pub has a long history, being built in 1750. However, it only gained its current name after the Second World War and it was due to the fact that Winston Churchill’s grandparents used to regularly drink in the bar. Drop by to have a beer and see all the Churchill memorabilia on display.
Experience the Secret Spots in London
Tamesis Dock: If you are wondering around parliament, this is a perfect stop for a break just an 8-minute walk from parliament. Take a walk just over the bridge, turn right, and carry on walking until you see it. It is a pub on a boat, docked up on the Thames. On top of the dock is a seating area, where you can watch the sunset over parliament and the surrounding city with a cold beer, and some great pub food.
A Cheeky Secret on the Cheap. (Keep this one hush): If you are looking for a quiet place to have some very cheap drinks in the center of London, well you are very lucky you have read this article. If you are travelling on the underground, you will likely come across Euston Square. Get off! Most people will go and spend a huge amount at the Euston Tap down the road (worth a look though). However even closer, 10 meters from the main exit, you will see 336 in big text on the nearest building. Forgive me for not giving the street name, I won’t make it that easy for you. Go in and turn immediately to the door on your right. For 2.50 as pint, where you will usually pay around 6, this is the place to have a few cheeky ones, before you move on to the next thing on your agenda. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself.
Putt in the Park: In the Park (next to Acton central railway station) is mini golf where you can get cold beers at the bar while you play. It looks very tranquil, with small streams running through it, and a lot of greenery. A fun activity, up to 2-4 persons per game. Consider going next door to the Station House after, (can’t miss it) for some fantastic pizzas.
Top Destinations in London for Nightlife
London nightlife is awash with diversity and eclecticism. No matter who you are or what your preferences are, there is a community out there that shares your values, be it top-quality claret, raucous cabaret, endless comedy or all-night clubbing. The following is a list of three neighbourhoods famed for their unique nightlife and why they need to be checked out:
Camden Town Camden is the kookiest, wackiest part of London, where all manner of arts are celebrated and encouraged. The markets contain bargain handmade clothes and leather goods, foods from all over the world and artwork in abundant. You’ll find the pubs and street corners buzzing with quirky characters and loud live music. Check out The Hawley Arms for rock star fame and Camden Town Brewery to see where the infamous Camden Beer is brewed.
Shoreditch Shoreditch is one for late night bars and street food. There’s practically a street food festival on every street, and a new bar or restaurant at least every fortnight. Shoreditch is quite pricey, but the competition keeps the quality of food and drinks up to scratch. Check out The Blues Kitchen for hip-swinging live music every night and 8 Hoxton Square for top-quality food.
Mayfair Mayfair is for those who want to splash some cash on high-end dining and classy drinking. For a genuine Mayfair experience that doesn’t break the bank head to Kitty Fisher’s, whose namesake became famous for her taste in London’s wealthy men and their lavish lifestyle.
Oxford street If you love shopping for designer brands, this is certainly the place to be. It has a comprehensive high-end selection in between many coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.
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