London has an annual 17.4 million visitors, which makes it one of the most visited cities in the world. London can be quite overwhelming, so it’s always handy to have a quick checklist of things to do in the city.
Having lived in London for 8 years, it has to be on our list of top travel destinations. London will always have a place in our heart, a treasure trove of great things to do & see. Remember though, that London is forever changing and offers a different experience for each person. Discover some of the amazing places London has to offer, here are a few of our favourites…
1.Spend an afternoon in Hampstead Heath, Hampstead.
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering 320 hectares (790 acres) with great views across London. The Heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, a modern training track, and the adjoining stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. Put together a picnic or cheat and order one from Melrose and Morgan, Primrose Hill and Hampstead, (Hamper from £39.95). Open a bottle of Prosecco and spend the afternoon people watching – London is bursting with great characters!
2. Lunch at The Spaniards Inn
The sun isn’t shining? No worries, cancel the picnic and break for lunch at The Spaniards Inn.
As one of London’s oldest pubs, The Spaniards has earned itself a place in the history books, quite literally. Dickens immortalised it in The Pickwick Papers, and it is said that Keats wrote the Ode to a Nightingale here over a claret or two. Indeed, the characterful 16th century inn is a romantic idyll in itself, with a few tales of its own to tell.
3. Catch some of the best views of London at The Shard, London Bridge Street.
Ranked in the world’s most beautiful skyscrapers, The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and towers above the London skyline.
4. Dine at one of our favourite restaurants – Clos Maggoire, Covent Garden.
Renowned for its outstanding French-influenced cuisine and one of the world’s finest wine lists – Clos Maggoire is the 2015 winner of London’s most romantic restaurant. Enjoy!
5. Enjoy a truly authentic Arabic dining experience in the heart of London at Mamounia Lounge
After an indulgent shopping spree, we recommend that you take a moment to stop off at Mamounia Lounge. With venues in both Mayfair and Knightsbridge, the opulent Arabic restaurants offer the very best of traditional Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines and delicious cocktails. Top tip: complete your Middle Eastern experience by trying an authentic shisha! In the evening Mamounia Lounge comes alive with beautiful belly-dancers and traditional musicians, evoking the energetic buzz of Marrakesh for an unforgettable Middle Eastern experience right in the heart of London!
6. Or treat someone special to a traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is a quintessential British experience; a rare and wonderful tradition that has stood the test of time. Indulge in the finest sandwiches with classic fillings together with freshly baked scones, strawberry preserve and clotted Devonshire cream, followed by a delectable selection of afternoon tea cakes and pastries.
7. Visit Little Venice
Little Venice is London’s answer to the famous Italian city. Home to various waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants, the area comes alive in the summer months. Jump on a canal boat or walk along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent’s Park.
8. Shopping on Sloane Street, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Sloane Street is internationally recognised as one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious shopping destinations, situated in London’s Royal Borough.
9. …or shop vintage at Camden Passage
Tucked behind Upper Street in Islington, Camden Passage is a real treasure trove of cute cafes, independent boutiques and vintage shops. You’ll find everything from exquisite one-offs to unique fun party outfits, as well as an antiques market selling furniture, curios, war memorabilia and various bric-a-brac.
7. Ciro’s Pizza. Eat the best pizza in town (in our opinion, anyway😜)
No airs and graces pollute this cute and cosy Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge. Unashamedly kitsch, this isn’t the place for a sophisticated, quiet candlelit schmooz with a loved one but it’s the perfect place for a fun, sociable soiree set to a colourful backdrop of live music. From Elvis one evening to belly dancing or flamenco the next, the entertainment is varied and decidedly exuberent. Popular with locals, celebs and passersby alike, the food here is surprisingly good and reasonably priced. The perfect place for a birthday bash or a fun and friendly night out.
8. Spend Sunday afternoon at Chelsea Farmers Market
Chelsea Farmer’s Market is a little gem tucked away on the King’s Road end of Sydney Street SW3. Packed with several restaurants and shops in an outdoor complex it’s the perfect place to hang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Make sure you check out the rest of the Farmer’s Market – there’s a Pet Pavilion, a Nail salon, a Pizzeria and Gelato parlour, along with an organic food store.
9. Spend an evening at Ronnie Scott’s legendary jazz club
Opened in 1959, this legendary jazz club made its name as the first UK music venue to host American jazz artists. Find it on Frith Street, Soho and make it a must on your itinerary! Are you a true jazz head? Check out the weekly late-night sessions at The Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs Jazz Jam!!
We hope our insider guide to London is helpful. Let us know your favourite hotspots!