• Not Rude, Honest

LONDON TRAVEL TIPS

Between the recent terrorist attack in London Bridge and the results of the 2019 General Elections, it has been a rough end to the year for many Londoners who mostly voted Labour. To top it all off, the media showed its arse by intentionally misquoting Stormzy and encouraging the racist maggots to come out of the woodwork to attack him for telling the truth #NotRudeHonest. Winter Is Coming (or maybe it's here already... ) but I felt it was important to highlight the great things London still has to offer.


Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge NOT London Bridge!

FACTS

Destination: London

Country: England

Geographical location: Europe

Currency: Great British Pound (GBP)

Language: English

Flag: 🇬🇧



5 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON


1. Views - My favourite activity in any city is to go as high as possible to experience some beautiful views. London's skyline has changed quite a bit in the last decade and it has created places from which you can enjoy it.


  • The View from The Shard: The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union (pre-Brexit) and has restaurants, a hotel and three levels from which you can take in the city's skyline. (Cost: From £27.20) 

The Shard, London
The Shard
  • Sky Garden: Located on the top of 20 Fenchurch Street (commonly known as the Walkie-Talkie building) it provides the best 360º views of the city amidst beautiful plant and with the option of dining or drinking at one of the restaurants and bars located inside. Entry is free before 6pm if booked in advance online. (Cost: Varies after 6pm)


Sky Garden
Event hosted at Sky Garden (credit: sky garden.london)
  • London Eye: An observation wheel with 32 passenger capsules, it slowly rotates to give you a view of London from the South Bank of the River Thames. (Cost: From £27)

London Eye
London Eye

2. Museum & Art Galleries - Britain has a rich history of colonisation and theft 🙃, most of which is displayed in the many museums across the country; the most famous are located in London and do not charge entry fees. If art is your thing, then you will be happy to know that London has many galleries from which to enjoy different exhibitions. Like with the museums, many of the galleries provide free entry. (Cost: From free)


National History Museum
National History Museum (credit: Yeo Khee)

3. Westminister - The most globally recognised area of London and home to the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. This is definitely where you want to take your "I was here" picture and is the easiest way to connect to other popular London hotspots like Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. (Cost: Free)


Palace of Westminster Big Ben
Palace of Westminster & Big Ben

4. Pub - A staple of British culture, pubs are littered all over the country and are definitely an experience to be had. Whether it's to have a quick drink, experience pub food (which isn't great) or watch sports, a trip to the pub will give you a glimpse into living in England. 


Ye Olde London pub
London pub (credit: Montse Monmo)

5. Buckingham Palace - The London residence of the most famous monarch in the world, Queen Elizabeth. It is a huge tourist attraction that allows you to take private tours through parts of the property during the summer but there's very little chance of catching a glimpse of the queen or Meghan Markle. I suggest finding out the times for the 'Changing of the Guard' which regularly takes place on the forecourt of the palace and lasts 45 minutes, it's a fascinating process. (Cost: From free)


Queen's Guard
The Queen's Guard (credit: Aldo De La Paz)

OTHER ACTIVITIES

  • Parks and Gardens: Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Battersea Park, Winter Wonderland

  • West End Plays: Showing in 2020 - Disney's The Lion King, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Wicked, Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera (click here for more)

  • Bars and Nightclubs:  Jazz Cafe, Ministry of Sound, Revolution, Piccadilly Institute, Tiger Tiger. Netil360 and Golden Bee are both rooftop bars so they are best visited in the summer.

  • Full Day Activities: River Thames Boat Cruise, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (From mid-November to early January only), London Dungeons, London Zoo, Big Bus London Tour, Madame  Tussauds London

  • Harry Potter Fans (#RavenclawHouse): Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros. Studio, Walking Tour For Muggles, Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station

  • Thrill Seeking: ArcelorMittal Orbit, Up at The O2, Bungee Jump next to the O2


NRH RECOMMENDATIONS


  • Taking a walk along the Thames is one of my favourite things to do in London regardless of the season (unless it's raining!). Although the river itself is a sight for sore eyes, there is something very beautiful and calming about walking along the riverside in such a bustling city.

  • Walking through West End at night after the Christmas lights have been put up is a beautiful experience, something about it just warms the heart and puts you in a festive mood. Carnaby Street in particular tends to have the best decor. (Disclaimer: the 2019 lights are boring as hell but they are usually fabulous, I promise!)

  • Camden Town is a quirky little area of London that I love to explore. Famous for its live music scene and being the home of the late Amy Winehouse, Camden offers everything from eclectic street markets to wacky tattoo parlours.


River Thames
Sunset by the Thames (credit: Lucas Peng)

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL


London has two main periods in which it is simply beautiful to visit, July/August and December. If like me you are not a fan of cold weather, then the summer months are best as the probability of warm weather, although never guaranteed, is at its peak. You will get to enjoy all the parks and rooftop venues that have now become so popular.