Whilst saving up for our travels, we spent a year living in big city London. During these 12 months, we spent a lot of time soaking up the culture and lifestyle as best we could all in London while on a budget. Here are just some of our favourite activities, and the best reasons to visit London!

 

 

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Join us as we explore the best sights in London and see the city for yourself! Also make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel for more adventures by clicking right here.

 

 

15 Reasons to Visit London – London’s Best Activities

 

Enjoy Indian on Brick Lane

Located in Shoreditch Brick Lane is the home to many curry houses. You will find London’s best curry houses on Brick Lane. (Check out Groupon if you’re wanting a cheaper option). These were some of the tastiest curry’s we’ve had.

Amazing Facts About Edinburgh

 

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London

 

 

Walk Along Southbank

A very popular tourist spot in London. This is where the London Eye is situated and a good view of Big Ben, Westminster and the photogenic Tower Bridge. This is beautiful for a walk along the promenade, soaking up London’s city vibes.

 

Southbank

 

 

Explore the Canals at Little Venice

If I move back to London I would love to live in Little Venice. This area makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to Italy, walking alongside the canals.

 

Little Venice 

 

 

Go Back in Time at Cahoots

Grab a cocktail in this 1940’s underground themed cocktail bar. The menu is read off of a vintage newspaper. Make sure you book a table in advance though, it may be a hidden gem but it is always very busy.

 

 

Coppa Club at Tower Bridge

Coppa Club sits in the centre of London, beside Tower Bridge. It is a space for unwinding and eating and drinking. For such a beautiful and unique place in London, the prices are very reasonable, a coffee costing between £2-£3. To sit outside in the igloos overlooking the river, it is recommended that you book in advance, especially if you are with a group. However, if it is quiet, you may be able to get a table in one whilst it is free, it’s always worth the ask.

 

 

Go to the Theatre

Visit the West End and take your pick from many shows. Tickets can be booked in advance online or at one of the ticket stands in the area. If you are not restrained by time, you are able to get incredible, last-minute deals on TodayTix! You will not be disappointed by the level of talent. We have been to many over the years but our favourites are Kinky Boots and The Lion King.

 

 

Explore Nottinghill

Home to the coloured houses, this area is one of the most picturesque in London. If you are in the are in August, be sure to check out the Nottinghill Carnival, it will not disappoint.

 

Nottinghill Carnival

 

 

Visit the Magical Harry Potter Studios

If there is one thing that London is famous for, it is its involvement in the worldwide movie phenomenon of Harry Potter. No trip to the capital city is complete, therefore, without planning a full Harry Potter day out in London.

When you visit the capital, be sure to explore the Harry Potter Studios. Although located a little bit outside of the centre of London, this is well worth a visit to see the film studios and the special effects used in the popular Harry Potter films. Make sure you stop at the cafe and try some butterbeer to get the full experience!

 

 

Harry Potter Studios

 

 

Christmas Markets

If you are visiting London around November/December time you will not be disappointed by the number of Christmas markets. These markets are an amazing, free activity for kids and adults alike, and are the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.

The largest being Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, you will most likely need to follow a map to find your way out, it is that big. It is also worth a visit to the Southbank food markets where you can sit around the fire pits whilst having food and drink.

 

 

 

Picnic in the Park

Although being a big city, London also has many parks. The perfect place to go and chill from the city buzz. Check out Serpatine Lake in Hyde Park, Richmond Park or Greenwich Park for some chill out time.

 

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Have a Street Feast

Disused and derelict buildings are transformed into eating and drinking spaces, all thanks to Street Feast. These are located in Shoreditch, Canada Water, Woolwich, Lewisham and Canary Wharf. Although based on the similar idea, these are all very individual in their own way, offering delicious street food, refreshing drinks and an awesome atmosphere.

 

Street Feast

 

 

Drink in the Views from The Shard

One of the most iconic glass buildings in London with spectacular views of the city. You can either buy a ticket for the viewing platform or simply buy one drink from the bar and share it. This is our favourite budget way to enjoy the view!

 

 

Take a Stroll through the Sky Garden

Another one of London’s best views is available from London’s highest public gardens. Across the water from The Shard, the Sky Garden offers a completely different view from its tall neighbour. It is recommended you book a slot for the Sky Garden as the queues are massive if you don’t. Located in the heart of Bank, the Sky Garden is up on the 35th floor looking over the stunning landscape of the city. Completely free to enter (during certain hours) and offering very reasonably priced drinks, this is the better option to The Shard. PLUS you get to admire the glass obelisk and its surroundings from here!

 

 

 

Shoreditch Pub Crawl

One of the most vibrant areas in the city and home to some of the best pubs. Use the Drinki app to see where you can get a free or discounted drink whilst you’re at it!

 

 

Neals Yard

Unless you know about it, you may not come across it. A cute little square near Covent Garden with cafes and shops, worth a visit even if it’s just for some quirky photos.

 

Neals Yard

 

 

West India Quay

Located in Canary Wharf we stumbled across this strip unexpectedly one day. Lined with bars and restaurants with outside seating, this place is definitely one to put on your list.

 

 

 

Before You Leave for London

Before you set off on your trip to the big city, there are a number of things you will need to know before you go to London. There are also a number of things you will need to arrange, such as how to get around, where to stay, and what insurance to use. All of this is discussed in the section below.

 

How to Get Around London

Public transport around London is really simple and easy to use. The cheapest way of doing this is by either using your bank card or purchasing an Oyster card. Both work the same of these work the same, giving a hugely discounted rate compared with paper tickets, however, the “daily cap” for the Oyster Card is slightly lower, making it the best option.

The Oyster card can be purchased at any station for a refundable deposit on return. To use this or your “contactless” bank card, you must swipe it at the designated machines at the station. You must swipe on and off the underground, overground and the train, however, you only need to swipe it once when you get onto the bus.

Some of the machines can be easy to miss at stations without a turnstile, so make sure you don’t forget to swipe or you could be in for a hefty fine!

 

 

What is the Best Travel Insurance for London

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. The extortionate medical bills could ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using World Nomads, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered.

 

 

What to Pack for London

What you need to pack for London will rely highly on when you make your trip to the capital. During the Spring and Autumn months, temperatures and weather patterns vary wildly between beautiful sunny skies and freezing rain.

The temperatures generally vary from 10 oC to 25 oC during these months, with a mixture between cold, northerly winds and warmer southerlies. There is a small amount of rain, with maybe 1 in 7 days receiving rainfall, which makes it perfect for days out exploring the beautiful city.

During the Summer months in London, temperatures tend to range from 20oC to 30oC, with some days topping 35oC. Summer days in London are perfect for the beach, with many locals and travellers alike sending their day soaking up the sun and playing in the sea. When it comes to toiletries, we recommend that you don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The sun in London can be strong, especially in the summer months.

 

If you need more inspiration on what to pack for your trip, check out our full packing guides for all-weather conditions over here.

 

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you will see in London, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

 

Photography Equipment

Main Photography Camera – Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera

Main Lens – Sony FE f/2.8 16mm-35mm GM

Zoom Lens – Sony F3.5-5.6 28mm-70mm

Camera Stand – Neewer Portable 177cm

Vlogging Camera – Sony HX90v

Action Camera – GoPro Hero 8 Black

Drone Camera – DJI Spark

Camera Bag – Yahan Camera Bag

 

 

Where to Stay in London

Accommodation in London is not cheap, especially if you are looking to stay in the city centre. We can recommend that you use booking.com to find your accommodation and we have suggested one for each budget below.

LuxuryDoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London is the perfect luxury stay, located in the heart of the city centre.

Book your stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London here.

 

Mid-Range – The Premier Inn London County Hall is situated beside the London Eye and is the perfect central location for your one day in London.

Book your stay at The Premier Inn London County Hall here.

 

Budget – For a cheap and cheerful stay that isn’t a night in a hostel dorm, Brick Lane Deluxe Guest Room is a great location for your one day in London.

Book your stay at Brick Lane Deluxe Guest Room here.

 

If hostels are more your scene, you can check out the hostels available in London here.

 

london bridge
There is so much to see in this incredible city and we hope that this guide has given you the inspiration and knowledge to visit and fall in love.

 

 

If you liked this blog then be sure to check out the rest of our London collection here. Also catch up with us on our socials and say “hi”!

 

This article may contain affiliate links that provide us with a small income. For more information read our Affiliate page.


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This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Dagney

    Love Neal’s Yard and the Sky Garden. Can’t wait to check all of these out when we’re there in October!

    Dagney

    1. Campbell

      Its quite a magical place, very secluded! Awesome, enjoy your trip.

    1. Campbell

      Hopefully you get to visit soon! It is a wonderful city 🙂 You’re welcome!

  2. The Saltbox

    Great post about London and breaking down a variety of the popular must do and see things when in the area. I’ve never heard of the West India Quay and excited to check it out. We actually covered some of the free things to do in London on our blog a week ago.

    1. Campbell

      Thank you 🙂 West India Quay is lovely and it’s actually really quiet at the weekend! Aw it’s great finding all the free things to do around the city 🙂 there’s actually quite a lot!

  3. Molina

    I live in London, but I love reading blogs of people who have been because you always find something new! I don’t think I could ever get bored of this city! I work in the city once a week (my usual work is based outside) and I love walking around Fleet Street up towards the Strand. The buildings are just so powerful!

    1. Campbell

      I do as well. We lived there for a year and we were always finding something new to do. There is always something going on in London! I love that walk as well, it’s such a stunning city 🙂

  4. Phill Slater

    I work a lot in London but some of these are new to me. West India quay is a regular hangout though.

    1. Campbell

      We love it there, lots of nice restaurants and bars! Glad you found some new things to do 🙂

  5. Raluca

    I’ve been three times in London and did not have a clue about Neals Yard. I definetely have to try it next time. Thank you!

    1. Campbell

      You’re welcome! So glad you have found somewhere new to explore in London 🙂 It’s a really cool place!

  6. Jessica

    London has been on my list for a while now. This seems like a great list! I’m taking notes for when I finally make it there!

    1. Campbell

      Aw I hope you make it to London one day soon, it’s a great city and there is so much to do 🙂

  7. Jenny

    We visited for a week in April last year. We tried to see so many things, but there are just too many. I need to follow your lead and stay a year. Those places you picked look like so much fun, love your images. You chose unique places many people may not even know about after researching London. Great post. And I am keeping this for my next trip over.

    1. Campbell

      There sure is a lot to do there. It definitely helped when we moved there to fit it all in although there are still things that we haven’t done! Thank you so much, I hope you find some new things to do whilst you are there 🙂

  8. Andrea LaPlant

    I am so jealous that you were able to live in London for a year! I would love the opportunity to do that! I’ve been to London 3x and completely agree with everything on this post. There are several things that I haven’t been able to experience yet, so I will pin your post for the next time I visit London. Cheers!

    1. Campbell

      It was a really good experience and one we may consider doing again. I hope you have found something new to do on your next visit 🙂 There are so many things to do in London, many that we still haven’t done!

  9. Alexandra

    Like so many people, London is so high on my travel list. I want to visit here even more now, thanks to your post. Beautiful city!

    1. Campbell

      Thank you so much for commenting! Hope you get there one day.

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