Having lived in London for almost two years now, we are in the strange transition period from tourist to local; we’ve grown accustomed to the splendour of Hyde Park, yet we are still not fluent in Cockney Rhyming. However in our time in the capital we have developed a solid list of our go to spots for culture, relaxation and fantastic days out! Here are our tops sights to see in London.
In close proximity to our home in Woolwich, Greenwich is an easy choice for a Sunday stroll or Friday beverage (or three). Markets, historical buildings, bars and restaurants all meet in this world famous district of London.
Our main highlights in this beautiful place include strolling the Greenwich covered markets on a rainy Sunday, checking out the Cutty Sark beside the Thames, taking in the views of London from the Greenwich observatory and laughing the night away at the Up the Creek comedy club.
As the first place we visited when we came to the capital all those years ago, the Isle of Dogs has a special place in our hearts. Just a short ride on the DLR from Woolwich, Lewisham, Stratford or Bank, Canary Wharf offers a range of activities for any weather.
On a rainy day you can explore the underground labyrinth of shops that branch off the huge underground station. Enjoy the summer warmth in the multiple sheltered parks amongst the glass skyscrapers, an incredibly peaceful escape from the big city vibes. Enjoy dinner and drinks at the street food market or at the quayside.
Our favourite thing about Canary Wharf is that, due to it being a major business district, come the weekend it is practically a ghost town offering beautiful views, fantastic food and a relaxing atmosphere if you are tired of the hustle of London.
Another fantastic part of Canary Wharf is the Street Feast Food Market, Giant Robot. This food market can be found on the north end of Canary Wharf and hosts a huge variety of cuisines from around the world. Read more about these markets, which are spread across the south-east of London right here!
If we are ever struggling to think of a place to go to, we usually let our feet guide us in the direction of Southbank in the city centre. A direct train to Charing Cross drops us right into the mix, offering markets, tourist attractions such as the London Eye, a relaxing walk along the Thames or seasonal activities such as the Udderbelly.
From here it is a short walk from other main sights such as Covent Gardens, Leicester square and Trafalgar square, a good base camp location from which you can see where the day leads you.
As mentioned, this famous attraction is only a short walk from the central hub of London. This district holds the majority of theatres showing world class musicals and shows, as well as the incredible Covent Garden’ markets and restaurants. If nothing here tickles your fancy then the Chinatown district is only a short walk away, offering dozens of restaurants to choose from, many of which provide non-Asian cuisines if you are not feeling too exotic.
From Covent Gardens you can enjoy a leisurely stroll to many other sites such as Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, as well as the tourist attractions these locations entail.
Without a doubt our favourite place to go for dinner is Shoreditch, more specifically Brick Lane. If you fancy a curry in the big city then Brick Lane is the place to go! Catch the Overground railway to Shoreditch high street and enjoy a bar crawl through the student-filled, happy hour bars that line these streets.
Many of the deals you can get on drinks here will make you forget you’re in London! We would recommend checking Groupon or the likes before getting a curry on Brick Lane however, as it can still be rather pricey!
While walking through the bustling metropolis of London’s busy bank district, it is easy to forget that London is blessed with a number of both incredibly beautiful and large parks and green spaces. Our favourite spot for a wander on a summer’s is through the gigantic Hyde Park. No matter how busy the streets around London tend to be, the rolling plains of Hyde Park will make you feel like you are back in the countryside, with plenty of room for everyone to sit on the grass and relax.
If you fancy doing more than sun-bathing then Hyde Park is likely to have some form of outdoor entertainment, such as the Barclay’s British Summer Time festival that is on each July, or the Winter Wonderland Christmas markets that are in over December. Check out Timeout London if you want to see what events are on during your visit.
Perhaps the most famous landmark in London is Tower Bridge (not to be confused with London Bridge..). Built in the 19th century, Tower Bridge is one of the oldest working drawbridges in the world. The beautiful architecture can be appreciated from afar or up close, as you take in the spectacular views along the Thames.
Historic and modern London clash here as the Shard stands tall on the horizon of the Tower of London. This is the perfect place to stop by for a coffee before you head further into the city centre.
One of the many accidental discoveries we have made in London is the incredible network of canals that spread throughout the north side of the Thames. A sunny day is the perfect time for the long walk from Camden markets along to Paddington station, taking roughly 4 hours and offering spectacular sights of life along the canals, transporting you to the beautiful city of Amsterdam .
Of course there are many, MANY more sights to see around London as this only scratches the surface of what there is to do in this beautiful city. However in the incredibly fast 2 years that we have lived here, these are our top sights to see.
Leave a comment below of any recommendations that we must check out! Also read about the other fantastic places to visit in beautiful England.
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