“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”
Samuel Johnson, 1777
Google what to do in London and there are endless suggestions of famous landmarks, quirky tours, beautiful parks, fascinating museums and so much more. The tricky thing with moving to a new city as opposed to visiting is that you risk becoming blasé about all the fantastic opportunities, and don’t make the most of the city. To avoid this, I have my London List – places to go, things to see and do and events I want to take part in – both in London and wider England and Europe.
This is not meant to be a finite list that, once ticked off, means it’s time to leave London – I’ve been here for three years already and there’s still so much I want to do and see. Instead I’ll be updating this when I tick something off and also when I find something new. I’d also love to hear from you if there’s anything you think I should add. Hopefully it might inspire you for your next London visit – or in your London life!
These places are famous for a reason – many of them are iconic, historic, or just plain awesome.
I’ve been to: Beatles Abbey Road Crossing | Boat ride down the Thames | Brick Lane Curry | Buckingham Palace Royal Day Out | Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace | Emirates Air Line | Greenwich | Harry Potter Studios | Kensington Palace | Kew Gardens and Palace (and their beautiful Christmas lights!) | London Eye | London Zoo | Monument | Sky Garden | St Paul’s Cathedral | Westminster Abbey & Westminster Cathedral | Windsor Castle
Still on the list: Hampton Court Palace | Inside Big Ben (well, to be correct, the Elizabeth Tower) | Tower of London and The Ceremony of the Keys | Up at the O2 | View From the Shard
One of my favourites, Maltby Street Market
One of my favourite London discoveries has been its many awesome food markets. From farmers’ produce to hipster craft brewing and everything in between, large or small there is sure to be a market for you in London!
I’ve munched at: Borough Market | Brick Lane Markets | Broadway Market | Brixton Market | Camden Market | Columbia Road Flower Market | Covent Garden | Dinerama | Greenwich Market | Hawker House – Canada Water and Hackney | Leather Lane | Netil Market | Portobello Road Markets | Spitalfields
Still on the list: Model Market | Primrose Hill Market. Any other suggestions for my next foodie stop?!
Walking tours, self-guided or otherwise, are an awesome way to see a city. With a knowledgeable guide or book you’re likely to see far more detail, history and life than by just going for a solo wander. And you’re not stuck inside – ideal!
Still to wander: London Unravelled tour | Monopoly Board Walk (or pub crawl!) | Quirky London tour | Street Art Tour
I love London’s many parks. They were one of my biggest surprises when I moved to London – I just hadn’t realised how much beautiful green space there is in and around the city. I love running through one on a crisp Saturday morning, lazing on a picnic rug with friends after work, or exploring wild outer corners on a ramble.
I’ve frolicked in: Greenwich Park | Green Park | Epping Forest | Hampstead Heath | Holland Park | Hyde Park | Kensington Gardens | Kew Gardens | Regent’s Park | Richmond Park | St James’ Park | Victoria Park
Still to wander: London Wetlands
Be a Good Sport
Pimms at Wimbledon
I’m a huge sports fan and London hosts some iconic events, from cricket to tennis to polo. As well, there’s the annual rugby games with the All Blacks to look forward to!
Still to attend: Croquet | Football Match | Horse-riding at Epping Forest or Hyde Park | Racing at Ascot
Museums & Art Galleries
London has a multitude of museums and art galleries, from the National Gallery to the Florence Nightingale Museum. Most of them are free, which is absolutely incredible. I try to save them for bad-weather days, but sometimes I can’t resist popping into a different room of the Portrait Gallery for a quick blitz of culture.
I’ve visited: British Museum | Imperial War Museum | Museum of London | Natural History Museum | National Gallery | Portrait Gallery | Tate Modern | Victoria & Albert |
Still to see: British Library | Cabinet War Rooms | Charles Dickens Museum | Florence Nightingale Museum | Maritime Museum | Royal Observatory | Science Museum | Sherlock Holmes Museum | Tate Britain | Wallace Collection | Whitechapel Gallery
Events & Extras
Still to get to: Apsley House | BBC tour | Bloomsbury Festival | Chinese New Year parade | Houses of Parliament tour or Question Time | Notting Hill Carnival | Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre | Roman London around the City | Silent Disco (at the Shard, maybe?)
As great as London is, I also love leaving it. You can pretty much assume that if I haven’t been to a destination, I’ll want to travel to it – and even if I have I still might! But here’s some of the places, events and special happenings around Europe that are at the top of my list.
UK: Abergavenny Food Festival | Bath | Chislehurst Caves | Cornwall | Durdle Door | Glasgow | Glastonbury Festival | Highclere Castle, home of Downton Abbey | Hogmanay in Edinburgh | Lakes District | Oxford | Peaks District | Portmerion village in Wales | Scottish Highlands | Seven Sisters | Snowdonia | Stonehenge | York
Whewph – what a list? Anything to add??