I’ve visited London 4 times in the last year, and I’m going again at the end of this month. I love London and everything it has to offer. It is the ultimate tourist trap – no matter what you like: shopping, art, music, history – it offers everything and then some.
As an art student, the National Gallery is my idea of heaven on earth. The building in itself is a masterwork, gloriously high ceilings, marble floors, gold ornate coving. It contains pieces from Titian and Veronese to van Dyck. The National Gallery is situated in Trafalger Square; directly between Leiscter Square and Westminster.
The Hippodrome Casino at Leiscter Square is phenomenal – although I’m not a gambler, I loved the atmosphere and the drinks were flowing. Around this area are many of the theatres.
Westminster is a must see: the bridge, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament all within a hairs breath of one another. The London Eye is pretty expensive in my opinion, prices have increased to £33 since Coca Cola bought it over. I’ve done it once at night, the view was beautiful and despite my fear of heights I thoroughly enjoyed it but I will not be paying for it again. The food on the other side of the bridge (beside the London Eye) is exceptional, and very reasonably priced considering its location. Further along the river is the a Tower of London and Tower Bridge – also a must see. In my photos there’s a picture of my boyfriend in a shirt looking into the Tower from a Whetherspoons in the area, again food is good and cheap if you don’t want to break the bank but dine in a prime location.
I highly recommend going to see a West End Show in London – they’re pretty cheap and it’s something you’ll never forget. I’ve seen Wicked at the Apollo Theatre and it was phenomenal.
Camden market is electric on a Sunday, and the shops and stalls have everything you could ever want. There’s a JD Wetherspoons right on the canal with affordable drink and food as well as a stunning view of the water – it’s more than ideal.
If markets aren’t really your scene then Knightsbridge is the ultimate shopping district, Oxford Street comes close at second place. The former offers high end as well as high street, and the Russian Tearoom across from Harrods does a phenomenal chicken risotto. Hyde Park is also less than a five minute walk from Knightsbridge – my plan for my visit and the end of the month is to shop and then have a picnic for lunch in the park.
Chinatown is just beside Leiscter Square and the food is exceptional. Nightlife in the area is also great – but it does cost you. Probably because I’m Scottish, but I’d reccomend buying a bottle in a local shop and drinking it on the tube en route, it’ll save you a small fortune.
I went to a small festival in Finsbury Park to see Arctic Monkeys play last May, and if I’m honest I wouldn’t do it again. They closed the nearest tube station due to overcrowding and we had no idea to get home – if you do anything like this please make sure you’re organised!
Travel to and from is cheap enough as long as you book far enough in advance – go on a whim and it might cost you. An all day tube pass is £12 witch may seem expensive but trust me it is worth it / taxis are extortionate and paying for each individual tube journey adds up to far more. I’d also say that if you’re going in a group leave figuring the tube routes out to one person , it causes argument or at the very least disagreements and it’s so not worth it.
I’ve stayed in hotels in Camden, Kensington and on Euston Road as well as rented an apartment in the West End. Accommodation never fails to impress me, I find the best site to use is booking.com as they can satisfy any requirement of yours and it’s so easy to compare stats.
I’ll be back in London on June 30th – I’ll try and find new things to write about and photograph for you!