If you can picture London, and we’re sure you can, then you probably have an overwhelming sense of, ‘oh my, that place is huge’. And it really is. So how, then, do you go about packing enough into a trip to really get a sense of what the city is all about? What’s worth your time, and what isn’t? They’re big questions, but think them through and you’ll soon discover that you really can get informed about what London is all about even if you’re only visiting for a few days. Or, at least you can with our help….
A Walk Through History
If you’re spending most of your time in Zone 1, then you should be focusing your energies on learning about London’s history, of which there is much. The city is so packed with historic sites, stories, buildings, and so forth that you’ll be best served by booking yourself onto a walking tour and getting your history delivered to you by a guide. There are a few free options (you tip them what you think they were worth at the end) you can make use of. There are also a few self-guided walking tours that’ll pick out the highlights as you go for a stroll, too.
Getting a Taste
England once had a reputation for having terrible food. We were drinkers, and put our energy into beer and gin (and still do!). However, that reputation is well gone now. London might just be the best food city in the world. Check out the Gourmet Guide – fine dining in London list and book yourself somewhere spectacular. With the food in London being the best in the world, sitting down for a fine meal is one of the best ways to experience ‘modern London’ having finished your history tour of the city.
Most tourists tend to stick to Zone 1 when they’re only visiting for a few days. They walk along the South Bank, through Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you stick to these areas then you won’t be discovering what the real London is all about. To do this, you’ll have to jump on the tube and head in just about any direction out into Zone 2 or 3. This is where people live, where you can really see the diversity of London’s population and discover all the small, cool pop up enterprises that make the city such an energetic place to be.
If you’re travelling without kids, then don’t even think about turning in for an early night, especially if it’s the weekend. London is alive at night. Whether you’re throwing shapes on the dancefloor or just exploring London’s most historic pubs (and its finest ales), or enjoying a show in the West End. Find an area of the city that is in tune with your preferred type of nightlife and have fun.
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We love London and we are only 45 minutes away on the train. We really should make the effort to go more often xx
I’ve always found the pace and amount of people overwhelming. I like going on small adventures there, but I am pleased when I get back home again!
Some great tips here. I’ve only ever really done the very touristy bits of London.
I love a trip to London but I do always find it all a little overwhelming and tend to stick to the parts I know. These are fab tips xx
I traveled to London on my own back in January for my 30th. Night life sounds amazing. I always had an early night because I was on my own. Maybe next time.
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We want to take our 8 year old daughter for the weekend to do all the sightseeing