It’s the capital city of the UK, first stop on almost everybody’s Europe travel itineraries and consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to visit. I feel a little dumb writing about all the reasons you should visit London because, let’s face it, I could ramble on forever and there’s probably a thousand articles out there far more coherent than this one. But at the same time, it’s one of my favourite places in England and somewhere that I go over and over without tiring of it. So here goes: here’s just a few slightly less conventional reasons to visit London …
Look – there’s green!
While parks and open greenery aren’t the first thing that spring to mind when you think about London, it’s not all grey buildings and getting sweaty on the tube. London is also home to some stunning parks and outdoor spaces perfect to explore by foot or Boris bike! If you’re a big nature fan, Richmond Park is the biggest enclosed space in London and home to herds of beautiful deer or take a picnic to enjoy on Hampstead Heath on a sunny day. Searching for a bit of tranquility among the madness? The Kyoto Garden at Holland Park is something special.
There is an abundance of excellent places to eat in London. From Michelin-starred fine dining to tucked away cafes frequented by locals only, whatever your taste is you can guarantee that London will cater for it. Plus, with a plethora of street markets to choose from, you can sample delights from Lebanon, Spain and Japan within just a few paces of each other.
Some of my favourite foodie memories come from visiting London, including this spectacular dessert above. If you were wondering where to acquire this sweet treat, head to Camden market and you’ll find this stall just to the left of the canal. Other favourite food markets in London include Southbank and Borough Markets.
I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of talent in British musicians. While cities up north like Manchester have a great music scene, London is still the epicentre of brilliance in the industry. For decades, it’s been a leader when it comes to dance and underground music but even organisations like BBC Introducing have brought so many artists that we know and love into the limelight – Florence and the Machine, Two Door Cinema Club, James Bay and George Ezra to name just a few. Buskers on the underground (mainly) give commuters a rush-hour treat while bars with unbelievable live acts are ridiculously easy to come by. Or, take advantage of the buzzing theatre scene by enjoying a show at the West End. Of all the reasons to visit London out there, this has to be one of my favourites.
Of course, the Harry Potter fanatic in me couldn’t go without mentioning the much-loved series. One of the most exciting stops on my first trip to London was the Millennium Bridge (destroyed by Death Eaters in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) and if you head to Kings Cross train station, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of Platform 9 3/4. Want to go all out? The Warner Bros Studio Tour is located in Watford, just 20 minutes train ride from London Euston where you can tour the real film sets and relive that wizarding magic. It’s amazing, I promise.
Let’s hear ’em: what are your favourite things to do in London?