London has so many amazing things to do. My hometown is one of those places that has no redeeming features aside from ‘oh but you can get to London in half an hour’ so I’ve always been one for frequent visits. Here are some of my recommendations of things to do:
There are so many theatres in London and they really have something for everyone. Wicked, Book of Mormon & Les Miserables have certainly been my favourite to see but they also come with a hefty price tag. Two plays I’ve seen which have been absolutely amazing and as a result I’ve returned to see them again and again is Woman in Black & Mousetrap. They are much more affordable and have fantastic storylines that are sure to impress. Mousetrap has been running continuously in London since 1952 so you’re watching a bit of history. It’s also worth looking at the smaller theatres, further afield, and seeing what they are putting on. We recently saw a great play at the Southwark Playhouse, thanks to the tube there’s hardly anywhere in London that isn’t accessible.
I adore independent cinemas because they have such character and you’ve got a chance to watch something a bit different. We recently went to the Hackney picturehouse for the London Short Film festival and it was much more interesting than our normal cinema visit. More centrally located is the Price Charles Cinema, which have the best events. They have sing-a-longs, movie marathons and a bi-monthly film quiz that I’ve been too a few times and has been really fun.
I have a close friend that lives in Greenwich and it’s given me ample opportunity to experience this wonderful part of London. Greenwich has a lot to offer and in the summer Greenwich Park is a really lovely place to stroll. Within the park sits the planetarium where you can watch a show for £7.50 (adults). Its a pretty amazing experience. Taking a visit to the Old Royal Navel College is absolutely wonderful AND totally free!
For those who are interested you can also visit the National Maritime museum & The Cutty sark. I like how you can take a stroll along the riverside and forget you’re in London at all. The Emirates Air Line Cable Car is a great way to see Greenwich from above, and at £4.50 one way it’s one of the more affordable things to do in London.
London has such a host of amazing museums and I’m sure wherever your interest lies there will be a museum for you. Most of the times that I schedule a trip to London it’s because there is an exhibition I want to go see.Having travelled all over the world I think the variety of FREE exhibitions that London offers is pretty unrivaled anywhere else in the world.
- Science Museum- absolutely jam packed and great if you have kids. It’s really interactive though and super fun!
- Wellcome Collection- a museum right near Euston Station, that has exhibitions on medicine and nature and we really enjoyed it.
- Museum of London & Museum of London at the Docklands- some really great informative exhibitions and the Docklands museum is in such a perfect position, right on the quays
- V&A- the perfect destination for anyone remotely interested in fashion. Certainly some of my favourite exhibitions have been hosted here.
- British museum- a real must visit, with an eclectic collection of items from all over the world.
- Natural History Museum- Adam is a particular fan of the Natural History Museum and I’m inclined to agree, I think its one of the best museums in the world.
- Imperial War Museum- a fantastic viewing, with a dramatic atrium full of displays, including a Spitfire plane.
- British Library- Not a museum I know but such a wonderful place and full of so many interesting things. They have exhibitions on and of course one hell of a book shop!
I admit I’m personally more drawn to a museum than a gallery but Adam first introduced me to the Tate Modern and I thought it was absolutely amazing so I would totally recommend a visit, even if you don’t consider yourself the arty type. I also like the National Portrait Gallery, which really have some remarkable portraits.
We also recently visited the Serpentine Gallery to see the Grayson Perry exhibition, I absolutely loved it and enjoyed the pieces, which offered creative commentary on society. Visiting the Gallery also gives you the ideal opportunity to visit Hyde Park.
The Saatchi Gallery, whilst quite small, is worth a visit if you’re in the area. All their exhibitions are free and we recently visited for their ‘Selfie’ exhibition which was fun!
Now Gallery is a gallery with some really interesting exhibitions in, as well as lots of information about how the local area will be transforming in the upcoming years.
For an alternative venue try the ‘Camden’s Daughter’, a pub in Camden which actually has a gallery space above it owned by Beach London. I got to see a great exhibition by my favourite graphic designer, Hattie Stewart, there recently and it was a great intimate space.
One of my favourite London experiences was climbing the O2. ‘Up at the O2’ is a really amazing experience. It’s not physically challenging but any effort exerted is totally rewarded by the wonderful views you get once you’re up there. I can only imagine how perfect it would be to watch the sun set from up there, total bucket list item!
Finding some evening entertainment in London is not difficult and there are music gigs all over the city every night. My favourite venues to see music are The Roundhouse, a fantastic venue in a former railway engine shed, and Alexandra Palace, an absolutely stunning venue which was first built in the 19th century.
One of my favourite activities in any city is to stroll around and view some of the street art and London has some great stuff, especially around Camden and Shoreditch. Carnaby is also a fantastic mix of street art, installations and historical street signs so is always worth a visit. It helps if the sun is shining!
After promising to visit for years Adam and I finally made the time to visit Kew Gardens and we absolutely loved it. There is such a variety of things to see and you can easily spend HOURS here. We spent about 3 hours and I felt like we were taking it at quite a speedy pace. There are so many beautiful photo opportunities, I’d certainly recommend it.
So there you go, a few of my recommendations. Nothing out of the blue there I know but sometimes the tourists are attracted to these places for a reason, they’re so much fun!