Where to go in London – Insider Tips! I wish I had pound for every time a confused tourist clutching a backpack and looking terrified uttered the words “I don’t really like London” Agggh! Of course, there are hundreds and thousands of happy visitors to the best city in the world. But, I hope this will help those less fortunate.
Firstly, due to many requests! Here are some ‘instagrammable places to explore. I hope you find your own unique places too!
PHOTO: INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES IN LONDON
- Maida Vale Canal – take the tube to St John’s Wood and turn right.
- Peggy Porchen Cakes – Elizabeth Street, London SW1
- The Ivy Chelsea Garden – The King’s Road, Chelsea
- Fortnum and Masons, Piccadilly, W1
PHOTO: Sky Garden, Fenchurch Street EC3
Sky Garden has the most incredible views of every landmark in London! Tickets are free, book online before arrival https://skygarden.london
HOW SAFE IS LONDON?
I have pottered around alone in London for my whole life and never experienced anything untoward and never had anything stolen or anyone being other than really lovely. Pickpockets will target crowded areas so avoid places such as crowded Tubes and packed Tourist areas. Keep your money safely stored if you do venture into crowds.
WHERE TO STAY:
Stating the obvious, of course, but the better the hotel the better the experience you will enjoy. However, London hotel prices are eye wateringly expensive. My Tip? If you can’t afford it or don’t want to splurge ….do not compromise with an inferior hotel in a down market area. Would you do this in your own home country? NO… of course not! A solution is to rent an apartment or Airbnb stay.
Airbnb have some fabulous city apartments in great areas of London. East London is cool and on trend but my personal favourite areas are W1, W2 (near Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens),Sw1, SW3 and SW7. NW1 is also nice. London parks are very beautiful and super areas to stay nearby. Enjoy the best of the city with the park for fun, cycling and relaxation. Avoid areas near train stations, this advice goes for every city in the world.
My Favourite Hotels:
The Ritz or Claridges for me! They always have some deals so check out their websites. For not expensive boutique hotels Ecclestone Square has its own private square garden and is a nice hotel. Another more classically english boutique hotels is The Gore Hotel is a great choice in a super location.
WHAT TO DO:
PHOTO: Royal Academy. Where to go in London – insider tips!
So many free museums in London, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune for a family visit. If the weather permits, visit a couple of museums and then take a picnic into the park for lunch.
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum – Kids love to visit
- V and A – These 3 are near Hyde Park
- National Gallery
- British Museum
- Museum of London
- Tate Modern – Another fave of mine!
- Wallace Collection (one of my favourites and a short walk from Selfridges)
- A total of 23 free museums see Visit London
The Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road is a small privately owned Art Gallery that is a favourite for modern art and it has a nice place to eat.
PHOTO: The Serpentine, Hyde Park
Visit the London Parks. We have the best city parks in the world, Stroll in Kensington Gardens and see Kensington Palace. If weather permits take a picnic and join many picnicking families in all the parks.
- Kensington Palace, home to lots of Royals, visit the exhibitions at the Palace.
- Hyde Park, walks, take a row boat onto the beautiful Serpentine, visit the Serpentine Gallery
- Regents Park has the friendliest squirrels who will come and say ‘hello’, home to London Zoo and some exquisite gardens.
- Green Park. Across the road from Buckingham Palace. Stroll through the gardens to get to The Ritz and Piccadilly.
PHOTO: Piccadilly. London
We have the best shopping in the world for choice, selection, price, the best High Street Stores!
PHOTO: The river Thames and London Eye
- Knightsbridge. My personal favourite! I have shopped in Harrods all my life and still buy things there every visit. The Sales are not to be missed. Harvey Nicholls is just up the road and lots of little boutiques abound. Take the rear exit and stroll along to Walton Street and the Fulham Road for more great shops and restaurants. You will leave the tourist behind in seconds and find real London living.
- Oxford Street. Home of Selfridges and every teenagers favourite Top Shop, stroll down Bond Street for more exclusive shops down to New Bond Street where you will pass by some very tempting jewellery stores. Good second hand jewellery stores for an antique piece too.
- Covent Garden. Always a fun area to visit, all of the theatres are within walking distance and the Royal Opera House, of course. You can find some reasonably priced tickets if you book well in advance online direct with the ROH.
PHOTO: FORTNUM AND MASON, Piccadilly
Fortnum and Mason is a treasure trove and serves a really delicious afternoon tea, make sure to book!
MY FAVOURITE BARS:
All time favourite is The Ritz Bar. Go and enjoy a delicious cocktail in these exquisite surroundings. Worth every penny, I promise you!. After one or two of these you might be tempted to stay for dinner. A real treat! Take a look at the Menu, the set price meals are good value for money. I much prefer it to The Wolesely next door, better food, better service the most beautiful Dining Room.
Hop across the road to Berkeley Square and Sexy Fish for somewhere younger and on trend. Try Artesian at the Langham, behind Oxford Circus on Portland Place. Park Chinois, for a cabaret dining experience on Berkeley Square, only a block away from Claridges.
WHERE TO EAT:
Afternoon Tea: Avoid the big, obvious places for tea (unless you have longed to visit of course!) They are absurdly expensive, you can have dinner for the same price! I recently enjoyed a fab Champagne afternoon tea at five star The Arch, London.
PHOTO: The Arch London Afternoon Tea
Lunch or Dinner: Read my review of Nipa Thai Restaurant located in the Royal Lancaster Hotel for great Thai food. Try Kaspar’s at The Savoy, La Poule au Pot in Pimlico for inexpensive french classic Bistro Food. Chelsea Cafe and The Bluebird for casual dining on the King’s Road.
If you are in Notting Hill try The Lebury. The River Cafe is an old favourite by the river. Make sure to book all these in advance.
This should keep you busy for a while!
WHAT TO DO:
PHOTO: RIB RIDE FROM EMBANKMENT
Take an exhilarating boat ride on a RIB, just opposite Embankment tube station. The best way to see the sites of London. http://thamesribexperience.com.
The Ice Skating rinks open across London in November, I love the one at the Natural History Museum. Bonfire night on November 5 brings fireworks celebrations and a massive celebration on November 10 at 5.15 an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of London. See the display between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridge on The Thames.
Christmas lights come on November 8, great time to see London and do your Christmas shopping! Christmas Fairs and Markets pop up everywhere in November and December.
So much more at Visit London
HOW TO GET AROUND:
PHOTO: The Thames, catch a Waterbus
Walk!! The best way to see any city. Download the Uber App for when you get achy feet and tired. The Uber licence has been reinstated in London. The most picturesque way to see the city by river and very inexpensively is a River bus, they run every half hour approximately but check out the timetable here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk and here: http://thamesclippers.com
FINALLY: DO NOT visit London on a boring, soul destroying tour, being dragged around to every tourist trap in the city. Do it yourself and really enjoy all this city has to offer. I hope my Where to go in London – Insider Tips! are useful, let me know please.