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Welcome to London!
The capital of an empire where the sun never set, London has evolved from a gritty city driven by industry to a global, metropolitan hub of business and culture. London has always attracted visitors from all over the globe because of its royal grandeur and its rich history, making it one of the most visited cities in the world. The city has plenty of sights and attractions, from London Bridge to the Tower of London--enough to fill any itinerary for both tourists and worldwide locals.
A Cheap and Classic Way to See the Sights
Hop on the iconic red double-decker bus, and grab a seat at the top deck for scenic views of the city. Take bus number 11, as it goes through popular landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral. For only a couple of pounds, you can see these attractions from the comfort of a bus seat.
Worldwide Local Tip: As a worldwide local, you need to learn that the transport system in London is susceptible to delays and ongoing work. Check before you use the transport system for any disruptions or ask the concierge at any of the London hotels how you should get around it.
Camden: Food, Shopping, and More
Camden Market is a chic part of London, with trendy boutiques and a bustling nightlife. For a sample of London’s best street food scene, head over to the West Yard. Located right by Regent’s Canal at the Camden Lock, it has a varied choice of food stalls serving up cheap and tasty treats. From a dirty hotdog to Vietnamese Pho, even gourmet steak on the go, the food at the West Yard will change your mind about British gastronomy.
Worldwide Local Tip: If street food is not up to your alley, partake in the British institution of traditional fish and chips at Poppie’s Fish Bar and enjoy its nostalgic 1940s-themed setting. Their catch is responsibly sourced and cooked fresh, and Poppie’s is considered by many to be London’s best fish and chips restaurant.
The Great Outdoors
Escape the hustle and bustle of a thriving capital city and head to the lush open green spaces of Hyde Park. During the summer, you can see people rowing around Serpentine Lake or putting a blanket down on the grass for an afternoon picnic. Besides the greenery of Hyde Park is the palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reside. Tucked deep in the beautiful Kensington Garden, you can actually enter the building and explore its elaborately designed hallways and rooms.
Worldwide Local Tip: Walking through London is the best way to see the city. It’s free of charge and gets you to places where public transport can’t take you. The London weather is as unpredictable as its underground metro service, so make sure to keep an umbrella or a raincoat with you to avoid getting soaked. And keep an eye out for the pesky London fog!
People Watching Along the Thames
Along the banks of the River Thames is a lively promenade with lots of interesting activities happening daily. The South Bank not only offers fantastic views of a city brimming with ornate architecture, but it is also a colorful area full of street performers and pop-up shows. For a much more laid back vibe, with walls etched with colorful graffiti shows, go to the other side of London. Away from the city’s traffic, and through a pedestrian zone at the Queens Walk, worldwide locals love to spend a day reveling in the vibrant atmosphere. You can also find fairs and festivals throughout the year; be sure to spare some time when you visit just in case one is happening!
Worldwide Local Tip: At the tip of Queens Walk in South Bank is the iconic London Eye. Offering a panoramic view of the city, it draws a large crowd on a daily basis. If you are planning on riding the 443-foot tall Ferris wheel, there are ways you can avoid the long lines. Consider going in the morning when it first opens or in the later hours of the evening. Also, you’ll want to make sure you book your tickets in advance, as it’s one of the most popular things to do in London.
Visit the Center of the Earth
Journey to the center of the world at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. While not entirely at the dead center of the earth, the observatory splits the globe into the Eastern and Western hemisphere and is marked as 0-degree longitude. The prime meridian has been around since 1884, and the observatory is a fascinating place to see exhibits of timekeeping and take a look through the history of British astronomy.
Worldwide Local Tip: Visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, as it takes you through the golden age of Great Britain’s naval fleet. Conquering the world and its seas, the fleet fought to defeat those who come against them. You will also see the last remaining tea clipper ship and the fastest ship in its generation, the Cutty Sark, docked by the River Thames.
Bath--Just a Short Distance Away
In the unlikely chance that you have any leftover time in London, why not escape the city and take a day trip to the charming Roman city of Bath. A journey will take just over an hour on a train, and will transport you back to when the Romans ruled the island. A dreamy city, it is steeped in history and boasts wonderful architecture. A relaxing getaway from the crowded city, Bath has rustic cobbled streets and narrow alleys that set a scene reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel. Head to the Roman Baths, where you can see the Sacred Spring and numerous Victorian statues of past Roman emperors.
Keep Calm and Journey On!
As a worldwide local, capturing the essence of London takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. Plan to stay a few days in this marvelous city, and enjoy its brilliance from the grand monuments to the simple moments. A visit to London is a time relished.