You’ve been on the London Eye, taken an obligatory photo sat on top of the lions at Trafalgar Square and tried to make the guards outside Buckingham Palace crack a smile. You’ve been the perfect tourist and when it comes to the English capital you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt several times over.
But no matter how hard you try, you keep coming back.
London is a city that you’ll inevitably want to visit again and again but don’t you find that seeing the same sights and doing the same things gets boring?
And in such a massive city, there must be loads to be beyond the obvious tourist spots, right?
Millenium Bridge – Bored of Big Ben
London has loads of cool stuff to once you veer away from the main touristy areas, you just need to know where to go.
Now, I won’t pretend know all the hidden gems in London. But visiting uni friends there I’ve discovered a few.
So for the tired tourist trying to find something different, here they are…
1. Celebrate Oktoberfest in Putney
Ok, London might seem like a pretty weird place to celebrate Oktoberfest, let alone Putney, but keep an open mind.
One of my best friends lives in there and I get the impression that quite a lot of young people hang out there, making it the place to soak up that ‘young professional’ vibe.
So if you’ve got a hankering for some German beer, a portion of Currywurst and a good old oompa band, the Oktoberfest pub in Putney is the place for you.
There’s even a sign on the wall telling you not to stand on the tables or benches when the band is playing. Standard.
2. Take to the skies on the Emirates Skyline
Already done St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye?
Make sure your next bird’s eye view of London is from the Emirates Skyline.
You ‘board your flight’ round the corner from the O2 Arena and trust me, the best time to go on this is definitely at night. The space-age cable cars take you over the O2 Arena and the Thames and give you a stunning view of London and Canary Wharf all lit up at night.
My top tip is to buy a return ticket so you can go on it twice and don’t have to get the tube back home!
3. Climb the Monument to the Great Fire of London
Whenever I go to London, I always feel like my money is evaporating before my very eyes.
Which is why I was over the moon when I discovered something almost free to do – climb the Monument to the Great Fire of London.
It was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London and offers amazing panoramic views of the city for only a few pounds.
You will have to climb quite a few stairs to get to the top (I won’t tell you how many) but it’s worth it for the views.
You’ll even get a certificate at the end saying you survived!
4. Party like it’s 1941 at the Blitz Party
So I’ll admit, I haven’t actually been to this but my friend has and I’m dying to go.
It’s held in an old air raid shelter and everyone dresses up in 1940s’ clothing to turn back the clock to wartime Britain.
You’ll even be given a ration book when you arrive.
The parties don’t happen very often so it’s best to keep an eye out for when the next one will be. I know I will.
5. Ditch the tube for a riverboat
Thames Riverboat Cruise
Getting sick of everyone’s miserable faces on the tube?
Then it’s high time to ditch part of your journey on the Underground for a boat along the Thames.
There’s a boat that goes from the London Eye to Greenwich and it’ll take you past loads of the major sights, including the Houses of Parliament and Canary Wharf.
In fact, it’s a great way to fit in a few of the main tourist attractions without actually having to spend all day going to them – giving you plenty of time to enjoy all the lesser known, but equally as cool, things to do.
Can you recommend any particular hidden gems in London for someone who’s done all the major sights? Share your secrets below!
For some time people are nagging me why I keep booking holidays in Spain when there are so many more places I haven’t explored in the world. And they are right, but once a year something draws me towards Spain. Is it it’s charm, the language, the people, sun, food or just the Latin blood I have running through my veins? It might be one or all of them so I made a list with my top five reason I keep going back:
Before WTM London last year I decided it’s a good opportunity to take advantage of those extra holidays I had left, and take an extended weekend trip to Liverpool on a really really tight budget.
After rock climbing to Shira Camp (which you can read about here) I was in very much need of some sleep. But sometimes things just don’t go as planned and whilst I loved the food we had for dinner, the food didn’t really love me back which resulted in me spending the few hours that I had reserved for sleep, throwing up everything and anything. Brilliant…
Climbing Kilimanjaro – Diary Guide and Tips
I soon realised second day was meant to be shorter, just the four hours trekking, but as it turns out short doesn’t equal easier. Figure that! Now we were definitely climbing a mountain.
As we started we thought we might be lucky enough and not get torrential rain. We had good chances as well as the morning started of misty with no rain. But that didn’t last long. Bugger!
Climbing Kilimanjaro – Diary Guide and Tips
Jambo, (which is Hi in Swahili :-))
At 6pm on day two, snuggled by my ski jacket in the tent, I decided this was as good of a time as any to start writing a diary while climbing Kilimanjaro. I made the conscious choice to climb ‘the beast’ at the beginning of last year.
I have been struggling for a week to try and put into words what going to TBEX meant to me and my blog. Good news is instead of focusing on writing what the TBEX effect is, I focused on implementing all the good advice and lessons learned from the conference.
So I’ve been a busy bee working on the new logo, new theme and restructuring categories and SEO. Yeey! No, really, Yeeeeeeeeeey! I love every minute of it. I even ordered business cards.
For those who haven’t been to TBEX before and are not quite sure if it’s worth your time or your money, let me just say it is worth both and even more. And this is why:
An Italian – style road trip in South England that is.
Last week I sunk my teeth into a homemade calzone, savoured the rich texture of a real gelato and washed it all down with a delicate espresso. I finished the day with my toes in the ocean and a vest-top suntan.
There is no place like home…when it’s sunny and you know the right places to go. You’re about to find out about how I went about an Italian-themed road trip – from London to Dover.
Let’s do it.
You know what people say about Prague – that is one of the most romantic cities in the world, that its architecture will invite you into a world of fantasy, that the cultural activities are endless and the shopping is unmatched , that the beer is delicious and the parties unforgettable and most of all cheap. Now if you are waiting for me to deny any of these statements you’re going to wait for a long time. Prague is all of the above and more.
How I ended up in a porn star’s apartment and got familiarised with the German XXX industry
As I told the story of my first day in Berlin in the post Berlin trip a different experience, I realised the first day wasn’t as bad as the next. Even though it wasn’t what I expected I certainly didn’t foresee what was about to happen.
My friend was supposed to leave on Friday morning back to Manchester to be at the office. That meant I had to go meet the Couch Surfing (CS) guy, which I will call D, who agreed to be my host for 2 nights. So after the conference we thought we should meet him for a coffee to see if he is a nice person or not. My friend didn’t want to leave me all alone with some stranger.
In the first post I told you how our road trip through Central America started. If you want read about how our road trip around Costa Rica started, you can check it out here. Now it’s time for the next part of our adventure.
For most travellers Berlin is the history, the Berlin wall, the quirky night life and the alternative life style you experience for a few days.
For me, Berlin was a different experience: sleep deprivation, hunger and a porn star maniac. How did that happen? Pretty easy, let me explain.
If you’re looking to cover some of Central America on your travels then I’d strongly recommend you look at driving round Costa Rica for a couple of weeks. Here’s the route map:
Spain’s traditional meal, tapas, is one the most delicious variety of appetizers, or snacks you can ever taste. And when in Spain, there is no excuse to not have some tapas and some Sangria.
In December I found myself looking for a holiday somewhere in the UK. I didn’t have enough money to go overseas and so it seemed like a sensible choice, more so when there is already loads to see right here in Edinburgh. Many of my friends suggested either Scotland or Ireland as great places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. After a bit of research my mind was set on one of the most famous NYE party destinations in Scotland, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. So the next step as usual was to find cheap accommodation in Edinburgh.