Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge... There's no shortage of things to do and see in London!

The Best of London (a different list)


Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: March 11th, 2008
The Best of London (a different list)

The following is a tentative list of the best of London (compiled through personal research done on the internet). Here are the results. If you live in London, or consider yourself an expert on the city please add, or edit items to the list. It's in desperate need of a local's personal knowledge. Once complete, it should help visitors to London know exactly where to find what they need and want. PLEASE only respond to this thread if you're interested in helping to edit or contribute items to the list. Thank you.

london bridge/lifting schedule (see the bridge lift to make way for boats underneath) - special times only.
westminister abbey is free between 6-8pm wednesday or during free organ recitals
st pauls cathedral is free after 430 or during Choral Evensong
buckingham palace changing of the guard vs whitehall changing horseguard (which is better, and easier to photograph)?
what are the best royal parks in london?

temple area
guild hall
no 11 bus ride for a view of the sites
Neal's Yard near Covent Garden

whitechapel area for arab food
tooting for indian food
bricklane currey
free food at Hare Krishna Temple at 10 Soho Street 1230-100 mon-sat
borough market food
cheapest supermarkets: Aldi/Lidl, and Asda/Tesco

view from highgate
view from primerose hill near
regents park
Woolwich free ferry view
Oxo tower view, South Bank centre Waterloo station
Greenwich observatory view
Thames Flood Gates view
Brockwell Park view
sunset at south side of hampstead heath
sunset at waterloo bridge

easyeverything internet cafe (best internet cafe)
get VAT refund form if shopping in UK (when you leave the country the tax should be awarded back to you).

-memorable/dramatic scenery & landscape photography. Where to find the best (viewpoints, city views, panoramas, skylines, sunsets, etc..)?
-the unique outdoors, hikes/hilltops/lookouts, and amazing views.
-lovely/charming streets, cute villages, and magnificent/attractive architecture
-authentic/unforgettable "local" travel experiences (i.e. non-typical, interesting/special experiences (full of original character), and unique only to the local area)).
-the best freebies
-and/or anything else off-the beaten path.

Thanks again...

Frank Wilson

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2010
These are pretty cool list, thanks for sharing

Lauren Mya

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2010
Good list... I would like to add The Tower Of London and The London Eye


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Location: Shimizu, Japan

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2010
"london bridge/lifting schedule (see the bridge lift to make way for boats underneath) - special times only."

I think you mean Tower Bridge rather than London Bridge surely?

It's a common mistake, but London Bridge is a relatively unimpressive road bridge, whereas Tower Bridge, adjacent to the Tower of London, is a very impressive sight.

Even a google image search of London Bridge brings up numerous traveller's photos of Tower Bridge, so that just shows how many people get this quite wrong!

An old version of London Bridge is now rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, but whether they thought they were buying Tower Bridge but got the wrong one since they got the wrong name is open to urban myth debate.
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Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: October 14th, 2010
As for London's Parks - I like St James' Park personally. It's not as big as Hyde Park or Regents Park, but has a lovely view of Buckingham Palace through the trees at one end.

Possibly best approached by entering through Horse Guard's Parade from Whitehall, having been to see the throng at 10 Downing Street, or just having wandered up from Trafalgar at one end, or Westminster and Big Ben/Houses of Parliament at the other.
The Never Ending Tour - short tales from my travels

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"The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step."


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  • Added on: November 25th, 2010
Thank you for sharing this quite "different" list. I will definitely take it with me the when I am visiting London the next time. I think some of the things on the list I already did but there are many more options I never thought of. I think the next London visit will be different. I am already looking forward to it.


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  • Added on: November 25th, 2010
I recommend Greenwich on the Southside of the Thames, it has a magnificent park with great views.
Greenwich maritime museum is steeped in history least of which Greenwich meantime comes from, which sets the worlds clocks.
Theres royal palaces, The Cutty Sark, a great town centre with a good vibe, an excellent market and good riverside pubs for dining.
The whole place has a lovely vibe!
Life is such an adventure, I can't wait to live it some more.


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  • Added on: December 4th, 2010
One of the things I love about London are its neighborhoods. Just walking around aimlessly, getting a feel of the place, watching people go about their daily lives, admiring the architecture, etc. Plus, all that is free. Here are some of the neighborhoods that I love. Please take the time to click on the links.

Central London
This area (roughly 40 square kilometers) doesn't have a pre-defined boundary. My definition of central London might different from others. I define it as within Zone 1 of the tube map or the congestion charge area (including the western extension) which both covers roughly the same area.

West End
What used to be a suburb to the City of London (see below), this is practically the center of London nowadays. This is where you will find most of the sights, the theatre district, and the upscale shopping streets. This area also does not have a pre-defined boundary and the following neighorhoods is what I think most people define as the West End (I might be mistaken).
Soho -- the lively area containing bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, strip joints, shopping (including Carnaby Street), the gay village, Little Italy, theatres in nearby Shatfesbury Ave all jam-packed in a small walkable area.
Covent Garden -- a shopping and entertainment area containing the piazza, opera house, several theatres, and the Seven Dials shopping area and Neal's Yard. The Strand and Aldwych are just to the south.
Mayfair -- Just beside Soho but worlds apart with Regent Street as the separator, this is a very upscale area.
Marylebone -- a pretty urban village with a charming high street just north of Mayfair
Fitzrovia -- A bohemian neighborhood just north of Soho and east of Marylebone. Some guidebooks would lump this neighborhood together with Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury -- a literary area containing some of London's universities and the British Museum. This area is very leafy with plenty of squares that were laid out during Georgian times.
St. James's -- A royal area containing Buckingham Palace, St. James' Palace, Clarence House (where Prince Charles lives), and Spencer House. This is the area south of Mayfair and north of St. James's Park.
Westminster -- The political heart of the UK and full of government buildings.

City of London
Before the 19th century, this and only this was London. This is the oldest part and also the newest part of the city. This is now London's financial district and the area containing most of London's medieval churches. Only a few people actually live here.

South Bank
This area stretches from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge and containing a lot of sites. It also contains two of London's busiest railway stations -- Waterloo and London Bridge. This is home to Borough Market.

Other areas of Central London
Clerkenwell -- Just north of the City of London, this area is home to expensive restaurants and converted warehouses. This used to be a left-leaning area where Karl Marx and Lenin used to hang out (or was that Islington?), but is now full of yuppies.
South Kensington -- This area contains some of London's best museums and beautiful Victorian townhouses.
Chelsea -- This wealthy riverside area south of South Kensington contains the King's Road and the Saatchi Gallery.
Knightsbridge -- A wealthy area containing Harrod's
Notting Hill -- Northwest of Hyde Park and home to the Portobello Road market.

Outside central London
Those neighborhoods listed above are just within central London. There are tons of other neighborhoods outside it. A lot of them were separate villages hundreds of years ago before they got swallowed up by London's sprawl.

Shoreditch/Hoxton/Spitalfields -- These three areas, within walking distance to the City of London, are the happening areas of London. Spitalfields has several markets, including the Old Spitalfields market and Brick Lane. Also nearby is Columbia Road.

Hampstead -- A 'villagey' area in North London right beside Hampstead Heath

Richmond -- A beautiful village in Southwest London. In the given link, you'll see pictures of Primrose Hill, which is in North London (also beautiful). North of Richmond is the Kew Gardens. A bus ride away is Hampton Court Palace.

Greenwich -- As noted by Zuleika, this area of Southeast London should definitely be checked out.

Wimbledon -- Home to the tennis championships, this area is also a pretty village in South London.

Highgate -- another beautiful village just across Hampstead (separated by the Heath). Check out Highgate cemetery where Karl Marx is buried.

Islington -- Just north of Clerkenwell, this area is centered around Upper Street.

Camden Town -- This is London's version of LA's Venice Beach (but without the ocean). Very alternative.

Little Venice -- Yes, London has a few navigable canals. Not as extensive as Amsterdam or Venice, but a nice area to wander around.

Brixton and Clapham -- South London's nightlife areas
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club

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