The city of London is undoubtedly one of my favourite places in the world and I’m very much missing my visits. Something about it feels like home, maybe it’s the the annual trip to see the sparkling Christmas lights lining the designer stores of Regent Street, or the familiar breeze of a tube train approaching the platform or the calming sound of the rushing water of the Thames as I walk along the Embankment. Whatever it is, no city will ever hold such a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, accommodation and living costs in London are extortionate so my student loans only allow me a few trips to the capital a year. Sad story, I know. Regardless, I thought I’d share with you lovely people my favourite way to spend these days when I’m not stuck at home due to a nationwide lockdown!
Arriving at Euston
After arriving at Euston station I head straight downstairs to the underground station and buy day tickets for me and whoever is lucky enough to have been dragged to London to spend 12 uninterrupted hours with me. Top tip: you can get discounts on these if you have railcards such as the 16-25 railcard or the family railcard. I highly recommend grabbing these tickets as it’ll mean you can fit so much more activities into a day, its such a quick and easy way to travel around London. From here, I make my way to Monument Tube Station to start my day off at one of my all time favourite spots in the city.
From Monument Tube Station, I’ll take a short walk to The Walkie Talkie building to visit their Sky Garden. Note: if you plan on visiting this free attraction you need to book weeks in advance on their website, as soon as dates are released tickets sell extremely fast. So make sure you’re on the ball! After getting head rush on the impossibly fast lifts all the way to the top of the building, I’ll step out into the Sky Garden’s slick, white seating area and grab a Prosecco from the bar (it might only be 10am but it’s 5 o'clock somewhere)! From here, I’ll either take a walk around the big, lush, sky high garden, enjoying 360º views of London or I’ll take a walk onto the open deck and enjoy the breathtaking views of the River Thames and London Skyline. These are arguably the best views that you’ll find in London. Don’t forget your camera, it’s great for the gram!
Leicester Square -> Oxford Street
Next I’ll take the tube East to Leicester Square station to go on my favourite stroll ever. I’ll walk a lap of Leicester square passing theatre ticket stalls, cinemas that have hosted numerous glamorous premieres and the sickly smell of artificial chocolate being pumped out of the M&M's store that is supposedly meant to entice you inside but in fact does the opposite. At Christmas there is also a really quaint little market if you love the magic of the holidays but prefer to stay away from bustling crowds like the ones that you'd find at Winter Wonderland. From here I’ll head through Piccadilly Circus and walk the length of the famous Regent Street. This street is beautiful with all of its stunning architecture and designer stores. The side alleys are also definitely worth venturing down to find restaurants and cocktail bars that could be considered hidden gems! Follow Regent Street all the way along and you’ll find yourself on Oxford Street, a shopaholic’s heaven! Here I’ll browse all the high street and designer shops and of course take a look around the infamous Selfridges, marveling at all the finery it has to offer among its six floors. Here I also like to grab a spot of lunch in the Food Hall or one of the fancy little restaurants dotted around the store, I might even indulge myself in some treats from Lola’s Cupcakes on the ground floor. Their Salted Caramel cupcake is to die for!
Covent Garden & Cocktails
Next, grab the tube from Bond Street Station to Covent Garden Station. Although Covent Garden features gorgeous little designer shops, boutiques and cafes, I mainly come here to watch the street performers. The area always seems to be alive with music, classical and contemporary, and children laughing at clowns and marveling at magicians. I’ve seen comedians here, street dancers here, mimes here and SO. MUCH. MORE. It’s a must see in London. It’s also a great spot for anyone with a sweet tooth, boasting an array of sweet shops, ice cream shops and cookie shops.
After a browse here and a trip across the street to the Jubilee Market Hall, I’ll take a short walk to one of my favourite cocktail bars in London. The Escapologist is a cocktail bar almost hidden on a diagonal side street. You’ll be greeted at the door and told to head downstairs to their low-lit, intimate bar area set among the style of old unused tube lines and boasting Victorian décor with a certain edge. Their Flaming Zombie cocktail is quite the showstopper!
St Christopher’s Place
Whilst walking Oxford street, you might have spotted a decadent, freestanding, purple clock with a sign pointing down a tiny alley. Curiosity and the Alice in Wonderland vibes was what first tempted me to follow this sign towards the wonderful and quaint spot that is St Christopher’s Place. It holds a cluster of gorgeous little shops and restaurants and a friendly little courtyard with purple decoration to match its clock. This is one of the sweetest places, with lots of options, to grab a spot of dinner before heading home.
Love a beautiful city?