If you visit London on holiday then it is only natural that you will want to see some of the classic historic sites and some of the attractions for which the city is famous, After all, this is one of the world’s truly great cities and one of its oldest, and to go there and not see the Houses of Parliament or Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London would be silly. Indeed it is worth taking three or four days just to take in some of the world’s most famous galleries and museums, from the National to the Tate or Tate Modern and from the Royal Academy to the V & A. If you’ve got time how could you come to London and not see the fantastic British museum or the world famous Imperial War Museum?
However, one thing you must do once you have planned all the not-to-be-missed attractions is to free up a day or two just to wander around and see some of the bits of London that the tours will not show you. Here are five to get you started:
(1) Start your day with breakfast at Nico’s in Bethnal Green. Nico’s is known all over London and beyond simply for the size of their fry up breakfasts. There is no better place to fuel yourself for a day walking around London. Plates are piled high with sausages, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, bubble and squeak, toast and chips. Not for the faint hearted.
(2) Pay A Visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge which has sat on the borders of Epping Forest for more than 500 years. It was famously built for Henry VIII to be used as a hunt standing from which he could shoot deer and it also welcomed Elizabeth I who supposedly went up the stairs on her white horse. Entry is free and you can practice your Tudor joinery, cookery or crossbow skills there as well as get dressed up in a delightful doublets and ruffs outfit. Great fun.
(3) Go Art Deco at Eltham Palace – There is nowhere else in the world like Eltham palace, a delightful architectural gem that fuses mediaval buildings and art deco style, all put together in the 30’s by Stephen and Ginny Courtauld. The central lounge with its portholes and marble looks like it has come straight from a crusie liner and the incredible Tudor hall takes you all the way back to the Tudor Age. A delightful place to visit with something to amaze you around every corner.
(4) A Night in the Ring – York Hall on fight night is an incredible atmosphere and has been entertaining East End punters since 1929. Holding 1200 people and seating you so close you can almost taste blood, this is a great arena that has welcomed many greats such as Joe Calzaghe and Lennox Lewis.
(5) Lastly, for a real London night out, why not visit The Blitz Party, in Old Street, a nightclub set in an air raid shelter where everyone dresses up in war time threads and plays their part. From RAF pilots with twirling moustaches to lipstick and tea dresses this is a fabulously entertaining evening spent dancing to old time jazz and jive music and getting a taste of London in the Blitz.
Touring London doesn’t have to be clichéd or even that expensive. Pick and choose the fun parts and look out for cheap hotels (or get hold of some Travelodge discount codes ) and well-priced restaurants and you can see the best of this wonderful city without breaking the bank.