My name is Sally and 18 months ago I quit my sales and marketing job to travel the world. I am originally from Essex and love Ponies, chocolate and cocktails. I blog about my adventures around the world at http://sallyaroundtheworld.com.
I love London because…
… of it’s cool vibe and diverse experiences. When I am home I spend a lot of time in London, socialising with my friends and people watching. There is so much to do and see. A lot of people say it is expensive but there are so many things to do and see in London on a budget.
London is famous for…
… so many things. The royal family. The amazing buildings. The history. The shopping. It used to be the largest city in the world. It was the capital of the largest empires the world has ever seen. Over 65 million tourists a year visit London.
Best time to visit?
Spring. The British weather can be very unpredictable and spring is beautiful. There are a lot of tourists in Summer so it can be a little too busy. Christmas time can be wonderful too. So many decorations, attractions and festivities. Heck come any time, you will not be disappointed.
Best place to stay?
Shoreditch is the trendy, hipster place to stay and hangout. It has a lot of trendy bars and restaurants but as can be pretty pricey. Camden is a cheaper equivalent. Premmier Inn and Travelodge are great mid range hotel chains that can be found all over London and England. There are also tons of Airbnbs. If you are looking for luxury head over to Knightsbridge. This is were the rich and famous eat, sleep and shop. Chelsea is also another high end area although some mid range hotels and hostels can be found there.
Best neighbourhoods to explore?
Covent Garden and Leicester Square are great for food, nightlife and people watching. Filled with street entertainers and cool markets I could spend all day here. China town is just a short walk from Covent garden and the food and atmosphere is fabulous!
Markets and shopping?
Camden market has been going on since the 1970s and situation on the famous Camden Lock, it is not only picturesque but filled with amazing fashion and great bargains. Open 7 days a week 10am to 6pm. Except Christmas day. Get off at Camden tube station. Borough Market, located just next to London Bridge train station, is London’s most renowned food market. Sells exceptional British and international produce. Open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Best place for a cocktail?
If you are looking for cocktails, head to Roadhouse at Covent Garden. Happy hour is 5.30pm until 8pm most days and they have a huge selections. All Bar One is a chain of bars all over London. The one at Holborn has a great atmosphere and the cocktails are great. Be at One Bar is another chain of cocktail bars located in Soho and Covent Garden. They have a happy hour between 430pm and 7pm. If you are looking for a super cheap place to drink, England has a large franchise of pubs called Wetherspoons. They are all over London with a huge one inside Liverpool Street Station.
Best place to watch the sunset?
One of the best places to watch the Sunset is The Kensington Roof Gardens, one of London’s best kept secrets. 100 foot above Kensington High Street, this super stylish bar offers great views across London. Admission is £20 on week days and £25 at weekends. If you are looking for something a bit cheaper try Greenwich park or Richmond park, looking towards London. Both have a lovely, laid back vibe and beautiful scenery. Primrose Hill is also one of my favourites.
You can’t visit London without eating…
Pie and Mash. You can find fish and chip shops or ‘Chippies’ everywhere in London. Also head on over to Brick Lane near Shoreditch, for some AMAZING Indian food.
If you only have 48 hours in London, what should we do and see?
Hop on the tube (London underground trains) and head to London Bridge to see the Tower of London and London Bridge. There is so much to see around here including the Crown Jewels and the magnificent buildings of the financial city area. Then head over to Buckingham Palace to watch The Changing of the Guard. Nearest tube is St James Park station. From there you can walk to West mister Cathedral and St James Park for some sightseeing. A few stops on from here is Oxford Circus for some shopping and Covent Garden and Leicester square for food and drinks.
Mayor events and festivals?
Notting Hill Carnival, the last weekend in August is a must. The streets of Notting Hill are packed solid for two days with pop up bars and food stalls. Sound systems are set up in the street with everyone dancing and of course the carnival parade of floats and entertainers that parades the area.
Best souvenir to take home?
Everybody takes home a red London toy bus or mini statue of Big Ben. I urge you to try the various cuisines that London has to offer and take that knowledge home with you. I know England has a bad reputation for food but that is out dated. The truth is that London is so multicultural, you can get practically any time of amazing food. Try Fish and chips, Indian food and of course do not forget to try Cadbury and Galaxy chocolate bars.
The London Tube is pretty easy to navigate. A One day rail card will set you back about £15 and you can use almost all of the lines included in that price. You will be doing a lot of walking though so wear comfortable shoes.
Best day trip from London?
There are so many to choose from. The National History and the British Museum (both free to get into) are fabulous as are the many parks in London. If you only have a limited time I would recommend the hop on, hop off open top sightseeing buses. They are not that cheap but you will see a lot of the sites in a relatively short space of time.