(Closed) Best Neighborhoods/Things to do in London???

posted 4 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
Member
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I’ve spent a lot of time in London and stayed in various areas.  If I had to choose a place to live, it would be Richmond in the southwest.  It’s an actual neighborhood and not the most touristy, but you’re close to the river and a lovely park and also attractions like Ham House (and Hampton Court Palace a little further).  Nice restaurants and pubs and the town is just a nice place to be in general.  If there’s an airbnb there it might be worth it.  It’s a little out of the way on the tube but that might save you some money (I stayed in a b&b there because it was cheaper than zone 1 or 2).

If you want to stay closer to town but still not zone 1 I definitely recommend Hampstead!!  Lots of lovely cafes (including outdoor seating), and my favorite pastry shop in London, and of course Hampstead Heath.  

Shopping depends on what type of stuff you want to buy.  The big department stores all have outlets on Oxford Street–very crowded on Saturdays, go during the week.  Portobello Road Market is good for everything, I’ve bought clothes and books and jewelry and food there.  Spitalfields Market is also really good, especially for food and people watching.  Book shopping go on Charing Cross Road, the big Waterstones, Hatchards, South Kensington books, and the fair under the south end of the Waterloo Bridge.

My favorite sites in London are the parks, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Courtauld Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, Tate Britain, the Globe Theatre…too many to name!!

For food and people watching I’d also recommend the south bank.  Very vibrant and fun area. Let me know if you have any more questions or need me to clarify anything above!  You’re in for a great trip!

Post # 3
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I spent three months in London for a semester abroad.  It’s been 10 years since I left (which means I NEED to get back!) but I miss it!!

 

Anyway, if you can find an Airbnb in Crouch End or Muswell Hill, that’s where we all stayed with host families.  You can take the W7 bus to Finsbury Park tube station to get into the city.  If you want to be away from touristy places, they’re nice little “towns” in northern London!

 

I second the British Museum… we went there during our orientation week, but went through quickly and I should’ve gone back, but never did.  There is so much there, including the Rosetta Stone!

 

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square has great paintings if you are into art.  I took an art class, so we went to a lot of galleries!

 

The theater!  There’s the National Theater on the South Bank, but also lots of theaters on the West End.  Worth it to go see a play or musical.  The Globe was neat, but the play we saw was horrible so we halfway through, ha.  But it was really neat to be there!

 

Food… I really loved the pizza chain, Pizza Express.  They were everywhere.  Their garlic dough balls were to die for!  I can’t remember any other restaurants in specific… I remember going to a pub or two with good food.  Find a local pub away from the touristy places 🙂

 

The London Eye!  It’s the big ferris wheel.  Really neat.  Madame Tussaud’s was cool, but they have those in DC, Vegas, etc too.  Um, I know there’s more but can’t think of it!

 

I will suggest if you go to London, although there is PLENTY to do (I didn’t do everything I wanted in 3 months), depending how long you go, check out outside London too.  Windsor Castle is a short train ride away; Stonehenge as well.  Bath was a pretty neat city as well!

 

Have fun!!!

Post # 5
Member
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

SkydiverGF:  Those are really close (like walking distance) to the center of town.  It’s also pretty expensive and touristy but if you’re okay with that they’re really nice areas!  

If you’re looking for clothes I definitely recommend the department stores on Oxford St and they all have great beauty counters 🙂  Also walk up and down Regent Street for clothes, lots of kind of high end type stores there!  Roads like New Bond Street will also have nice shopping. Also you’ve got to go to Harrods, it is super expensive but amazing to see.  It felt like a museum to me when I went haha! When I was there the Great Gatsby movie had just come out and they had the jewelry from the movie on display.  Also it was a quieter day and the guy was super friendly and let me try on like a dozen diamonds just for giggles.  A very enjoyable day!

Post # 6
Member
9525 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I am a bit biased to the Regents Park area, that where I stayed when I lived in London. The park itself is beautiful. It is a quick wak to Camden Town, Oxford Street, Piccadilly and the West End. As for what to see, again, biased but I loved the Vicotria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern, lots of plays, the Globe Theatre, Tower of London… there is so much to do. You will have so much fun! Post pics!

Post # 7
Member
39 posts
Newbee

I lived in London for 4 years for university.

Shopping:

Regent street  – perfect for cashmeres and lovely things, not fast fashion.

Selfriges, on Oxford Street,  Lots of great designers, Aspinal and Tiffany & Co. But still lots

               of affordable pretties and Johnstons of Elgin cashmere and wool. Also, the FOOD HALL.

Camden Town and Brick Lane for edgy and one-off peices.

Harrods, needs no introduction, but also excellent Food Hall.

Hartleys Toys, a several story wonderland of wonderous toys

Waterstones, Gowler Street, bookworm here. Its a five story book shop with medical school texts.                         Its near The British Museum.

People watching: 

For cafe and people watching, I loved Covent Garden (oooh! do remember to stop by the shop LUSH, while there if you can!). Lots of musicians and street perfomers. 

Hyde Park (it is huge), Green Park (near Buckingham Palace) and St. James Park are great for photos, people watching, sitting by a pond. I would pack a picnic to go out to the parks (Take lunch from Pret a Manget; or sandwiches, berries and fizzy water from Sainsbury’s and you are golden).

I loved Hampsted  & Hampsted Heath, tranquil, sophisticated and lovely. Not remotely touristy. But may be too peaceful if you love the big city feel. The Jewish Museum is in that neighbourhood.

On the Jewish note, the main kosher area (food and Judaica shops) is Golder’s Green. It is nearby Hampstead on the Northern Line tube.

For Museums:

I have to vote the classics. Natural History, Science, British Museum, Tate Modern is Awesome, Victoria and Albert (do have a proper cuppa in the tea room, it’s divine!). The Palaces are marvelous. Especially the Tower of London. Well worth the price of admission. It takes all day to see everything in the Tower. Why miss the magnificent crown jewels?

Also, if you like shows:

 The West End (London’s Broadway).

Or see if a act you like is playing at The Forum in Kentish Town. Amazing legendary venue!

As said above, The Globe Theater.

I’m also a Harry Potter fan, so if/when I get to go back, I’m adding the Harry Potter theme park to the itineray. 

For Foodies:

In London, you can travel the world through your stomach. What cuisines do you care for? What level of dining? 

King Eddie the VII is a gastropub with proper pours. Its a few blocks away from the Olympic Park in Stratford. 

High tea at The Ritz. 

Yeah, students don’t eat at Ramsay’s very often. I had load of fun trying all the different cultures foods & enjoying a cuppa and sweet in some corner shop. I ate at plenty of holes in the wall where the food was great and great priced. But I’m not certain those are the kinds of places you looking for.

Enjoy your trip!

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