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Things To Do In London
London, a cultural and business symbol of the western part of Europe and one of the foremost cities of the world, is a paradise and haunt all at the same time. While the mornings in London’s chic streets are billowing with life and business, nights are adventurous in dark alleys and dimly lit pubs of SoHo. From the changing of guards at the Buckingham Palace to dusk rides on the London Eye, from shopping at the iconic Harrods to enjoying the liveliness of Piccadilly Circus, London has no dearth of things to do. You just need the right list to find out!
Witness Changing Of Guard at Buckingham Palace
For the lack of a better phrase, the Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s home. The fans of Netflix opus ‘The Crown’ would know what a struggle it was for the young Queen Elizabeth to shift to the huge palace from her cozy family home, especially with a budding new family. But today, half a century later, the Palace is synonymous with the British Monarchy; and one of the topmost displays that makes it so, is the traditional change of Royal Guard outside the gates of Buckingham Palace every morning at 11:00 am. It is free to watch and a delight to enjoy for almost 45 minutes.
Ride the London Eye
Forget all the giant wheels and ferris wheels you have ridden in your life. This is the London Eye. It cannot just be called a ferris wheel. It is an experience of London at its rawest, London at its core, from a bird’s eye view. The capsules of the ferris wheel can be booked in advance and the ride takes 30 minutes. But they are probably the most insanely beautiful 30 minutes of your trip. It is recommended you go for a ride at the hour of sunset or dusk, so that by the time you are at the top, you see the setting sun, as well as London lighting up under your feet for the dark night. Many a proposals and romantic confessions have been tucked in these capsules and if you are planning something special then this is it.
Walk across the Millennium Bridge
The pedestrian bridge from Tate Modern to St Paul’s Cathedral stretches across river Thames and is called the Millennium Bridge as it was built in the new millennium. It is an iconic structure and has featured on many famous movies and shows. You don’t have to buy tickets to walk the bridge or photograph your way through it. So this is a great ‘free’ thing to do in London.
Making Of Harry Potter Tour
Potterheads, this one is especially for you. If you have dreamed of coming to London and finding all those little clues to Harry’s existence, then here’s your chance. Start with the studio where the movies were shot. Visit the Warner Bros. Studio in London for a tour of Harry Potter sets, paraphernalia, trivia and more. You will get to see the real sets of Hogwarts including Gryffindor Common Room, the Great Hall and more. There is also a special cafe for you to treat yourself with Harry’s favourites - treacle tart and butter beer, with other Harry Potter recipes on the menu. If you want to see the 9 and 3/4 platform then it really does exist on King’s Cross station and is cordoned off for Harry’s fans.
Enjoy a Scary day at London Dungeon
Yes, it is possible to get scared out of your wits and enjoy it immensely. Try the London Dungeon, a theme adventure museum that showcases London’s history of the last 1000 years in a frightening way. There are displays, shows, pop-ups of witches and wizards and ghosts floating down in live-action around you. It is as educative as it is scary. But so damn fun! The dungeons are dark and smoky and guided tours are also available.
Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is one of London’s most famous areas and landmarks, constructed to celebrate Lord Horatio Nelson’s defeat of the French. The Nelson’s Column was built overlooking the fountains and has since been a place to meet under. While this place is a sit-down and chill area, Picadilly Circus is teeming with movement. It is an intersection of some busy London streets like Shaftsbury Avenue, Regent, Haymarket and off course, Piccadilly. You should take a morning to roam around both, the Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square; and enjoy the site of theatres, cafes, galleries and rich buildings that are now contemporary boutiques or business hubs.
Stroll down Camden
Camden is a rich cultural experience of London, a neighbourhood in the north of the city that has all kinds of alternate cultures like rock, bohemian, punk, gothic and hippie. Here you shall find a different side of London, a departure from the suited men and stylish women with iPhones and LVs. Here are tattooed singers and LGBT supporters, stalls that sell stolen wares and antiques, used books and travelogues. You will also find a lot of places serving international cuisine and vegan stuff, while enjoying going around the clothing racks and vintage jewellery shops.
Get Drunk in SoHo
South of Houston Street, also known as SoHo, is London’s most sexy neighbourhood. It was once the hub of the city’s sex industry but today is home to thriving nightlife that rocks all through the night. From risqué clubs to pubs and bars, gay cafes and lesbian joints to theatres and jazz bars, SoHo is a hotspot to get drunk, get high, enjoy life. You can also go watch a play or stand-up comedy if you aren’t one for the spirits. There are also numerous music shops and old bakeries around to keep you otherwise entertained.
Go for a Thames Cruise
Thames slices through London and has been the lifeline of the city since time immemorial. From trade to transport, the river has been instrumental in bringing London as a settlement to life. You can experience the brilliance and magnificence of this river by going for a cruise down its channel. There are cruises that run every half an hour from key spots. They will take you through London’s most famous icons like the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, London Eye etc. Special night cruises also ply so that you can see London’s twinkling skyline.
Shop at Harrods
For avid British fiction readers, Harrods is a constant in your mind, synonymous with rich luxury and opulence that may only be afforded by the likes of movie stars and aristocracy and royalty. For others, it might just be a store. The truth is, Harrods represents the core of London’s fashion. It has been a departmental store selling best of the best brands since 1824, and has had patrons like Oscar Wilde. With its strategic location and huge floors, Harrods must be visited at least once; if not to shop then definitely to window shop. You can also enjoy a treat of baked goodies or cheeses from its Food Hall. If you want to shop, there is nothing you can’t find here - from toys to lingerie, shorts to suits, bags to cosmetics; it is all here.