Happy March and happy almost spring!
I am a few days away from a 10 day trip to my favorite city on the planet, London, England. It really is one of the best cities in the world and I can’t wait to share some of it with you over the next few weeks.
I wanted to give you a few spots that I try and visit each time I go. Some of these may seem touristy and some feel more local but whether this is your first time in London or your 10th I think you will find that there is no shortage of things to keep your wanderlust going. So here are my favorites…
Favorite museum- Victoria and Albert
The great thing about London is all of the museums are FREE. With the exception of some special limited run exhibits, all the museums in London just ask for a donation when you enter. There are so many museums to choose from depending on what your interests are- art, history, archeology, science, and photography are all well represented within the city. My favorite is the Victoria and Albert Museum which is all about design. Whether that is furniture or jewelry or tapestry or fashion, this museum is filled with some really spectacular pieces. Currently, they are running a sold out exhibit celebrating the house of Dior, which is getting rave reviews.
Favorite Shopping district- Oxford and Regent Streets
I would compare this area of London to Soho in NYC. Every type of store imaginable can be found on one of these streets from Apple to Topshop to Zara. I personally always try and shop at stores I can not get in the US. My absolute favorite store to wander through is LIberty. Set off Regent street in a beautiful tudor style building. This is the store you go to for some inspiration and maybe a pretty treat or two. My favorite thing I have ever bought from Liberty was a commemorative print during Will and Kate’s wedding week. It was styled like an old Circus ad and has their profiles underneath the words “The greatest show on earth” It now hangs in my house and is a fun reminder of that trip.
Favorite Market- Borough
If you have gone to Tower of London and are walking along Tower bridge and realize you are a little hungry, Borough market is the best place to stop for lunch. Just a 15 minute walk from the bridge and just off London bridge is London’s most renowned food and drink market. Featuring stalls of fresh produce, bread, cheese and wine, the market also features many restaurants that are the perfect place to stop, rest your feet and get re-charged for more exploring.
Favorite royal residence- Windsor Castle
Ok, so not technically in London but just a short train ride away is the idealic village of Windsor and Windsor castle, most recently made famous by the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Windsor has a long history and is where the queen goes often to get out of London. The castle survived a fire in 1992 and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Tickets can be and should be purchased in advance and include an audio tour for you to listen to as you walk around as you take it all in. After you take the tour of the castle, spend the day in Windsor grabbing some tea and doing some shopping. It is a beautiful town to explore.
Favorite Park- Regent Park/Primrose Hill
The great thing about London is all of the parks. There is so much green space in a city this big that those of you who need your nature fix can hang out in one of the many parks in the area. My favorite is Regent Park, specifically Primrose Hill. Regent park is also the home of the London Zoo which is a perfect spot especially if you have children. Primrose Hill has a perfect view of London so if you are looking for some great pictures of the London skyline this is your spot (and its free!).
Favorite Instagram spot- Neal’s Yard
Tucked away near Covent Garden is a little courtyard called Neal’s yard. When you enter the courtyard, you will notice how quiet and colorful it is. The courtyard is home to a cafe and a couple of shops but in the center are tables and benches for you to sit and work or eat food or just take a lot of pictures. If you want to flex those instagram influencer muscles, visit during the early morning when there aren’t a lot of people around.
Favorite Neighborhood- Belsize Park
No it’s not an actual park, but located just north of Primrose hill is this small neighborhood with pastel colored homes, great restaurants and small local boutiques. It is the perfect spot for people looking to get out of the tourist areas of London, walking into a pub and talking up some locals. It is just a stop or two over from Camden so can be easily paired with Camden Market for a day of shopping and eating (and some celebrity sightings, Belsize park is one of the most expensive post-codes in the city and home to many a famous celebrity).
Favorite Tour- Small Car Big City
Ok so this one I haven’t done yet, but I am going to when I head to London this month and am so excited. Small Car Big City is a company that provides tours in beautiful, vintage mini coopers. Tours range from an hour to a whole day. Your driver is a local that knows the ins and outs of the city and will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the destination of your choose. As a mini cooper owner, it is totally up my alley and I am so excited to ride around my favorite city in my favorite type of car. (Also all the cars are named cute very British sounding names, like Dot or Lulu).
These are just a few of the places I recommend people explore on their first trip to London. Have you been? What are some of your go to spots?