6 Alternative Things to Do in London
London has a neverending list of things to see, do and experience. It’s a city that you can easily visit once a year and have a completely different experience each time. So, if you’ve seen Big Ben, toured on the Thames, shopped on Oxford Street and tried to get a glimpse of Princes at Buckingham Palace, this is your alternative list of things to do in London…
Skip Hyde Park
47% of London is green space, so explore some of its other parks. In North London, you can visit Hampstead Heath which is known for its numerous swimming areas and stunning views over London. It’s an ideal place for a picnic and to just unwind. You can also head to East London and check out London Fields where you can get a classic Sunday Roast in the Pub in the Park or create a picnic from the Broadway Market.
A World of Flavours
Brick Lane is one of my favourite places to get some lunch because there are endless options from every corner of the globe. You can visit The Boiler House Food Hall where you’ll have to do multiple laps to decide which stall you like the most. It has everything from Caribbean to Korean and Japanese to Ethiopian to Italian, French, Polish and Spanish. You can also get a bagel at the Beigel Bake for under £3. It’s close to Liverpool Street so ideal for picking up a train or plane snack. My go-to bagel is cream cheese and smoked salmon.
Instead of a boat ride down the Thames, take the waterbus from Camden Lock to Little Venice. It travels along Regent’s Canal so you get to see houseboats dotted along the canal and something outside of London’s main hub. It’s a 50min journey and costs £9 for an adult one way and £7.50 for a child/senior. It also stops at London Zoo and you can buy your Zoo ticket onboard so you don’t have to queue there! Little Venice is a lovely area to stop for some lunch before heading back to towards the centre of London’s hustle and bustle.
If you like antiques, pretty houses or even just a big fan of the film ‘Notting Hill’, then it’s worth checking out Portobello’s markets. It has an endless amount of stalls selling antiques, clothes, second-hand goods, hot food and fruit & veg. Of course, no visit to Portobello Road is complete without seeing The Travel Bookshop from the film. You can easily get there on the Tube (Ladbroke Grove being the closest stop).
Go to the movies
If you’re in London during the summer, why not find an outdoor film screening? Not only do you get to enjoy movies old and new, but sunsets and stunning views of the city. Our top picks are:
- Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House
- Bussey Building in Peckham’s Rooftop Film Club
- Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch’s Rooftop Film Club
If outdoor film screenings aren’t for you, why not try out a sing-a-long film screening? You can watch (and sing) classics like Grease, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sound of Music and more at the Prince Charles Theatre in Soho.
Try something different and go on one of London’s countless themed tours. You can do a Harry Potter tour where you can see locations from the films, pose at Platforms 9¾ and get some inside info on the films. You can learn about London’s dark past and the notorious Jack the Ripper on a walking tour around Whitechapel in East London. Or you can stroll across Abbey Road, see where Jimmy Hendrix lived and where Freddie Mercury and Queen hung out on a Rock Music Tour.
What will you be doing in London?