HOW TO BE A TOURIST IN LONDON
While it’s wonderful to get a feeling of smug satisfaction when you find a hidden gem in a new city, it’s important not to overlook the big sights too. After all, they’re famous for a reason and there’s nothing better than snapping a classic shot of an iconic landmark.
In honour of World Tourism Day on 27 September, it’s time to be a tourist in London. That means unashamedly embracing the clichés and indulging in some ultimate British traditions. It comes particularly highly recommended if you’ve never been to the UK capital before. The best-kept secrets can stay hidden until your next visit.
Take in all the major London sights
From Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, there are some sights so famous you can’t bypass them on a trip to London. There are various ways to make sure you catch a glimpse of as many as possible. Bypass the standard sightseeing bus and take a tour of the Thames, because many of the major attractions can be seen from the river.
Alternatively, test your head for heights and spot them from a pod on the London Eye. For an even more relaxed affair, you can gaze at the world-class skyline from a roof terrace, sipping on a cocktail and taking it all in.
Tick off the London icons
It’s not just about the big-name locations, but also the tiny little details that remind you that you’re in London. These range from red buses and black cabs to telephone boxes and a selfie with a beefeater; that’s the yeomen warders of the Tower of London, complete with their red tunics, for the uninitiated.
Eat some traditional British fare
British food may lack the romance of its French or Italian equivalent, but no trip to London is complete without trying some of the classics. Whether you opt for jellied eels or fish and chips; a traditional Sunday dinner or a decadent afternoon tea, there’s no doubt that food in London really helps to add to that sense of place.
See a show in the West End
A trip to the theatre offers more of a sense of occasion than a visit to the cinema and there are so many shows on in London’s West End that you’ll find something to suit your tastes. So, get dressed up and head to one of the area’s stunning venues, such as the colonnaded Lyceum Theatre or the diminutive Duchess Theatre in all its 1920s splendour. Wander through Piccadilly Circus on the way and bask in the neon glow at dusk.
Purchase a quintessential London souvenir
While you could return home with a hat emblazoned with the union flag, there are some souvenirs that are just as quintessentially London, but much more chic. A caddy of tea from Fortnum and Mason, for example, or a bespoke suit from Savile Row. These are great ways to reminder your trip.
Image credit: romrodinka via iStock