London. The Capital. The Big Smoke. Whatever you want to call it, there’s arguably no better place in the UK for a weekend getaway than our beloved capital city. Why? Because you’ll never run out of things to do – in fact you could probably do ten weekend getaways to the city and you’d still have barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer.
While that might be exciting for some, it might be more anxiety inducing in the planners among us. With so much to see and do, where do you even start? If it’s your first weekend down in London, we’ve compiled a couple of days out that we think will give you a good introduction to the city.
Take A Stroll Through Notting Hill
Not just a romcom Hugh Grant movie, Notting Hill is in fact an incredibly lovely part of the city, showing off the cosmopolitan nature of London at its very best – as well as being home to some quintessential tourist attractions. Things to tick off while there include experiencing Portobello Market, the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival and the aforementioned Notting Hill movie tour.
Colourful houses at Portabello, Notting Hill by gandolfocannatella on Freepik.com
Alternatively, you can just spend time walking around what is a vibrant area brimming with bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs – as well as some rather pleasant looking architecture.
The long-regarded home of London’s trendy crowd, Shoreditch is another location bustling with life unlike anywhere else in the UK. Head to Brick Lane Market as a starting point – there you’ll find over 200 open stalls of curious bric-a-brac, tasty food and uniquely dressed humans. Beyond the market, you’ll find plenty of bars and independent shops that you won’t have seen before.
Brick Lane Market by eGuide Travel on Flickr under CCO 2.0 Licence
Somewhat gentrified, somewhat a salt of the earth urban community, Shoreditch is another of the capital’s memorable locations.
Go Shopping In Covent Garden
Alfresco dining and high-end fashion are found aplenty in Covent Garden. One for the shopaholics who fancy returning home with a few extra bags of goodies, you can visit luxury brands such as Chanel, Tiffany, Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Apple amongst others.
East Piazza, Covent Garden by Ray in Manila on Flickr under CCO 2.0 Licence
While the area’s origins lie in humble beginnings – with Covent Garden purportedly being the original Punch and Judy show location – it is very much a place for those with a taste for the finer things in life today.
Visit the Natural History Museum
No trip away is complete without an educational section, so we’ve picked the Natural History Museum as the place to return from with facts to blow your friends’ minds with the next time you see them. If you’re a fan of sitting at home and marvelling at the wonders of a David Attenborough narrated nature documentary, there is nowhere better in the UK for you to go.
Natural History Museum Foyer by Gordon Wrigley on Flickr under CCO 2.0 Licence
Collection subjects include everything from Charles Darwin to the wonders of space, while you’ll be able to see a vast spectrum of extraordinary specimens from meteorites as old as the solar system through to ancient skeletons of American mastodons and two tusked narwhals.
Our little weekend trip around London will give you a taste for the melting point nature of the city with a few traditional visitor touches thrown in. Of course, it’s completely up to you where you head – you could hop on a train to Thornton Heath or go see what’s happening in Crystal Palace. There’s something going on just about everywhere in London, so make sure you enjoy what will likely be the first of many weekends away to the big city.