London Attractions: 15 Locations To Complete Your English Experience!

London Attractions: 15 Locations To Complete Your English Experience!

Fancy a visit to one of the world’s grandest and oldest cities?

Welcome to the land of royalty, big red buses, classic literature…and what’s arguably the most enviable accent in the world! London is on top of many globetrotters’ bucket list. And why wouldn’t it be? There’s never a shortage of exciting London attractions — from the iconic and usual, to the quirky and off-the-beaten-path. 

There’s always so much to see, taste, and experience around England’s capital. Whether you’re up for something touristy or would rather do as the locals do, here are 15 types of London attractions that you shouldn’t miss out on! 

Also read: 7 Gorgeous and Budget-Friendly Airbnbs in London

1. There’s more to London’s bridges than you think

Surely, we’re all familiar with the good ol’ nursery rhyme “London Bridge.” But did you know that there are actually 33 bridges in Central London? In short, anytime you’re walking by the Thames River, you’ll surely spot at least one of these bridges nearby. With their interesting structure and rich history, these bridges all make for interesting London attractions in their own way. 

The most iconic one is Tower Bridge, and it’s one of the first images that comes to mind when you hear “London.” It features two Victorian Gothic towers that are connected with two walkways. The upper walkway is made out of glass, while the lower one splits up and rises every so often to allow passage for large boats. There’s also the actual London Bridge, whose site dates all the way back to the Roman Era! 

Then there’s the relatively new Millennium Bridge, which you can easily guess based on its modernist design. It first opened in 2000, as part of London’s millennium celebration. And of course, you can’t miss Westminster Bridge — you’ll need to visit it if you want a gorgeous picture with Big Ben and London Eye, each on different ends. Which leads me to my next point….

2. Westminster is where you can see Britain’s symbols of power and religion up close

Westminster is the borough often dubbed as the political hub of London. Walk around its bustling streets for a glimpse of Britain’s seats of power. 

Palace of Westminster and Big Ben

First stop: the Palace of Westminster, A.K.A. the ‘Houses of Parliament.’ This colossal Neo-Gothic masterpiece is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. You can even attend a parliament debate or committee hearing that’s open to tourists! Adjacent to it is Big Ben — the tower clock famous for its accuracy and massive bell. Oh, and did you know that the actual Big Ben is originally the 13-ton bell, not the whole clock tower? 

Westminster Abbey

Right across the street is Westminster Abbey. Step inside this stunning church that has been the coronation venue for monarchs since 1066. It’s also the resting place of over 3,000 great Britons such as Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and almost every Tudor royal (except for Henry VIII). And of course, who can forget the royal weddings that took place here — especially that of Prince William and Kate Middleton? 

Note: Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside Westminster Abbey. 

3. These royal palaces will leave you in awe

If you went to London and didn’t see at least one of the royal family’s grand residences, then did you really go there? Perhaps not. These London attractions are part of most globetrotters’ bucket list, especially fans of shows like The Crown or movies like The King’s Speech

Also read: 20 Impressive Castles in England That You Should See

Buckingham Palace

Image credit: Diliff

The most famous one, of course, is Buckingham Palace. It’s the official home of Queen Elizabeth II, and just a few blocks away from Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster. Some parts of the palace are open to visitors for ten weeks in summertime, so try to time your visit for that. But if you can’t, the view from outside its gates is still worth it! From there, you can watch the world-famous Changing of the Guards — a historic tradition that happens at 11am every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

Clarence House

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

A few blocks away is St. James’s Palace, a complex that houses the Royal Court offices and officials’ apartments. Within these grounds, you’ll find the immaculately all-white and stately Clarence House. This is where the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall live. And although most of the complex isn’t open to the public, you can visit Clarence House during August! 

Kensington Palace

Image credit: AndyScott

Kensington Palace is arguably the most beautiful among all the royal residences. In fact, it’s where most of the younger generations of royals live — including Prince William and his family. And unlike most of the other royal homes, this one is open to visitors all year round! So, you definitely have the chance to explore the grand Victorian rooms, along with original furniture and family portraits, most of the year!

This was also where Princess Diana used to live before her untimely death. There’s even an exhibit featuring some of her most stylish clothes. (Many a fashionista consider her a style icon!) Outside, you’ll find The White Garden created in the late princess’s honour. The flower arrangement is quite an artwork, featuring different wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. True to its name, white roses in large terracotta pots surround the reflective pond in the centre. 

Eltham Palace

Image credit: Duncan

Eltham Palace is currently unoccupied and you can visit this former royal estate on Sundays for most of the year. Its exterior is that of medieval style, while the interiors feature eccentric Art Deco elements. Built in the 11th century, the place has gone from being a Tudor manor to a modernised mansion in 1933, after a millionaire couple bought it. They even had secret passageways built to connect some of the bedrooms! 

Hampton Court Palace

Image credit: Cronwood

Hampton Court Palace is famous for being King Henry VIII’s favourite home. (Can’t remember this notorious guy? Oh, just the Tudor dude who had six wives — two of which were executed.) It’s open on most days and it’s the oldest surviving Tudor palace, making it part of the top London attractions. 

This Baroque palace features elegant corridors, a well-preserved chapel, and a Great Hall decorated with magnificent tapestries. Outside on its 60-acre grounds are even more interesting sights! This includes a cool hedge maze, a deer park, the world’s largest grapevine, and the oldest England tennis court. Make sure to book your tickets in advance — they offer special discounts if you buy online! 

4. The London Eye offers sweeping views

On the southern bank of the River Thames, the London Eye stands tall at 135 metres. Enjoy panoramic views of London during the 30-minute ferris wheel ride. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Windsor Castle in neighbouring Berkshire County. It has 32 pods, representing each of the city’s 32 boroughs. Each pod carries interactive tablets that provide information about the notable landmarks you’ll spot during the ride. 

Every now and then, some of the pods are converted into pop-up concepts like bars or restaurants, usually for big events! And ever since the London Eye opened in 2000, major cities from around the world built their own renditions of this famous London attraction. 

5. All aboard the Red London Bus

Apart from Big Ben and Tower Bridge, the double-decker red bus is another of London’s symbols. For locals, it’s probably another mundane thing they see every day. But if you’re a wide-eyed tourist, then this is definitely something to be excited about. Not only is it a great way to see most London attractions, but it’s also, well, an attraction in itself! 

For a truly touristy experience, ride the red buses with an open top! Take a seat on the top deck because that’s obviously where the fun is. (Just pray it doesn’t rain!) Prepare your camera and watch the city go by. It’s one of those moments that would make you fully realise that yaaas, you’re in London

Also read: How to Get Around London By Bus

6. So many Thames river cruise options to choose from

Since the River Thames surrounds the City of London, taking a cruise down this river is a must-do. Nothing like taking in the view of the London skyline, while enjoying a fun boat ride. In fact, there are lots of cruise options to choose from; the following are just some of it! It all depends on how you’d like to enjoy the London attractions you’ll be passing by along the river. 

There’s the standard tour that starts in Westminster Pier and ends in Greenwich. If you want a midday boat ride with fine live music, then the Sunday lunch jazz cruise is a good way to start your week. Don’t feel like cruising during daylight? There are evening cruises that often start at dusk (yay for golden hour!) and allow you to witness the city being lit up as nighttime settles. Some of these even offer a full-course meal or wine and canapés to keep you entertained. 

But if you prefer a river tour packed with an adrenaline rush, then the speedboat cruise is the one for you! This high-speed ride takes around 50 minutes, so it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. At summertime, there’s a film cruise where you can watch a movie on the top deck, under the London night sky. 

7. The grounds of Hyde Park are full of surprises

If New York has Central Park and Barcelona has Park Güell, then London has Hyde Park.  Is it just me or are most city parks a good indicator of how lovely the rest of the city is? At 142 hectares, Hyde Park is the largest park in London! It’s also quite close to Kensington Palace, so it’s like hitting two London attractions with one stone. Though, Hyde Park’s own attractions might be more than enough to keep you preoccupied for a day. 

Rent a paddleboat or rowboat for a short ride around The Serpentine, where you’ll spot many an elegant swan. During the summer, this lake has a swimming area for those who want to beat the heat. If you’d rather just relax and enjoy the view, you can rent a sun lounger by the shore! 

Aside from its historical significance spanning centuries, Hyde Park also hosts concerts and festivals every so often. Keep your ears peeled, you might want to catch a show! If you’re up for a rather odd attraction, there’s a ‘secret’ pet dog cemetery at the northern edge. It was built way back in 1881 during the Victorian Era. 

Go for a stroll or bike ride around the park to see what else is out there. From cabins, secret tunnels, to gorgeous trees and a Peter Pan statue commissioned by the character’s creator, J.M. Barrie himself! Bring some snacks and have a picnic in between stops. Pretty much anywhere in Hyde Park is a lovely picnic spot, really. 

8. Kew Gardens is more than just a big green and pretty space

Despite the many royal parks and palaces you’ll find around the city, the Kew Gardens holds its ground as one of the most stunning London attractions. Alternatively known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, this UNESCO World Heritage site is home to more than 50,000 living plants and several nature-inspired structures. But apart from the actual flora, there’s a lot more to see here! 

Kew Palace

This red-brick four-storey manor is the smallest of all British palaces. It’s a study in elegant simplicity, as it used to be the Georgian monarchs’ retreat from the stifling demands of the Royal Court. Its most notable resident is King George III, the first king to study science as part of his education. He spent most of his life here in Kew Palace — such as his childhood years and then later on, with his wife and 15 kids.

Temperate House

Step inside the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world and get inspired. Temperate House reopened in 2018 after undergoing a five-year renovation. Its vast plant collection features some of the world’s rarest and most threatened temperate plants. And true to its name, all of its 10,000 individual plants require conditions above 50 degrees to survive. Head up to the balcony, which goes around the interior perimetre, for a better view of the lush scenery below. 

Palm House

Image credit: Diliff

While not as big as Temperate House, Palm House was the first glasshouse of Kew Gardens. It houses palms and rainforest plants from various tropical countries. So probably best not to wear layered clothing if you plan to head inside! Like Temperate House, this one also has a balcony that goes around the perimetre. Keep an eye out for the cocoa (chocolate!) tree, as well as the elixir-like Madagascar periwinkle that’s used to treat several types of cancer. 

Princess of Wales Conservatory

Image credit: Diliff

Built in 1987, the Princess of Wales Conservatory is the newest glasshouse of Kew Gardens. It’s rather like a glass labyrinth with its many level changes and glass partitions. There are 10 computer-controlled climate zones showcasing a variety of ecosystems — from carnivorous plants, water lilies, orchids, to cacti. 

It also has an underground aquarium, and yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds! The exhibits recreate several ocean habitats like mangroves, coral reefs, and rock pools. It also has freshwater exhibits serving as replicas of the Amazon and Congo river systems. 

Treetop Walkway

Image credit: Kew Official Website

Beyond the glasshouses are even more lovely trees, like oak, beech, and sweet chestnut. The Treetop Walkway lets you see these tall trees up close, along with sweeping views of the gardens and the city. You might even spot several birds and their nests along the way. At almost 60 feet high with see-through steel flooring, I wouldn’t exactly recommend this if you’re scared of heights. But hey, if you’re all for spectacular natural scenery, then this just might be worth it!  

The Hive

Image credit: Kew Official Website

This very Instagram-worthy art installation on a wildflower meadow depicts life inside a beehive. Standing at 55 feet tall, The Hive is a larger-than-life structure, with a mesh frame featuring 1,000 LED lights. These lights glow according to the vibrations of bees that live in Kew Gardens. This is accompanied by live music specifically composed to beehive sounds in the key of C. Needless to say, The Hive is one of the most fascinating large-scale contemporary artworks you’ll ever find! 

Note: The Hive is closed for essential maintenance until 31 Mar 2020.

9. Catching a West End show is a must

In London’s West End you’ll find some of the best theatre productions in the English-speaking world. Otherwise known as Theatreland, it’s most famous for showcasing award-winning musicals. Though if you prefer other theatre productions, West End theatres also showcase cutting-edge plays and comedies. Whichever you prefer, West End is one of those entertainment experiences that you have to try at least once in your life! 

Fun fact: Les Misérables is the longest-running West End musical. Meanwhile, The Mousetrap, which premiered at The Theatre Royal in 1952, is the longest-running play in both West End and overall theatre history! 

Although it’s most recommended to book tickets months in advance, there are still some ways you can get last-minute tickets! One way is to go to your West End theatre of choice early in the morning. You just might be able to snag a returned ticket, or even a ticket sold on the same day as the actual show! Another way is to visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square, where you can get last-minute tickets at discounted prices. Either way, best to prepare your list of priority shows to watch beforehand. 

10. The best museums in London are (mostly) free

You read that right! You can immerse yourself in the best of London’s culture, oftentimes without paying a cent. From British history, sciences, to all kinds of art, these London attractions are some of the best places in the world to get #cultured. This city is, after all, the capital of a former world empire. 

Note: Usually, it’s the permanent collections that have free entrance, while some special exhibitions have an admission fee. 

British Museum

The British Museum will welcome you with its mesmerising Greek Revival architecture. This is a preview of what you’re about to experience in its hallowed halls: a journey through different lifetimes and civilisations. It boasts one of the largest collections in the world, with around eight million artefacts retracing the history of humankind. It’s arranged by location: Ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Greece and Rome. 

Although, I’d get it if time is of the essence and you can only take in so much culture. That said, you can cut to the chase and prioritise the museum highlights. These highlights include (but shouldn’t be limited to): the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon Marbles, Egyptian mummies, Easter Island statue, Sutton Hoo Ship burial helmet, and Assyrian lion hunt reliefs. 

Natural History Museum

From the outside, London’s Natural History Museum looks more like a cathedral with its Romanesque architecture. But lo and behold — inside, you’ll find some of the most mind-blowing scientific exhibitions. It’s essentially an ode to the Victorian Era: a time of irrepressible curiosity and astounding scientific discoveries. 

For starters, there’s the  25.2-metre-long blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling of the main hall. Other interesting finds are dinosaur bones, Charles Darwin’s pigeons, Hans Sloane’s nautilus shell, and a moon rock from the U.S. Apollo 17 mission. As for actual creatures, there’s the preserved body of the monstrous 28-foot colossal squid. Whether or not you’re a science geek, the Natural History Museum will definitely spark your inner child’s curiosity!

National Gallery

At the heart of historic Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery. It might take time for you to go through its entire collection. But afterwards, you’ll get why it’s deemed as one of the best art museums in the world. I mean, you must be doing something right if you’re often compared to the likes of the Paris Louvre and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Art connoisseurs and enthusiasts, you’re in for a thrill and don’t say we didn’t warn you! The permanent collection has over 2,000 paintings spanning from the 13th to  19th century. From da Vinci, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Picasso, Boticelli, to Monet; the list of artists and works are endless! And no need to worry about crowds even on peak hours — the space is so massive, you can usually still find a quiet corner. 

Victoria and Albert Museum

Image credit: Txllxt TxllxT (left); Txllxt TxllxT (right)

While the National Gallery features mainly paintings from the Renaissance up to the Modern art movement, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) art collection is a lot more comprehensive. And by ‘comprehensive,’ I mean various forms of decorative art.  In a way, it caters to a broader audience due to the variety of its showcased decorative arts. From Asian ceramics, Western furniture, to fashion and jewellery; and from metalwork and glass to photography! 

And don’t even get me started on their über-cool temporary exhibitions, which are focused on modern fashion and pop culture. It’s perfect for those who prefer a more en vogue collection with its own impressive history! In recent years, the V&A has featured and/or collaborated with the likes of Balenciaga, Pink Floyd, Christian Dior, and Elton John. Absolutely smashing! 

London Transport Museum

Image credit: Sue Wallace

Wait, hear me out — it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. That, and the fact that you won’t need an entire day to fully explore this museum! Allot an hour at best, and you’re good to go. 

Before there were Japan’s bullet trains and even San Francisco’s cable cars, there was London’s public transport system. The London Transport Museum traces back this aspect of the city’s history to the 1800s. Some of the must-sees are the first underground steam engine, a wooden Metropolitan Railway coach, horse-drawn buses, and the iconic red London bus. And yes, you can hop aboard these exhibits! 

11. A slice of Brit pop culture, please

If I had to make a list, I’d probably lose count of the many iconic pop culture figures that hail from England. No wonder there are many tours catering to different fan bases! But hey, sometimes it’s better to cut to the essentials and therefore see more variety of such London attractions. After all, most of us have more than one favourite London-based TV show/movie/musician. Talk about set-jetting!  

King’s Cross

Head over to King’s Cross railway station and look for the Platform 9 and ¾ sign — the gateway to Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series. Have your photo taken with the luggage trolley embedded to the wall, even though your Hogwarts acceptance letter probably got lost in the mail years ago (sigh!). You can also have a professional photographer take a picture of you wearing a Hogwarts House scarf of your choice. Don’t forget to drop by the souvenir store; time to buy that wand you’ve been dreaming of since forever! 

Baker Street

Image credit: AndreasPraefcke

According to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels, sleuth duo Sherlock Holmes and John Watson lived at 221B Baker Street. This fictitious address of our favourite British detectives might be tricky to find IRL. Why? Because it’s actually situated between  237 and 241 Baker Street

But in real-world London, you’ll find the Sherlock Holmes Museum at this Baker Street address— i.e., the first-stop for every Sherlock (whichever version, really) fan-slash-pilgrim. Quite nearby is the Sherlock Holmes statue that’s right outside the Baker Street underground station! 

Abbey Road

Image credit: Misterweisse

Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right. Okay, so London doesn’t exactly have the sunniest weather, but a walk along Abbey Road is bound to brighten up any day of a Beatles fan. Recreate their 1969 album cover at the iconic black-and-white-striped pedestrian lane. You’ll know it when you see other fans trying to do the same! (Just remember to look before crossing — it’s an actual road, after all.) After the photo op, walk a few steps and you’ll see Abbey Road Studios, A.K.A. the Beatles’ former recording HQ. 

Earl’s Court Police Box

Image credit: Trevworld37

Once upon a time, police boxes weren’t exactly London attractions. They served as mini police stations featuring a direct phone line, and then later on, CCTV cameras as well. In the hit BBC series Doctor Who, the distinct blue police box located outside the Earl’s Court underground station also happens to be a TARDIS (the show’s term for time machine). And with that, allons-y

Dukes Bar

Image credit: Dukes Facebook Page

James Bond filming locations in London are far and many, and while Dukes Bar isn’t one of those, it’s still a must-visit for many Bond fans. This quiet hotel bar along St. James’s Place used to be frequented by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. (Side note: as a half-introvert, personally I’d be weirded out if people found out what my favourite bar is). 

Rumour has it that it’s where he got the inspiration for the famous Bond catchphrase, “shaken not stirred.” But one thing’s for sure: Dukes has some of the best martinis in London — including its two signature James Bond martinis!

Westbourne Park Road and Portobello Road (Notting Hill District)

Image credit: CVB (left); Kyrosh (right)

Before the likes of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually, Notting Hill set the standard for modern British romcoms. Remember that scene where paparazzi hounded Will Thacker’s house? You can find the iconic blue door of Will’s flat at 280 Westbourne Park Road

Fun fact: The actual door in the movie was removed and auctioned off. The owners replaced this with a black door, as to not attract attention from fans. But later on, they decided to repaint it blue, just like the original one! 

Just down the street at 303 Westbourne Park Road is the spot where Will bumps (quite literally!) into Anna Scott. Though the coffee shop in the film is called — well, Coffee Shop — there’s a real one right next to it named Coffeebello. Don’t forget to drop by the souvenir shop aptly called Notting Hill at 142 Portobello Road. It’s where Will’s Travel Bookshop used to be!

12. The London food scene brings many taste buds to heaven

Munch your way through the best of London’s food scene! Don’t worry about the calories, we promise they’re worth it. 

Breakfast: Borough Market

Image credit: Jeremy Keith

Start your day at Borough Market, where it’s best to come by early morning (it opens as early as 8am!) between Wednesday to Friday to beat the crowd. You see, not all traders are present on Mondays and Tuesdays whereas Saturdays are often packed. Take your pick among the many options from this fantastic market!

Kappacasein’s ‘cheese toasties’ are oozing with gooey grilled cheese goodness. For baked goods, Bread Ahead offers a delicious assortment. Their doughnuts have been dubbed as the best in the world, with unusual fillings like caramel custard, salted honeycomb, and homemade blackberry jam! On the protein-y side, Scotchtails serves delicious scotch eggs, which is boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and breading, with salad on the side. Don’t forget to drop by Monmouth Coffee for your caffeine fix!

Lunch: The Golden Hind

Don’t leave London without sampling England’s most beloved dish: fish and chips! For lunch, head over to The Golden Hind in Marylebone Village. This 100-year-old family-run restaurant serves the best fish and chips in town. Take your pick between freshly caught cod, haddock, halibut, plaice, and rock salmon with chunky hand-cut chips (fries). Don’t forget to have green peas on the side, for a full-on classic British meal! 

Also read: 18 British Foods You Should Try Other Than Fish and Chips

Afternoon Tea: Gallery at sketch

Image credit: sketch Facebook Page

Londoners take their afternoon tea quite seriously. There’s even a song that goes, “at half-past three, everything stops for tea.” It’s a pastime that’s as British as it gets, as proven by the many fancy cafés and hotel restaurants to choose from. No kidding — even the most cynical locals deem it a necessary indulgence! 

In between exploring London attractions around the area, head over to sketch’s Gallery in Mayfair. They offer an exquisite afternoon tea experience inside this room that’s the epitome of visually fabulous. Every inch of this pink-filled haven is Instagrammable — from the plush scalloped chairs to scrumptious food and drinks, and artworks by British visual artist David Shrigley lining the rosy walls. 

Dinner: Chucs Cafe Serpentine

Step inside Chucs Cafe Serpentine and be wowed by the swooping design by world-famous architect Zaha Hadid. Its structure is a modern architectural landmark; a cross between a tent and a sci-fi movie spaceship. Enjoy a lovely dinner here after exploring the picturesque Hyde Park, where it’s conveniently located. 

Chucs Cafe Serpentine is one out of five Chucs restaurants all over London. Their menu boasts of exquisite menu offerings, specialising in flavours of the Italian Riviera and Mediterranean. Some of the must-try dishes are the Pizza Bianca with Black Truffle, Bigoli Cacio e Pepe, and Chicken Paillard. Make sure to leave some room for dessert as well. Their deconstructed tiramisu and gelato are simply divine! 

13. Shopping is always a good idea

London’s style scene is a blend of high street and high end, vintage and bespoke. Whatever your shopping preferences are, this fashion capital has everything you want and more. Oxford Street is the most famous among London’s shopping streets, with over 300 shops to choose from. Right beside it is Bond Street, where you might even spot a celebrity or two. Also within walking distance is Regent Street. This one has mid-range brands along with some of the oldest and most famous shops in London.  

Carnaby Street has an iconic heritage as the birthplace of London’s fashion revolution during the Swinging Sixties. Nowadays, it hosts an eclectic mix of independent boutiques, homegrown brands, and up-and-coming designer labels. For the best of vintage-anything, Portobello Road Market is your best bet. It also has the world’s largest antique market, where you can score all sorts of antiques and collectables. 

Meanwhile, Savile Row is the shopping mecca for bespoke menswear, where you’ll find some of the best tailors. One of its oldest stores, Huntsman, is actually the inspiration for the hit spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. And then there’s Harrods in Knightsbridge — London’s own version of a Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s the largest department store in Europe, with seven floors and over 330 departments. And since Harrods only has one branch, its signature green shopping bags might as well be souvenirs on their own! 

14. London bookshops are in a league of their own

London is one of the literary capitals of the world, no doubt about that. After all, it has been home to the likes of Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, George Orwell, and Sylvia Plath — to name a few. So, it’s no shocker that its best bookshops are must-visit London attractions for the globetrotting literati. Make sure to leave extra space in your luggage — you’ll be up for a major book haul!

For the best of travel writing, head over to Stanfords. It has the largest collection of maps and travel books, stocked under one roof. Meanwhile, the London Review Bookshop boasts a collection focused on classic and new fiction. It’s owned by a literary publication, whose ethos is aptly embodied by this store. Meanwhile, Foster Books is your best bet for books that are hard to find, out of print, and/or even first edition!

Image credit: Joao rafael BR

Daunt Books is arguably the loveliest — or at least, the most Instagrammed — London bookshop. It’s housed inside an Edwardian building, with long oak balconies, parquet flooring, and tall stained-glass windows. Its most interesting feature though is the browsing experience it offers: all books are arranged by country! And then there’s Hatchards, the U.K.’s oldest surviving bookshop. It’s also an official bookseller to the royal family, with over 100,000 books to browse through. 

15. A walk around Highgate Cemetery is equal-parts creepy and fascinating

Up for something on the odd and eerie side? Take a tour to Highgate Cemetery, which is perhaps the most unusual pick among London attractions. Opened in 1839, this hill-top cemetery was deemed a ‘fashionable’ burial place during the Victorian Era. People from that era had somewhat of a romantic attitude towards death; as shown by ostentatious Gothic mausoleums, different graveside animal statues, and even Egyptian tombs. 

Highgate Cemetery has over 170,000 names buried in more than 52,00 graves. Some of its well-known occupants include Karl Marx, Michael Faraday, and George Eliot. It’s divided into two parts: East and West. The latter is the older one and can only be visited through guided tours, as to protect the fragile structures. 

Also read: 14 Things to Do in London on Your Very First Visit

Make the most out of your stay in good ol’ Londontown! Excited to explore and see all these spectacular London attractions? We’d love to hear all about it. ‘Till then — cheerio!

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. There’s no denying that storytelling runs in her veins — from penning her first “novel” at age seven, to her initial marketing career with several global lifestyle brands, to going back to her first love that is writing. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin (or ten).

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