My boyfriend has been living in London for almost three years now, and although I haven’t visited as often as you’d think (that’s a whole other story, one for another post!) I have visited some places during my somewhat sporadic visits. I thought it’d be nice to share a few of those here, from a ‘tourist’ perspective! Now there are the obvious places, like the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but I wanted to share a few others. I thought I’d do a list of some others, almost all of which don’t cost anything!
Okay, so I’ve started with an obvious one. I thought I’d get this one on the list first, although not for as cliché a reason as you might think. Oxford street looks remarkably different depending on the time of day, month and year you choose to visit. Naturally it’s much busier on weekends than weekdays, but that’s to be expected of any major city. This photograph was taken close to Christmas time, at dusk, on a weekend. Although this means decorations which might not be present year-round, the shop fronts are ever-changing which means there’s always something pretty to be seen. There’s a certain lure that draws you to the street, and not just for the shopping – so urban and modern, but there’s a certain magic to it.
I have been back time and time again to Southbank Centre, and it’s another one of those which changes dramatically depending on the time of day, and season of your visit. This was taken before Christmas, so there are an array of Christmas stalls and lights dotted around the area. There are a number of shows which take place inside the Centre, and a gift shop plus a restaurant and just behind the Centre you can also find the food market. This is one of my favourite places as there is an array of foods available including burgers, curry’s, polish and pizza, plus many more including bakery goods, catering a variety of dietary requirements including vegetarian and also you can usually find something which is gluten and/or dairy free.
I’ve only visited Kew Gardens once, but I’m already anticipating a return trip. The Temperate House had recently reopened and although it was only May, it was such a hot day. From what I have heard, and seen on photographs, it varies greatly from season-to-season. The whole area is beautiful with its combination of indoor and outdoor elements. This is the only one on my list which costs, at the time of writing it’s £16 for adults (without a donation, £17.75 with) or £7.50 for students (without a donation, £8.50 with) when buying online. If you plan to make a day of it then it’s more than worth it, as they also have cafes and places to eat dotted around.
The lantern’s in Chinatown are beautiful, and although these can only be seen around Chinese New Year, the four Chinese gates can be seen all year round. There is an abundance of Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and souvenir shops all along the intersecting streets. Just walking through the area, you get so many delicious (and enticing!) smells and sights. It’s such a light and bright area, full of colour and excitement.
Victoria Embankment Gardens
I chose to finish on a very small, and most likely overlooked area near the River Thames. Stumbling upon this area of garden quite by accident was quite a welcome surprise. It’s an extremely beautiful area, and a complete contrast to the River on the opposing side of the road! Numerous fountains and bedded floral areas are dotted throughout the area, and there is also a bandstand which has events on during the summer months. Like all the others, however, the park is beautiful year-round, like on a crisp winter’s day in the sunshine as above!
Let me know if you decide to visit any of these or have any favourites of your own. I’d love to know, as I’m always looking for new and beautiful places to visit and discover!
Ps. If you don’t already follow me on instagram, you can find me here. I always love seeing new faces over there.