London is such a big city that it is impossible to see and do everything in a weekend. This is especially true if you’ve done all of the big tourist attractions and are looking to find more quirky things in London. I often wonder if it is better to stick to one neighbourhood and just really explore it or whether you pick a few things to do and see what you find along the way. During my recent trip to London I did the latter and it worked fantastically well. I got to visit the things I wanted to see, stumble upon other exciting spots and still have enough time for taking it slow.
4 Things to do in London on Your Next Trip
You could easily squeeze all of this into one day but if you wanna take it slow and enjoy your time I’d probably spread it across 2 days and add in some all important eating and drinking or a walk along the Thames.
Visit Portobello Road Market
I’d decided I wanted to head to Notting Hill to see the pretty houses and take a photo of *that cafe*, it being Biscuiteers. While on my way there I realised I was basically next to Portobello Market and just had to take a look. The last time I went there was probably 10+ years ago and wow it is huge now. The market spans from Notting Hill station all the way up to a beyond Ladbroke Grove and there is a handy guide on the sign posts telling you what each part of the market specialises in. Although I didn’t buy anything there were so many lovely things to look at and lust over including some pretty amazing maps and an Alice store.
About half way up the road outside a record shop I stumbled along a band playing a concert, they seemed oblivious it wasn’t night as they spoke but they were amazing. It was before 12pm at this point but there was such a huge crowd singing and cheering along. It’s saved on my Instagram Story highlights if you wanna check them out.
At many points I also wander off from the main drag to visit the aforementioned cafe but also the gorgeous blossom tree lined streets and colourful houses. My only word of warning would be that it was very busy on a sunny Saturday morning so it’s worth getting there at opening time so that you don’t have to box your way through the crowds.
Check out Street Art in Shoreditch
As someone who used to live a little further north of Shoreditch I love heading back to this part of town when I’m visiting. It was an area I didn’t often get to as someone who lived in west London in later years, I mean it just seemed *too far* to go. It is of course not too far to go so I’d highly recommend making that effort to head a little out of the city centre and you’ll be rewarded. I always get the train to Liverpool Street when I am heading to Shoreditch so that I can take a wander up Brick Lane on my way. I love the quirkiness of Brick Lane and all of the pop up markets and shops that are ever changing.
My main reason for heading here was to check out the latest street art. There are plenty of streets to head down to find street art but the main ones are just off Box Park: Ebor St, Chance St and Redchurch Street. It is possible to take street art tours round the area if you want to know more or find the lesser known pieces. I also found some pretty spots on the walk from Shoreditch to Old Street.
If you’re looking for food and drink then this place has no shortage of quirky bars and restaurants between Shoreditch and Old Street, not forgetting Box Park.
Watch the world go by in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is one of my favourite spots in London and I do make a conscious effort to go there regularly. I love the atmosphere of people going about their everyday life, people taking life slow and enjoying a drink, people preforming, people watching the performances and everything else. It always makes for a great place to chill for a little out of the London craziness and just watch the world go by. There are so many pretty shops in Covent Garden itself and this is a great place to spend some time if it’s raining!
Covent Garden is also well known for it’s seasonal displays, this previous Christmas it had a massive and magical light up sleigh display. This spring it has several swinging chairs all decorated in flowers and I’m sure next season it will have something else. I love Covent Garden most in the morning as it tends to get busy later in the day but it is still possible to enjoy it then.
I also love visiting here because it is so close to Soho, Leicester Square and the hidden gem of Neals Yard. This is a bight and colourful yard hidden away from the main drag and easy to miss unless you know where you are looking. Inside there are few eateries to sit and chill at as well as the odd boutique shop but mostly go for the colourful buildings.
Breakfast at Drury
I’m always on the lookout for a good cafe for breakfast or lunch while in London and although there are so many that get themselves all over Instagram for being pretty, I often can’t eat there due to allergies. When I stumbled across Drury on a list of good breakfast cafes with gluten free options I was delighted. The cafe looked cute and when I arrived it lived up to expectations. They had a great range of breakfast options and all could be swapped for gluten free bread. I also noticed as I was leaving that a lot of their sweet options were also gluten free. Think I might have to go back for a brownie!
I opted for the smashed avocado on toast with poached egg and it was huge and delicious. I also went for a pot of peppermint tea to wash it down but my was the pot big! Top tip: don’t drink all the tea or you’ll be forever finding the bathroom all day. The decor inside was gorgeous and each table was piled up with books. The staff were so welcoming and friendly despite being pretty busy the whole time I was there.
Where is your favourite place in London?
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