Our top picks for a fun weekend in London!
Summer is finally here, and with the exception of a few pesky bits and pieces (which most people will have already long finished), it’s time to enjoy a bit of well-deserved time off!
Whether you’re staying in our London student accommodation and have parents down visiting to see where you’ve been hanging out all year, or you're a student at another city who wants to venture on down to the capital now that you’ve more free time, there’s so much to do! So, we thought we’d give you a bit of a helping hand as London can be overwhelming with the amount of choices on offer.
London is a big place; and navigating it as a newbie can be kind of scary. I recommend Google Maps highly — you really can't go wrong. These days, you can even download them to view later offline, making it ideal for anyone, from anywhere, to have on your phone. The app will even tell you which public transport to take to get to each thing I've listed below.
If you're a fan of the outdoors, you can't really go wrong in London. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of things you can do outside, which are perfect for filling in a day without spending too much money. Walking from Regent's Park up to Primrose Hill won't take you too long; and the views are absolutely astounding when you get there. If you fancy splashing some cash, you'll be right by London Zoo as well.
Of course, there are more parks galore! Hyde Park is evidently the most famous of all, but you really should check out others, too. Try Postman's Park — it has a sweet memorial at one side, and is a great place to visit and grab some lunch in the sunshine.
One outdoor activity which will keep you fit but also keep your brain active is a Jack The Ripper tour. You'll learn the gruesome history of East London in a fun and gripping walking tour setting.
London has a certain "feel" to it whether you're walking serenely through nature, or in the thick of it all. Even just walking past its array of landmarks can feel really breathtaking – and absolutely special if you've never seen them before.
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye are all perfect for those Instagram pics, and if you're feeling flush, you could even go up on the Eye itself. It's expensive, but worth it for a view over the Thames!
I personally love the London Dungeons as well; it's like interactive theatre and a museum all rolled into one – and they even throw in a few surprises!
There are lots of markets in London, but if you only have one weekend; I'd say choose Camden market. The whole area is so quirky; you can get some amazing food and buy some really alternative gifts. Once you're done wandering the shops and taking in the eclectic people, you can enjoy a drink overlooking the canal; at Camden Lock.
And, if you're really serious, a tube ride to Westfield will bring you everything you ever imagined, all under one roof! Just be prepared to splash some cash!
Eating & drinking
There are so many places to eat and drink across London that it would be impossible to name them all.
East London is home to a lot of street food, whilst you can also sample great Indian on Brick Lane, too. Chain restaurants are all over the city, with some fantastic independent options as well – just walk along Upper Street in Islington for some ideas, and luckily they're super close to a few of our student residences. There are plenty of BBQ joints, Vegan places and multi-cultural offerings all over the place, you will be well and truly spoiled!
Make sure you keep an eye out on all the amazing food festivals running this summer, not only in London but across the UK! We’ve already got the Street Food Live festival at the ExCel London in our diaries!
Nights out in Soho and Camden can be pretty wild, whilst there are plenty of laid back bars across the city, including Shoreditch, which is a bit of a hipster haunt and definitely worth a visit.
Keep an eye out for pop-up places and themed bars and restaurants this summer. For example, the Breaking Bad bar is a must for any big fan of the show!
Make a plan…
London is absolutely massive, and there's no way you'll get everything done in one weekend. Make the most of public transport, be self-aware, but most importantly, have fun!