When people visit London for the first time they often get stuck travelling on the tube, assuming that everywhere is far apart. But that’s not the case. The capital is actually a surprisingly walkable city and it’s definitely the best way to see the sights at your own pace. From a short meander along Southbank to a longer walk in the wilds of Richmond Park, our guide to the best walks in London will have a route to suit your energy levels.
The only thing that British people love more than pubs is pub gardens. So as soon as the first signs of spring arrive, you’ll find London’s pub gardens full of sun worshippers. Our favourite pub garden in London is at The White Hart in Stoke Newington but there are hundreds of others worth checking out. Read our guide to the best Sunday roasts in London to find a pub with a garden and a delicious meal.
London’s waterways are under appreciated in our opinion and exploring the canals on a boat (or on the footpath) is a unique way to see the city. Regents Canal runs from east to west, snaking through the affluent borough of Islington and into Camden before reaching Little Venice. There are a number of companies which operate cruises on the canals but one of our favourites is Alfred Le Roy which offers gourmet sharing platters and cocktails while you cruise.
After the 2012 Olympics, the Olympic Park in Stratford was transformed into a community sports hub that can be used by the general public. The Olympic Park itself is a joy to wonder around with wetlands and canals acting as the backdrop for some of the iconic Olympic venues like the swimming pool and the velodrome. If the weather is good then hire a bike and explore on wheels, or if its raining, book yourself in for a trial on the indoor bike track or go and swim some lengths in the 50m pool.
Shopping in London can either be a pleasure or a pain, so don’t head out without reading our guide to the best shopping areas in London. Head to Spitalfields and Brick Lane in East London to discover vintage gems and one-off local designs, or roam around Bond Street and its luxury boutiques. Covent Garden is beautiful in spring, with street performers keeping people entertained in between ducking into shops.
It’s a running joke among Londoners that at the first sniff of spring they’ll be out in the sun, soaking up every last ray they can, because you never know when it will be back. One of the best places to do this is at one of London’s rooftop bars. Head to the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch to see bankers and hipsters mingle with a drink.
Let’s face it, just because it’s spring, it doesn’t mean the weather will be good, so if you need to fill a rainy day in London you’re in luck. Not many cities have such a wealth of indoor activities all for free. The majority of London’s museums are free charge and are an educational and enjoyable way to spend a day. Our favourite museums are the V&A for fashion and design inspiration, the Science Museum for kids and the world-famous Natural History Museum. We also love the British Museum in Russell Square which houses a mind-bogglingly huge collection of artefacts from around the world.
London is a foodies paradise and a food tour of the capital is the perfect way to spend a day. Start at one of London’s best breakfast spots and enjoy a traditional fry up. Don’t eat too much though because you’ll need room for eggs at one of London’s best brunch spots. Most brunch places in London serve it until late in the afternoon on weekends so there’s no rush. In-between courses head to Borough Market and have a wonder around the stalls selling all sorts of produce from fruit and veg to pheasant. Once you’ve had your fill of savoury dishes, seek out one of London’s best cupcakes and satisfy your sweet tooth.
As much as we love London, when the weather starts to get a little warmer, we can’t help but long for the beach. Luckily, London is well-connected to some nearby beaches, so you can be walking along a sun-drenched promenade within 90 minutes. Our favourite place for a spring time excursion is Brighton. Only an hour and a half away from the capital, the seaside city is one of England’s quirkiest towns with a Victorian pier, miles of lanes filled with boutiques and plenty of fish and chip restaurants.