Top 10 recommendations by local Londoners

We know how important getting to know a city is when you’re on holiday and we know how going ‘off the beaten track’ is on everyone’s agenda. We decided to round up our team of local Londoners to get some of the best tips to share with you before you come to the city. From the best places for afternoon tea to where to watch the latest indie film, we came up with 10 top things to do in London – as recommended by local Londoners.

  1. For Great British food you can’t beat a good old pie and mash for warming, hearty comfort. One of our favourites is the L Manze eel, the traditional pie and mash shop in Walthamstow which dates back to 1929.
  2. Explore London below ground with the miles of tunnels that run under the city. From the spooky tunnels you can explore through the London Bridge Experience, to the Old Vic tunnels or Clerkenwell House of Detention (sadly only used for film sets now) there is a hidden underworld to be explored...
  3. A great one for the kids, make the most of the sunny autumn days and visit Battersea Park to hire out banana bikes and go cycling round the green. These go-kart-come-bikes are great fun for those small enough to fit in them while parents can enjoy views over the Thames.
  4. A fan of Big Ben? Well if you plan in advance (and come from the UK) you might be lucky enough to get a space in the Big Ben tour where you can climb the 334 steps to hear the bell toll on the hour. Note: tours book up 6 months in advance!
  5. Chelsea Physic Garden is a hidden gem tucked away behind the Thames where visitors can learn about the importance of plants in medicine and in society. This botanical garden is great for any passionate gardener, or those in need or some peace and quiet.
  6. Another hidden gem of the garden variety is the Barbican Conservatory. Nestled in the City of London, among the high rises and banks, is London’s second largest conservatory – a surreal urban oasis with over 2,000 species of tropical plants.
  7. You can’t leave London without enjoying a spot of afternoon tea. We recommend the Orangery at Kensington Palace for a real royal affair. Look out over the manicured gardens while you eat your tea and scones and take in the scenery of one of London’s most important palaces.
  8. If you like your indie films or want a break from the overcrowded cinemas, Soho Curzon Cinema is a favourite haunt of the film buff. Showing foreign films and those with limited release, you’ll be bound to catch a cult classic.
  9. Hyde Park pet cemetery is a wonderful place for the morbidly curious. With over 300 graves of some of London’s most adored animals, it’s a strange place to visit but you can’t help but pop in if you’re in the area. From the first dog, Cherry, buried in 1881 it’s quite a sweet little shrine.
  10. Unwind and relax after a long day of sightseeing at Gordon's Wine Bar by Embankment. As the oldest wine bar and cellar in London, circa 1890, it’s a cosy retreat and a huge hit with Londoners. We recommend you get there early as tables fill up quickly after 6pm.
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