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A London city guide – skyscrapers, shopping and West End shows

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A cosmopolitan city that never sleeps, London is the cultural heart of England. A capital city that simply buzzes with life, London offers around-the-clock attractions from the bustling core of Oxford Street to the sedate streets of South Kensington. Swing by The Ritz to indulge in the quintessentially British afternoon tea experience, soak up the relaxed vibe at Spitalfields Market or stop by London’s West End to catch the latest headlining show.

Emily Wilson

My Destination local expert on

London

North London

 

A patchwork of picturesque parklands and iconic sporting venues, North London is an attractive slice of London to explore. Head to Wembley Stadium and Lord’s cricket ground to get your sporting fix (both used in the 2012 summer Olympics), then take the tube across to Camden to stroll past bustling markets towards London Zoo. Finish your day in Primrose Hill, breathing in the carefree atmosphere of this trendy part of town.

 

East London

 

Artistic, dynamic and an area of constant urban regeneration, East London has become a vibrant part of town. Home to bohemian Shoreditch, where boot and bowler-hat clad people parade up and down the fashionable streets. Mingle with the locals at one of the many popular cocktail bars or head over to Canary Wharf to explore London’s jostling business district.

 

South London

 

Divided by the trickling River Thames, South London has a peaceful and suburban feel. Containing one of the most attractive green spaces in all of London, Greenwich Park, the boutique shops and deer park of cosmopolitan Richmond and the countless gastropubs of up-and-coming Battersea, South London has a lot to keep you busy. Breathe in the fresh air of leafy Herne Hill, scout for market bargains in multicultural Brixton or stop in for a riverside pint in one of Putney’s cozy pubs.

 

West London

 

Lined with white-terraced houses and column-fronted porches, West London lays claim to some of the most expensive houses in the UK. From the designer shops of Chelsea to the lavish restaurants dotted along the King’s Road, affluence can be felt around every twist and turn. For a relaxing break from eating and shopping, visit nearby Holland Park or Hyde Park to enjoy a picnic with a panoramic view. Alternatively, stop by the charming canals of Maida Vale to enjoy a moment’s peace and quiet away from the bustling city.

 

The City of London

 

The oldest part of the city, today London’s city district is dominated by towering skyscrapers and spherical glass buildings including the iconic Gherkin. Also known as the ‘Square Mile’, this historic core houses St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the infamous Crown Jewels. While visiting, be sure to stop by the Museum of London which documents London’s history to the present day.

 

The West End

 

The hub of London’s theatre scene, here you’ll find a lively patch of land filled with restaurants, nightlife and theatres all competing for your attention. A popular area for entertainment and leisure, you are likely to stumble across all sorts of happenings in London’s West End, including film premiers, jostling markets and impromptu street performances. Head to Covent Garden to enjoy a whole host of street entertainment, catch a film at Leicester Square or enjoy a cultural stroll around the National Gallery near Trafalgar Square.