There are a million and one reasons to love London. Here are my top 10 reasons for why you should jump on the next flight to this cooler-than-cool capital.
1. It’s humongous!
You could spend a lifetime exploring the city, and you’d never stop being surprised. From Camden to Kensington and everywhere in between, London’s diverse districts have particular personalities but all retain The Big Smoke’s energetic approach to life.
2. The world is here
London is as cosmopolitan as it is British with people from around the globe drawn to the city. Such diversity has seen London become a place of endless possibilities. See a film at a French cinema? No problem. Brunch at a Nordic bakery? Dinner at an authentic Mongolian restaurant? Take your pick. It’s not just food where London has benefited from diversity – over the years diversity has helped to drive creativity, making the capital an international leader in a variety of fields.
3. It celebrates creativity
London has been a magnet for creative spirits for centuries. From William Shakespeare to Jimi Hendrix and J.K. Rowling – the great and the good of the art world have been inspired by London. It still attracts the very best in musical, artistic and acting talent, as well as comedians and modern day literary greats. Endless works of fiction have been set and continue to be written about the streets of London with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, and Mary Poppins all calling the city home.
4. Music is all around you
London moves to its own, distinct soundtrack. From Ed Sheeran and Adele to The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the UK has produced countless artists who have shaped the international music scene. You can see an artist every night of the week – choose from superstars at the 02 Arena and indie rockers at the historic Brixton Academy, to up and coming bands in the bars of Camden. The city boasts a number of summer music festival with the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park and Wireless at Finsbury Park being two of the biggest.
5. The nightlife is legendary
No two nights need ever be the same in London. Take in a spellbinding musical in the West End or watch some of Hollywood’s biggest names tread the boards at the big movie theatres at Leicester Square. Head to the hippest pop-up bars and restaurants in East London, or get a taste of London’s legendary club scene or sing your heart out at a gig featuring London’s hottest new bands or big name acts in Soho or Shoreditch.
6. The food will knock your socks off
British cuisine might be the punchline of many jokes, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what London has to offer. Swanky restaurants, delicious street food (our top list can be found here), and experimental dishes in quirky settings all contribute to London’s constantly evolving, global cuisine. That’s not to say you can’t get a traditional full English breakfast or a Sunday roast – which is not for the calorie conscious- just head to a traditional cafe or gastro pub for your taste of British cuisine!
7. And you’ll go crazy for the sports
It’s not just football that London excels at, although it’s home to some of the biggest clubs in the world. Wembley Stadium hosts national football matches as well as NFL games that sell out the 90,000 seater stadium. The deafening roar of Twickenham will be louder than ever this year as it, Wembley and the Olympic Stadium help host the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The 2012 Olympics also left a lasting legacy on London – you can bring your towel to Stratford and take a dip in the pool used by Michael Phelps or, if you are feeling brave, take the plunge off the very diving boards Tom Daley sprang from. Brits are sports mad, and events don’t come any more English than spending a day watching the tennis at Wimbledon or trying to understand the rules of cricket at Lord’s.
8. It’s where the royals live
You may have heard of the British Royal Family- they’re kind of a big deal in the UK, especially in London where royal sightings are never far away. Take a stroll along The Mall – the famed tree-lined road leading to Buckingham Palace. Here, you can witness all the pomp and ceremony of British regal tradition with the changing of the guard. From Buckingham Palace, take a walk through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace where you might catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
9. It’s cheaper than you think
London doesn’t have to break the bank – you just have to know where to look and have our list of tips at hand. A great place to start is with the city’s acclaimed ensemble of museums, which are free and perfect for rainy days. The National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain are home to renowned collections of classical art while the Tate Modern is a world-leader in modern art. Take a step back in time at the British Museum and the National History Museum without spending a penny. When the sun is shining, simply walking the streets and experiencing the city’s markets, which come in all shapes and sizes, selling a weird and wonderful array of products, are a great way to get to know London. At night, you can take your pick from free gigs and comedy stand-up shows located all over the city.
10. The parks are super zen
London might move at a million miles per hour, but it’s simple to take a step back and take a tranquil break from its hectic pace. The city’s parks, just like the city itself, are full of surprises – they’re home to zoos, outdoor theaters, and swimming pools. Dining alfresco in one of the eight Royal Parks, cycling through Holland Park to unwind in Kyoto Gardens, or snapping the skyline from Greenwich Park or Primrose Hill all reveal a softer side to London, but a side that’s no less exciting, especially during the summer months.