What To Do Your First Time in London
New year, new you, why not a new city too? For a first time visitor to London, it can be very overwhelming – London is huge, massive even. The must-see landmarks and museums are spread all across the city, there are restaurants, cafes and pubs everywhere, everyone on the tube really is as grumpy as they all say, and there’s an awful lot of pigeons flying about. The senses are overloaded, the choices are far too many, and you end up a shivering wreck on the floor. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but it’s fair to say London has a lot to do, and there are never enough hours in the day to do it all. So here’s a guide on how to make the most of your first trip to our great capital! From location, to accommodation, to food, and those must-see activities.
How about Notting Hill?
The ever so cool and quirky Notting Hill is perfect for those who enjoy bohemian style living in a villagey atmosphere. Or those who love Hugh Grant. Either/or.
Book Queensdale Place – this 3 bedroom vacation home is beautifully presented and spacious, in a quiet gated mews by London’s most romantic and peaceful green space, Holland Park. A short walk to fashionable Notting Hill with its abundance of charming boutique cafes and shops, this holiday rental will be a home from home for families and couples alike.
While you’re here…
Go to Portobello Road of course! Work your way down the iconic road, perusing antique market stalls, food trucks, and pop-up cocktail bars. The houses lining the famous street, and those stemming from it, are beautiful in Technicolor, making for perfect photo opportunities along your way. To eat like a local, go to Ottolenghi on Ledbury Road -- a firm city favourite. Go for lunch and enjoy their delicious mains, salads, and cakes.
Have you thought about Kensington?
Oh, Kensington! The location of the rich and famous; perfect for designer shopping, café hopping and champagne popping.
Book Queensberry Place –
Ideally located 1 bedroom South Kensington apartment; step outside of this holiday apartment, look to your left and there’s the Natural History Museum. I think the only way you could be closer would be to stow away inside its hallowed halls.
While you’re here…
Pop into the Victoria & Albert Museum for a culture fix, and of course finish up in their excellent café, enjoying a delicious afternoon tea of scones, clotted cream and earl grey. If tea isn't quite your bag, go to the famous Churchill Arms for a classic English pint, the popular pub is covered all year round in seasonal foliage and is bustling with customers constantly, so you'd be sure to have a great chat with a local and perhaps rub shoulders with a few celebrities to boot.
Maybe even London Bridge, Borough and Bermondsey?
A cool urban environment, you’d feel like you’re right in the heart of the City without having to battle your way through businessmen each and every day. Perfect for foodies, those who enjoy a micro-brewery and quirky markets.
Book Bermondsey – a newly refurbished 2 bedroom ground floor apartment in a modern complex. Tube and bus connections bring you to Covent Garden & the West End in a few stops, making this home perfectly situated for enjoying the city at large.
While you’re here…
Borough Market is unmissable. I could drone on about it for hours, so please read our dedicated blog post for a full review. In short, it’s a wonderful place to go if you love eating food from all around the world, and even if you don’t, you will find something to tantalise your taste buds. They have also gone green by stopping the sale of plastic water bottles and similar in an attempt to reduce London’s ever growing pile of waste, so you don’t even need to feel guilty about visiting.
When at Borough, you’re surprisingly close to London Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, so you tick all of those major tourist spots off in one fell swoop. You can also walk in the opposite direction down the southbank and visit Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern and Royal Festival Hall to really soak up some culture.
Have you heard of Little Venice?
North of Paddington station and west of Regents Park is the peaceful pocket of central London known as Little Venice. The name is believed to have been coined by the English poet Robert Browning who lived here in the 1800s. The area is a popular tourist attraction, mainly thanks to the idyllic canals with narrowboats travelling between Little Venice and the Camden Lock, and a regular waterbus service operates eastbound even stopping at London Zoo.
Book Little Venice - This 3 bedroom maisonette is located on a quiet residential road, a few minutes’ walk to the famous and beautiful canals and boat life of Little Venice, a wonderful peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle of London, which itself is easily found - Warwick Avenue tube is a mere 300m walk from the flat, which whisks you into Oxford St in 10 mins, direct along the Bakerloo Line.
While you're here...
Why not put on your walking shoes and stroll from your holiday apartment to Camden via Regents Park? If that proves too exhausting (I'm tired just thinking about it), Clifton Road is the area’s best shopping street with delightful florist Absolute Flowers, local favourite Sheepdrove Organic Butchers, Raoul’s Deli, Ivy must-see Baker and Spice and The Winery providing all the essentials for an excellent London vacation.
And if your head’s still spinning from all these options on the best area to stay in London, just contact our enquiries team for a helping hand and they’d be delighted to assist you in finding your ideal holiday apartment. Please email [email protected], call +44 20 7349 7016 or submit our enquiry form and we'll be in touch.
You can view our full portfolio of London Vacation Rentals here.
We look forward to hearing from you!