If American politics and geopolitical events aren’t doing it for you, then it could be a good time to hop on a plane and take a well-deserved vacation. Europe has some brilliant things to see and do, and many an American will often head to London and start soaking up some culture and history. Let’s face it, what’s not to love?
London, like New York and Paris, is one of the world’s great cities. It never fails to delight, and with each corner you explore, you’ll uncover hidden stories and secrets.
With this in mind, let’s take a deep dive into some known and not so well known places to explore in Britain’s capital city.
Perhaps the best way to see London is on foot. Here, you are not dictated by traffic and parking problems. You can get around easily and simply hop on and hop off busses and subway trains. Consider using a GuruWalk tour guide to bring the city alive for you. They know the city well, and you only have to pay them what you think they are worth. These will show you London far better than any guided tour app, and many can give insights that few tour guides can.
Places to see in London
Many GuruWalk tours go to the deepest darkest places in London. Here are some good examples.
Tour of East London
Despite moves to regenerate East London, large parts of it remain untouched by the hand of corporatism. Walking tours will show you where Jack the Ripper murdering spree took place, some of the best art in the capital, great places to eat, and fantastic pubs.
Best of all, you will see a different world. People from all over the world have made their home here throughout the centuries. Many came here to flea persecution and or to forge a better life. Today, the melting pot of cultures living side by side is a fusion that is unmatched throughout the world. This cultural mix has led to a great outpouring of art, whether it be music, writing, or food.
Tour of Westminster
Westminster is Britain’s political capital, and a tour of this part of the London is essential. Many tours begin in Trafalgar Square home of Nelson’s Column and take you to Whitehall where you will find the official home of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office.
Most tours take you to Horsegaurds’ Parade and the Houses of Parliament, where MP’s (Britain’s equivalent of Congress) meet twice a week to debate issues of the day. From here, you walk in beautiful St James Park before reaching Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II.
Along the way, you will receive a history lesson from each cultural monument you see. You will discover why the buildings are significant, their history and their place in the world. This is an essential tour.
This tour takes you through one of the hippest and trendiest parts of London, Camden Town. Many a famous face has lived in Camden, and this isn’t a recent phenomenon. Charles Dickens and Amy Winehouse both made their home here.
Camden came to life in the 1960s and has always had a vibrant music scene at its heart. Today, the area is known for its markets which although have a commercial nature, it still has some gems which are hard to find outside of it.
When you’re here, make sure you go for a beer in The Hawley Arms. It is Amy Winehouse’s old haunt, and it serves a great pint of English ale.
City of London
The City of London, also known as the ‘City’ or the ‘Square Mile’ is the oldest part of the capital and the financial centre of the world. Despite being the oldest part of London, it features some of its newest buildings such as ‘The Gherkin’.
It is in effect a city-state like the Vatican. Some laws do not apply in this part of Britain that apply to the rest of the country.
Tours start in Paternoster Square near St Paul’s Cathedral and finishes by Leadenhall Market. Along the way, you will discover how plague, fire, and German bombs have threatened London and about the iconic buildings and places you see.
This part of London was originally settled by the Roman Empire who named the city Londinium.
Soho is one of the most dynamic parts of London and is famed for its connection to music, fashion and the sex trade. Many of Britain’s bohemian elite have lived or at least spent some considerable time in Soho.
The Beatles, the Stones, and Jimi Hendrix used to hang here, and this area is well known for links to the sex industry both legal and illegal. In fashion terms, the first miniskirt was created in Soho and the term Beatlemania was coined after the Fab Four played their first London gig.
Karl Marx used to live in Soho, and Friedrich Engles wrote the Communist Manifesto in Soho.
London has plenty of secrets for you to discover. Ensure you spend your Easter vacation in the city.