London: A Year-Round Bucket List
Rain, snow, or generally poor weather, here is a quick weatherproof bucket list for jolly ole London Town:
1 | Tower of London – Steeped in nearly 1,000 years of history the tower (formally known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress) sits along the Thames and also houses Her Majesty’s Crown Jewels. Guided tours are provided by uniformed Beefeaters. It’s a must.
2 | Borough Market – Soft breads to hard cheeses the market functions as a grocer for residents and a fun and tasty place to explore for visitors. Street food, like mouthwatering gyoza, is for sale in the square in the back.
3 | Brunch at The Breakfast Club – A brunch-time favorite with locals and visitors, dive head first into a bloody mary and then move on to pancakes. Locations across the city.
4 | Victoria & Albert Museum – The world’s largest museum for decorative arts and design, allot some time to explore the galleries and exhibitions ranging from Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty collection (through August 2015) to Edward Snowden’s smashed laptop.
5 | Camden Town – Former stomping ground of Amy Winehouse and other ecletic and intriguing personalities, stop by the Stables Market with over 700 stalls (literally, stables) of vendors, better yet – stroll Regent’s canal and grab fish and chips from Poppies.
6 | Aqua Bar at the Shard – On the 31st floor of the towering Shard, go for a drink at sunset to soak up gorgeous London views. Velvety purple seats and floor to ceiling windows, make a reservation in advance!
7 | Warner Brothers Studios: The Making of Harry Potter – A favorite of muggles worldwide, the studio is just outside the city and requires the better part of a day to visit. If you’re a HP reader, consider this: the studio has received 15,000 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor.
8 | Westminster Abbey – Awe inspiring, massive and bursting with history – both old and new (a la William & Kate), make time for a visit but prepare to leave your camera at the hotel.
9 | Churchill War Rooms – The underground bunker and command center for Churchill’s victory in WW2. Listen to his speeches, learn a bit of history and prepare to be floored by the ingenuity of the era.
10 | The Classic Telephone Booth Shot – Hold your nose (you’ll see) and hop in one of the many flashy fire engine red telephone booths across the city. Sure, it’s touristy but it’s a must.
11 | Covent Garden – A small district chock full of shops and restaurants, the best part though – the street performers! Performance space is so highly sought after that performers compete four times a year for a slot to perform in the main square.
12 | Brick Lane Market & Curry Houses – Two words: empty stomach. Between the delicious global cuisine and curry houses there’s a lot to see and taste. Ignore the hagglers on the street pushing you to try their restaurants, pick one ahead of time and stick with it.
Additional resources: London First Time Visitor’s Guide – Lady Relocated // London Travel Guide – Rick Steves // London for Foodies – AFAR // The Best Gastro Pubs in London – Stylist // London Event Listings – The Londonist
Also see: Paris: A Year-Round Bucket List