LONDON’S infamous sights, like a red phone booth, Big Ben or a black cab just don’t fill me with joy like they did 18 months ago.
I know I’m not alone on this one. Anyone who has lived in London for longer than six months can probably empathise. I guess it’s like anything new; a job, a house, a boyfriend — the initial honeymoon period inevitably wears off.
So, in a bid to reignite my romance with this amazing city, I’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of some of the things I’ve come to take for granted. With any luck, it’ll help you find that just-arrived-in-London glow again, too.
1: The Tube
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the Tube system here is amazing.
No, wait. It’s more than just the Tube. The entire transport network in London is fantastic, from the Overground rail network to the buses. With a train arriving every minute or two during peak times on the Underground, what’s not to love?
Sure, there are times where things break down or are closed for maintenance, but nine times out of ten, TFL will get you to where you need to be, on time.
2: Free attractions
Whether you love museums, art, comedy or festivals, there’s always something free happening that’s guaranteed to take your fancy.
Most of London’s best museums are free, so if you haven’t seen them all yet, get out there!
But if museums are not your cup of English Breakfast, then why not take a peek at a free festival, which are held across the city most weekends, or a free comedy night, which are held at several pubs on most week nights?
Anyone who says London is expensive is going to the wrong places.
3: The shopping
There are few cities in the western world where you can buy a pair of current season shoes for £2 or a brand new handbag for £5. Luckily for us, London is one of these places.
Sure, the crowds on Oxford Street are enough to turn even a fresh, bushy-eyed newcomer into a monster, but that’s all part of the experience.
There is of course, much more to shopping in London than high street chain stores. Spitafields, Portobello Road and Camden are my favourite markets, and finding vintage or boutique shops in the most unexpected places also provides me with hours of enjoyment. And this brings us to the next point…
4: The Fashion
I never considered myself a purple tights-wearing person. Ever. Then I moved to London, the city where anything goes.
Matching is out. Boots, onesies and oversized handbags are in.
I can sit for hours in Camden and watch in amazement as the mohwaks, leopard print, studded dog collars and sky-high heels pass me by. You don’t have to be a fashion designer to realise that London’s fashion is a case of anything goes.
Ok, these gorgeous little critters just had to be on this list, even though I’ve never taken them for granted.
Seeing one still brings a smile to my face. The day a squirrel was brave enough to let me feed him grapes in Regent’s Park will always be one of my fondest memories.
6: Gigs and music festivals
The music scene in London is amazing. On any given night I can easily find a gig that’ll get my toes tapping.
Don’t even get me started on festivals. While our fellow Aussies get excited about a music festival every couple of months, Londoners are spoiled for choice. All I can say is thank God it’s that time of the year again.
Help your fellow Australian Times readers discover more of London by sharing your list as a comment on this article.
|Thursday 09 June 2011 03:57 Ricky|
|As great as the tube is an engineering and technical marvel, I’ve always preferred travelling around London on the bus. It might take longer but the view is more enjoyable! I agree with all of your list but would add the sheer variety of international cuisine you can find in London too, if you ever want to be adventurous you can have any type of food from anywhere in the world and that is exciting.|