Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy. The capital and largest city of both England and of the United Kingdom, it is also the largest city in Western Europe and the European Union. Most residents of Greater London are very proud of their capital, the multiculturalism of the city, and their membership of the European Union, despite 52% of the UK population as a whole who voted in a recent referendum choosing to leave the EU. It is unclear what the outcome of the referendum will be on London.
Situated on the River Thames in South-East England, Greater London has an official population of a little over 8 million. However, London’s urban area stretched to 9,787,426 in 2011, while the figure of 14 million for the city’s wider metropolitan area more accurately reflects its size and importance. Considered one of the world’s leading “global cities”, London remains an international capital of culture, music, education, fashion, politics, finance and trade.
Where to Eat Local Cuisine
- Cereal Killer Cafe – Veg Friendly, Vegan and GF Options – Lots of cereal options and a fun atmosphere blast from the past. Sitting on a twin bed with a My Little Pony bedspread and eating Unicorn Poop (Glittery Fruity Rings & Flakes with freeze dried marshmallow and served with bubblegum milk), while my friend indulged in a Chocopottomus (the signature hot chocolate, piled with cream, cereal & sauce). Amazing – and really how many times do you get to tell people you had unicorn poop for breakfast…
- Fast Break – Veg Friendly, Vegan and GF Options – Big breakfast portions, an exceptional menu that aims to prove that you can go to one place, for every meal, whatever time of day. As well as our range of fry-up, to the Spotted dick and treacle pudding which are just like your grandma used to make, we put in a great deal of care and attention. Bonus – they also roast their own coffee!
- Fishers Fish and Chips – Veg Friendly, GF Options – What’s more British than Fish & Chips? More of a fast food spot, but don’t let that fool you, these are voted some of the best Fish & Chips in the city. Don’t Miss!
- Barge East – Veg Friendly, Vegan & GF Options – A source for British Contemporary and Fusion food, based on a historic 114 year old Dutch Barge full of charm and character. With an incredible outdoor deck overlooking London’s skyline and the Olympic Stadium, the menu combines small plate dishes with flavours from across the globe.
- Knife Restaurant – Veg Friendly, GF Options – Serious Steaks & Sunday Roasts. All of our beef is ethically sourced from industry leader, and master butchery Lake District Farmers.
- Ormer Mayfair – Veg Friendly, Vegan & GF Options – Shaun Rankin received a Michelin star in 2005 for his first restaurant in the Channel Islands. He held this for eight years until the launch of his second restaurant in 2013 for which he was awarded a Michelin star just four months after opening. His latest venture at Ormer Mayfair continues this celebration in the accolades it has received since opening. It has been voted one of the top 5 restaurants in London by the Hardens Restaurant Guide 2018 and is consistently rated as one of the top 10 restaurants in London.
Top 6 Tourist Spots
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower.
Tower of London
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.
Coca-Cola London Eye
The London Eye is a cantilevered observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. It is Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. Because of this, Tower Bridge is sometimes confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi upstream.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace.
Unusual Things to Do in London
God’s Own Junkyard
A kaleidoscopic warehouse-maze of handmade neon signs
For years, Walthamstow was known as an unremarkable district of gray streets and drab flats on the northeast fringe of London. More recently, the city’s gentrification has brought an influx of young creatives and curious hipsters into the neighborhood. These two faces of Walthamstow come together in the purple haze of God’s Own Junkyard.
Platform 9 3/4
Kings Cross Station pays tribute to its role in Britain’s best-selling book series.
Harry Potter fans know: the best way to get to Hogwarts is aboard the Hogwarts Express, which dutifully awaits students of the prestigious wizarding school at Platform 9 3/4 at the start of each term. Reaching the platform, of course, is an adventure in itself; magical blood and nerves of steel are required in order to pass through what appears to be a solid brick barrier to where the platform is located on the other side.
Magic Circle Museum
This collection of illusory paraphernalia has been culled from the history of London’s premier magician’s club.
Established back in 1905, Britain’s Magic Circle is a secretive group of illusionists who have set out to keep the magic in magic. While the illusionists are not inclined to reveal their secrets, curious conjurors can take a peek at the mysterious collection kept in their headquarters’ museum.
The Churchill War Rooms
The perfectly preserved underground rooms where Churchill plotted the war against Germany.
Hidden deep underneath the streets of Westminster lies what was once one of the most secretive and protected parts of London. As the German Luftwaffe pulverized Britain during the Blitz, a system of bunkers and tunnels protected the British government, as Sir Winston Churchill and his chiefs of staff, desperately plotted to secure Britain’s defense against the impending Nazi invasion.
The Sherlock Holmes Pub
This London pub hides a peculiar secret: a recreation of the rooms shared at 221b Baker Street by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
The Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Avenue, near London’s Charing Cross Station, is much like the countless other pubs in the capital. That is until you venture upstairs where, in the dining room, is a life-size copy of the apartment shared by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
London’s creepiest cemetery was once the site of dueling magicians and mobs of stake-carrying vampire hunters.
Opened in 1839, Highgate is one of London’s most infamous cemeteries, originally opened as one of the city’s “Magnificent Seven” park cemeteries. The initial design was carried by an architect Stephen Geary.
Also, check out our London Infograph!
Foremost Travel is Here to Help
Call (800) 225-7185 and let Foremost Travel plan your next London Escape.
Trust in our travel professionals; let us handle the travel details so you can relax and enjoy!