The #LondonBlogProject: Sights

This week's London Blog Project is all about sights. I have to admit that living in London means I probably don't appreciate the various attractions enough, and so this was actually quite a hard post to write as I did struggle to think of things. But hopefully I've come up with a pretty good list - let me know if you've been to any of these...

Museums
As regular readers of this blog will know, I love museums - to the extent that N and I got each membership to the British Museum for Christmas this year. But there are so many great museums in London, and they cover such a mix of topics - whether you want to find out about the history of the home or Victorian surgery, you can do it in London. Plus the vast majority of them are free to enter, although you will have to pay extra for the special exhibitions, and several of them also do late opening one night in the week or once a month for those wanting to beat the weekend crowds. I have so many favourites it would be impossible to list them all, but I think my top picks have to be the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill - both for the amusing name (admit it, you sniggered) and for its inaccurately stuffed walrus, who has to be seen to be believed - and the Natural History Museum, which is housed in the most gorgeous and intricately decorated building.

Seven Noses of Soho
This is a bit more of an unusual one, but it's one of my favourites. The Seven Noses of Soho are part of an art installation dotted around various areas of Soho, and the story goes that if you can find them all you will receive infinite wealth. Obviously I'm not going to tell you where they are but you can find them for yourself by doing a walking tour - the next one is on the 15th March and you can buy tickets here. As well as the seven noses, you'll also see a false nose, a ghost nose and a bonus ear, and learn about the history of the area. It's a really great way to get to know an area of London in more depth and I thoroughly recommend it.

Buskers
One of the great things about London is the sheer amount of free entertainment that's on offer, and that includes the buskers. Many of the main busking areas, like the streets around Covent Garden Piazza and the tube stations, operate a very strict auditions process and competition for slots is fierce, but it guarantees you're going to get a good show. Though the tube stations are limited to musicians, the styles can cover everything from folky guitars to smooth jazz and it makes for a great soundtrack to your travels through the city. Covent Garden, on the other hand, is much more diverse, with everything from circus-style performers to magicians and moving statues, and it's a great way to pass some time in that area.

London Zoo
I'm not entirely sure whether this counts as a sight, but London Zoo is one of my favourite places in the whole city - to the extent that I briefly toyed with it as a wedding venue. It's not the biggest or the cheapest by any means, but there's loads of different animals, the exhibits are constructed really well and you can hop through various talks throughout the day with loads of really interesting information about the animals. Plus they also run a Zoo Lates programme in the summer, where the zoo stays open after hours for adults complete with silent discos, face-painting, giant lawn games, food stalls and cocktails. I haven't been to that yet but it looks so much fun so will definitely be heading there this year.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to Greenwich, which has some amazing sights and architecture, from the recently restored Cutty Sark to the beautiful Old Royal Naval College. You can see some of it in my post on Greenwich here.

Finally, a sneaky protip: rather than forking out £15 for a London bus tour, get an Oyster card from any Tube station (you can get them refunded at the end of your trip if you won't be coming back for a while) and then hop on a vintage Routemaster bus at Charing Cross station. A Routemaster, for those who don't know, is basically what you think of when you imagine a London bus - all rounded shapes and open at the back. They've been phased out over the years but there are still a couple running on routes 9 and 15 in central London and they will take you round all the sights and announce where the stops are, so you can jump on and off and go explore as you choose. A single bus journey on an Oyster card costs £1.45 and is capped daily at £4.40 if you're only going on the bus, making it much cheaper than a paid bus tour.

What are your favourite sights in London?

2 comments:

  1. I was always off doing touristy things in London, I just love all that stuff. I got up early one morning to go to the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, it was funny cos it was just me and a massive load of American tourists. I think they were quite confused why a Londoner was stood there!

    That's a nice list you have there, Greenwich is a good one!

    I also love the parks (think St James Park is my favourite), Portobello Road and Spitalfields Market .. I'm sure there's more that I've forgotten x

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  2. Spitalfields Market is one of my favourite places in London, I love all the vintage stalls there! Never been to Portobello Road or the Changing of the Guard though - think I'll have to add them to my list :)

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