We know the deal: you’ve just moved to England’s capital, and you’re excited to see and do all the tourist attractions that make London so popular. A visit to Buckingham Palace, a look around the Tower of London and perhaps a spot of retail therapy on Oxford Street.
While the temptation to spend your first week visiting various traditional tourist attractions might seem appealing, we think you should hold off and instead spend your time experiencing the alternative delights London has to offer.
Chances are you will be here long enough to see and do everything, so there will be plenty of time to see all of the conventional sights. By spending your first week browsing the alternative attractions, you’ll get a real feel of what makes London so special and will be well on your way to becoming a ‘Londoner’.
There are various well-known tours readily available in the capital, taking you around London’s most prominent sites. But why not try one of the lesser known street tours? You will get to experience the ‘real’ side of the city while seeing spectacular art from established and up-and-coming artists. After all, London is one of the most artistic cities in the world.
Group adventure games have become popular in London over the last few years. Our pick of the bunch is Hint Hunt, a live escape game designed for between three and five people where you spend an hour or so climbing a mountain of puzzles and solving mysteries in a teeny tiny room.
Dans le Mar offer great food and an excellent service, two things you would expect from any top-level restaurant. However, there is one caveat: the whole culinary experience takes place in pitch black, with all phones and digital watches left at the door. It sounds barmy, but it works. Always book in advance as demand is high.
The delights on offer at Borough Market will have any foodie drooling with excitement. Located, in Southwark, it’s one of the oldest food markets in London and has been serving people for over 1,000 years. Many of the market stallholders are producers of the food themselves, so you can be sure you’re getting the best quality around.
Stoke Newington has become a popular hub for young creatives and professionals over the last few years who want to experience an alternative side to the capital. Stop by Auld Shillelagh, Jolly Butchers and Original Sin to enjoy laid-back vibes, friendly crowds, live music and, of course, great drinks.
Most people who flock to central London spend their first nights out in in Leicester Square, Soho or Covent Garden. We recommend bucking that trend and heading to one of London’s up-and-coming areas: Bethnal Green. It’s quickly becoming one of the capital’s most creative hubs and offers a range of bars and nightclubs to match. Oval Space is one of our favourites.
Boutique cinemas have risen in popularity over the last few years. Fortunately, London has many of these top-class picture-houses, from Everyman to The Curzon to Electric, you’re spoilt for choice. Moviegoers can expect the works too, including comfy couches to relax on during the film and a five-star food and drinks service delivered straight to your seat.
If you’re thinking of moving to London and would like advice on the best areas to live, try our ‘where should I live in London’ tool. It breaks down the best areas of London for your needs and budget.December 14, 2016 rentonomy Moving to the Capital