Hey, lovely readers of Lucy Williams Global! I’m Lucy’s sister, Sophie. I’m a criminal defence solicitor and live in West London. When I’m not at court, I love seeing the best London has to offer. I’m also a little obsessed with food and skincare. But that’s another post in itself! Here is a local’s guide to London.
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What to Expect from London – A Local’s Guide to London
London. It’s one of the world’s best-known cities. And one of the craziest. I’m here to give you an insider’s view.
It’s so easy to think you’ve got to do what’s expected of you as a tourist. Big Ben (it’s currently covered in scaffolding and will be until around 2021), Tower Bridge (the one a lot of people think is London Bridge), Trafalgar Square (massive column with Nelson on and lions around fountains) and the London Eye (big wheel on the South Bank).
There is so much more. And why not do the touristy stuff the way locals do – a lot of us are not born and bred Londoners, so we’re all secret tourists at heart; we just don’t like to tell anyone.
London like a local
During this post, I’m going to share with you one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon in the “Big Smoke”. You will see lots of sights which doesn’t require that much walking, woohoo!
Get over to North Greenwich – very easy. On the “Jubilee line” on the London Underground (the grey one).
Come out of the station and have a walk around. This is the home of the O2. Historically, it was the “Millennium Dome” and held an exhibition in 2000.
Fast forward 19 years, it’s still there, but now an entertainment venue. You can grab a coffee or a bite to eat, but
London Insider Tip: Emirates Cable Car
Follow the directions for the “Emirates Air Line”- it’s a cable car going across the Thames.
You can use your Oyster card or contactless credit/debit card on the yellow reader at the gates (far easier) or alternatively purchase a ticket.
Insider tip: sit on the seats on the right-hand side as you enter the pod and vice versa on the return journey – you will get the best views of Canary Wharf, the City, the O2 and ExCel. Do the return journey – end up back where you came from at North Greenwich.
London Insider Tip: Thames Clipper
Once done on the “airline”, follow the directions for North Greenwich
Insider tip: head to the seats on the
Here you will take in the landmarks which are predominately on the north of the river, the Tower of London, the city skyscrapers, the Shard (south of the river) and go under arguably one of the most famous bridges in the world, Tower Bridge.
My favourite departure pier is Bankside. You will come off the clipper and literally be in front of Shakespeare’s globe.
From here, I like to walk along the South Bank going in the direction of the London Eye / Houses of Parliament, i.e. not the direction you’ve come from.
If you’re less mobile or not in the mood for walking, head all the way down to the London Eye pier (near Waterloo train station).
London Insider Tip: Millenium Footbridge
After Shakespeare’s Globe (on the south side of the river), next up will be the Tate Modern (used to the Bankside Power Station) and the Millennium footbridge.
The footbridge will take you to St Paul’s Cathedral. Insider tip: If you do divert to St Paul’s, there’s a great public rooftop at One New Change, which is beside the Cathedral.
There’s also an immense cocktail bar and restaurant. I personally recommend both the bar and restaurant – I have spent many an
London Insider Tip: Oxo Tower
Whether you’re still on the boat or walking along the Thames at this point on the South Bank, you will see the Oxo Tower.
Insider tip: if you’re on foot at this point, I thoroughly recommend the Harvey Nichols Brasserie at the Oxo Tower – especially if the sun is out. Rooftop views of the City [with cocktails and food] are always fabulous.
Just outside the Oxo Tower are some really great photo opportunities – if you didn’t think they’re weren’t enough already!
Insider tip: this location is where the Thames comes to a bend so you get great shots from either side.
Once you’ve done with selfies and landmark shots – equally beautiful either during the day or at night, keep walking!
London Insider Tip: London Eye
You will pass lots of bars and
If you only have a morning, afternoon or evening, this is the perfect way to see a LOT of sights with minimum effort.
A local’s guide to London Round-Up
Insider tip: if you’re tight on time, don’t head towards St Paul’s across the footbridge or stop at the recommended restaurants.
I have done this route many a time when friends have come up to London and my average time to complete the above (without St Paul’s and restaurant/bar stops) has been around 3/3.5 hours from North Greenwich to Waterloo. Pretty good, I reckon!
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A Local’s Guide to London Useful London Links:
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Love Lucy x