Cultural powerhouse, historic capital, global innovator – there’s more than a few reasons why London ranks as the most visited city in the world. For over 2,000 years this is a place that has never stopped living life in the fast lane and whether for business or pleasure, roast dinners or royals, the world just can’t get enough of Britain’s capital. It’s time to lose yourself in the Big Smoke.
AT A GLANCE
London thrives on diversity. A place where old and new collide at every turn, it’s as much about ancient history and iconic landmarks as it is about cutting-edge art and trendsetting street style. From world-class museums to hidden bars and an inexhaustible foodie scene, it’s a city that begs to be explored. One thing’s for certain, one trip will not be enough.
WHAT TO SEE
This city never stops evolving, so the possibilities are endless. But to get you started, here are some of our highlights.
Art mavens are spoilt for choice here with a dizzying number of galleries big and small but the Victoria and Albert Museum is one that takes the lead. A treasure trove of art from medieval English gems to the greats of modern fashion and design, it’s the perfect mix of old and new that sums up London’s character.
Since you’re in one of the fashion world’s greatest centres, it’s worth finding time for some retail therapy and you’ll always find the most up-to-date collections at Dover Street Market. Follow with a classic pub lunch at favourite Mayfair haunt The Punchbowl, where gourmet fish and chips and traditional British game are menu mainstays.
If it’s iconic landmarks you’re after then a stroll along the South Bank will take you past the architectural big hitters such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral. For a classic cultural fix, make Shakespeare proud and catch one of the shows at the Globe or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at one of the great luxury hotels and get sugar high on British ritual.
Culinary adventures await in almost every part of the city but it’s in the East where the latest gourmet temples lie alongside a hot bed of trendy bars, restaurants and craft breweries. If you like your dinner and cocktails served with show-stopping views then head to Sky Garden in the city or the Typing Room in Bethnal Green for a real East London gem that showcases the best of British ingredients. Late night revellers can continue the party in the Chiltern Firehouse where the cream of British society carries on the party into the wee-est of hours.
WHAT WE TRAVEL WITH
Named after an area of London’s achingly cool East end, with Tumi’s Dalston collection you’ll be able to hold your own among the city’s hip creative crowd. The black camo of this Ashwin Tote is very on-trend as well as having ample pocket room for your London needs. Team it with a Polaroid camera and some hipster specs and you could well be mistaken for a local. Britain’s weather is famously unpredictable so it’s always wise to pack a brolly or rain jacket too.