London Things To Do

A LIST THINGS TO DO

The Best Things To Do In London

Some of the best things to do in London

Take in the Stunning City View at the Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

There are plenty of exceptional vantage points in London but one of my favourites is the balcony at the the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank.

Perhaps it’s because it’s free to access and there’s absolutely zero expectation for you to spend any money.

That, or maybe it’s just the cracking view peering across the Thames and over to Central London (and sure, there’s easy access to a bar inside too!).

Whilst you’re there, check out what’s happening at the Southbank Centre – there’s often free events and performances! Though my favourite thing to do is walk along the river and watch the skateboarders as they attempt tricks at the Undercroft Skate Space.

Ride the Underground Mail Rail at The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum, 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA

If you listen to my podcast, Tipsy Tourism, it will be no surprise that The Postal Museum is one of my favourite things to recommend in London.

Not only do you get to ride the old Mail Rail train that used to deliver letters via an underground system, but there’s loads of fun, interactive post related games to play in the museum too – my favourite being the chance to sort the mail into the relevant pigeon holes on a makeshift moving carriage!

It’s fantastic for everyone – young and young at heart – and there are plenty of facts that you’ll be spewing out every time you pass a postbox in the future.

Ticket prices are £9 for children, £11 for young people (16-24) and £16 for adults – but make sure you book online for those prices. They also have a number of concessions, including cheap rates for those with a National Art Pass.

Tickets include unlimited access to The Postal Museum for one year from the date of your visit and one ride on Mail Rail, valid on your first visit to the Museum. The ‘Postal Play Space’ for children 8 and under costs £4 if you book online.

Spend the Afternoon Down Lamb’s Conduit Street

Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB

For being so central, I can never get over how chilled this area is.

Only a 15 minute walk from Covent Garden, it feels like you’ve slipped into a suburban side street where locals are sat outside sipping coffee or a pint.

knockbox coffee and Redemption Roasters are great for coffee, and The Lamb is a proper British boozer. If wine’s more your thing, check out Noble Rot or wander down to an old toilet block (yes really) for wine and nibbles at WC Bloomsbury.

Food wise, I cannot recommend Ciao Bella enough for authentic Italian food with the most wonderful staff. We went hours before Italy played England in the World Cup and enjoyed a lot of back and forth with our waitress about who would win!

There’s also some fantastic independent menswear stores along this street – check out Number Six, Oliver Spencer and Folk Mens (they do Women’s too!) – as well as Shrine to the Vine for wine, a cheesemonger at La Fromagerie and beautiful homeware at Pentreath & Hall.

Got kids? Coram’s Fields at the end of the road is superb for young ones – thanks in large part to the fact it’s ran by a charity whose whole aim is to create a safe space for all children to come and play – something that families visiting Great Ormond Street Hospital have always been very grateful for. In fact, the charity take this so seriously that they often have someone on the gate to make sure that only adults with children can enter.

Go for a Wander Around Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington, London N16 0JR

Fancy a day activity that doesn’t involve the usual tourist hotspots? Get yourself to Stoke Newington for more of a village feel with a slew of trendy shops, restaurants and pubs.

From Middle Eastern dishes at The Good Egg to authentic Keralan vegetarian curries at Rasa, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food. There’s plenty of cute cafes too if you’re keeping costs down – I’m a big fan of The Caffeine Fix and away from the main high street, Cafe Z Bar is good too.

It’s also a great area if you like all things second hand. I LOVE poking around Retro Hub N16 which is often full of junk, but sometimes you can find some right gems! There’s a Mary’s Living & Giving Shop for a curated collection of second hand clothes and and homeware, and finally check out Hackney Flea Market which takes place at Abney Hall every month.

Finally, if you find yourself there on a nice day, pack up a picnic and head to Clissold Park for a gorgeous green space that also has an excellent park and a large animal enclosure with deer and goats! I’ve spent many a sunny afternoon there and the vibe is IMMACULATE.

Explore Coal Drops Yard and Regent’s Canal

Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, London N1C 4DQ

“It used to be a bit different around here”.

That’s what my mum said to me when we visited Coal Drops Yard together recently.

She used to be a secretary in the area in the 80s, and it’s fair to say that Kings Cross and its surrounding area has had quite the redevelopment over the last 40 years.

Just a 5 minute stroll up from the train station, Coal Drops Yard offers a pristine outdoor shopping area that boasts food and drink outlets, and there’s often markets on too.

My favourite thing? That it doesn’t get too busy at the weekend and so makes a great destination to do some browsing, grab a bite and even continue the walk up Regent’s Canal.

A shoutout to Samsung’s HQ on the top floor too which reminds me a bit of Eureka – that amazing kids museum in West Yorkshire that let you try everything out for yourself.

As for food and drink, you can’t go wrong with Caravan which always has a fun spin on the traditional brunch dishes, and for a more affordable choice, head on over to nearby Camley Street Natural Park which has a covered cafe overlooking the canal and also a surprisingly large green area to explore – it’s great for kids!

Hiden, serving Japanese curry, and coffee shops Sons + Daughters and Redemption Roasters are good value for money too.

Eat and Drink at Mercato Metropolitano Food Market

42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

Since they opened their doors in 2016, Mercarto Metropolitano has been a go to for when you want food and drink – and lots of it! It’s a popular choice for groups thanks to the fact that they have over 40 independent trading partners that serve up everything from Italian to Vietnamese. There’s also several bars and an on-site micro-brewery too, which means it’s a great venue for settling down for a few hours. Oh, and they’re animal friendly too!

In terms of prices, I’ve definitely found that these markets have upped their prices over the last few years but then again, that’s what I’m seeing up and down the country too for street food in general! Therefore, I’d expect to pay between £8 – £12 for a main and around £5 for a pint. Whilst it’s not super cheap, just remember that you won’t be paying a tip and if you’re with friends, there will be no dreaded splitting of the bill – allowing for you to only need to concern yourself with your own personal budget. Plus, no one is going to move you on if you’ve been nursing a drink for the last hour!

They operate on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis – I’ve always been on a whim and got in fine! However if you are heading there on a busy day, a bank holiday say, I’d definitely go sooner rather than later.  For groups of 8 people and over, you can book though they don’t take bookings on Friday and Saturdays as standard.

Also, remember to check out their events – in the past they’ve hosted craft fares, cookery classes and jazz nights!

If you like this place, you may also like their other food markets:

  • Mercato Mayfair – this one is noticeably a bit more pricey BUT it’s set in a Grade 1 listed church which is absolutely beautiful, so definitely worth swinging by even just for a drink to enjoy the building (and the roof top!)
  • MMy Elephant Park – this one isn’t too far from the original, but is a bit quieter and in a more residential space. I haven’t been to this one yet so if you go, let me know what you think!
  • Wood Wharf – coming soon!
  • Ilford – coming soon!

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About Chelsea

Find out a bit more about what I do.