You’d think that living in London, I’d have done it all… seen every view, explored every museum, traipsed round every attraction. But sometimes when you live in a busy city you’re so put off by the thought of spending your day squished up next to eager tourists and stuck behind slow walking crowds that you end up missing out on some of the best things it has to offer.
And I’m no exception.
Since moving to the city almost exactly a year ago, I’ve kept the majority of my exploring to the foodie scene, a cocktail in hand. Of course I’ve done some sightseeing, but it was mostly before I became a full time Londoner. With the New Year around the corner, I’ve reflected on my last 12 month’s and discovered that there’s a lot I’m yet to experience. Tourist-filled or not, there’s no excuse for not seeing the top sights and shows of the city.
I feel like I’m confessing… #pleasedontjudgeme
The Lord Mayor’s Show
In November London celebrates not one but two fantastic firework displays. The weekend after Bonfire Night, the city once again lights up to the sound of the Lord Mayor’s Show, an all day event to cheer on our new Mayor with an iconic parade and fantastic fireworks show. This year I caught the very end of the celebration as my Nana and I heard deafening bangs from Somerset House where we were checking out an exhibition! Next year its going in the diary.
I know. I haven’t been up the Shard yet (hides face in shame). It’s just that I’ve heard that there are fantastic views from other spots such as Sky Garden, but I promise next year I’m doing it. Discount London do a day and night ticket, perfect for those contrasting skylines.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
I’ve been to Kew Gardens just the once and it was a beautiful summers day out. Every Christmas, Kew is illuminated, lighting up the magnificent scented gardens and huge trees… although I haven’t had time to explore this year, its definitely on my list for next December.
Not as dramatic as the last but still, a definite part of London that should be seen at least once. The Hunterian Museum is known for its gruesome objects and preserved specimens… perhaps that’s why I’ve been putting it off.
New Years Eve in London
Last year was the first year I spent New Years Eve in London, from the comfort of my newly-moved-into flat looking out across the skyline. I think the only reason that I haven’t got closer to the main event is due to the vast crowds and expensive bar entry fees but its still on my list and one I hopefully will tick off in a year’s time.
West End Live
West End Live just sounds like the coolest experience for any theatre lover. And what a brilliant way to get a taste of shows not yet seen. In June the top musicals spring up around the city, bursting into famous songs as passers by sit and watch. Next year I’m gonna be one of them, singing along to the Circle of Life.
Seen the London marathon
I’ve always managed to be away at the time of the London marathon but the next time that I’m in the city when its on, I’ll definitely join in the cheer and celebrations around the tracks.
Have a Brick Lane Curry
I used to love Brick Lane when I was a moody teenager visiting London for the day, wearing vintage jumpers. But I’ve not yet had a famous East London curry. I literally live minutes from this famous street so should probably pop down one night.
The Tower of London
I’m really annoyed at myself that I never saw the poppies by the Tower of London. But hey, can’t live with regrets. I still need to see some Crown Jewels, spot some ravens and visit the tower of torture.
The London Eye
Okay I have actually been on the London Eye but I was 14 and had no more than half of the appreciation that I have for the city nowadays. I’d love to ride along the wheel at sunset, seeing the skyline transform from a day blue to red evening hue. Discount London have some fab deals that tie in tickets with lots of other bucket list experiences (including the above and below), so I will definitely be booking up a treat.
Christmas at The Ritz
I’VE NEVER BEEN TO THE RITZ *runs away crying*. I’ve walked past many times and just never had an excuse to go in. I’ve decided that next year I’m getting my glam on and doing a Christmas night at the Ritz, champagne in hand and festivities all around. The end.
Deer spotting at Richmond Park
One day, next year I’m just going to ride to the end of the tube, walk to Richmond Park with my tripod and sit and wait for deer to pop their heads through the mist. I want that picture damn it.
See the mummies at the British Museum
I might have done this as a kid… I’m not sure to be honest. But I should probably go back and see the famous mummies right?
From the moment I watched Mary Kate and Ashley in Wining London, I really wanted to make that guard laugh.
St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey
I will have definitely gone to both of these as a kid, in fact I remember being dragged around the Abbey on a school trip. If you’d have told me then that in ten years I’d be living in the city putting it back on a bucket list I’d have laughed, or given you side eye.
I’ve heard lots about this cemetery recently that features some pretty famous headstones and beautiful architecture. Highgate Cemetery seems like a peaceful, secluded landscape to spend an Autumn afternoon.
Climb up Big Ben
A London climb like no other, to the the clock face of our beloved old man, Big Ben. Yes climbing up 334 steps is on my bucket list, but its going to have to wait as unfortunately the tours are suspended until 2020! Remind me in a few years?
Go to Abbey Road
Yep. Cheesy picture coming your way.
See a play at Shakespeare’s Globe
I’m not crazy on Shakespeare but there are some stories I do love including Midsummer Night’s Dream. So of course I should probably see one of the famous shows at the Globe in the open air.
Afternoon tea at the Houses of Parliament
Sounds pretty British am-I-right? You’ve got to try a House of Commons scone.
Used a Boris Bike
I know I know. Call myself a Londoner. I’ll do it at some point I promise.
Go to the top of Primrose Hill
Everyone says the views of the city from Primrose Hill are unmissable. So I’m going to tie it in with a picnic and head down for a summery afternoon.
Well that was quite a lengthy list. I’m honestly well embarrassed right now. I promise I did do some cool stuff this year including the Tower Bridge glass floor, my first bottomless brunch and seeing some top West End shows. In fact I’m going to sum it all up on Thursday to prove it.
What haven’t you done in London yet?
This post was written in collaboration with Discount London.