24 Hours In London: How To See More Than Just The Landmark Sights
London is affectionately nicknamed the gateway to Europe as it often tops and tails a visitor's European sojourn. But how do you make the most of such a vibrant city in such little time?
If you can’t afford to spread your stay out for a week (or two) and venture around the many destinations the UK has to offer, we’ve tailored the perfect 24 hours in London for you to explore past the shopping district at Oxford Circus. (Don’t worry you can make time for that too.)
London is so much more than its city centre with new gentrified hubs popping up all over the landscape and offering new avenues to enjoy all that London has to offer. The trick is to tick off those landmark sights on the way to discovering all the local haunts.
Start in Kings Cross for breakfast, specifically Granary Square, which is a melting pot of bubbling venues. Caravan is our pick, offering a taste of home (avocado for dayzzz!) while still maintaiing a true British charm. Plus Single Origin coffee, enough said.
While London is a city easily discoverable by foot and the tube – why not hire a bike for the day and ride around lesser known areas? Take a vintage bike tour from Gabriel's Wharf and ride along famous streets, snapping pics as you go.
Arguably the fastest growth area of the city is East London. Head to Spitalfield Markets, which houses a vibrant mix of old and new – everything from top hats to luscious cakes and tasty street fare.
I needed the feed before attempting to conquer my fear of heights with the longest and tallest tunnel slide in the world - the ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was bloody terrified, but the adrenalin will have you asking, 'One more time?'
Once you've found your stomach somewhere on the way down, walk over the bridge to Hackney Wick where you'll find locals congregating at a slew of breweries along the canal. Crate Brewery was our favourite - sit in the sun, sipping on the house pale ale and munching on their signature Roman-style pizzas.
For a change of pace, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel offers one of the city's most luxe cocktail experiences - and best yet, it looks just like the Hogwarts Great Hall, which is why they also feature Harry Potter-themed cocktails. SHUT UP AND TAKE OUR MONEY.
If a killer nightlife is what you’re after pick your party scene - Soho or Shoreditch? If Soho strikes your fancy, take your pick of a myriad of bars all in walking distance from each other!
But if you want to spice up your night with something a little different, Shoreditch is home to a bunch of quirky spaces including personal fave Flight Club – a bar where you can play social darts against all your mates. Yep, seriously.
Sleep (or not to sleep?)
Now it's time to head back to your hotel - do yourself a favour and make your airport transfers simple by staying just minutes from your gate. That early morning wake up call or late night commute won't hurt so much. Hotel airports can conjure up images of four walls, a single bed and a kettle – but not at Moxy London Heathrow.
The neon pink sign is hard to miss, as is the relaxed vibe that oozes from its revolving door. The ecelectic mix of graphic art and sleek décor will confirm your holiday is far from over. Not to mention you'll find the reception desk at the bar with a welcome drink on offer by the ever-so-cool hotel crew. Yep, your night is far from over!
This is already my favourite hotel, you'll say in your head while sipping on the cranberry cocktail. Instead of heading straight to your room and tucking under the covers with bad TV, wander around the bar to the different play areas designed in the comfort of a luxury home; sizzling fireplaces, giant flat screen television, pool tables, fooseball tables, ping pong tables and guitars if you're keen for a jam. Everything is open plan to encourage guests to ~mingle~.
After making the most of downstairs and indulging in delish late night feed of flatbreads and mac n' cheese, your room will greet you with a record player baring, little treats and personalised messages littered all around the room. Not to mention the luxe Queen-sized bed to crawl into!
The hotel crew are on hand to book your wake up call and taxi. But what if you never want to leave? We thought the same thing. Luckily we'll be back very soon.
Until next time London!
Title Image: @tuulavintage