Forget The Tourist Tours
Here Are 5 Way More Fun Ways To Experience London
Renowned for being one of the most interesting, exciting and bustling cities in the entire world, London is a place often featured on traveller’s wish-lists. Each area is dramatically different to the last, offering something for every traveller’s needs, whether they prefer parks, boutiques, alternative nightlife, museums or interesting buildings. Most visitors to England’s capital will simply hop on and off the tube, ticking off tourist hotspots as they go. Why not see the city from a completely unique angle by booking onto an alternative tour or create one of your own?
London Monopoly Walk
Have you ever played the infamous board game, Monopoly? There’s all sorts of different boards available now, including different locations and movie spin-offs, but the original board that you probably played with as a child was set in London. To see the city from a different perspective, try creating your own tour based upon the streets and train stations featured on the classic Monopoly board? There are 22 streets and 4 train stations on the board, and it would take you about five hours to walk around the city ticking them all off. The excitement of this tour is the route that the walk will take you on, not only seeing all of the places from the board, but strolling across the Thames and through some of the main areas of central London.
London Harry Potter Tour
Even if you aren’t a fan of the Harry Potter series, by taking in the main locations from the book and the filming of the movies you will find yourself travelling all across the city. From Leicester Square to King’s Cross Station, your walk will take in the street that Diagon Alley was based upon and the filming location of the Leaky Cauldron pub. This walk is perfect for distracting children whilst you witness a selection of London’s best-known and lesser-known landmarks.
London Old Map Man
If contemporary London isn’t your thing and you are more interested in the illustrious past of the city, book onto one of Old Map Man’s iconic tours. Using old maps to discover the London of bygone times, tour operator Ken leads you around different areas of the city, showing you hidden alleys and telling stories of the London that used to be. Each tour concentrates on a specific area of the city and is filled with unusual and little-known stories that have been expertly researched. Check out the London Trails Old Map Man website
London On Your Bike
If walking around the huge city sounds overwhelming but you would still like to see more than if you were stuck on the tube, consider one of the many bike tours that the city has to offer. From the comfort of two wheels you will seek out the main sights of the city with more speed than if you were walking and much more opportunities to explore hidden streets and green parks than if on public transport. Cycle through parks spotting deer in the centre of the city, enjoy the breeze in your hair as you ride along the Thames, and stop off along the way for a pint of beer in traditional London pubs.
London Off The Beaten Track
Rather than ticking off a series of palaces, parks and popular destinations, why not get a taste of what London is like as a local and explore off the beaten track? Head East to discover an exciting array of cafes, pubs, galleries, street art, street food, independent shops and exciting markets. Allow yourself to stray off the main road and explore interesting little alleyways and side streets, following tips found online or simply roaming freely in the direction that your interest takes you.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.