Our guide to the best food, walks and hidden corners of one of the world's great cities. With tips on how to make your visit more affordable, too!
London’s appeal is as enduring, diverse and fascinating as the people who live there; whatever you’re into, chances are you’ll find it somewhere in the city.
Before visiting, read or watch your favourite classics: moments from film, TV and literature can be found all over London, while the music scene over the last 60 years is little short of legendary – listen to The Clash, The Kinks or The Rolling Stones to get into the mood. For something more contemporary, try Blur, Dizzee Rascal or Amy Winehouse.
As for the rest – the tastiest food, the most intriguing walks, the most astonishing hidden corners – we’ve got you covered.
London is one of the most multicultural cities on the planet, so if there’s something you’re hankering for, chances are you’ll find somewhere serving it. Indeed, you could follow the lead of Alastair Humphreys and try to eat the A-Z of world food while you’re in town.
Too ambitious? Alyssa James’ foodie guide to East London is an altogether more achievable alternative. Or Thomas Rees’ guide to the 15 best food stalls in London. Make sure you check out his piece on the six best food markets in the capital as well.
Whether you’re after a traditional ale or a refreshing lager, you’ll want to spend some time bending your elbow in one of London’s legendary pubs. Katherine Price has compiled her list of the top ten pubs in London. David Long, meanwhile, suggests a visit to London’s oldest pubs, where the stories are as good as the ales on tap.
Another English institution is Afternoon Tea, and you’ll find no shortage of establishments serving this most proper of refreshments. All the famous hotels serve Afternoon Tea, of course, but Susie Maggie Thorne suggests these more unique offerings.
The A-Z of world food in London – Alastair Humphreys
The 6 best food markets in London – Thomas Rees
15 of the best street food stalls in London – Thomas Rees
A foodie guide to East London – Alyssa James
London's top 10 pubs – Katherine Price
A drinker's guide to London's oldest pubs – David Long
London's unique choices for afternoon tea – Susie Maggie Thorne
Group of deer in Richmond Park (Shutterstock)
As convenient – and extensive – as London’s famous Underground service is, it has one major drawback: it’s underground. Walking – in any direction – is one of the great joys of visiting London. Each street, each lane way, each park, has a hidden secret that you’ll only find on foot.
Kathryn, the Trip Stylist, knows this better than most and has put together a handy guide to discovering the capital on foot. Need specific goals? Kathryn has also put together guides to London’s best viewpoints and as well as it’s best ‘secret' gardens.
How to discover London by foot – Trip Stylist
Hidden London viewpoints – Trip Stylist
An insider's guide to London's secret gardens – Trip Stylist
7 of the best walks in London – Katherine Price
Where to find wildlife in London – Natasha Singh
Street art, London (Shutterstock)
London is an old city. And a big one. So it should come as no surprise that once you get away from the major thoroughfares and major tourist sights, there’s a cornucopia of unexplored corners and hidden secrets. Thankfully, our experts are on hand to help you find them.
Neil Fraser reveals the authentic East London places left untouched by the development that preceded the 2012 Olympics. John Rogers recommends 5 secret places often overlooked in London – including a pub, a bike track and a ruined Abbey – and David long suggests 8 quirky sights you must visit. Did you know that London had a lighthouse?
Author Christopher Fowler reveals the hidden places that inspired his grisly May and Bryant thrillers. Not for the faint-hearted!
Gabrielle Jaffe, on the other hand, enlisted the help of a local guide to go on an urban adventure in London’s East End. You’ll be surprised by the things she discovered.
East London's top secret places – Neil Fraser
5 secret places often overlooked in London – John Rogers
8 quirky London sights you must visit – David Long
Christopher Fowler's guide to hidden London – Christopher Fowler
Alternative tours in London's East End – Gabrielle Jaffe
Big Ben in fog (Shutterstock)
The biggest differential known in the universe is that between the number of photos taken of Big Ben and the number of actual decent ones. Thankfully, Steve Davey is on hand with advice on how to take photos of travel icons that are big on the wow factor and mercifully short of clichés. Who knew Big Ben could even look like that?
Get shot of clichés: photographing travel icons – Steve Davey
Vintage London (Shutterstock)
Ready to start planning your trip? Our United Kingdom Travel Guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by the United Kingdom Essential Info page as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. And we’ve rounded up the latest travel news from the UK too.
You’ll probably arrive in London, so Clare Wilson’s guide to your first 24 hours in the city is essential reading. If money is tight, you might want to check out Simon Farnsworth’s list of 10 things to do for free in London as well.
If you have a particular question about London, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about the UK. The answer to yours might already be there.
United Kingdom Travel Guide – Wanderlust Team
United Kingdom Essential Information – Wanderlust Team
First 24 Hours: London, Great Britain – Clare Wilson
10 things to do for free in London – Simon Farnsworth
Changing of the Guards (Shutterstock)
Here’s a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. Whether you’re just going to London or plan to venture further afield in the UK, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.
Main image: London out of focus (Shutterstock)