We touchdown in London in early December. There are so many things we’ve missed that we can’t wait to do, see or taste again. This won’t be one of those posts about tourist attractions, visit Buck House, watch The Changing of The Guard, go to the British Museum. They’re all great, but these are OUR things to do in London, the stuff we’ve missed in our 6 years in Australia.
I have no idea where we’ll stay, London is expensive and we need to stay somewhere close to the action , so we’ll probably be looking at couch surfing with understanding friends. But, come hell or high water, we’re going to London, where there’s a will there’s a way.
Our Things to Do in London, in no Particular Order:
Go For A Curry
The British are crazy about Indian food. The first Indian restaurant , The Hindoostane Coffee House, opened in London over 200 years ago, these days it’s far more common to have a curry than traditional British fish and chips. Brick Lane is famous for its profusion of Bangladeshi restaurants and used to be “the” place to go for a Curry in London but you will find an Indian restaurant on just about any High Street in the UK.
Living in Port Douglas it was impossible to get a decent curry, restaurants came and went, but never anything that lasted. We had some amazing South Indian food in Malaysia, but our first stop after Heathrow will be a Great British Curry House.
I love clothes, I love shoes, I love shops. They were thin on the ground when we were living in Port Douglas. First stop for me will be Oxford Circus and the giant, monstrous Top Shop. Floors and floors of cheap, good quality, funky clothes. I probably won’t buy much, I’m too old and too broke. But I can look!
Visit London Zoo
I’ve been going to London Zoo since I was a child and when my boys were born we’d go every weekend. Going there feels like going home, it’s a very special place for us. The old buildings, like the original elephant and giraffe houses haven’t changed since I was a child and I hope they never will. They are a slice of British history that the zoo has cleverly modernised over the years.
On the way to the zoo we’ll take a walk in beautiful Regent’s Park, it’s stunning on a cold, crisp winter morning.
Walk by The Thames
Whether it’s the South Bank in Central London, a riverside pub in Richmond on Thames or feeding the swans in Twickenham, I’ll be getting myself down by the river as soon as possible. The river is beautiful at any time of year.
Travel Around Central London on The Tube
I Love the Tube. I’ve used it to commute to work and I’ve used it for fun, it rocks, I love the stations, the graphics, the rush of wind as a train approaches, the history, the mice and the ” Mind the gap”.
Central London is actually pretty small, it’s often quicker to walk, but we have to take at least one tube journey for old times’ sake. The boys love to “surf the tube” at quiet times.
Go to Hamley’s
Hamley’s is a London icon, it’s the world’s largest toy store. More than just a shop, it’s an attraction. Lovely staff demonstrate toys and games for excited children as parents make top-secret Christmas purchases. We love the top floor, that’s where you’ll find every Doctor Who toy you could wish for. Hamley’s is on Regent St. within easy walking distance of Oxford Circus.
I’ve just heard that a branch of Hamley’s has opened in Cardiff, we’ll be checking that one out, too.
Visit The Natural History Museum
The whole family loves London’s Natural History Museum, it’s another of the timeless places from my childhood that my boys have visited since they were tiny. I don’t think we’ve seen everything there yet, that would take days and the boys always head straight for the dinosaur section. We’ll be there just before Christmas, I hope the ice rink is still there, just outside the museum.
There are plenty more things to do in London, you could never do them all. The museums, shops, parks and markets are all free to visit, you don’t have to break the bank finding things to do in London. We’re really looking forward to being tourists at home.