Mary Ann Issac
London, an offbeat guide!
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
1. Saint Dunstan in the East Church garden
If you are doing your rounds of central London, this abandoned parish is one you mustn’t miss. It lies somewhere between Tower of London and London Bridge, so it won’t be much of a detour.The church was destroyed in the 2nd World War, but was never refurbished back to its former glory. It is now a public garden, and the ruins of the church make it a beautiful garden at that!
2. Visit London’s most beautiful bookshop
Daunt Boookshop in Marylebone is touted the most beautiful in London, and rightfully so! It is 2 stories of wall to wall books which leads to a beautiful arched window that brings in natural light into the store. The wooden railings on the upper floor gives the stool a rustic, old world feel. If you are a book lover, or just someone who loves beautfiul spaces, this a place you must visit- but please buy a book or something small from here, and support independent stores.
Want to know how to navigate central London to see all the sights without wasting any time? Read my guide to London-it is especially great for first timer's to London!
Explore the most beautiful neighbourhoods in London with my guide!
Check out my Museum Guide to London! I've listed out all the best museums in the city, according to interest, kid friendliness, & genre!
Check out my 20 BEST Experiences in London!
3. Spend a day exploring Richmond park
Richmond Park is one of London’s 8 royal parks and is so close to central London that you don’t have an excuse not to go there. You can rent bicycles and explore the 2500 acre park!
4. Explore Flask Walk
This street is a short walk from Hampstead high street, and is dotted with cute shops, second hand book shops, and even magic shops. The road from here towards Hampstead Heath takes you through a neighbourhood of beautiful homes.
5. Find platform 9 3∕4 at King’s cross
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, then platform 9 3/4 is probably already on your list. There is a Harry Potter shop near platform 9 3/4 as well to tempt you to shop some cool merchandise. The staff at the shop will take pictures of you pretending to run into the platform. I think one picture is about £9.
6. Neal’s Yard
This small alley in the Covent Garden area is an absolute stunner. Make it a point to go here and take some pictures, or just sit for a while and admire the beauty of this tiny corner of London!
7. Primrose hill for the view of London
Primrose hill the hilltop park near Primrose Hill neighbourhood is known for its expansive views of Regent Park. Come here with a picnic in hand! The neighbourhood Primrose Hill nearby has beautiful Victorian houses painted in pastel hues, and has had some celebrity residents in the past.
8. Street Art at Brick Lane
Take a walk from Brick Lane towards Shoreditch and you will see some beautiful murals!
9. Find the best view of St. Paul's Cathedral
The One New Change shopping centre has a viewing gallery that grants an amazing view of the dome of the St. Paul's Cathedral. If you want a spot that isn't very crowded (when I went, we were the only people there!), with fabulous views, you have to go here!
Thinking of going up north to Manchester? Check out my detailed guide for Manchester
I have also compiled my favourite places to shop in Manchester-check out my shopping guide to Manchester!
You have to read my Offbeat Guide to Manchester, if you are looking to see more than just the 'sights' in Manchester!
10. Explore Carnaby Street in Soho
Carnaby Street has shops & restaurants, but the best part of being in this part of town is the colourful buildings! Go during the day if you like photographing buildings. At night time, the whole street is lit with fairly lights, making it look so beautiful!
11. Christmas at Oxford Street
This is one place you are not going to skip when you are in London, it is the place to come to shop till you drop! All the high street brands have an outlet here, and they are all housed in some stunning heritage buildings. Oxford circus may be a shoppers paradise, but it is a place that an architecture buff will never want to leave either!
Oxford circus is lit up so beautifully at Christmas, that it is worth walking about at night even if you have nothing to buy.
12. Bond Street
A short walk from Oxford Circus is Bond Street, and this where all your luxury shopping dreams will come true. It is much quieter than its high street counterpart, Oxford Street, and also boasts of beautiful buildings. Once when I was walking through Bond Street, I happened to come across a big fight between a group of men, which is quote unusual for the area-and like I always do whenever I see something of this sort, I ran in the opposite direction!
13. Walk through the Strand
If you’ve decided to see London on foot, chances are that you will walk through eh area known as the ‘Strand’. It is the stretch from Trafalgar Square towards Temple Bar & Fleet Street. Walk through the Strand to see some beautiful architecture. Any walk around central London will make you fall in love with this city’s architecture. This is one such walk.
14. Piccadilly Circus
This junction is a beautiful landmark in London, because of the grandeur of its architecture. There are a few shops here, though it isn’t known to be a shopping area. If you are here, go to Fortnum & Mason and buy their chocolate cookies-you will not regret it!
15. Hampstead Heath
For beautiful views of London’s skyline while you picnic or play ball, head to Hampstead Heath. The elevation of the park gives you expansive views of the city of London.