when e-bookers got in touch recently and asked me for some insider tips to my adopted city, i got very chatty. i have a lot to say about this great capital of ours, and as it turns out, far too much to be included in the actual guide (me: i talk a lot.). so, rather than let those great tips go to waste, what better place to put them than here?
1. get out of central: central london is a nightmare at the best of times, and there's so much to be seen around the outer! head to crystal palace for a wander with the dinosaurs, or walthamstow to check out god's own junkyard, or even west to richmond for a picnic with some real-life deer! there are too many great places at the end of the lines, so do check those out too.
2. street food is the best food: avoid joining lines in the centre of town or at the latest pop-up restaurant in east london, and instead scout out your nearest farmer's market or foodies festival, where you're sure to get some top quality nosh, try some new foods, and definitely leave with an empty belly!
3. alternate nights: sure sure, every one wants to go to camden and party at koko, but there are so many *other* fun club nights on almost every night in london to keep you belly laughing for weeks from the memories alone. if music is your passion then musical bingo (regular bingo but with music and fun prizes instead of grannies) and gospeloke (karaoke with a 12-strong gospel choir backing you up) are where you want to be. prefer comedy? the comedy store has open mic nights every week, or there's thom foole's house party if you like a bit of variety in your party.
4. shopping-mare: avoid westfield at all cost, and head into the famous markets around london. spitalfeilds vintage market and petticoat lane are some of the better ones, with portobello road and the stables in camden offering a little bit of everything from bric-a-brac to hand-made and organic fashion.
5. culture-all: london is a very historic place, this isn't news. but, rather than spend your days wandering the stuffy halls full of tourist traps like the v&a or the natural history museums, why not try one of london's infamous walking tours. jack the ripper, sherlock holmes and those pesky pirates are just some of the tailored walks you can discover across all corners of the city, and they generally involve a pub stop at one point. so. that's a double winner of an idea, isn't it?
there are a whole host of other local londoners sharing their best tips over on the e-bookers website, so if you're after some great tips on where to go and what to avoid, definitely check it out before you travel!
*post written in collaboration with ebookers. all tips are my own!*