I Love London

I’ve been obsessed with London since I was a teenager, since the days when my school friends and I would get the train up at the weekends to chase pop bands around.  Back then London was a place of absolute wonder and excitement; a place where you could realise your dreams, no matter how crazy or ridiculous. It’s so difficult to explain the exhilaration the 14-year-old me would feel getting off the train at Waterloo, a stranger in a city bigger than I could fathom with so much to see and do. I promised that teenage version of me that one day, I’d live in London – and now I do.


Southwark Cathedral and the Shard

Why I Love London

Andrew and I have been living in London for nearly three years now and in all that time I’ve never lost that sense of teenage wonder.  I have my favourite restaurants and pubs, cinemas, film festivals, museums and walks. I love the life we’ve carved in London, the people we’ve met, the work we do and the routines we’ve established.

I Love London

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It’s more than that though –

I love London for its newness and oldness squashed together, the tall glass buildings surrounded by old cathedrals and tiny Victorian houses next to towering council blocks.  I love Christmas in London when the markets and pubs are full, the lights go up, the church bells sing and a centimetre of sleet can bring the transport system to a standstill. I love the summer time when everyone flocks to the parks and you can sit on the Southbank with a beer, gazing across the Thames – and right now especially, I love autumn in London; the frosty dark mornings and fireworks in the park.




Here are some of my favourite places and things to do in London.

The River

The Southbank is my favourite place in London – I love the amazing view over the Thames. The river is lined with so many restaurants and pubs as well as the Royal Festival Hall and the British Film Institute.  Best of all, I’m lucky enough to work in Southwark, so I can walk over to the river in my lunch break.

Amy by the Thames, London SouthbankAndrew next to Tower Bridge

St Paul's Cathedral by night

Free London Attractions

London has some of the best free museums. My favourite is the Imperial War Museum, which has a truly devastating Holocaust exhibition; the National History Museum is also great. Aside from that, one of the best things about London is that there’s always something going on, a festival, a celebration, a protest, the Olympics… what’s even better is that you won’t pay a penny for lots of them. Recently I’ve seen alien street art at a festival in Greenwich and been to the annual Thames festival:

Thames Festival 2012Aliens invade Greenwich

Imperial War Museum, London

Imperial War Museum – Copyright Jivedanson on Flickr

Buildings, Sights & Museums

There are so many sights to see in London.  My favourites include Greenwich, especially the view from the observatory on top of the hill shown below,  the tower of London, secret corners of Covent Garden like Neal’s Yard (below left) and the London Dungeons – touristy but brilliant!

Neal's Yard, Covent GardenLondon Dungeons

Greenwich

The Parks

There are many great parks in London, the one we love the most though is the one closest to where we live – Dulwich Park. It’s the best park for sunbathing, table tennis, running and dog-watching – oh, and it’s absolutely stunning.

Greenwich Park LakeDulwich Park Table Tennis

Dulwich Park Bridge over Lake

The Markets

We used to live in East London and the markets there were brilliant; cheap and full of proper east-enders heckling and trying to swindle you. My favourite is Borough Market though, which also happens to only be a 10 minute walk from work; yes, I really lucked out on office location.

Borough Market, London, Bread & CakesBorough Market, London, Fruit & Vegetables

Borough Market London

Films

Film is one of my big passions, I even spent three years studying it at Uni. London is the perfect place to indulge my obsession with film; I have membership at my favourite art-house cinema, the Curzon in Soho. I’ve also been to some great film festivals; including the annual sci-fi film festival, a Japanese film festival, the Human Rights film festival and of course, my favourite – Fright Fest.

FrightFest 2012Curzon cinema, Soho, London

Pubs

I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning our local pub. We love it for the fact that it’s independent, the barman is crazy and it’s called The Hob (as in the Hunger Games, cool, huh?).

Our local London pub, The Hob

So why do I want to leave the city I love so much? Right now I find I’m asking myself that question every day. The only answer that I can come up is that my desire to travel trumps my love for London at this point in my life and who knows, maybe I’ll find somewhere even better? In any case, the city will always be here and hopefully one day I’ll return.

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45 thoughts on “I Love London

  1. ohhh I miss London now ! I lived here for one year only and felll in love with this city even though the weather is quite crazy there :p

    • I’m sure I’ll miss London like crazy too – you’re right about the weather though! Right now it’s looking particularly grey outside my office window. Where in London did you live?

      • I lived near Baker street and studied in Le Cordon Bleu) in Marylebone Lane. Then I moved to Hendon area because the rent in zone 1 was so expensive. I worked part time in AMT coffee bar in Victoria station and also in TATE modern. Quite a hectic life but I miss it now 🙂
        DebbZ recently posted..Poland: Photo Essay of KrakowMy Profile

        • Wow – Le Cordon Bleu, that’s impressive! I work very close to the Tate Modern and I love that area of London. Don’t blame you for moving outside zone 1, we live in South East London (Forest Hill) where the rent is much cheaper!

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    • I know Beast – it’s a tough one. I’m really going to miss everything except for the routine of working! I’m sure we’ll return at some point in the future though. Thanks for reading and commenting – more London pics and stories to come!

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    • Hi Koren, yes, London is such an addictive place – I don’t know how I’ll cope when I leave! I’ve also been to New York briefly and would love to go back and explore it more!

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  13. Funny, I’ve been living in London for the last 6 months and I trade it in a heartbeat to be back traveling the world! I just enjoyed checking out your blog, so far you guys have a similar route to mine. Indonesia was pretty rough at times (don’t go to India, much worse), but some of my favorite photos are from there. Have fun on your trip, I hope you guys keep it up!

    • Hi Christy, we also had a rough time in Indonesia but are having a great time overall. A part of me always misses London though, even when I’m having the best time on the road but like you, when I was living there I couldn’t wait to leave – wanderlust is a cruel beast!

      • It is! My friend that traveled with me is now back home and feels that life is very “underwhelming” after a year of travel. But I remember the rough days and just wanting to escape to air conditioning and a bathroom that doesn’t look like a murder scene. It’s absolutely the best thing I ever did though and I’m sure you guys will feel the same!
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        • Glad to hear that you’re travel experience was so rewarding Christy – even through the tough times I know we’ll look back in years to come and be happy we made the decision to travel.

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  17. hi I’m indonesian people, I love reading your blog, I am very amazed with london, it’s starts from reading the encyclopedia about london. I wish I could live there

    • Hi Steva, thanks for reading and commenting. We miss London while we’re travelling and can’t wait to go back and visit in the summer. It’s a great place and I hope you get to visit it one day too. 🙂

      • you guys traveler too? Cool! What countries have you both been? Yes, London is truly amazing. Amen!! I wish I could live there too. (:

        • London is an awesome place! We’re currently travelling in South-East Asia but will return to visit London in the summer.

          • You have to come to Indonesia, many amazing places in Indonesia such as Kuta beach in Bali, Raja Ampat in Papua,ranukumbolo in semeru,rupat beach in riau and many more

          • We have already visited Indonesia Steva; we saw some beautiful places, especially the Gili Islands and Mount Bromo. Of course there’s always more to explore! A part of me always misses London wherever I travel though 🙂

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  23. Oh these are some great tidbits on London :)! Excellent quality pictures also. My favourite spot is Waterstones on Piccadilly Circus. The best bookstore ever!!! Thanks for sharing!

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