Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beyond Big Ben: Off the Beaten Track in London

When you think of London, what images does the English capital throw up?

Feckless sightseers dressed from head to toe in union jack clothing? Japanese tourists desperately hoping the queen will peek out from behind Buckingham Palace’s curtains? Big Ben? Jellied eels?

While it’s easy to dismiss the city as a cliché ridden, smog filled tourist trap designed to relieve you of your rubles or rob you of your rand, there’s so much more to London than meets the eye.

Away from the usual attractions such as Madame Tussauds, London Zoo and St Paul’s Cathedral, the discerning sightseer can enjoy a different side to London.

Would you be interested in such a whistle-stop tour? Leave your car with the parking experts at Stansted meet and greet, hotfoot it to the center of the city and let’s begin our journey.

Alexandra Palace 

Brixton Farmer’s Market
First, we’ll hop on the tube and take a short journey to Brixton to discover a real slice of urban London. Home to more hustle and bustle than you can shake a piece of falafel at, Brixton Farmer’s Market runs every Sunday between 10am and 2pm and offers a huge selection of artisan breads, cakes and other goods guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

Alexandra Palace Come on, let’s go, we need to head north for a wander around Alexandra Palace. Affectionately named “Ally Pally”, it’s actually quite remarkable the building is still standing. After all, it’s caught fire twice. It’s been rebuilt now, though, so you can drink in its splendor with a trip to its tower to take in a stunning view of the city.

The Ten Bells You’re probably extremely thirsty by now, right? Good. It’s time for a visit to The Ten Bells – a pub close to Spitalfields Market, it’s been in the same place since the mid-1700s and has a significant connection to Jack the Ripper. If Victorian murderers aren’t your thing, however, simply have a beverage and enjoy the grand decorations and murals adorning the walls.

London Film Museum Finished your pint? Good, let’s go! We’re off to the London Film Museum, which is just off Covent Garden and right behind the London Transport Museum. It’s a fairly new tourist attraction, but its state of the art facilities are truly breathtaking and the current Bond in Motion exhibition offers film buffs –and non-buffs – the chance to view the largest collection of original James Bond vehicles.


Admittedly, the ideas above simply scratch the surface of things to do in London, but with a little research and plenty of stamina, you’ll be thinking like a native in no time.

Note: The picture in this post has been borrowed from under the creative commons license and has been linked to the respective wikipedia page.

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