Hidden London: your tips
Research research research! London’s an amazing city with something for everyone. If you’re there for the shopping or the shows or the history or the art or the nightlife, there’s so much to see and do. The moment the plane lands, you’ll be bombarded with brochures and travel companies all claiming to know the secret side of London, but the only real, reliable source is people who have been there. Hop on travel discussion boards, expat blogs, or google “London off the beaten path” and see what pops up. You’ll find everything from sunrise kayak tours of the thames to a sunset climb on the roof of the O2. And if all the research fails, you can always ask the locals. People love their city and always have an opinion on the best place for fill-in-the-blank.
Parliament Hill is wonderful! Its the hill at the top of Hampstead Heath that gives you a panoramic view of the entire city and is only a short bus rise from Oxford Circus!
Do lots and lots of walking! There are so many little alleyways, yards and courts – two recent discoveries include Passing Alley (which I’ve somehow missed on countless walks down St John Street – so the name’s appropriate) and also one near 107 Shepherdess Walk which, from the road, looks to lead into a cellar but actually winds up at a park. Oh and you see lots of stuff from the top deck of a bus too – sometimes of a slightly “When I’m Cleaning Windows” nature!