London is a great city to just wander around in. Between the markets, museums, and parks there is much to find down every cobblestoned road. Here are a few favourite walking tours:
Covent Garden Market- There is three markets located in Covent Garden’s 19th century Piazza, each offering a wide range of crafts, gifts, and so much more. The Apple market is in the North Hall and sells British made crafts, jewellery, and leather goods. The East Colonnade Market has a variety of stalls selling handmade soaps, jewellery, handbags, children’s clothing, sweets, artwork, home ware, and even a magician’s stall. In the South of the Piazza, the Jubilee Market changes its wares depending on the day. On Monday’s the market is dedicated to antiques, from Tuesday to Friday the market is open to traders selling clothes and household goods. On the weekend, the market offers arts and crafts. The markets can be very touristy, but it is worth it to find some unique British goods.
Portobello Road Market- The world famous Portobello Road Market is the largest antique and flea market. The market takes place every Saturday and runs from Chepstow Villas to just under the Westway. With over 2,000 stalls selling everything from fresh fruit to fun fashion. This is truly the best place to shop and eat while soaking up some serious “boho” atmosphere. Some stalls are open Monday through Friday, however the day to go is Saturday and make sure to get their early or else you will become frustrated with mass of crowds.
The British Museum- The world’s oldest museum, The British Museum was found in 1753. The collection was first started by Hans Sloane which soon expanded in 1847, when Robert Smirke designed the neo-classical building that became the site of the museum. The interior spans two and a half miles and feature ninety galleries. Taking a walking tour through the British museum is incredibly educational. The museum has exhibits which span the last two mission years of history, the major exhibits include treasure from Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Some of the museums most precious exhibits include the Rosetta stone, Egyptian mummies, and Mildenhall treasures. In 1997, the British Library moved to its on building outside of the museum and the space was transformed into London’s first glass covered square. The space was designed by Sir Norman Foster and named the “Great Court.” Karl Marx and George Bernhard Shaw have studied in the core of this “Great Court,” and the museum is worth visiting for these two design masterpieces alone. The British Museum is the most visited attraction in London due to its superlative exhibits and its free admission.
Harry Potter Studio Tour: The most popular modern children’s fiction series in the world can be found just a short drive from the heart of London, The Harry Potter Studio Tour. J. K. Rowling first got the idea for the character Harry Potter while waiting on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990. In 1997, the first of the seven book series was published and thus began the international phenomenon. After the books, the epic saga of Harry Potter continued on film. The movies were filmed at the Warner Brothers Studio in Leavesden over the span of ten years. While filming, the production crew saved many of the props, costumes, and set pieces and now, you can go seem them yourself. At the Harry Potter Studio tour, you can see a treasure trove of movie memorabilia and be on the set of the most beloved children’s movie series of all time. The studio first opened its doors on March 31st, 2012 and currently runs special holiday themed tours such as: Death- eaters dual around Halloween, and Christmas in the Great Hall during the winter. So rent a car, jump on the bus, or just fly on your Nimbus 2000 straight to the Harry Potter Studio Tour London, where you can truly be a part of the magic.
Jack the Ripper Tour: Discover the slashing grounds of the one of the world’s oldest serial killers, Jack the Ripper. The White Chapel area of London was a dangerous place back in 1888 with a killer on the loose, but now visitors can explore the evidence and retrace the steps of the Ripper. There are numerous Jack the Ripper Tours in the city, but each one will walk you through the crime scenes and go through the evidence of the crimes police were never able to solve. After the walk through, grab a drink at “The Ten Bells,” the pub where Jack the Ripper frequented and supposedly chose many of his victims from.
There are many more tours all over the city, next time you have a lazy Sunday or a free night out, take advantage of what London has to offer. If you plan on staying the night in the city, check out the Lancaster Gate Hotel London.