Southwark Cathedral and the Shard

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 love London and always promised that teenage version of me that one day, I’d live there.


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.

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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. 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 to visit in London, I just 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.

View of the Thames and London Eye from Waterloo Bridge

Free London Attractions

London has some of the best free museums and they’re often the best places to visit in London on a rainy day. 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.

The Thames Festival with Tower Bridge

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 and the London Dungeons – touristy but brilliant!

View of the houses of Parliament and Big Ben from Westminster Bridge in London

Why I love London – 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.

Dulwich park lake, in London

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

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.

Curzon 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?).

The Hob pub in Forest Hill, London

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.

46 Comments
  • DebbZ
    Posted at 12:33h, 21 September Reply

    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

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:57h, 21 September Reply

      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?

      • DebbZ
        Posted at 17:37h, 21 September Reply

        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 🙂

        • Amy
          Posted at 19:08h, 21 September Reply

          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!

  • Beast
    Posted at 09:15h, 25 September Reply

    Love the the photos and blog about London. Don’t know how you can bear to leave it!

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:25h, 25 September Reply

      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!

  • Koren @ City Gal
    Posted at 07:46h, 05 December Reply

    Great list! I lived in London for about 6 months and love LOVE that city (for many of the same reasons I love New York). I do appreciate a good market too!

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:43h, 05 December Reply

      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!

  • christy
    Posted at 15:48h, 18 July Reply

    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!

    • Amy
      Posted at 17:27h, 18 July Reply

      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!

      • christy
        Posted at 13:45h, 19 July Reply

        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!

        • Amy
          Posted at 14:19h, 19 July Reply

          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.

  • steva azura
    Posted at 17:50h, 06 January Reply

    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

    • Amy
      Posted at 05:46h, 07 January Reply

      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. 🙂

      • steva azura
        Posted at 02:30h, 24 January Reply

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

        • Amy
          Posted at 06:55h, 24 January Reply

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

          • steva azura
            Posted at 11:46h, 05 February

            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

          • Amy
            Posted at 12:55h, 05 February

            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 🙂

  • Priya
    Posted at 12:51h, 16 February Reply

    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!

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:01h, 17 February Reply

      Yes, I love that Waterstones too!

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