As I’ve mentioned time and again, ever since I moved here, my husband and I have been playing host and hostess with the most and mostess to a plethora of out-of-town visitors (see my previous posts on hosting guests for some advice on how to swing it successfully with your London flat as their home base).  Most guests are visiting London for the first time, so I usually refer them to my London Bundles blog series (the Thames Circuit and Government Grouping hitting most of the big and more obvious London tourist attractions), but for those who have already been here and seen the major sites, I like to recommend the following, among others I’m probably not thinking of now :):

1 – One of our favorite pubs is near St. Paul’s on Fleet Street, called Ye Olde Cheschire Cheese. It was rebuilt in 1667 after burning down in the Great Fire.

2 – My personal favorite place is the old Victorian cemetery in our neighborhood—perfect October atmosphere :)—and you can visit any of several of these that comprise the Magnificent Seven all around the city (including the best-known Highgate Cemetery)

3 – Near Highgate is the lovely Hampstead in North London. It has a somewhat village-type atmosphere and is just off the immense Heath, a 700-acre or so park with hills and ponds.

4 – Camden Town is an edgy, alternative part of town with pubs and markets along a canal.

5 – Brick Lane on the East Side is cool—a long strip of Indian restaurants and a cool network of quirky vintage and kitschy shops. This is the area where Jack the Ripper did his deeds, so these are very old, narrow, windy streets, though not all the original buildings still stand after the Blitz.

6 – Notting Hill is darling along Portobello Road—boutiques, antiques, and clothing/food markets.

7 – Kensington Gardens make for a nice stroll. Kensington Palace where Lady Di lived is there and has a quirky, avant-garde exhibit called Enchanted Palace going on while the palace undergoes renovations.

8 – Chelsea is a cute and happenin’ area—a lot of shops/markets off the Kings Road, which leads into Sloane Square, which also has nice London shopping without the mania of Oxford and Regent Streets.

9 – Speaking of Oxford and Regent Streets—these are two intersecting streets basically like New York’s 5th Avenue or Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and very touristed. BUT just off of Regent Street is a cool network of little streets and buildings, filled with shops, pubs, and restaurants. The area generally surrounds Carnaby Street in Soho, and there’s an amazing Victorian-era department store there called Liberty with a faux-Tudor facade.

10 – As for museums, a really cool one that is kind of tucked away is the Churchill War Rooms, located in the underground bunker where Churchill and his cabinet strategized during WWII.

Oooh, and as a bonus #11, even if you don’t like modern art, if you dash across the Millenium Bridge, the cafe/restaurant on Tate Modern‘s 7th floor offers the most amazing panoramic view of the Thames and St. Paul’s. Totally worth grabbing a snack or cocktail to just rest there and take it in.

Remember that these are things to do in London that YOU may enjoy as well after you move to England and desire to take in as much as you can of its wondrous capitol city.

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