• Have a leisurely fun time exploring Hyde Park by boating on the Serpentine (London)

What better way to launch your London adventure than by exploring the beloved Hyde Park? Nestled cozily in the center of the city, what makes this park so unique is its location… and size. With 350 acres consisting of shady trees, wide-open meadows, ornamental flower gardens, and a glistening, large lake, there’s plenty of space to stretch, breathe, and simply let your mind unwind. From swimming and cycling to skating and playing tennis, Hyde Park has outdoor activities for all interests. But if you’re seeking a more leisurely experience, we recommend renting a boat and setting sail on the serene Serpentine. Not only does this 40-acre lake offer spectacular views, but at only £12 per hour, it’s quite an affordable option too. Of course, all that paddling and rowing can work up an appetite, so after you’ve relished in the fun of boating, head on over to one of the two lakeside restaurants, or roll out a blanket for a good old-fashioned picnic.

  • Take a stroll along the South Bank (London)

Just across the river lies another exciting sightseeing destination: the South Bank of London. Rich in culture and entertainment, this area of the city sparkles with activity for all ages. From theatre and art to cafes and breweries, the South Bank is the perfect place to take a stroll and spend a lazy afternoon. And fortunately, it’s easily accessible! If you’re in the heart of downtown, you can arrive to this pocket of the city by simply crossing over the Millennium Bridge, a unique walkway dedicated to only pedestrians.

  • Sip afternoon tea in a pink wonderland (London)

If you’re a lover of all things pink, and are in the mood for some afternoon tea, The Gallery at Sketch is about to become your own slice of paradise. While the delightful “pretty in pink” decor is sure to catch your eye, get ready for the magic to continue once you’re served the three-tiered tray full of delectable, bite-sized pastries, macarons, and assorted finger sandwiches. With an atmosphere as artful as the savory treats are to eat, afternoon tea at Sketch is one of those unique experiences impossible to forget!

  • Stop and smell the roses at Columbia Road Flower Market (London)

One of London’s most visually appealing markets, the Columbia Road Flower Market oozes with beauty and is a must-see when visiting the city. Open every Sunday from 8am until 3pm, this street market is located in East London and houses tons of vendors selling everything from bucketfuls of beautiful blooming flowers to bulbs, herbs, and shrubs. To go alongside the intoxicating sweet scent of fresh flowers, you’ll also find a slew of independent art galleries, antique shops, and cozy cafes.

  • Join an art tour to hunt down the most colorful graffiti in Shoreditch (London)

Shoreditch, the creative hub of London’s trendy, up-and-coming East End district, is well known for its street art and vibrant graffiti scene. For artists in this area, empty walls serve as the perfect canvases for visual pleasures. Although the art is forever changing, you can expect to be inspired by the emblazoned creative work all year long. Rivington Street, Great Easton Street, and Fashion Street are a few of the many places you can find walls bursting with colorful delight. There are also tons of guided tours you can join to discover even more of the artwork stamped throughout this neighborhood.

  • Uncover hidden treasures at the Portobello Road Market (London)

Located in the Notting Hill district, experiencing the Portobello Road Market is another must-see when exploring London. Possibly the most famous street market in the world, the Portobello Road Market is most known for the endless stalls of vendors selling everything from antiques, collectibles, and vintage goods. With an arcade of more than 1,000 merchants selling all kinds of hidden treasures, you can easily spend the entire day at this market. If you want to relish in all the excitement, be sure to make your visit on a Saturday, as this is the market’s main day for antiques. Although you might want to skip on the snoozes, as this market can draw quite the crowd!

  • Eat your way around the world at Borough Market (London)

If you are a foodie, love to eat, or simply admire local cuisine, you must head over to Borough Market. Established in 1885, Borough Market is rich in history and has since become one of the most renowned markets in all of London. Overflowing with artisan-prepared food and fresh produce, this market is the perfect place to grab a delicious bite to eat while exploring the city. And with over 100 tempting traders to choose from, the only tough decision you’ll have to make is where to chow down first!

  • Celebrate your new memories with a rooftop happy hour at One New Change (London)

An awe-inspiring view awaits you atop One New Change. While the 6th-floor rooftop at One New Change has been one of London’s best kept secrets — that is, until now! — taking in the panoramic views is a must when visiting this buzzing city. Not only is this roof terrace free and open from 6am to midnight daily, but it is also one of the best places to take in the stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral and the downtown skyline. And with a bar and restaurant located on the terrace, what better way to cheers to your time in London than with a rooftop happy hour?

  • The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath

The Spaniards Inn is one of the oldest pubs in London, and it's accompanied by a rich literary history. Authors and playwrights such as Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley have visited the inn, and it's mentioned in Bram Stoker's Dracula and Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. An added bonus is that Spaniards is right on top of a hilltop, giving you gorgeous views of the heath, alongside your pint.

  • The Grouse Inn, Keighley

Brontë Country is a breathtaking area of the South Pennines in West Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters lived. There are a bunch of notable landmarks including Ponden Hall near Stanbury, which is said to have inspired buildings mentioned in Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. There's also the village of Haworth, which is home to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. A mile southwest of Stanbury is the Brontë Waterfall and Bridge, as well as Top Withens farmhouse, which is said to have inspired the Earnshaw home in Wuthering Heights. After visiting all these monuments, grab a pint from the nearby Grouse Inn in Keighley, which overlooks the moors the Brontës wrote about.

  • The Eagle and Child, Oxford

The Eagle and Child is a mid-17th century pub that served as the official meeting place of The Inklings writing group, whose members included J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis. During the 1930s, they met in the pub's backroom to critique each other's work.

  • The Globe Inn, Dumfries

The Globe Inn, established in 1610, was the local bar of Scottish poet Robert Burns during the eight years he spent in Dumfries. As well as frequenting the bar, Burns used to stay over at the Globe from time to time – even vandalising the windowpanes of his bedroom with five verses of poetry.

  • Tafarn y Plu (The Feathers Pub), Llanystumdwy

The tiny village of Llanystumdwy in Wales has a long-running impact on British literary culture. It was the home of writers and poets, such as the playwright Wil Sam Jones and William R P George. That tradition carries on today, with people like award-winning poet Twm Morys making the village their home. After soaking in the village's literary culture, be sure to visit the cosy Tafarn y Plu pub, which is in the heart of the village.

  • The Duke Of York, Whitby

Bram Stoker set much of his famous novel Dracula in the gothic village of Whitby, with the Abbey's ruins serving as major inspiration. Another important local monument is the village's 199 steps, which the character of Dracula runs up after arriving in Whitby. The Duke of York, a pub which Stoker visited while in Whitby, is situated right at the bottom of these steps. Its spooky and gothic interior is perfect for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the novel's origins.

  • Burgh Island Hotel, Devon

Agatha Cristie used the Burgh Island Hotel in Devon as the setting for two of her novels: And Then There Were None and Evil Under the Sun. Christie's writing retreat has been turned into a beach house that you can book to stay in during your visit. The hotel includes a cosy, old-fashioned pub, The Pilchard Inn, which has been around for over 700 years.

  • The Black Lion, Buxton

Dudwick Park in Buxton, Norfolk, was most likely the inspiration for Birtwick Park in Anna Sewell's novel Black Beauty. After walking through the park, follow its footpath to the Black Lion pub in the village for a pint, before heading over to Dudwick House, where the Sewell Family lived.

  • The Windmill Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Windmill Inn, built in 1599, is a two-minute walk from Shakespeare's last home, New Place. The playwright used to visit the pub often, and his history with the Windmill is written on a plaque on its walls.

  • The Brown's, Laugharne

The Brown's, built in 1752, was the local pub of poet and writer Dylan Thomas. He was there so often that he gave the bar's phone number to people who wanted to get in touch with him. While in Laugharne, take a walk over to Thomas's writing shed and boathouse, where you can see his writing memorabilia and original furniture.

  • Lamb & Flag, London

Lamb & Flag's literary connection is a little more unconventional than most other pubs, with its backstreets as the main attraction for book lovers. In 1679, poet John Dryden was attacked by a group of men, who were hired by fellow poet John Wilmot. The two poets had a long-standing feud that has forever marked Lamb & Flag (then known as Coopers Arms) in literary history.

  • The Hawes Inn, South Queensferry

The Hawes Inn, established in 1793, has a number of literary connections. Sir Walter Scott used the pub as the setting of his 1816 novel, The Antiquary, and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote part of his novel Kidnapped while staying there. Stevenson was so inspired by the pub that he mentioned it again in his essay collection Memories and Portraits.

  • The Culpeper

The Culpeper is perfectly, exquisitely London. It’s charming and upscale with an understated sophistication. In their own words, it’s “a pub, the way we think a pub should be.” The fourth-floor rooftop bar is situated in a rustic, beautifully designed greenhouse that features a large, raw wood dining table and a wood-fired grill. The limited seating provides a sense of intimacy and the distinct sense that you’re imbibing somewhere quite special. On the outside terrace, the bar hosts regular cocktail workshops, skyline-sketching sessions, and even astronomy talks.

Order this: Bespoke, botanical cocktails are their specialty. Spring for a Lemon-Thyme Ambrosia, a unique blend of brandy, Prosecco, and calvados.

  • Ladies & Gents

Craft cocktails, copper stills and bespoke spirits are what this London bar is known for. Ladies and Gents is all about small batch booze and homemade accompaniments, whether botanical or fruit-forward. If you can’t make it to the cozy underground hideaway, be sure to sign up for the gin club.

  • Joyeux Bordel learn more

Tucked away in a Shoreditch basement, this underground bar is one of London’s best hidden gems. Expect lots of candlelight, DJs spinning vinyl, flowing champagne and delish cocktails at Joyeux Bordel (“happy mess”).

  • The National Gallery

There are more than 2,300 masterpieces on display at Central London’s National Gallery—so where do you start? Brush up on your brush strokes with a guided small-group tour through centuries of landmark paintings and learn from an acclaimed art historian as you go.

  • Pub Crawl the West End

The pub is the lifeblood of British culture and where else to sample a pint than in the vibrant West End area? Join a pub tour to visit historic bars and pubs in the alleyways of Covent Garden’s Seven Dials, Trafalgar Square, and Soho. Taste premium beers, and learn about London’s brewing traditions.

  • Harry Potter Walking Tour

You don’t have to go far in London to come face to face with Harry Potter. Just gather with other Muggles for a 2.5-hour, small-group walking tour of the London alleyways and landmarks that inspired Knockturn Alley, Diagon Alley, and the Leaky Cauldron pub. The kids will love it.

  • The Clove Club (London, UK)
  • Lyle's (London) *new entry*
  • Ledbury (London, UK)
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, UK)
aug 2 2017 ∞
jun 22 2018 +