What’s There To Love About London?

London is a city that’s familiar. I’ve wandered around it with friends, with my sisters, and alone. I’ve hated it, I’ve loved it, I’ve been annoyed by its crowds, and I’ve dreamed of wandering its streets as a local. It’s not a city I loved immediately, but I can say I’ve grow fond of it with every visit, and here’s why:

Reflection at the Tate

After work pub culture. It’s the perfect way to unwind and Londoners know it. I love walking around the city just after people have left work and seeing the crowds of colleagues gathered with a pint in hand. Clusters of people overflow from the pub’s entrance, chatting, laughing, and becoming a little more relaxed in their ties and button down jackets. Their merriness makes me happy. And you can’t speak of an English pub without mentioning their board games, trivia, and quiz nights – they have that down to an art!

The unexpected. London is a city where anything can happen, like a nudist bicycle race taking place, and that’s exactly what I witnessed during my last visit. I could hear the cheering in the distance; surely something of interest was taking place in the vicinity… Imagine my surprise when my friend and I turned around the corner and were greeted by naked Londoners cycling past by the hundreds! Not what you’d expect from your average Brits.

Trafalgar Square, London

Tea time. There is one meal that I never skip in London and that is tea time. There is no better way to spend the afternoon, in my opinion, than by sitting inside a tea house drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey and devouring far too many cakes and scones – especially scones! Add some Cornish clotted cream and a wildberry jam to that, and I am a very happy girl!

The iconic architecture. The pale blue dome of St. Paul’s on an overcast day, the ruins of crumbling cathedrals on the Southbank, the Elizabethan homes juxtaposed against Georgian townhouses, old power stations turned modern art galleries, and the luxurious facades which evoke a style and sophistication unlike any other city I’ve set foot in. Every detail in London speaks of the city’s rich history.

Storefronts

The style. London is a city where I instantly feel under-dressed. Skinny jeans and a v-neck t-shirt don’t cut it here. Girls wear dresses with floral patterns and stockings, pumps and cute pointed flats, frilly cardigans and fascinators. The look is completely effortless, feminine, and chic. It wouldn’t be hard to pick me out of the crowd as the foreigner, but it’s nothing a quick shopping trip to Oxford Street can’t fix!

The last time I was in London I found myself wandering down the Strand at sunset. A pink ethereal haze had descended over the ivory coloured buildings that line the streets, and for an instance there was no better place to be. I honestly felt sad to have to bid the city farewell yet again. London and I may never be a ‘thing’ but it holds a special place nonetheless.

How do you feel about London?

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15 Comments

  1. I love London as well! I stayed there for a few weeks early last year and I can’t wait to return in a few months (if visa will be granted). I am also looking forward to the Viva Forever Musical 😀

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Oooo! I hope your visa goes through! I had to google the Viva Forever Musical, haha, but it sounds like fun. 😉

  2. says: Zhu

    I hear you!

    There are some cities worth discovering more in-depth, past the first impression, and I do think London is one of these cities. It’s still relatively clean and people-friendly for a big city, yet it has a lot to offer. If only real estate prices could come down a bit… it would make a lot of people happy!

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Prices are astronomical! It’s a wonder people can afford to live there…but it is a world capital after all. 😉

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      The city gets better for me with every visit, and even after 4 trips there I’ve barely scratched the surface! 😀

  3. says: Annette | Bucket List Journey

    I fell in love with the the after work pub culture, the perfect way to relax after a hard day at the office 😉

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Yes! And they are always packed! I think many cities around the world could take a lesson from London in that department. 😉

  4. says: Robert

    A wonderful city, I’ve been there 2 times.
    A city with a very characteristic architecture, also hotels in London have a British style, like the rest of the city moreover.
    I’m in love with this city, my dream would be to go to live.

  5. says: London4Travelers

    I like London very much. This beautiful city has a lot to offer to its guests. I like London for its numerous attractions, luxurious hotels, friendly people and comfortable atmosphere. Believe me, if you ever visit London you will remember this great city forever!

  6. says: Peggy

    London is one of my favourite cities in the entire world… for me, there is so much to love about the city – you’ve named a few of the best things! What about a walk on the South Bank on a crisp autumn weekend? Or a picnic on Hampstead Heath on a summer’s day? Jazz at Regent’s Park? The old townhouses of Park Lane? Your post has made me extremely homesick for Londontown. Thanks for sharing!

  7. says: Sofie

    I love London. I’ve been going there for four years in a row now and already have a two-day planning made for next year:D I’s the stage of our annual father and daughter-trip and each year we discover new things to do.
    Also: seeing a musical at the West End is a must!

  8. says: Janice Stringer

    Hi Audrey,
    Nice to meet you 🙂

    Have you tried eating out at any of the street food markets in London? On the South Bank, on a friday evening the vibe is cool and eclectic. That’s a place I’ve enjoyed hanging out!
    Janice

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