veggie brunch

14 Brunch Spots You Need to Try in Shoreditch

If you are searching for the best brunch spots in London there are few better places to be in the late morning or early afternoon than Shoreditch, because this eclectic part of the capital has endless opportunities for brunching.

In fact, Shoreditch takes brunch to a new level. This trendy district is home to a range of eateries, offering everything from a casual late breakfast to a full-on boozy brunch on the weekends. The vibrant, multicultural nature of Shoreditch also means that, if you desire, you can eat at a different brunch spot every day of the week, and try a new style of cuisine every day of the week too.

From Bottomless Brunches to Peruvian breakfasts, here are the 14 best brunch spots you need to try in Shoreditch.

  1. The Book Club

Shoreditch is well known for its vibrancy and culture, and one of the best brunch spots in the area that will fuel your love of both food and cultural experiences is The Book Club.

This unique cafe and restaurant serve brunch on the weekends and serves breakfast until midday on weekdays. The menu is potato and egg heavy but, as good as the food is, it’s not just the brunch that’s the main focus here, because the Book Club is also one of Shoreditch’s best events venues.

The Book Club hosts music events and cultural demonstrations, and there’s a different schedule every week. There are art exhibitions strung across The Book Club’s two different floors, and it’s easily one of the most creative places in Shoreditch. As a bonus, after breakfasting or brunching, you can even take to the Ping-Pong tables or challenge your fellow diners to a table tennis battle.

  1. Andina Shoreditch

Peruvian food might not be high on your brunching list, but that’s probably because you’ve never visited Andina Shoreditch. Located on Redchurch Street just off Shoreditch High Street, Andina Shoreditch brings the unique tastes of South America to London.

This innovative restaurant has made a name for itself by fusing British ingredients with traditional Peruvian methods of cooking, brought from the Andes to Shoreditch.

Andina Shoreditch is open all day, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner to anyone searching for new flavours or returning for their Peruvian fix. On the weekends, brunch is served from 10 am until 4 pm, and it’s the perfect way to kick-start your day or to nurse that hangover from the night before.

On the brunch menu at Andina Shoreditch, you’ll find healthy doses of avocado, as well as Peruvian chocolate that’s served on pancakes. The Chicharron sandwich is great if you need more of a lunchtime-brunchtime boost for the rest of the day, while if you want to keep things healthy, nothing beats the Andean granola.

  1. Hoi Polloi

If you’re looking for one of Shoreditch’s trendiest brunching locations, then look no further than a visit to Hoi Polloi. This inspired restaurant is found within the Ace Hotel, a hotel chain that is found in other locales such as New York and which has a reputation for being a hangout for hipsters and trendsetters.

Hoi Polloi means the ‘people’. While this is a modern and sleek restaurant, there’s also a minimalist look and feel to the place, which complements the food exceptionally well.

On weekdays, there’s a breakfast menu that is served until midday where you can choose from a range of breakfast items, from simple plates of seasonal fruits to a full-on English breakfast. You can even start your day with a Bloody Mary if you’re looking to really kick things off at Hoi Polloi.

On weekends, brunch runs from midday until 4 pm, and this is the real deal at Hoi Polloi. On the brunch menu, you can order everything from pancakes or eggs to a hefty roast dinner that includes roast beef and all the trimmings. You can even go for the rib-eye steak and wash it down with a few of Hoi Polloi’s signature cocktails.

Hoi Polloi

  1. The Breakfast Club

With branches all over London and across the country, The Breakfast Club is one of the capital’s most beloved breakfast and brunch spots, and the branch in Hoxton is one of the most popular in the city.

The Hoxton branch was one of the first Breakfast Clubs to be opened in London, and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a beautiful brunch when you are in the area.

This is a restaurant that specialises in breakfast, and they serve nothing but breakfast all day long in their sleek, modern eateries that have an open and airy feel to feel them. It’s a good place to start the day, no matter whether you’re starting the day at 8 am or 4 pm.

The Breakfast Club menu is extensive, and they take inspiration from across the world. You can order a classic full English, you can go for a vegan breakfast or you can order the Breakfast burrito, to name just a few of the items available.

  1. The Barge House

The Barge House is a fantastic place for brunch if you’re looking for scenic views and outdoor seating because this fabulous eatery is found overlooking the canal in a beautiful waterside location.

In summer especially, there are few better places to enjoy a spot of brunch, as you can sit out and take in the refreshing canal-side air and bathe in the Shoreditch sunlight while it’s there.

The Barge House has a full-service kitchen as well as a popular bar, and they are open all through the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find classic items such as eggs on toast, or more international breakfasts such as Shakshuka.

The Barge House is famed for its freshly prepared sourdough bread, and on the weekends it’s their exceptional brunch that is the real reason to visit. Their most popular item on brunch days is what they call Breakfast in Bread. A large sourdough loaf is hollowed out and the interior of the bread is filled with all manner of breakfast items.

There are several fillings of Breakfast in Bread, with the most popular being what is essentially a full English breakfast, when your sourdough will be served with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and more. They also offer veggie and vegan Breakfast in Bread, as well as a salmon variety and a spicy chorizo and chilli filling, too.

To accompany these unique bread brunches, the Barge House serves up Bloody Marys and Breakfast Martinis, as well as excellent tea and even better coffee.

  1. Pizza East

A pizza restaurant might not be your first choice for brunch in Shoreditch, but on the weekends Pizza East serves up a fine breakfast and brunch for hungry patrons.

Of course, they are best known for their signature pizzas, as well as their huge range of antipasti, but visit on the weekend and you can delve into the brunch menu. This is Italian breakfast at its best, and while you could just order a pizza for brunch if you’re really hungry, the more rustic brunch items are truly exquisite.

You can try a full Italian breakfast, beef ragu, cured hams, or frittatas, amongst many more breakfast and brunch items on the menu.

Breakfast Pizza

  1. Blues Kitchen

The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch is renowned for its bluesy vibes, live music and an excellent menu that’s inspired by the soul of the southern USA.

On the weekend, The Blues Kitchen serves up a somewhat infamous boozy brunch, that’s complete with delicious food and endless drinks.

You order your favourite brunch item, be it a brisket burger or the big bluesy breakfast, and then you pick your favoured drink, be it bloody Marys, mimosas or Prosecco. The food is finite, but for two hours, the drinks are unlimited.

  1. Rascals

If it’s a boozy bottomless brunch that you’re after, then spend your weekend enjoying the delights of Rascals, which has made somewhat of a name for itself as being one of London’s most infamous brunching spots.

The food and drink are bottomless at Rascals. While you eat and drink the morning and afternoon away, you’ll be entertained by Rascal’s infamous entertainers. It’s all fun and games and entertainment while you drink and eat, and you’ll be getting stuck into the atmosphere of Rascals for many hours to come.

  1. Dirty Bones

Another great place to enjoy the delights of a boozy brunch is Dirty Bones. Available on the weekends, from 11 am until 4 pm, the Dirty Bones brunch offers you the chance to indulge in New York-inspired food in a heritage-listed London building in Shoreditch.

Dirty Bones has a brunch menu that’s packed with flavour; you can take on the big steak and eggs to set you up for the day or order a huge portion of ribs and crumpets. Of course, at Dirty Bones, as good as the food is, it’s not all about the food, because alongside the brunch items you can order unlimited cocktails.

Drinks to choose from include a Bloody Mary or Uptown Spritz and, for one and a half hours, your drink of choice is endless.

  1. Red Rooster

If it’s American-style food you’re looking for in Shoreditch, then head on over to Red Rooster. This USA-inspired eatery serves up a huge array of American food, ranging from New York to the southern states, but they are best known for their Red Rooster Gospel Brunch.

Held every Sunday, you’ll be able to jump into the delicious brunch menu while a local choir performs Harlem-style gospel to the hungry diners.

It’s a unique experience, and alongside excellent food, you’ll enjoy an excellent performance of gospel songs at Red Rooster.

Red Rooster

  1. The Diner Shoreditch

The Diner Shoreditch is another fantastic restaurant to visit if you are on the search for American-inspired brunch, as this fantastic eatery serves up an all-day breakfast menu.

The Diner Shoreditch is a truly American experience, and the restaurant is set up exactly how you would imagine a classic American diner to be.

All-day breakfast includes such dishes as the Lumberjack Breakfast, and the Hungry Man Breakfast, while you can also order stack after stack of delicious pancakes, with an endless variety of toppings.

  1. Hoxton Grill

One of the best brunch spots to try in Shoreditch is undoubtedly Hoxton Grill. Yet again, this is another restaurant that’s inspired by American-style food, and they serve up a glorious breakfast and brunch.

The brunch menu includes a diverse selection of dishes to order, including simple bowls of muesli or pancakes, to a huge range of different eggs. You can even start your day with a huge cut of steak, while of course there are plenty of cocktails to choose from on the brunch menu too.

  1. Lantana

If you’ve had your fair fill of American-style diners and brunches, then in multicultural Shoreditch you have many more options too. One of the best places to visit is Lantana, a delightful cafe that serves up an excellent Aussie-style breakfast and brunch.

On weekends, they open at 9 am and serve until 4 pm, and you’ll find a vast array of breakfast and brunch items. Expect plenty of halloumi and avocado on the menu, while the coffee is simply excellent as well. There are fruit smoothies too, and you can always start your day out in Shoreditch with a brunch cocktail.

Lanatana

  1. Bird

Our final pick for the best brunch spots in Shoreditch goes to Bird. This simple restaurant is designed with an open-air in mind, perhaps because Bird is proud of their use of free-range poultry.

Bird specialises in two things, and two things only. That’s chicken and waffles, and yes, the two are more often than not combined together. That makes this an excellent brunching spot, combining a waffle breakfast and a chicken lunch or dinner, to set you up for a day in London.

Of course, to complement your waffle and fried chicken brunch, Bird has a wide range of cocktails and other beverages to offer too.

As London experts, we know a thing or two about the best brunch spots across the city, including the trendy Shoreditch area. While you’re in touch, check out our fantastic range of London tours and open-top bus trips to see the very best of the city.

Camden-Rail Bridge

Everything You Need to Know About Camden Market

Camden Market is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions because this bustling marketplace is packed full of trendy stalls, food vendors and photogenic street art.

Found in the heart of hipster Camden, this historic market started life humbly as just a few simple market stalls. Today you can find well over 1,000 different stalls and shops in this vibrant yet crowded part of London.

If you’re looking for vintage clothing, fusion street food and raucous nightlife, then Camden Market is the market for you. If you are searching for street art, funky restaurants and an atmosphere like nowhere else in the capital, then you have to visit Camden Market.

To help you plan your trip, here’s everything you need to know about Camden Market.

A Brief History of Camden Market

Camden Market has a long and fascinating history. Starting from small roots, over the years and decades it’s grown into one of London’s premier, alternative shopping and entertainment areas, while never losing touch with its humble past.

Camden Market has, for the most part, stayed true to itself, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s become such a popular tourist attraction.

There have been small markets in Camden for centuries. Given its location on the busy Regents Canal, Camden was transformed into a flourishing trade hub that boomed through the Victorian era.

The market you see it today has more recent roots though; Camden Market began to really evolve into its modern self in the 1970s.

In 1974, a small Saturday market comprising just 16 stalls was opened in Camden Town. With Camden’s growing reputation for all things alternative, it proved to be the best location possible for a market place to grow and to evolve into a hipster setting at the forefront of all of London’s unique cultural scenes.

This was really just the beginning though. Camden Market would grow over the following decades into a marketplace housing thousands of stalls, shops and food vendors, and its story is far from over yet.

The market continues to be revamped and redesigned, and there are many areas such as Camden Lock Village, which have undergone massive regeneration projects to keep Camden Market at the forefront. These projects don’t lose sight of Camden’s ethos and history, and you can still find heritage and tradition everywhere you walk.

Camden Market

Where Is Camden Market?

Camden Market is a big and sprawling place to visit. If it’s your first time in Camden, then working out your bearings can be a challenge at first.

The market is technically several different markets and distinct shopping areas, but the majority of the stalls and vendors are found along Camden High Street, which then turns into Chalk Farm Road when you cross over the busy bridge spanning Regents Canal.

It’s a bustling place. To get here, you’ll want to arrive either by bus or by using the Underground, as there’s almost no public parking available and what parking is available will be short term and expensive.

The nearest tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm, both of which are within Zone 2 on the Northern Line.

Chalk Farm Underground station is found at the northern end of the markets, while the Camden Town stop is more southerly. Whichever station you choose stations will bring you out into the heart of Camden Market.

There are also several overground stations, such as Kentish Town and Camden Road, although these are further away from the markets.

The markets are divided into four major areas, but with thousands of stalls, shops, pubs and restaurants, everything spills over into each other and it can be difficult to know exactly where you are at any one time, not that it really matters. The best way to get around Camden Market is to simply walk – or perhaps push – your way through the crowds and to lose yourself in the marketplace. A good idea is to get off the tube at Camden Town, and then simply walk along Camden High Street towards Regents Canal.

The three major reference areas within Camden Market are Buck Street Market, Camden Lock Market and Stables Market.

When to Visit Camden Market

Camden Market is open 7 days a week, even on bank holidays, and most stalls and shops will open around or 9 am or 10 am. The market stalls and shops generally stay open until around 6 pm, sometimes later, but you’ll find that the restaurants, pubs and bars are all open until much, much later.

Camden Market is one of London’s most famous tourist attractions and, unfortunately, that means that it’s always a busy place to visit.

Weekends and bank holidays are when the market is at its liveliest and there’s always something going on. However, on weekends, it can also be absolutely packed, and it can be difficult to walk around and even to find tables at restaurants and pubs. If you don’t mind pushing your way through tour groups and queuing to get into venues, then it’s an atmospheric if busy time to visit. In summer, things are even busier than colder times of the year, particularly when the sun is out.

If you want to enjoy Camden Market without the crowds, then you’ll need to visit during the week. If you want time and space to browse through the stalls and shops then you’re best visiting on Mondays or Tuesdays, as later in the week, it starts to get busier the closer you get to the weekend. In reality though, such as the fame of Camden Market, there are few times when it’s not a crowded place to visit.

Buck Street Market

On the corner of Buck Street along Camden High Street, Buck Street Market is an integral component of Camden Market, and it’s recently been totally redeveloped.

This is the area of the market that’s closest to Camden Town tube station. If you alight here, this is the first part of the market you’ll be exploring.

This is an outdoor market area, and it’s where you can find a few hundred stalls and vendors who are mostly selling clothing and accessories. While the goods for sale aren’t necessarily the most exciting part of Camden Market, it’s the perfect place to visit if you need a few new T-shirts during your stay in London!

In fact, there is a lot for sale here. You can find everything from cult TV clothing to knock-off designer brands. It’s a classic market, and you’ll find good deals and hidden gems stashed away amongst the stalls.

Buck Street Market also has a new addition in that many of its stalls were redesigned when large shipping containers were brought in to house new market stalls and to give the street even more food vendors. It’s an exciting time in Camden, and things are changing yet again.

Camden Lock Market

Continue along Camden High Street, and you’ll stumble upon Regents Canal, where you can find Camden Lock Market. This is the most famous area in Camden Market, and it’s the place that gives the entire market its name.

This was where the market began in 1974; since then it’s grown outwards, along the canal and down Camden High Street.

Nestled around Camden Lock, you can find hundreds of market stalls and vendors, and you’ll find a huge range of products for sale from T-shirts and vintage clothing to excellent fast food.

In fact, the street food is one of the best reasons to visit Camden Market and you can find some of the best near Camden Lock. There’s a truly international range of food available, and you’ll be tantalised by the vendors and cooks offering you tasters before you buy to entice you in. It’s loud, it’s noisy and it’s impossible to walk away hungry.

For sale, you’ll find Indian curries, burgers, classic fish and chips, huge boxes of Chinese food and cuisine from every country imaginable.

Camden-Lock

Stables Market

Stables Market is another part of Camden Market that was previously separate until it joined forces with Camden Lock Market to create a sort of super-sized market.

It was a good move and both markets have grown exponentially and essentially run into one another, as they merge and spillover on both sides of the canal.

Stables Market runs along Chalk Farm Road and, in a previous life, the area was a horse stables, hence its name.

The horses were there for use in Camden’s bustling industrial world and for use on the canal into the early 20th century. With the decline of horse transport, the stables became obsolete until it became the home of a new marketplace.

Today, there aren’t so many horses or stables around, but the Stables Market has become a legendary London attraction.

Here you can find an array of shops and market stalls both indoors and outdoors, and many are set up in the heritage-listed buildings that have been taken over by the retail and hospitality industry.

The most famous shop in the Stables Market is Cyberdog, a unique retail outlet that represents Camden’s alternative side. This is a shop for techno lovers, as you’re greeted by employees whose sole and singular task is to dance on a podium all day. It’s a strange and bizarre place and a tourist site in its own right.

New Developments in Camden Market

Camden Market seems to be constantly in a state of redevelopment, and given the nature of the market things are always in flux here.

Large parts of the market are scheduled for redevelopment, as Camden has become one of London’s most visited tourist areas in recent years. One area that is currently under regeneration is Camden Lock Village. This was once an integral part of the market, until a fire destroyed much of the area. It’s set to be turned into a swanky new development with shops and more market space, and will hopefully retain the character of Camden when it’s open.

Restaurants, Bars and Pubs

As well as the markets stalls and the food vendors, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs to call into when you are visiting Camden Market.

If you’re looking for authentic British pub grub then there are plenty of classic Camden pubs to have lunch or dinner at and to enjoy a few pints of beer too.

At night, Camden comes alive with drinkers and parties, as Camden Town is well known for its excellent nightlife, bars and clubs.

Camden Bar

Music and Artwork at Camden Market

Camden Town has long attracted trendsetters, hipsters, artists and musicians and it truly is one of the most eclectic areas in London. The markets are no exception. As you walk around and make your way through the crowds you’ll soon notice that there is a lot of street art and graffiti in Camden.

It’s one of the best reasons to visit too because the walls have even been used as a canvas by infamous street artists such as Banksy. You can find some of his most iconic pieces hidden around Camden Town.

You might also see a statue dedicated to Amy Winehouse because this was where the famous singer made a name for herself. Camden has a rich musical tradition and in many of the bars and pubs around the markets you’ll find plenty of live music events all through the week.

There are many legendary music venues to check out in and around the markets, and you can enjoy everything from jazz to punk, and all that’s in between. Classic venues include the likes of The Dublin Castle, KOKO and the Jazz Cafe, and all are places where you might just chance upon the next big act before they become super famous and make it onto the world stage.

amywinehouse-camden

This is one of the most happening parts of London. There’s always something going on in Camden. While you’re in town browsing the stalls at Camden Market, checking out the street art and sampling all that tasty street food, check out Premium Tours fantastic range of London tours to see the best the city has to offer.

02 Arena

Here’s Where to See Live Music in London

The United Kingdom has an exceptional live music scene, and London is always at the forefront of the best musical trends. It’s the heart and soul of the country’s musical talent, and it’s a stage where the world’s best bands and artists come to play to packed crowds.

London has some incredible music venues, ranging from the glamorous arenas of the O2 and Wembley where famous stars play to thousands of people, to the grimy and dark back rooms of pubs in Camden or Shoreditch where rising stars begin their careers.

Many of London’s smaller venues have a lot of history behind them too, and there are few other cities in the world that can match the British capital for musical heritage. London is one of the best cities in the world for live music. Here are our favourite venues to see live music in London.

O2 Arena

The O2 Arena is the second largest music venue and indoor events space in the United Kingdom. Since the mid-2000s, it’s been playing host to some of the biggest tours and artists in the world.

This is a huge venue – in the UK, only the Manchester Arena is bigger – and The O2 Arena has become one of the most iconic live music venues in the world, since the old Millennium Dome was repurposed and turned into an events space.

The arena hosts big world tours and can house thousands of screaming fans, both seated and standing, making this one of the best and the biggest musical experiences in London.

The SSE Arena, Wembley

The SSE Arena, Wembley is London’s second-largest indoor live music venue, after The O2 Arena. It’s one of the best places in the capital to see headlining acts from around the world.   

Wembley Arena is one of the city’s most iconic music venues, and it’s found in the shadow of the equally iconic Wembley Stadium, where live music events are held throughout the year.

This is a historic place, as the building dates back to the 1930s when it was originally built as a swimming pool. Since the late 1940s, it’s been used as a music and events venue, and over the years many historic names have been on the bill, from the Beatles to the Spice Girls.

Wembley-Arena

Eventim Apollo

Another classic live music arena to visit in London is the Eventim Apollo. Formerly known as the Hammersmith Apollo, it’s located in the west London district of Hammersmith. Since 1932, the Apollo has been hosting music and other entertainment events to packed crowds.

The Hammersmith Apollo is set in a heritage-listed building, and it’s one of the most classic live music venues in the capital. The Apollo has had various different names and sponsors over the years, but it’s always kept its brilliant atmosphere and feel. With a capacity of only around 5,000 people, the performances here are much more intimate and personal than performances in larger indoor arenas such as the O2 or SSE Arena, Wembley.

The Dublin Castle

Camden Town is well known for its alternative, trendsetting vibes, and the music scene in the north London district is second to none in the capital. Camden is the place to visit for iconic and historic music venues, and it’s the place to visit to find the next big acts before they become famous.

One of Camden’s most famous live music venues is The Dublin Castle. This small pub is hidden away in the heart of Camden Town and is often referred to as the home of Britpop. Many famous bands and musicians have played within the cramped confines of The Dublin Castle, before going on to become world famous.

Madness was the first band to really bring the Dublin Castle fame, while other acts that have passed through the doors here include Amy Winehouse and Blur.

The Dublin Castle

The Old Blue Last

Another London pub that always seems to be at the forefront of the capital’s music scene is The Old Blue Last. Set on the hipster streets of Shoreditch, few other pubs in the capital have such a long history and such a reputation as this.

The Old Blue Last is owned by Vice Media, and they regularly host parties and live music events. The pub dates back over 300 years and has long been serving London’s patrons with round after round of ale and beer.

The pub and venue hosts live music acts almost every night of the week, and many of the shows are free of charge to watch. It’s a great venue to try and catch the next big bands. Big names that have played here before they made it big include the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine.

Jazz Cafe

If rock and pop music isn’t your thing, then London has plenty of live music venues catering to different genres. If you’re into jazz, then head on over to Camden Town where you can enjoy the delights of the famous Jazz Cafe.

For jazz lovers, few other places in London can match the Jazz Cafe for soul and performances here are always intimate. The Jazz Cafe can only host around 400 people, and it’s a great experience listening to jazz in such a small setting.

The Jazz Cafe has also branched out into other music genres too, and they host reggae, hip hop and blues artists too, amongst many others.

Cafe Oto

If intimate live music venues are what you’re searching for in London, then look no further than Cafe Oto. Located in the heart of Dalston – a district that’s famous for its music and venues – Cafe Oto is a simple cafe and restaurant during the day, but by night it turns into a beautiful live music space.

Cafe Oto is often voted to be one of London’s coolest live music venues because nothing beats it for either charm or grace. You’ll find jazz artists and electronic acts playing to small crowds at Cafe Oto, while the venue also hosts regular workshops and cultural exchanges when they aren’t hosting performances.

Royal Albert Hall

Located in South Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most highly regarded and well-known music venues. This is musical history at its finest, because Queen Victoria personally opened the venue in 1871. Since then, it’s played host to many of the country’s best concerts and musical performances.

The Royal Albert Hall is best known for hosting the Proms, a classical music event that’s held every year and is broadcast across the world. The historic building can host around 5000 people, in tiered seating stands, and even if you can’t get hold of tickets to an event here, you can still join guided tours of the fascinating building, to learn more about the intriguing history of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

Alexandra Palace

Another classic and historic music venue to visit in London is Alexandra Palace, referred to affectionately as the ‘Ally Pally’. This iconic venue was originally opened in 1875, and it was intended to be a theatre. It was a theatre that was far ahead of its time too, and it revolutionised the Victorian entertainment industry.

The wider Alexandra Palace entertainment complex has several different entertainment spaces, and there are theatres and performance venues within this grand Victorian-era palace. As well as live music events, which are held in suitably Victorian climes within the heritage-listed building.

It’s a beautiful place to see concerts, musical performances and other shows and events while you are visiting London.

Roundhouse

In Camden Town, the Roundhouse is one of north London’s most historic music venues. It might not be as well known as the Royal Albert Hall or have the prestige of Alexandra Palace, but the Roundhouse has history enough to match both. Being in the heart of Camden, the venue is known for hosting artists and festivals throughout the years, including the likes of The Doors and David Bowie, and the BBC’s Electric Proms.

The Roundhouse is a heritage-listed building that dates back to the 1850s. This was never a purpose-built events arena; the Roundhouse was originally built to house a railway turntable. After this was abandoned, the building has been used variously as a warehouse and storehouse, until it was repurposed as an events space in the 20th century. It’s a Camden classic and a fantastic place for live music events.

The Camden Assembly

Camden Town is absolutely packed with excellent live music venues, and another great place to visit in the district is The Camden Assembly. This classic Camden venue has recently had a name change and was formerly known for years as the Barfly.

The Camden Assembly is really just a small pub, but it’s earned its rightful place amongst the legendary live music venues of London for hosting some of the country’s most up and coming artists before they hit the world stage.

There’s a small capacity of just 200 people, and it’s one of the most atmospheric places to experience live bands in London. When it was known as Barfly, the pub hosted such greats as Coldplay and other Britpop sensations when they were still making it onto the music scene.

The Blues Kitchen, Camden

While you’re in Camden, you can also visit The Blues Kitchen, a legendary restaurant that hosts some of the best blues evenings in the capital.

There are several branches around the capital now, in places like Shoreditch and Brixton too, but the Camden branch is easily the most well known. The restaurant focuses on serving excellent food that’s inspired by the culinary traditions of America’s deep south, and you can enjoy everything from slow-cooked brisket to huge servings of chicken wings.

The Blues Kitchen hosts regular blues and jazz artists through the week and on weekends too, and you’ll find many famous and up-and-coming stars playing at the restaurant. If you love good food and good music, then there’s nowhere better to spend the evening than the Blues Kitchen.

Union Chapel

One of the most unique live music venues in London is found in Islington, and it’s unusual because it’s also a fully functioning church.

As a church, Union Chapel dates back to 1874. In recent years, it’s earned fame by hosting music events and also for caring for the homeless through its charity projects.

While regular church services are held here, the building is transformed at night into a beautiful live music space, and bands and performers play within the atmospheric stonewalls of this Victorian-era church.

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Another classic London venue catering to larger crowds and bigger bands is O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Dating back to 1903, this was originally designed to be a theatre, before being taken over by the BBC to be used as a filming location for different television shows. In the 1990s, the venue was transformed into a live music space, and since then it’s become a well-known destination for quality bands and performers.

This is still a small venue compared to the big arenas though, and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire can only hold around 2,000 spectators. That doesn’t stop big bands joining the bill though, with past performances including David Bowie, Pearl Jam and Mumford and Sons. It’s a legendary place and one of the best live music venues to visit in London.

Shepherds Bush 02 Empire

Notting-Hill-Gate Tube

15 Delicious Places for Brunch in Notting Hill

Notting Hill is one of London’s most colourful and vibrant districts. It’s an area known for both its affluence and multiculturalism. With a variety of different communities and a reputation for creativity, it’s no wonder there are some excellent restaurants and eateries located in Notting Hill.

That creativity and diversity is passed onto those restaurants. With its relaxed vibes and laidback qualities, Notting Hill is the perfect place for a casual, yet refined brunch. From classic brunch establishments such as the Electric Diner to innovative egg-based establishments such as Egg Break, there’s a lot to choose between.

To inspire your mid-morning jaunt in London, here are 15 delicious places for brunch in Notting Hill.

  1. Electric Diner

The Electric Diner is Notting Hill’s most famous brunching institution. Located on the eclectic Portobello Road, the same road that was made famous by the classic rom-com film Notting Hill, the Electric Diner is the number one place to head to mid-morning.

With an unusual mix of American and French influences and themes, the Electric Diner sums up Notting Hill’s casual yet refined vibes. You can choose from a range of brunch items, from omelettes cooked with Gruyere cheese to a Philly chilli cheese dog. The brunch menu is a mix of breakfast and lunch, but the portions are decidedly hefty and you can go for the full English, or even the rib eye steak at 11 am.

It’s a great place to start the day late and an even better place to start the weekend. You can wake up by choosing from the coffee selection, or you can start the day in style with an Electric Diner Cocktail.

Rib eye

  1. The Dayrooms Cafe

Another eclectic brunch option in Notting Hill is the Dayrooms Cafe. This is a boutique cafe, run by the boutique team that owns the Dayrooms brand, which usually focuses on designer clothing.

With that in mind, you can expect the Dayrooms Cafe to be magnificently well designed – and it assuredly is. The décor is fantastic and the ambience is excellent. It’s cosy and space can be limited, but it’s by no means exclusive – this is Notting Hill after all.

The menu is inspired by Australian brunch, and if anyone knows how to do a solid brunch, then it’s the Aussies. You can expect plenty of eggs, lots of avocado and lots of fusion on the brunch menu at the Dayrooms Cafe.

  1. Eggbreak

Eggbreak has been literally breaking eggs and stirring things up as they’ve broken their way onto the Notting Hill brunch scene in London.

As the name suggests this is a restaurant that focuses almost exclusively on eggs, the finest of breakfast and brunch ingredients. Eggbreak though, isn’t just a breakfast or brunch option, because this quirky restaurant is actually open all day, for dinner and lunch too.

Their all-day menu has a wide range of items, especially considering everything is egg-based. If you’re trying to be healthy, then you can go for the avocado and eggs, but if you’re looking for a greasy start to the day then choose the McDonalds inspired sausage and egg muffin, which is dripping in cheese and sauce. Many of the items are also inspired by different parts of the world, and you can find sauces ranging from spicy sambal sauces from Asia to spicy Sriracha or classic Bernnaise.

  1. Snaps + Rye

For a real multicultural treat, then head on down to the excellent Snaps + Rye for a real taste of Denmark in Notting Hill.

Danish food isn’t exactly a go-to brunch for most Londoners, but that’s changing quickly in Notting Hill, as Snaps + Rye’s reputation goes from strength to strength. The main item on the menu is rye bread. The restaurant serves up a wonderful selection of Smorrebrod, a unique style of Danish sandwich where fillings are served on open rye bread.

Those fillings are superbly Danish too, with choices ranging from juicy meatballs to expertly smoked salmon. To accompany, there are seasonal soups, plenty of pickles, and plenty more pickled herring.

The snaps part of the restaurant’s name comes from the Danish alcoholic beverage, snaps, which is very similar to schnapps. There’s an extensive cocktail menu using snaps as a base and, of course, if you’re here for brunch then you can order those snaps-based beverages straight away.

  1. Granger & Co

Bill Granger is the chef behind Granger & Co, a minor celebrity from Australia who has hosted cooking shows and written a few books too. Granger and Co draw on his expertise and his Aussie background, and you can find several outlets across London. Each is designed to emulate that laidback Aussie atmosphere that the country is famous for.

In Notting Hill, you can find Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove, and it’s a great place for brunch. There’s no specific brunch menu at Granger & Co, but the breakfast menu runs until 12pm and from there the lunch menu takes over, so time your visit depending on which of the menus you’d rather eat from. Both are excellent, however.

You can find plenty of healthy options, with lots of avocado, salmon and quinoa found on the menu at Granger & Co.

breakfast bagel

  1. Farm Girl

Australians seem to flock to Notting Hill, and yet another Aussie offering is Farm Girl. Australian-owned and with branches in places like Chelsea and Knightsbridge, as well as on Portobello Road, this is a franchise aimed at the more affluent clientele in central London.

The ambience of Farm Girl though is hardly exclusive. Like many other Aussie-run establishments, it’s laidback, airy and refreshing. The menu is incredibly healthy, and the all-day selections comprise a range of delicious and nutritious brunch bowls.

The bowls include the likes of Acai Bowls or Dragon Bowls, as well as more lunch-style options including salmon and avocado (the River Bowl) or goats’ cheese and rice (the Billy Bowl).

  1. Pizza East

Also located on Portobello Road, a pizza restaurant might not seem like the first choice for brunch options. But actually, Pizza East takes brunch to a new and exciting level in Notting Hill.

This Italian restaurant is well known for its excellent pizza and pasta dishes, and it’s a popular dinner destination on Portobello Road. They also have an extensive breakfast menu, including their signature full Italian breakfast, which is really just a full English with focaccia bread.

On weekends they have a dedicated brunch menu too, to draw in the brunch-loving crowd on Saturdays and Sundays. You can enjoy the full Italian breakfast, or you can choose from pizzas and pasta. On Sundays, you can even jump right into the roast dinner at brunch time.

pizza

  1. Daylesford

If you are looking for fresh, organic farm produce, then look no further than Daylesford. Located on Westbourne Grove, this is both a farm shop and cafe, and the ingredients are brought in fresh from their farm in Daylesford, Gloucestershire.

It’s a taste of the English countryside in the centre of London, and it’s a marvellous effort at bringing fresh, homegrown food to the capital.

The cafe has a fantastic breakfast and lunch menu, with dedicated brunch offerings on the weekend. The menus are very seasonal, but you can rest assured they always include a fresh range of fruit and vegetables and plenty of artisanal cheeses.

  1. Bluebelles of Portobello

The charming Bluebelles of Portobello, located on Portobello Road, is one of Notting Hill’s most lovable brunch offerings. This quirky little cafe draws in customers with its affable and personable style and decor, and fresh food.

Bluebelles of Portobello offers a classic range of brunching items, from bacon sandwiches to eggs benedict, while there’s a great selection of coffees, teas and other drinks to accompany it all.

They also pride themselves on their cakes and baguettes. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to sit down for lunch, then you can easily take away a slice of cake or a fresh filled baguette to eat on the road.

  1. Lowry and Baker

Also on Portobello Road, Lowry and Baker is another fantastic little cafe that offers a fine selection of brunching items. This is one of the most popular cafes in Notting Hill and on weekends, it can be incredibly busy. If you can get a table though, you’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about!

The menu isn’t extensive and it’s not over the top, and everything is incredibly well priced given the location of Lowry and Baker. In a world of over-the-top restaurants and flashy cafes, the simple concept behind this independently run cafe is a welcome relief. This is back to basics when it comes to brunch, but everything on the small menu is truly superb.

portobello-road

  1. Farmacy

Farmacy, as the intriguing name might suggest, is a Notting Hill restaurant that’s dedicated to serving healthy, fresh food.

The vast majority of the menu at Farmacy – which is located on Westbourne Grove – is vegan, with the remainder being vegetarian. If you’re not a meat-eater, then this is the place for you in Notting Hill.

The setting is glorious too, and the clean and airy restaurant atmosphere adds to the clean and healthy food on the menus. The food itself is mostly sourced from a single farm on the Kent countryside, and the ingredients are fresh and seasonal.

  1. Beach Blanket Babylon

Beach Blanket Babylon is best known as a cocktail bar, and a cocktail bar that describes itself as ‘decadent’. The restaurant and bar is found in a converted Georgian-era mansion, and it’s well known for its classic English overtones and extravagance.

While they have a popular dinner menu, they also have a brunch menu on the weekends. This though is not your average brunch, but it’s a boozy brunch, in true Beach Blanket Babylon style.

Get your weekend to an early start with plenty of drinks and plenty of food to keep you going through the morning and into the afternoon.

  1. Pix

Pix is a restaurant that serves up simple Spanish style pintxos, a type of tapas that’s popular across Spain, but particularly so in the north and Basque country.

Pintxos are usually served up on small slices of bread with cocktails sticks, making them easy to eat and even easier to eat in abundance. At Pix – which has several locations around London – you can enjoy a big selection of hot and cold pintxos and tapas, but the real draw is the bottomless brunch they offer on the weekends.

This is what pintxos and tapas were made for, and you can eat as much as you like!

  1. Ottolenghi

Run by Yotam Ottolenghi, the famous chef who specialises in Mediterranean cuisine, Ottolenghi in Notting Hill is a small establishment that serves up a fine selection of salads and pastries.

This is fresh, light food and it’s perfect for brunch. It’s mostly takeaway fare as the cafe itself is very small in Notting Hill, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a working brunch or to snack on the move during the week.

Alternatively, you can order in a salad or a selection of pastries for brunch if you’re in a real hurry or if you find yourself too busy to get down to Ledbury Road.

  1. The Little Yellow Door

The Little Yellow Door is one of Notting Hill’s best-loved establishments because this is not just a restaurant and a bar, but a unique concept. The idea behind The Little Yellow Door is that you are eating and drinking with friends in their flat. The atmosphere is friendly and cosy – it literally is in someone’s flat – and the food and drink are absolutely superb.

They throw parties, they have games to play and they have great deals. The best deal is the bottomless brunch, which is on offer on the weekends!

Exploring a big city like London can be tiring, so stopping for brunch is the perfect way to refuel so you can continue your sightseeing or shopping adventures. While sampling Notting Hill’s famous brunches, why not check out Premium Tours’ fantastic selection of London tours to top off a superb trip to the UK’s capital.

Admission

A Guide to the Best Outdoor Cinemas in London

Nothing much beats watching a film in the sun or under the stars while you sit back in the great outdoors, enjoying a cool evening breeze or the heat of a summer day. That’s why London’s outdoor cinemas are growing in popularity, even while traditional cinemas are falling by the wayside. The city has a whole range of unique, outside setups to help fuel your movie addictions.

You can find outdoor cinemas popping up across London throughout the year – even in the cold depths of winter – but it’s the short-lived British Summer that brings out the best of cinemagoers and the best of the films.

You can enjoy time-tested classics hosted on rooftop bars or new releases shown in the grounds of historic estates, while boats on the River Thames are transformed into cinemas, and summer festivals see outdoor screenings playing to huge crowds in London.

The capital is a great city to be a film lover. Here’s our guide to the best outdoor cinemas in London.

Audience

  1. Rooftop Film Club

The Rooftop Film Club is one of London’s best and most popular outdoor cinema venues. Held in Peckham at the top of the Bussey Building, this is classic cinema territory. You’ll be treated to a movie-going experience that few others can match for atmosphere.

The Rooftop Film Club runs through summer, with several showings every week until it’s too cold to sit out under the night sky. A whole array of films are shown through the season, with everything from new releases to classics catering to the audience, meaning you can keep returning evening after evening to catch a different showing.

As well as the film, you can grab a beer at the rooftop bar, a few snacks, and enjoy the sublime sunsets and panoramic views over the city of London below.

  1. Nomad Cinema

Nomad Cinema is not only a fantastic outdoor cinema experience but it’s a charitable endeavour that sees the profits going to a great cause too, meaning that you can sit back and enjoy the film, safe in the knowledge that you’re also contributing to some good in the world.

Nomad Cinema is held at various locations across the capital, primarily through the summer season, but with the occasional showing through the rest of the year too.

With its pop-up concept, you’ll need to check the exact date and venue, as the beauty of Nomad Cinema lies in the fact that it’s an ever-changing event.

All the profits from Nomad Cinema go to help the South African charity The Sustainability Institute, which works towards creating a better future for rural communities across Southern Africa.

Popcorn

  1. Luna House Cinema

Luna House is one of the most respected outdoor cinema event organisers in the United Kingdom. They host screenings across the capital throughout the summer season.

The events are always in unique locations, with big crowds and huge projection screens and sound systems that create an epic atmosphere. The locations range from parks and estates to swimming pools and racecourses with new, more unusual venues being announced each year.

There’s great food, great drinks and you can catch classics and new releases at Luna House events. For the kids, the company even organise outdoor screenings of children’s movies during the school holidays.

  1. Floating Film Festival

If you are looking for one of London’s most unusual and entertaining outdoor cinema venues then the Floating Film Festival is for you.

At St Katharine Docks right on the River Thames there’s a floating pontoon stretching out across the water. It’s a truly beautiful location to host an outdoor cinema, as the waves lap gently against the pontoon. There’s a large canvas tent to protect you from any untoward English weather and you can catch some of the year’s most highly rated films in summer.

If you can grab a ticket for the evening shows, then you can enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Thames as you sip cold beverages and wait for the film to begin. The Floating Film Festival season is generally short, only usually running through July each year, but it’s one of London’s most unique outdoor venues to visit.

River Thames

  1. Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema holds events in different locations in London throughout the year, with open air cinemas in summer and cosy venues in winter.

The concept began one summer when some friends decided that they loved watching films in their back garden, and they had the bright idea to take their passion mainstream, believing that most other sane people also enjoyed the great outdoors and cinema together.

They weren’t wrong. From their humble beginnings, they’ve gone on to host not just classic open air cinema showings but more artistic and creative cinema shows too.

They’ve hosted such eclectic performances as space-themed cinema that immerses you into the world of science fiction while you watch classics such as Men in Black. They’ve had choirs singing in churches to accompany Shakespearean movies, and they host regular Christmas shows during the festive season. They never forget their backyard roots though and when summer comes around they undoubtedly host cinema shows in the great outdoors at some unusual and quirky venues across London.

  1. Film Four Summer Screen

For decades Film Four has been producing some of the country’s best film and television, from hard-hitting dramas to alternative comedies. Every year they host a massive cinema event at their Summer Screen festival in August.

Held in the majestic courtyard of Somerset House, the open air cinema plays for two weeks when the weather is at its best in London. The courtyard at the historic central London building couldn’t be a more fitting venue to experience the best of British cinema, and you’ll find a sold-out crowd every day there is a screening.

As well as the film showings, you have the chance to enjoy Q & A sessions with directors or producers, while big British actors and actresses can always be spotted in the seats too, making this one of the most hotly anticipated cinema events on the London calendar.

Somerset House

  1. Movies on the River

The iconic River Thames becomes the venue for one of London’s best outdoor cinemas every summer, as classic movies are screened as you cruise along the water.

You’ll pass London’s most well known sights as you’re given a tour of the city skyline, passing locations such as Westminster and Southbank, to name just a few.

You’ll watch the sunset from the river as you enjoy a fully stocked bar and plenty of food, with an almost party-like atmosphere guaranteed by the end of the film. Previous screenings have included the likes of Jaws, Dirty Dancing and even Love Actually.

It’s one of the best outdoor cinema events in London, but if you want to enjoy a sunset cruise with a classic movie this summer then make sure to snap up your tickets as soon as they are released, because it’s always popular.

  1. Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema takes the concept of attending a movie theatre to a new level, as you not only watch a film, but you are immersed in the film.

The idea behind these novel events is to merge cinema with live action. It’s part film, part theatre and you’re never quite sure how things are going to play out. Secret Cinema events are only announced shortly before showings and the locations are always kept tightly under wraps, only being disclosed right before the action starts.

The venues are designed specifically for each event and many have been held in the great outdoors during summer. One past event involved creating a replica of the town from Back to the Future in which the audience were literally immersed for the duration of the film.

It’s not for everyone but the shows always offer a unique take on classic cinema, with a fresh and creative approach that can’t be matched by more traditional outlets in London.

  1. London Bridge City Summer Festival

Every summer the London Bridge City Summer Festival welcomes crowds to its multitude of varied events, held at venues along the river between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

One of the best festival events to attend is the weekly outdoor cinema. Held at the Scoop Amphitheatre, you can catch some classic movies in a beautiful setting. Enjoy the evening air along the river as you sit back and watch movies on the big projector. Conditions are basic, with concrete seating for all, but you can’t complain because this is the best free outdoor cinema in London. Get there early because although the amphitheatre can hold over 1,000 people, you’ll want your pick of the seats to get the best view.

The festival is more than just this one event though, and you’ll find much more going on by London Bridge throughout the summer, too.

  1. British Summer Time Party

For one weekend every July, the British Summer Time Festival takes over Hyde Park in London. This huge festival sees headline music acts from across the world playing to sold-out crowds packing out the grass in one of the city’s most iconic parks, for three days of music, eating and drinking.

While the festival is best known for the music, they also host outdoor cinema screenings through July, with several nights a week dedicated to movies. In the past, movie screenings have been free to attend with films on show ranging from Disney animations for the kids, to musicals such as Grease and classics from the past few decades for everyone.

Hyde Park

  1. Pop Up Screens

The organisers of Pop Up Screens offer a basic outdoor cinema experience, but one that through simplicity is proving to be exceptionally popular.

In parks and green spaces across the capital through summer, Pop Up Screens move their inflatable cinema screens from venue to venue. Tickets are cheap and there’s always plenty of room for more people, making it one of the most laid back and relaxed outdoor cinemas to visit in London.

They play classics mixed in with a few newer releases, and you’ll find that it’s an enjoyable place to kick back, have a few drinks and enjoy the summer evenings.

  1. Block Party Cinema

If you are interested in learning more about London’s minority communities and cultures, then attending a Block Party Cinema event is a great chance to see an alternative side of the city.

Their outdoor cinemas are pop up events, and they are hosted across London during festivals or in places such as Brixton or Camden.

The screening focus on showing productions focusing on minorities, but more than this you can also find a huge array of street food stalls from around the world, great drinks and great company too. Past shows include comedy classics such as Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America, right through to hard hitting, violent dramas such as the Brazilian cult movie City of God.

  1. Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Okay, so it’s not technically a cinema and you won’t be watching a movie, but the wonderful Regents Park Open Air Theatre is an open air event that will take you back through the ages to a time before movies.

The Regents Park Open Air Theatre is perfect if you need a change from the cinema but still want to be entertained on a warm summer evening. Before cinema there was only theatre and this is your chance to take things back a step, and to enjoy the classic, live action predecessor of the film industry, which is often overlooked in London today.

The theatre has long been a favourite during its summer run, offering great adaptations of Shakespearean plays and more modern, alternative productions too.

There’s a huge bar, a dining area and a great atmosphere during every performance at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, making this the number one alternative to London’s open air cinemas.

If you’re heading to London to experience one of these fantastic outdoor cinema events, check out Premium Tours’ great selection of London tours so you can learn more about the city while you’re in town.

haunted-castle

Paranormal Geography: The World’s 35 Spookiest Countries

Halloween is fast approaching, and with it comes a lot of sweets, a lot of costumes and, most importantly, a lot of scary activities. Think sleepovers in a churchyard, scary movie marathons, haunted house tours and you’re well on your way to a typical 21st century Halloween.

Typically voted one of the best holidays of the year (second only to Christmas, of course), it’s not hard to see why: the weather is just autumnal enough to enjoy the colours of the landscape without being too cold, the decorations are nonsensical and easy to put together (even if carving pumpkins always becomes a massive competition), and, let’s face it, it’s just full on fun. And undoubtedly one of the best Halloween traditions is hunting out the scariest, spookiest, most haunted places you can find, and seeing how long you can last there on Halloween night. That’s why here at Premium Tours we put together the Paranormal Geography ranking, looking at the world’s spookiest countries – so no matter where you are in the world, you can find out the best haunted locations to explore on 31st October.

In order to put the ranking together, we thoroughly analysed an array of devilish data for every country around the world, including haunted location, horror movies, UFO sightings, and native mythical creatures and ghosts. We then ranked the countries around the world who offered the best for each of these categories, giving them a score out of ten for each category.

The number one location was, unsurprisingly, the eery USA, followed by the ultra-terrifying UK in second place and irksome Ireland in third place. Considering how old each of these countries are, and how many archaic religions, fables, myths and legends are embedded in the local culture it’s not shocking to see these countries place so high.

On a personal note we were thrilled (and slightly scared) to see the UK rank so highly, likely as a result of the numerous haunted locations around the country. For instance, the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn is rumoured to appear at Blickling on the anniversary of her execution, and people have reported seeing floating lights, strange apparitions, and skeletons chained together in the dungeon of Dunster Castle in Somerset. Not only this, but Edinburgh in Scotland is commonly known as the most haunted city in Europe thanks to locations such as Mary King’s Close, where plague victims were sealed up to die – while they were still very much alive.

Results

Spookiest Countries Ranked

Note that the figures listed in the table above relate to the country’s score out of 10 for each category, with 10 being the highest score.

The USA ranked number one for haunted locations and horror movies, and also ranked in the top 5 for UFO sightings. Thanks as well to countless fights and wars, and the very distinct burial process carried out by Native Americans (for example, the Plains Indians commonly practiced above ground burials using trees, scaffolds, canoes, and boxes on stilts, and left the bodies there to decay over time), the idea of spotting a ghost is not entirely dismissed.

Almost all of America is built on top of a potential burial site, giving residents reason to believe the spirits have been disturbed and are thus haunting the location.

There is at least one haunted spot in every state, and most likely every town, village, and city in the USA. These include the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – which was known to house criminals like Al Capone and “Slick Willie”, and the Lizzie Borden B&B in Fall River, Massachusetts which was the scene of the gruesome murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, found in 1892 covered in blood and beaten to death with an axe. It’s possible to stay in the room where Abby was murdered, and guests have often reported seeing apparitions in Victorian clothing, and hearing the sounds of weeping, footsteps, and conversations in supposedly empty rooms.

There’s also the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was featured on season three of American Horror Story. The story goes that Madame Delphine LaLaurie lost her sanity after her third husband left her, and starting torturing the slaves who lived and worked there; a fire at the mansion caused police to come across the mutilated bodies of multiple slaves in the attic, where it is believe LaLaurie tortured the slaves by drilling holes into their heads, breaking their bones, and removing their intestines. The ghosts of her victims are said to have remained in the mansion, where visitors claim they can still hear their screams.

Following the USA, the top 10 countries are:

  1. UK
  2. Ireland
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. Puerto Rico
  6. Philippines
  7. Portugal
  8. Netherlands
  9. Colombia

The UK ranked highly for UFO sightings, mythical creatures/ghosts, and haunted locations. Indeed, the country is reported to have 146 haunted locations – not bad for a country that is only the 78th largest country in the world, at 242,496km2 just making it into the top half for all the countries around the globe. It also has 410 horror movies, coming second only to the USA, and again came second for mythical creatures, beaten only by Japan. Again, this is unsurprising considering legends like the Loch Ness Monster are famous all over the world.

Japan ranked particularly highly mainly as a result of the number of mythical creatures that are embedded in their local culture. The Japanese culture embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions, as well as agriculturally based folk religion, so the list of mythical creatures is incredibly vast, stemming from the abura-akago (an infant ghost who licks oil out of andon lamps) to the yato-no-kami (deadly snake god which infested a field), and everything in between.

The results by continent are as below:

Spookiest country in Europe: UK

Spookiest country in Oceania: New Zealand

Spookiest country in North America: USA

Spookiest country in South America: Colombia

Spookiest country in Asia: Japan

Haunted Locations

Countries with most haunted locations

The USA topped the chart for the most haunted destinations, boasting over 200 supposedly haunted locations, and that’s just the ones that have been reported.

Also ranking highly for haunted locations are the UK, Mexico and Colombia. 

Horror Movies

Horror Movies Set Around the World

The USA also came out on top with a massive 1290 scary movies having been filmed or set in the US. The UK, Canada and India are also home to some of the most thrilling movies.

UFO Sightings

Countries with Most UFO Sightings

Ireland has reported the most UFO sightings, with 101 unidentified flying objects reportedly having been seen in Ireland’s skies. Also popular for UFO sightings are Puerto Rico, the UK and Portugal.

Mythical Creatures

Countries with most mythical creatures

Japan is the country which is home to the most mythical creatures and ghosts, with the UK, USA and Ireland also telling of many creepy local legends.

Methodology

To compile the Paranormal Geography ranking, we used the following methodology. We analysed a variety of studies and surveys of spooky lovers in order to find out what was needed from each destination in order for it to be considered “spooky”, and we then gave them a score out of 10, with 10 being the best. The elements we found to be important were:

  • Haunted Locations
  • UFO Sightings
  • Horror Movies
  • Mythical Creatures/Ghosts

In order to identify exactly what each destination had to offer, we searched through a variety of different sources. One source we looked at in particular was a UFO Hunters site, which documented how many UFO sightings had been recorded in each destination, as well as when and where it was, and what shape the sighting was in. We also used IMDB to discover the number of horror movies, looking at where the film was based rather than which country made it.

The full dataset is available upon request.

Sources:

london-big-ben

17 of the Best Walks in London

London is a very large city with more than enough to see for locals, let alone short-term visitors. By far the best way to see large portions of the city is to take a stroll. Take a themed walk to focus on history, architecture, or even pubs. For the truly ambitious, there are very long walks that cover upwards of 50 kilometres in and around the city.

Here are 17 of the best walks in and around London to enjoy on your next adventure in this wonderful city.

1. London LOOP Walk

The London LOOP, or the London Outer Orbital Path, covers 242 kilometres over 24 distinct sections between Erith station and Purfleet. Though the path is extremely long in entirety, the sections are manageable enough to accomplish in a morning before teatime. For the highly motivated, complete the entire LOOP to receive a special certificate of completion.

The LOOP weaves through central urban areas, natural parks, and rural neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city. Some of the sights along the walk include Hall Place, Addinton Hills, Bushy Park, and Bentley Priory. To find the path, follow clearly marked signs with white discs that point the way.

2. Royal London Walk

Exactly as it sounds, the Royal London Walk will take you through the must-see royal destinations throughout the city. The route is a loop that starts and ends at Westminster tube station, so it is easy to begin no matter where you’re staying. Popular sites along the walk include Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus.

The walk will take a typical group about two hours and is best to start in the morning to coordinate with the Changing of the Guard. However, the walk can easily be spread out as a full-day activity with tea and scone stops along the way. This handy tube guide will show you the best tube station for visiting Buckingham Palace.

big ben

3. Jack the Ripper Walk

Also called Whitechapel Murderer and the Leather Apron, Jack the Ripper is a world-famous unidentified serial killer that was active in the 1880s. The Ripper Walk explores the portion of London’s East End where Jack the Ripper committed most of his murderous crimes, of which most of his victims were female prostitutes.

Today, this walk will lead you through the magnificent multi-cultural areas of Whitechapel and Spitalfields. Both of these areas are off the typical tourist track and are perfect for the local traveller, or frequent visitor. Since many of the areas on this three-hour walk are less popular and poorly lit, it is advised to complete this walk during daylight hours. Find out more about our Jack the Ripper tour here. 

4. East End Ramble Walk

Though the East End Ramble Walk follows a similar route as the Ripper Walk, it has an entirely different historical focus. Starting near Aldgate Station, this walk was created by historian and author Richard Jones as a means to better understand the famed author, Charles Dickens.

During Dickens’ lifetime, the East End was known for dire poverty, as referenced in Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. Today, the area is in full transition and contains hipster coffee shops near immigrant-rich neighbourhoods. Using your imagination, wander the area to better understand the best Victorian author there ever was. This short walk only covers a few kilometres and is best completed during daylight.

5. Tree Trail Walk

The Tree Trail Walk was created by the Trees for Cities foundation and the City of London Festival. With over 2,500 individual trees of over 70 different species, the city of London has a lot of nature to explore within its urban limits.

To start the trail, go to St. Paul’s Cathedral garden to find your first tree. The walk should only take about an hour and highlights 11 notable trees within the Square Mile. To take full advantage of this particularly beautiful nature walk, pack a picnic and settle into any number of the parks.

6. London Bridges Walk

Starting at the Westminster tube station, the London Bridges Walk will lead you over the River Thames repeatedly as you explore the famous bridges of London. With six total bridge crossings and a number of bridge sightings, this walk will satisfy any bridge-lover’s dream. The walk includes the famous Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, London Bridge, and Millennium Bridge.

In addition to famous bridges, this walk will provide sightings of the London Eye, the South Bank Centre, Templar’s Church, Tate Modern, Winchester Palace, and more! The walk can be done in about three hours. If completing the walk in the winter months, aim to go around lunchtime to avoid high winds on the bridges.

tower bridge

7. Lights, Camera, Action Walk

The City of London created the Lights, Camera, Action Walk to highlight a number of famous locations throughout the city that were featured in dozens of popular films. This walk is perfect for movie-lovers and celebrity fans alike. Many of the featured locations are famous in their own right and warrant a visit for any tourist.

The two-hour walk features locations from Harry Potter, Love Actually, V for Vendetta, Mission Impossible, Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and 101 Dalmatians – which covers nearly every category of film that exists!

8. Riverside Pubs Walk

If ale is your preferred beverage, then the Riverside Pub Walk is the one for you! This journey can be completed at the pace of a crawl to enjoy the food and beverage offerings along the way. The route crosses back and forth over the River Thames to visit some riverside pubs and historic sites like Brunel’s Engine House.

Your journey begins at Rotherhithe Station and wanders to four nearby pubs – the perfect amount to have a light drink at each! It is advised not to do this walk alone at night, as the pub areas are not well lit.

9. Writers Walk

The London Writers Walk begins at Tottenham Court Station and wanders through the Bloomsbury area of the city. The tour will highlight locations that inspired world-famous authors such as George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, and many other authors of a variety of genres including the aforementioned Charles Dickens.

The two-hour walk also passes the British Museum. This nationally famous museum not only has free entry, but is a perfect escape if the weather turns during your walk, since there is little shelter along the route. Here are some other great museums to visit. 
British-Museum

10. Designs of the Times Architecture Walk

The Designs of the Times Walk is perfect for any architecture lovers that visit London. The City of London designed this route to showcase modern architectural feats. Traditionally, London has been known for its Gothic and Victorian architecture. But as a global leader in business and finance in the modern world, the city has also made remarkable leaps forward in contemporary architecture. This tour will walk you through some of the most recent developments throughout the city featuring high rises, reflective buildings, and unique shapes.

11. City Gardens Walk

The City Gardens Walk is not just one single walk, but a collection of walks scattered around London. The gardens in the city are all part of a network of open spaces, gardens, and parks intended to sustain London as a world-class city. Each space has a unique function for its neighbourhood and for the conservation of wildlife and historic landscapes.

One of the most well known parks in this network is Bunhill Fields Burial Grounds. The name is thought to be derived from ‘Bone Hill’, as it was used for burials over thousands of years. By the time burials ceased in 1854, historians estimate around 123,000 people were buried on these grounds. Today, there is a lovely, shaded path to weave through the head stones.

12. Kenley Airfield Heritage Trail Walk

Another trail with British historical significance is the Kenley Airfield Heritage Trail. The English Heritage group claims this area is ‘the most complete fighter airfield associated with the Battle of Britain to have survived’.

The trail runs around the area and is dotted with history boards, which explain the significance and influence of the pilots, the ground crew, and the local communities during the two World Wars. While meandering along the trail, look up! You won’t see fighter planes today, but you are likely to spot one of the many gliders that silently float over the landscape.

13. London Ghost Walk

The London Ghost Walk is a collection of walks that was created by historian and author Richard Jones. As one of the oldest cities in the Western world, it should be of no surprise that London is full of haunted buildings and eerie spirits. Richard claims that these trails will show you everything paranormal that London has to offer.

Some of these walks can be self-guided, while others are best done with a tour guide to help identify the unnatural spirits surrounding you. The self-guided walks begin at Bank Station and wander through haunted banks, supernatural pubs and mysterious happenings, and is best done on a weekday night, when the streets are nearly empty and extra spooky.

14. Shopping Walk

It is not surprising that the Shopping Walk through this fashion-forward country is one of the most popular. Many tourists are likely to meander this path in search of trends at some point during their London holiday.

The walk begins at Piccadilly and will take about three hours of just walking. However, if you plan to shop along the way, this should be started at breakfast and may take all day long. The route visits some of the city’s famous shopping areas such as Regent Street and Carnaby Street. Historical stores such as Smythson, Hamleys, and Fortnum and Mason can also be visited along the way for a well-rounded day of shopping.

If the Shopping Walk peaks your interest, take a peek at our full London shopping guide.

london shopping

15. Legal Walk

If there are any lawyers or history buffs in your entourage, then the Legal Walk should be your top choice. This walk will emphasise many buildings that have had important associations with the English legal system. Some of the highlights include Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, Chancery Lane, and Blackfriars. However, the Temple Church is another favourite – where the Knights Templar met and ruled.

The walk starts at Blackfriars tube station and will take about two hours to complete. This walk should be completed in the late morning, before lunch, on weekdays. It is important to note that portions of this walk will be closed on the weekends.

16. Jubilee Walkway

Similar to the London LOOP Walk, the Jubilee Walkway was created by the British government and is a well-marked designated path in London. The Jubilee path is divided into five circular sections including the Western Loop, the Eastern Loop, the City Loop, the Camden Loop, and the Jubilee Loop. In total, the walkway is 63 kilometres long.

All five portions of this walk highlight some of London’s most famous tourist destinations including Tower Bridge, City Hall, Trafalgar Square, and St. James’s Park. The walkway is marked by discs featuring the cross of a crown pointing in the direction of travel. Gold discs will also pop up along the path to identify historical events. If you happen to complete all five sections of the Jubilee Walkway, you will receive a special certificate of completion to commemorate your favourite travel destination.

17. London Wall Walk

In 200 AD, the Romans built a defensive wall around what is now the city of London. Throughout many changes, the wall remained surrounding this city until the 17th century. As the population of London rapidly increased, the city no longer relied on the wall for protection and began to expand beyond the walls. Large portions of the wall were demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, short sections of the wall remain for historical significance. The Museum of London created this three-kilometre walk for visitors to witness the remaining portions of the wall and the sites of the gates, which are now buried deep beneath the city streets.

Are you ready to get walking? Contact one of our London travel experts at Premium Tours today to organise your perfect tour of London, including a wide range of walks!

Wed in the City: Beautiful London Wedding Venues that Aren’t Windsor Castle

The wedding of the year is just around the corner. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to wed on 19th May 2018. The wedding will be taking place at the incredible Windsor Castle, and with everyone talking about the upcoming nuptials, the Royal Wedding is sure to be a key source of inspiration for brides and grooms currently planning their own big day, but unfortunately this beautiful venue isn’t available to the general public to marry in.

However, in a fantastic city such as London there are of course a multitude of other wonderful wedding venues to choose from.

That said, when it comes to wedding planning, many brides and grooms-to-be may not immediately think that a busy city like London would be able to offer a blissful and romantic setting for a wedding and that they have to retreat out of the city for the big day, but in fact right here in the city there is an incredible selection of awe-inspiring venues available – whether you are looking for a pretty outdoor affair, a luxe and lavish do, or something a little bit quirky.

So, with wedding fever in the air we have rounded up some of the very best wedding venues in London to inspire your London wedding, including London Zoo, the Gherkin, The Globe Theatre and more.

Have a look below and start planning for your very own big day.

The 5 Best Day Trips From London

 

London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It’s so easy to be mesmerised by the magic of its lively centre.

Royal residences and stunning architecture sit happily alongside state of the art attractions and cosmopolitan gastronomy.

After ticking off all the must-do experiences in the centre, you may feel that you’ve really done the region justice…. think again!  

By narrowing your sights, you could miss out on other amazing locations beyond London, where some of the best English heritage is just waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re planning a holiday to the UK, or live in London and want to impress some out of town guests, a well thought out day trip is the perfect excuse to explore the city’s surrounding areas and all they have to offer.

You really don’t have to travel far from the capital to experience some fantastic treasures, both old and new. Here is some insider information on the best things to see and do in a day:

 

1. Uncover the History and Mystery of Stonehenge

Stonehenge by Day

If you visit the UK without experiencing Stonehenge, you’ll be missing out on seeing the most famous prehistoric monument in the world.  

Step back 5,000 years and uncover the secrets of this amazing feat of ancient

design and engineering. The monument’s purpose has been subject of worldwide speculation for centuries and remains unknown.

There are countless theories as to why the enigmatic stones were arranged on Salisbury Plain. Perhaps the stones were a temple to the sun, maybe an observatory for the moon, an ancient calendar, or even an elaborate burial ground? Pay the ancient site a visit and decide for yourself.

You can visit Stonehenge at any time of year, but if you visit the great megaliths during the winter or summer solstice, you can walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors.

During the astronomical event, where the sun reaches its highest or lowest annual point in the sky above the horizon (otherwise known as solar noon), you will see the sun align perfectly with the Heel Stone at sunrise.

As the huge crowds gather, enjoy the atmosphere! Walk amongst the stones, and observe the various rituals and ceremonies which take place over the course of the evening.

Don’t worry if you can’t visit during the solstice, you can see Stonehenge at sunrise or sunset at any time of the year. Seeing the stones in the morning or evening light will seriously enhance your adventure. If you want to avoid the crowds, then reserve a private tour of the stones for an even more intense experience.

Did you know that Stonehenge is just a short ride from many incredible landmarks, castles, villages and cities? It’s totally possible to see multiple sights in one day trip so you can make sure you get the most out of your time. Make sure you squeeze in a traditional British pub lunch too.

 

2. Head to Windsor Castle and Imagine How the Royals Live

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and has been home to the royal family for over 1,000 years. It’s definitely worth adding to your must-visit list.

Do you know how to check if the Queen is in residence? When the Royal Standard flag is flying from the Castle’s Round Tower, then Her Majesty is at home.

From William the Conqueror to our present Queen, many a royal has called this castle home. Windsor castle is said to be the favourite home of the present Queen, as she chooses to spend most of her private weekends there.  

And why wouldn’t you? Imagine relaxing in the lavishly furnished State Apartments, enjoying the historic splendour of St George’s Chapel and planning social engagements in the Semi-State Rooms.

Windsor Castle is a very popular destination, so get there in the morning to beat the crowds. You’ll be some of the first visitors of the day to enter the castle.

Take time out to visit Windsor, a pretty town full of traditional shops and quaint British pubs for a lovely lunch. Why not try to find the pub where Shakespeare was said to have written the Merry Wives of Windsor?

You can easily combine your visit to Windsor with a trip to see Buckingham Palace and witness the changing of the guard, for a complete Royal experience.

Or what about Windsor Castle and the London Eye? Experience British heritage and high flying views of the city from the world’s highest observation wheel— you can do it all in one day!

 

3. Bath is Quintessentially British with Roman Influence

Bath Townhouse

A Unesco World Heritage site, Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Bring your camera—the stunning architecture of the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge which overlooks the picturesque river Avon as it cascades over the weir makes for some truly great photo opportunities.

Built on Britain’s only natural hot water spring, lies the magnificent Roman public bath complex and Roman temple. Here you can soak up 2,000 years of history.

Imagine what it was like to bathe in the warm waters, as you wander around the steaming pool on the Roman stone paving, admiring the ancient statues and architecture.

Jane Austen was Bath’s most famous resident. The museum gives insight into life in Bath during Regency times and how that influenced her novels.

You will be surprised how many iconic places there are on the outskirts of London which ooze character and culture. If you just love English literature spend a day visiting the home of Shakespeare, learning about the life of Jane Austen in Bath, and meandering through the leafy lanes of the Cotswolds.

Ever visited a place and wanted to stay for longer? Many visitors want to lengthen their stay in Bath. Spend the whole afternoon in this stylish city, eating in swanky restaurants, shopping ‘til you drop in trendy boutiques and watching the world go by from a street-side cafe.

 

4. Unlock the Magic Behind the Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Train

A wonderful spell has been cast which has created an amazing opportunity to explore the magic of the Harry Potter™ films. You can see it right here, only 20 miles from London.  

Uncover previously unheard anecdotes, as closely guarded secrets are revealed about the special effects used in the creation of the films.

Walk around the most famous sets such as the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley.

View the classic props like the Potions Cabinet and Professor Umbridge’s pink office, complete with a collection of plates with living kittens. Gain insight into how the green screen is used in the flying sequences and imagine what it was like to wear an invisibility cloak.

Of course, while you’re in London you should visit platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station, for some great photo opportunities. So pile your bags on the trolley, and don’t miss the Hogwarts Express!

There are plenty of other locations in the centre London that featured in the Harry Potter films. Why not make your own pilgrimage to the world of wizardry?

 

5. Leeds Castle in the Garden of England

Leeds Castle

Travel through Kent, affectionately known as the garden of England, to visit one of the loveliest castles in the world. Originally a Norman stronghold, it is situated in a very impressive location, with a unique historic tale to tell.

This 900 year old castle was built on a small island and protected by its own moat. It’s  set in 500 acres of parkland and gardens, so there is plenty to see and do.

Explore the chapel, galleries, courtyards and banqueting hall, before taking time to enjoy the setting and wildlife, see if you can spot the wildfowl and black swans.

For the ultimate day trip, combine Kent and the City to visit Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Greenwich and finish with a cruise along the Thames.

Learn why Kent is known as the Garden of England by travelling through leafy country lanes and visiting the White Cliffs of Dover and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

 

Ready for Your Perfect Day Trip?

If you are ready to book your day trip, fill in a few brief questions here and we can help you plan your adventure.

If you’re not quite ready to book a day tour, but would like to find out more about how you can go about planning your ultimate trip from London, sign up here to receive our totally free email course.

London

Here Are the 37 Most Beautiful Places in London

London, one of the most famous and iconic cities in the world, is a wonderful blend of historical and modern landmarks. It’s a mixing pot of cultures with a liberal sprinkling of greenery, yet it still retains its quintessential Englishness.

It’s a city like no other: frenetic, buzzing, colourful, and yet serene. The fast-paced lifestyle, crowded streets, noisy traffic and sheer size of this sprawling capital city sometimes make it hard to stop and appreciate its beauty. A tour of London will allow you to stop and appreciate every aspect and every moment.

Here are the 37 most beautiful places in London definitely worth taking time out to see.

1. The View from Waterloo Bridge

Offering one of the most beautiful views of the Southbank, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster and Canary Wharf, Waterloo Bridge is one of the best places to capture the very essence of London. Even more spectacular at sunset – just ask the Kinks!

2. The Shard

If you want a spectacular view of the entire city, head to the tallest building in Western Europe: the Shard. On a clear day, views from the 310-metre high building stretch as far as Windsor Castle, 40 miles away.
To appreciate the stunning views across the capital, you should visit twice: during the day, then return in the evening to see this magnificent city illuminated at night.

the shard

3. The Sky Garden

Right in the heart of the City, at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden is a unique and lovely venue offering 360-degree views across the City over three floors of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Enjoy the views and the lush greenery of London’s highest public garden from the viewing platforms or dine out at one of the exclusive rooftop restaurants, Fenchurch Restaurant or Darwin Brassiere, each with its own beautiful interior and fabulous menu.

4. St Paul’s from the Inside

Although photography inside the cathedral is not permitted, the sight of its overwhelming beauty will stay in your mind forever. Just don’t forget to look up! The byzantine mosaic artwork and the paintings of St Paul by James Thornhill, especially when viewed from the Whispering Gallery, are quite literally breathtaking.

5. St Paul’s from Millennium Bridge

One of the best places to appreciate the beautiful dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, is from the Millennium Bridge. The bridge itself is a masterpiece of modern architectural design. With the backdrop of St Paul’s, it’s a beautiful blend of history and modernity.

st pauls

6. The Great Court at the British Museum

Spanning over two million years of human history, the treasures of the British Museum are awe-inspiring in themselves. But the truly breathtaking feature of this incredible museum is the magnificent Great Court with its mystical glass ceiling made from over 3,000 unique panels of glass.

7. Leadenhall Market

Another impressive ceiling can be found at Leadenhall Market. This beautiful indoor market is covered with an ornate Victorian wrought iron and glass roof. That, with the cobbled streets and quaint shop fronts, are why Leadenhall was chosen to feature as Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter film.

8. Hintze Hall, The Natural History Museum

Speaking of Harry Potter, the magnificent stone staircases in Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into one of the movies. The central hall is just how you’d imagine Hogwarts to be. You can almost believe the staircases move!

9. The Hogarth Staircase, St Barth’s Hospital Museum

On the subject of staircases, check out the Hogarth staircase located in the Museum at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield. The stunning mural leading up the staircase was painted by William Hogarth in the 18th century, free of charge! The paintings depict Christ at the Pool of Bethesda healing those with diverse ailments. Apparently some of the figures in the paintings were based on real patients of the hospital.

10. Shoreditch Street Art

Shoreditch is now one of the trendiest and liveliest areas of London, filled with wonderful markets, eateries and colourful streets. Don’t miss the incredible street art where artists from all over the world have left their mark projecting a magical kaleidoscope of colour and positive energy.

street art

11. Little Venice

This has got to be one of the most picturesque spots in London. The colourful canal boats, waterside pubs, quaint shops and eateries create a wonderful feeling of calm and tranquillity in London’s very own Little Venice.

12. Kynance Mews

London is well known for its fashionable, cute mews. But one of the prettiest has got to be Kynance Mews in South Kensington; a narrow cobbled lane of lovely 19th century wisteria-clad cottages.

13. Belgravia

Belgravia is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in London, and it’s easy to see why. The impeccable streets lined with magnificent white stucco townhouses simply ooze elegance and luxury.

14. Notting Hill Gate

Some of the prettiest streets in London can be found at Notting Hill Gate. You can’t help but fall in love with the rows of pastel coloured houses along Kensington Park Road, also home to some of the best restaurants in the area.

notting hill

15. The Churchill Arms, Kensington

This has got to be one of the most beautifully decorated pubs in London, both inside and out. During the spring and summer, the pub is adorned with 190 flower baskets and pots, replaced at Christmas with a magical display of twinkling fairy lights.

16. The Oak, Westbourne Park

Talking of restaurants, if you want to enjoy fabulous food in beautiful surroundings, you can’t get more sumptuous than The Oak in Westbourne Park. The dark red curtains, gold-framed mirrors and squashy sofas make you feel like you’re in a fabulous drawing room on a large country estate rather than a gastropub in the West End of London.

17. Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden

Beautifully presented, exquisite dishes served in the lovely candlelit courtyard conservatory which features a magnificent open fire and hanging blossoms, make this idyllic French restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden one of the most beautiful and romantic in London.

18. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, Regent’s Park

One of the most tranquil and loveliest spots in London can be found in the heart of Regent’s Park. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden is home to over 12,000 roses, Mediterranean flowers, delphiniums and 9,000 begonias. There are benches along the borders so you can sit, relax and literally smell the roses!

19. Kensington Palace Gardens

The beautiful formal gardens of Kensington Palace are a lovely spot to spend an afternoon. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea or light lunch in the orangery within the grounds. The 18th century orangery with its magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows was built for Queen Anne to entertain guests in elegant surroundings.
kensington gardens

20. Richmond Park

Richmond Park has such an abundance of forests, wilderness and herds of deer; you’d never believe you are still in London. Head up to Henry VII’s mound to take in the breathtaking views of the sprawling capital in all its glory.

21. Orleans House Gallery, Richmond

Not only does Richmond boast a beautiful park, but also a stunning 18th century baroque gallery with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows and ornately decorated ceilings.

22. Green Park

With its magnificent tree-lined walkways, memorials and fountains, Green Park situated next to Buckingham Palace is a haven of tranquillity right in the heart of London. In the spring, the park is an explosion of yellow with over one million daffodils in bloom.

23. St James’s Park

The beautiful, tranquil centre lake of this former deer park is a wonderful place to spot water-loving birds, while the little bridge offers lovely views of Buckingham Palace.

st james's park

24. Greenwich Park

Set on a hilltop overlooking the River Thames, Greenwich Park is a vast expanse of green with flower, herb and orchard gardens offering spectacular views over London.

25. Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

The stunningly beautiful landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the world’s most diverse collection of plants and flowers. Highlights include the lovely Treetop Walkway and the magnificent glasshouses: Palm House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and Waterlily House.

26. Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

Kyoto Garden is a Japanese oasis set in the 55-acre grounds of Holland Park. The garden has a lovely waterfall and a little bridge where you can spot koi carp swimming below.

27. Victoria and Albert Museum

There’s over 5,000 years of artwork to see at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but don’t forget to take a look outside. The stunning exterior features 32 statues of great British artists, architects and craftsmen.

victoria and albert museum

28. Postman’s Park

Tucked away near St Paul’s Cathedral you’ll find the lovely little Postman’s Park. But its real beauty lies in the touching plaques located here that commemorate the selfless acts of everyday people who lost their lives trying to save others. It’s a beautiful place for contemplation.

29. The Old Royal Naval College

While in Greenwich, take time to visit the Old Royal Naval College, an architectural masterpiece designed by Christopher Wren. Considered one of the finest buildings in the world, the college features a magnificent Painted Hall whose beautifully painted ceiling has been dubbed ‘The Sistine Chapel of the UK’.

30. St Pancras Station

Exterior scenes of King’s Cross Station in the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were actually filmed at St Pancras, and it’s easy to see why. The stunning red brick Victorian gothic exterior was considered far more beautiful and in keeping with the film than the drab exterior of King’s Cross.

31. Tate Modern

The Tate Modern Gallery is one of the finest examples of how ugly can be made beautiful. The decommissioned power station was transformed into a beautiful space, which today displays some of the most famous works of modern art in the world.

tate

32. Liberty, Regent Street

This beautiful wooden-panelled department store was built in the 1920s to resemble a Tudor mansion. Wonderfully quirky, the store is filled with fireplaces and creaky floorboards that only add to its charm.

33. Royal Albert Hall

Opened in 1871, this magnificent circular concert hall was built in honour of Prince Albert, a keen supporter of the Arts and Sciences. Queen Victoria laid the first stone in homage to her late husband. The Grade I listed building has a magnificent glass and wrought iron domed roof and a mosaic freeze around the outside walls depicting several subjects honouring the ‘Triumph of Arts and Sciences’.

34. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

3,000 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 1,200 tonnes of Italian Carrara marble were hand-carved in India before being shipped to London to construct this magnificent Hindu temple in Neasden. The temple, inaugurated in 1995, is the biggest Hindu temple outside of India and is a stunning example of intricate Hindu architecture.

35. Southwark Cathedral

Westminster and St Paul’s are impressive, but don’t forget Southwark Cathedral on the South Bank. This beautiful cathedral dates back to the 12th century and was the venue for the royal wedding ceremony of James I in 1423.
The magnificent organ, built in 1897, is a centre point of the cathedral and is still prominent in the music programmes and choir concerts Southwark Cathedral is famous for.
Outside is lovely too. Don’t miss a walk along the Shakespearean Botanical Trails, the ancient churchyard and the sweet-smelling Herb Garden, a wonderful place for calm reflection.

36. Borough Market

Set in the shadows of Southwark Cathedral you’ll find London’s oldest farmers’ market. Borough Market is a food lover’s delight: a riot of colours and aromas where artisan producers sell their wares and beautifully displayed stalls feature traditional British products alongside the best regional specialities from around the world.

borough market

37. Columbia Road Flower Market

London’s oldest flower market, trading every Sunday, is an explosion of colours and aromatic scents where you’ll find the most amazing displays of flowers, plants and craft stalls. Running along a traditional Victorian terraced street, it offers a beautiful, authentic East End experience that you’ll never forget. Just make sure you get there early!

Get in touch with us today to find out more about our London tours.