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Things to Do in London in November

For some, the slow march of winter may be too much to handle after the usually short, but inevitably intense English summer. But in London, the gradual onset of colder weather need not deter you from enjoying great days out all through the month, because there are plenty of activities in the city that can help take your mind off the weather or help you to embrace it.

From strolling through the museums and unique attractions that can only be found in London, to experiencing the unique winter-themed events that begin in November on the lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot to do in London, and November can be one of the best times to enjoy a different side of the city.

Experience Fireworks on Bonfire Night

Remember, remember, the 5th of November! The start of the month sees the English tradition of Bonfire Night being played out loudly and brightly across London. In the evenings, parks throughout the city play host to huge fireworks displays to remember the events of the 5th of November, 1605, when the infamous Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the English Parliament and King James I in the gunpowder plot. There are many great events you can attend to watch the fireworks displays, but one of the best is held at Alexandra Palace, where not only can you enjoy fireworks exploding across the night sky, but you can enjoy the funfairs and ice rink too.

fireworks Alexandra palace
‘Alexandra Palace fireworks’ by James Cridland – https://flic.kr/p/5AqJ4F

Watch Christmas Lights Being Switched On

Some people may assume that November is far too early to begin thinking about Christmas, but these days, the build-up to the festive holidays starts far in advance of the 25th December. London starts early, and the city slowly becomes decked out with Christmas lights, displays and pop-up festivals partway through November. Rather than simply enjoying the lights once they have been switched on though, you can actually experience the celebrations that turn them on, as there are countless events across the city that countdown to and switch on the lights that stay brightly lit for weeks to come afterwards. Some of the best can be found on the famous Oxford Street and on Regents Street.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a glorious place to visit any time of the year, but in November, it can be a particularly mesmerising place. Towards the end of the month, Hyde Park opens up its Winter Wonderland Extravaganza. It’s a festive treat, where not only can you find theme park rides, ice skating rinks and food stalls galore, but where you can enjoy Christmas themed shows, Santa’s Grotto and a cool Ice Bar. Some of the attractions and shows are ticket only and sell out quickly, so plan in advance if you want to experience the best of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in November.

hyde park winter wonderland
‘Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park’ by Tianna Spicer – https://flic.kr/p/e8FDJs

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is one of the most beautiful places in London. It is a verdant park of tranquillity in an otherwise urban world, where huge herds of deer can be seen wandering through the fields and through the forest. In November, the park is at its most colourful, as the many trees begin to turn shades of brown and red as autumn sets in. It’s a wonderful time of year to visit Richmond Park, and as long as you wrap up warm to fight the cold weather, you’ll find that it’s a spectacular display of British nature.

Borough Market

Borough Market is one of London’s best markets. It is one of the oldest and most historic marketplaces, traders have set up shop here for hundreds of years and, today, the market is as bustling and busy as it ever has been. Found next to London Bridge close to the banks of the River Thames, this is a great place to enjoy the predominantly food-based shops and stalls. There’s an incredible diversity of culinary treats on sale from across the world, from Indian curries to Southeast Asian-style street food and plenty of cheese and cakes too. For London, the prices are more than reasonable, and the only trouble will be choosing what exactly it is you want to eat here, from all the many choices that are available. In November, the stalls begin to display their festive treats and you can expect to find everything from mince pies to mulled wine.

Borough Market
‘Borough Market’ by Aurelien Guichard – https://flic.kr/p/geGhMU

Leadenhall Market

Found right in the heart of the City of London, Leadenhall Market is another of London’s most historic marketplaces. Dating back to 1321, these days the market is a boutique haven, with shops lining the brightly lit, undercover hallway. Leadenhall is just as famous for the role it played in the Harry Potter movies. This was the setting for Diagon Alley. In November, Leadenhall plays host to one of the best Christmas Lights displays, and midway through the month you can catch the switching on ceremony and admire the extravagantly decorated Christmas tree that will take pride of place here.

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden is a lovely, charming market hall in central London. A grand, Victorian-era building houses a range of small, independent shops and cosy restaurants and cafes, while street performers and musicians provide plenty of entertainment for visitors. Covent Garden, like many places in London, hosts its own Christmas markets towards the end of November. There are a great many stalls selling Christmas gifts and cooking up festive food, while there’s usually even a pop-up ice rink to skate around.

Covent Garden christmas
‘Covent Garden’ by Aurelien Guichard – https://flic.kr/p/aMmJCc

Leicester Square

Leicester Square, London’s most famous theatre and cinema district, never misses out on the start of the festive fun when it reaches November. The huge, open square becomes home to a multitude of Christmas market stalls, complete with dazzling lights and festive themes. There are grottos, a huge Christmas tree and of course, plenty of warming and delicious food being cooked up in the cold evenings.

Oxford Street

Any time of year, you can guarantee that Oxford Street, one of London’s most iconic shopping areas, will always be busy. Even November is no exception, and you can expect the pavements to bustle with shoppers trying to get in their pre-Christmas bargains in the inevitable autumn sales. And of course, at some point during the month, the Christmas lights will come on, too.

oxford street
‘Oxford Street Lights’ by Paul Robertson – https://flic.kr/p/aYkYHD

Enjoy a Pantomime Production

A pantomime is a very British tradition, where during the Christmas period, theatrical performances are put on to entertain the audience in a festive or fun-filled way. Although historically, pantomimes were held after Christmas for the most part, in London these days, they begin in November. They are family friendly and light-hearted – usually! – with anything from Snow White to Dick Whittington being performed at venues across the city. Make sure to book in advance, as a pantomime production can be a tremendously popular performance to attend.

Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s best-known museums, famed for its enormous dinosaur skeletons and a vast array of exhibitions that showcase the natural history of the world. As early as October, and right through to January, people begin to visit the museum not just for the dinosaurs though, but to strap on some skates to hit the ice rink. Every year the Natural History Museum sets up one of the city’s most loved ice rinks, complete with a centrepiece Christmas tree and plenty of festive decorations. And of course, you can still see the dinosaurs inside the actual museum too.

ice skating
‘Natural History Museum Ice Skating Rink’ by Matt Brown – https://flic.kr/p/ZtMa62

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world’s most famous museums and, best of all, entrance is always free to the main exhibits. November is as good a time as any to explore the displays here, especially given the chilly weather out on the streets. Escape the cold and stroll around the many floors for a few hours, or better yet, check the events schedule and see what unique exhibitions are being held through the month.

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is the biggest and most diverse botanical garden in the United Kingdom. The enormous, glass pagoda is just one big greenhouse, and it’s full of strange and wonderful plants from across the world. The surrounding, more English style gardens are just as beautiful to wander around too, particularly when the autumn climate begins to turn leaves from green to brown. Kew Gardens also play host to their very own ‘Christmas at Kew’ festival, which begins in mid-November. You can see a spectacular display of lights after darkness falls, with laser beams lighting up the night sky around the gardens.

Christmas Kew
‘Christmas at Kew’ by Jan Kraus – https://flic.kr/p/DnswCB

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, home to Nelson’s Column and built in commemoration of the famous Battle of Trafalgar, is always a busy and lively place to visit when in London. Towards the end of November, the people of Oslo, the capital of Norway, donate a huge Christmas tree to the people of London, and each year since the 1940s it’s been placed in Trafalgar Square. You can see it being readied and set up, with the extravagant light display too, before the big light switching-on ceremony that takes place at the start of December.

Attend the Remembrance Day Parade and Service

Every second Sunday in November, the streets of London make way for the solemn march of the city’s Remembrance Day Parade and Service. The events commemorate November 11th, which is the official Remembrance Day of the United Kingdom, when the guns on the Western Front during World War I fell silent. The streets are always lined with people paying their respects as veterans and others parade past, on their way to a service that is given at the Cenotaph in White Hall, in respect of everyone who has given their lives in conflict. It’s a moving experience to be a part of.

Remembrance Sunday
‘London November 10 2013 028 Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey’ by David Holt – https://flic.kr/p/hr1bNR

Backyard Cinema

The Backyard Cinema in London is one of the most unique and unusual cinema experiences to be found anywhere in the city. The Backyard Cinema literally began in the founder’s back garden, but it became such a successful concept that now it travels around the city, to different pop-up venues, offering themed cinema nights and unusual screenings. In November, it’s a great experience for film lovers, as events begin to take a festive turn, with showings of Christmas movies in Christmas attired locations. It’s incredibly popular, as it really is a step above your average cinema experience, so make sure you book tickets in advance for the few showings that are held each month.

Cosy up in a Warm London Pub 

In summer, the people of London will spend the occasionally hot, summer days and long evenings basking in the warm outside air of a beer garden at the many pubs are found in London. Come November, and the age-old tradition of visiting the pub never stops. With the cold winter evenings moving in though, the people of London simply stay inside, and many of the older, historic pubs have a cosy interior, with the occasional roaring log fire to sit by while you enjoy a warm glass of mulled wine or a mug of hot apple cider to beat the chill. There are many gastropubs to choose from where you’ll find an array of delicious warming food.

pub
‘Inside The Garden Gate Pub In Hampstead – London.’ by Jim Linwood – https://flic.kr/p/UJGSMZ

The London Jazz Festival

In November, the city hosts the epic sounds of the London Jazz Festival. It lasts for almost two weeks, and across London, different venues will be holding jazz-themed music events and concerts, as part of a citywide festival that has been held continuously since the 1970s. The Jazz Festival sees musicians from across the world descending on the bars and concert halls of London. While there are many great and established stars that come to play, it’s also a great opportunity to see rising talent and learn more about the unique sounds of jazz music.

St Andrews Day in London

St Andrew is the official patron saint of Scotland and St Andrews Day is the official national day of Scotland. But even in London, this Scottish holiday has started to have a big following and plenty of celebrations are held across the city. It falls on the 30th November, and it can be a fantastic way to round out the month in London. Scottish pubs will inevitably put on the best shows, but be prepared for a long night of antics.

To find out more about things to do in London during November or to book one of our popular London tours, contact Premium Tours today.

bread

Here Are the 19 Best Markets in London

If you have time to explore for a few hours after your London tour and want to see something truly unique, why not see what the city has to offer in the way of markets? Some of the oldest markets in London have been established for centuries, and with new offerings popping up frequently, there has never been a better time to indulge in London’s market scene.

Of course, there are lots of places to shop in London, but if you’re interested in bargain-hunting, perusing antiques, or simply doing some serious people-watching, the many markets throughout London have got everything you could possibly need – and more!

Here is our guide to the 19 best markets in London to keep you busy.

1. Old Spitalfields

With its central location tucked between trendy Shoreditch and vibrant Whitechapel, Old Spitalfields Market is a great choice if you want to be impressed. Set in a huge Victorian market hall, it really does have something for everybody. Whether you’re in the mood for luxury designer clothes and one-off pieces, books, homewares, music or food, there is plenty to see and buy.

With a ‘New Weekends’ initiative starting this year, now is a great time to visit Old Spitalfields to show your support to new stalls and up-and-coming brands. The market is open every day, with plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars for a quick bite or lazy lunch. Mark this one in your diary and make a day of it!

‘Spitalfields in London’ by La Citta Vita - https://flic.kr/p/kebvWD
‘Spitalfields in London’ by La Citta Vita – https://flic.kr/p/kebvWD

2. Brick Lane Market

In an area that rose to notoriety due to being the scene of Jack the Ripper’s crimes, Shoreditch’s Brick Lane is vibrant with multicultural life, attracting an artistic and hipster crowd.

Sunday markets galore, Brick Lane is actually home to five different markets, selling everything from secondhand bargain furniture, vintage pieces and artworks, to handmade jewellery, electrical goods and touristy trinkets.

A bonus of the area’s cultural diversity is the food on offer, with many permanent restaurants and cafes in the streets surrounding the markets, as well as pop-up stalls selling unique street food. Whether it’s Pakistani or Bangladeshi curries, or bagels from the famous 24-hour Brick Lane Beigel Bake, there’s plenty to choose from, whenever you decide to visit.

3. Greenwich Market

If you like all things hand-crafted, Greenwich Market in South London is sure to be high on your list of places to visit during your next trip to the capital. The market, London’s only set within a UNESCO World Heritage site, is open 7 days a week, with particular focus on Saturdays with 100 stalls selling the best in arts and crafts. From boutique fashion houses, handmade jewellery and antique trinkets, to artisan candles, original local artworks and unique homewares. With 50 street food vendors to keep you energised throughout your visit, this is sure to be a great day out.

Greenwich market
‘Greenwich Market – Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich – sign’ by Elliott Brown – https://flic.kr/p/dnh7Df

4. Borough Market

A long-time foodie favourite, Borough Market is a close-knit group of restaurateurs, café owners and wholesale food sellers on the South bank of the Thames, near London Bridge in Southwark. It is one of the oldest food markets in London, with historians finding records of markets on the site dating back to the 12th century. With this history comes a great reputation and the crowds to go with it, so expect it to be busy if you’re planning on a bite to eat at a popular time like Friday evening or over the weekend. If you’re looking for farmers’ markets in London, then you’ll love Borough market as it has lots of fresh organic produce.

5. Maltby Street Market

Relatively new to the street food scene having been established in 2010, Maltby Street is one of South East London’s brightest new destinations. Packed into a small laneway, there are food and drink vendors galore, with a particular nod towards upcoming and small-scale producers. Open Saturday and Sundays, a tasty visit is guaranteed!

Maltby street market
‘Maltby Street Market’ by Alexander Baxevanis – https://flic.kr/p/cFxZpd

6. Broadway Market

Since the 1890s there have been records of markets in this area, in the heart of Hackney, East London. Open from 9am to 5pm every Saturday, there is only a brief window to quench your appetite for all things street food, with the most current trends catered for in one of London’s hippest locales. From loaded doughnuts and fruit bowls to burgers and global delicacies and more, there are tasty treats for everyone. Alongside all the food options are stalls selling the most interesting and unique clothing, arts and crafts. You can see their interactive map here. 

7. Camden Market

One of the most famous and legendary of London’s markets is Camden. Technically a sprawl of various different markets, Camden welcomes around 250,000 visitors a week, so expect the hustle and bustle of a thriving destination.

Best known for its punk influence, Camden Market, which incorporates Camden Lock, Buck Street Market, the High Street and Stables Market, is unique and always buzzing. It is the place to go if you have plenty of time to be amazed by the wares on sale. If you’re after some edgy jewellery, band t-shirts, quirky furniture, global trinkets and trawling through stacks of vinyl, this is the place to be. It really is an eye opener with great atmosphere and a multitude of tasty food stalls to boot.

camden market
‘London: Camden Market’ by Jorge Franganillo – https://flic.kr/p/23VYdWy

8. Canopy Market

If you’re looking for a way to combine your loves of food and art, then Canopy Market in Kings Cross is the place for you. A specifically curated range of local, artisan producers cater this weekend market with all the good stuff on offer. Handmade chocolates, cannelloni, charcuterie, local cheese producers and bakers selling a top-notch selection of street food including, we’re told, the best cheese toasties in town.

Alongside the foodie heaven is a rotating selection of local artists and craft producers, selling original artworks, jewellery and fashion. It’s a great way to see the best of London’s local and artisan producers and artists.

9. South Bank Food Market

Known for being a cultural hub, South Bank is also home to a great global foodie treat. On the forecourt behind the Southbank Centre, you will find foods from around the world including Thai, Mexican, Mauritian and Greek, to name a few, as well as amazing baked treats and hot drinks. With its central location, it is a great spot for lunch, with plenty of bench seating around to take in the sights and delicious smells while you eat.

cupcakes south bank market
‘Cupcakes’ by Garry Knight – https://flic.kr/p/9GzHBt

10. Alfie’s Antique Market

If vintage is your style, the largest undercover antiques market in London, Alfie’s, will have you swooning over vintage clothes, homewares, collectables and designer wares from the 1930s and 1940s. Housed in an impressive Art Deco building, this is Marylebone’s biggest and best vintage destination.

11. Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market is probably one of London’s most photographed spots, and it’s easy to see why. Open from 8am on Sundays, this is the place to go to stock up on fresh cut flowers, bedding plants and even mature trees! Perhaps not the easiest buy to take home with you, but an interesting sight nonetheless.

Supported by sixty independent shops lining the road, selling everything from cupcakes and coffee, to high-end artworks, the Columbia Road Flower Market is a one-off.

Columbia Road Flower Market
‘116 365 Columbia road flower market’ by Upupa4me – https://flic.kr/p/ruUp3p

12. Brixton Market

In the pedestrianised centre of Brixton, Brixton Station Road, Electric Avenue and Pope’s Road unite to put on an exciting market experience. The markets are open all week long, with special retro and vintage markets and flea markets making regular weekend appearances.

Market stalls selling a range of wares from handcrafted bags and soaps, to retro bric-a-brac and vintage clothing will keep you busy, whilst street food vendors will keep you fed on Spanish Paella and authentic Ethiopian cuisine, among many, many other choices. Just a minute from Brixton tube station, this is well worth a visit.

13. Camden Passage

Not to be confused with the aforementioned Camden Markets, Camden Passage is an altogether more relaxed affair. Based in Islington, North London, Camden Passage is a narrow, car-free street of contemporary and vintage shops selling a manner of interesting items such as clothing and handbags, antiques, books and furniture, with a relaxed vibe. Market stalls appear on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, which liven up the area selling secondhand furniture, vintage goods and collectables. With cafes and pubs galore, it’s a lovely local spot to enjoy the good weather.

Camden Passage
‘Camden Passage’ by Dun.can – https://flic.kr/p/MQKNpo

14. Netil Market

Located in trendy South Hackney, East London, Netil Market is made up of a small but perfectly formed group of food traders, permanently set up in shipping containers. With great eats from around the world including Caribbean soul food and modern African cuisine, there’s plenty to set your taste buds alight, and if it’s coffee and cake you’re after – you’d be in the right spot too! Saturdays are market days with a range of pop-up stalls selling their homemade wares, and with music and entertainment too it’s a great spot to while away the hours.

15. Leadenhall Market

This place is sure to be a treat for the architectural enthusiasts and Harry Potter fans alike. Set in a stunning Victorian covered precinct, restored in the early 1990s, with market heritage dating back to Roman times, Leadenhall Market is as beautiful as a market setting could be. And for eagle-eyed Potter fans, you’ll even recognise it as where many of the Diagon Alley scenes were filmed for the world-famous wizarding story.

Whatever your reason for visiting, Leadenhall won’t disappoint with a quintessentially British array of high-end fashion boutiques, an award-winning pub and various restaurants and cafes of the highest quality. A truly luxurious market experience.

Leadenhall Market
‘Leadenhall Market’ by Kevin Spi – https://flic.kr/p/gw5Kgp

16. Northcote Road Antiques Market

Based in London’s South West, Battersea’s Northcote Road Antiques Market is a must-see if you want to snap up some classic pieces. With antiques ranging from grandfather clocks and fine china, to retro homewares and vintage jewellery, this place is an Aladdin’s cave of all things from a time gone by. Open seven days a week, it’s a mecca for antiques lovers from across the world.

17. Covent Garden Market

With a grand, historical centrepiece, Covent Garden is a must-see if you like a taste of history. With a slightly European vibe, its open central piazza and pavements lined with cafes are full of places to watch the world go by. If you’re visiting London with children, then the regular street performers and magicians will ensure the whole family is entertained.

Covent Garden Market has become a serious shopping destination with a range of high-end permanent retail outlets, such as Mulberry, calling it home. If you are looking for something unique, you can also find some gems in the stalls, with Mondays being best for antiques, then Tuesday to Sunday offering a wide range of everything from books and homewares, to handmade jewellery and fashion.

Covent Garden
‘Inside Covent Garden market building’ by Charles D P Miller – https://flic.kr/p/nRKpb8

18. Flat Iron Square

A relative newcomer on the market scene formed only in 2016, Flat Iron is an exciting mix of music, food and market stalls based around seven railway arches in Bankside, South London. The mood is relaxed and trendy with ‘The Garden’, an open-air area, home to a stage for regular live music performances and weekend flea markets, where there are sure to be interesting and unique pieces to snap up at bargain prices. With regular events in the schedule, Flat Iron is sure to be a lively choice for your London market visit.

19. Portobello Road Market

Open every day except Sunday, Portobello Road is a London institution in the market world. Known for excellent second-hand furniture and quirky one-offs, Saturday is the best day to visit Portobello Road Market at its fullest. You will find a range of antique stalls, fashion boutiques, second-hand goods and fruit & veg from local suppliers all in one place.

Lined by the multi-coloured facades of the road’s townhouses, it is a photographer’s delight and an entertaining day for all the family with weird and wonderful street performers dotted around too.

Portobello Road
‘Portobello Road’ by Shadowgate – https://flic.kr/p/aMSiGa

With so much to see and do in London, planning your visit can be overwhelming. Contact us to help you make the most out of your next visit to the big city. With a range of London tours to cater for any budget, our expert guides can show you the best our city has to offer and offer guidance to help you discover your perfect London experience.

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!

Five of the Best Farmers’ Markets in London

There are many reasons why shopping at a local farmers’ market is so much better than going to a supermarket. Often organic and most definitely seasonal, produce from ethical and sustainable suppliers just tastes so much better.
A good farmers market connects farmers and small, independent producers directly with their customers, offering the freshest, just picked produce, free-range meats and fish straight from the sea, all with guaranteed provenance and low food miles.
Here’s our top pick of the five best farmers’ markets in London.

1. South Kensington Farmers’ Market

Located just five minutes from South Kensington Tube, this lovely little market in Bute Street sets up stall every Saturday morning from 9am till 2pm.
FARMA approved, the market features just 18 stalls where you can buy fresh, seasonal products directly from local producers. Favourites include fresh, south coast fish and shellfish from Christchurch Fish; seasonal, just picked organic veg from Ted’s Veg; breads, cakes and pastries from Olivier’s Bakery; and free-range sausages from The Parson’s Nose.

2. Pimlico Road Farmers’ Market

Priding itself on provenance and low food miles this small market, which takes place every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, only sells produce that’s been grown, raised or fished within 100 miles of the M25.
Located in quaint Orange Square just off Pimlico Road, the 25-30 stalls offer a delightful array of products including unusual vegetables such as radish pods, seasonal tarts, delicious cheeses and even edible flowers.

3. Wimbledon Farmers’ Market

This family-friendly neighbourhood market on Havana Road is open every Saturday from 9am till 1pm and features seasonal cut flowers, organic meat and poultry, seasonal game, and a huge range of organic fruits and vegetables.
Head over to March House Farm stall and their wonderful selection of free-range rare breed meats and try one of their delicious beef or lamb ‘Hetties’.

4. Brockley Market

Open every Saturday from 10am to 2pm, this lovely South London market is well known for its delicious ‘street food’ vibe where you can tuck into burritos, sourdough pizza, beef patties and flatbread wraps.
The award-winning food market supports location traders selling seasonally sourced fruit and vegetables, freshly caught fish, raw dairy products, natural wines, native breed meats and locally roasted coffee to name just a few.

5. Borough Market

The most famous and oldest farmers’ market in London, Borough Market at London Bridge is a haven for food lovers, not only serving the residents of Southwark, but attracting visitors from all over the country.
The historic market features a massive range of exceptional organic and seasonal produce in a wonderful and lively atmosphere. Open every day except Sunday, the market offers a fantastic day out for visitors. Part of the Slow Food UK movement, many of the traders focus on distinctive local foodstuffs and sustainable products and are only too happy to pass on their culinary knowledge with shoppers.
The market also hosts a range of events such as cookery demonstrations and educational programmes.

Our London experts at Premium Tours can offer information and advice on the very best farmers markets across the Capital. Call us today on 020 771 31311 or visit us online.

7 Quirky Cinemas to Try in London

Forget the massive multiplexes, for a real taste of London life as the locals live it, check out these unique little gems.

Popular with both locals and those visiting London, these wonderful venues offer a diverse range of movies in friendly, comfortable and eccentric surroundings.

1. Phoenix Cinema East Finchley

This much-loved single-screen cinema has been in operation since 1912, making it one of the longest operating cinemas in the UK.
The elegant Art Deco auditorium shows an eclectic mix of arthouse films, plus the occasional classic. Make time to visit the lively little cafe before the show starts. The food is homemade and utterly scrumptious.

2. Electric Cinema Portobello

With plush armchairs, waiter-service and a 100-year history, this 50-seater venue is a real treasure. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, it’s still going strong after two wars and numerous closures.
The auditorium is wonderfully cosy and luxurious, with many original features to enjoy; a fine way to view the mainstream and indie films on offer. There’s also a stylish diner on site.

3. Regent Street Cinema

Don’t miss this historic and unique movie house in the heart of the West End. Regarded as the birthplace of British cinema, it opened in 1848 and featured the first motion picture to be seen in the UK.
The lovingly restored Art Deco theatre is a wonderful place to enjoy old classics, new releases, world cinema and double bills.

4. The Lexi Cinema

You’ll find this quaint little cinema in a residential area of North London. With only 70 seats and a comfy bar, it’s a cheerful and friendly spot. The Lexi offers an eclectic mix of mainstream, world and arthouse cinema.
The theatre lives in a renovated Edwardian building and is run by volunteers. All profit goes to a sustainable living project in South Africa.

5. Prince Charles Cinema

This is most definitely a quirky venue. The only independent cinema in the West End, it offers a huge range of classic and arthouse films, the latest blockbusters and double bills.
If audience participation is your thing, look no further. The Sound of Music, Grease and Rocky Horror sing-a-longs have given this place cult status. There are even all-night movie marathons. Bring your pyjamas!

6. Greenwich Picturehouse

This stylish venue lives in the historic, maritime borough of Greenwich. Five screens offer a diverse mix of arthouse and mainstream movies, plus documentaries and Shakespeare nights.
The Picturehouse is a popular spot for locals to meet, and a great place for visitors to soak up the atmosphere. The two restaurants and one bar are good places to start.

7. The Rio Cinema Dalston

Popular since 1937, this is a stunning Art Deco building. The two screens feature a wide range of independent and foreign films, plus plenty of classics and Saturday Morning Picture Club for the kids.
The Cafe Bar has some seriously tasty nibbles and there’s always a Treat of the Week. No wonder the locals love it!

As London experts, Premium Tours knows where to find lots of interesting and quirky bits of London, such as the best place to get an unusual afternoon tea or where the funkiest restaurants are. To find out more about our London tours, visit our website or contact us today.

wine glasses

9 Great Places to Go Wine Tasting in London

Tasting your way through the wines of the world doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get on a plane; in fact, you can learn to fine-tune your palate right here in London.

There are several venues in the capital that hold enjoyable and social wine tasting events, giving you the chance to taste an interesting variety of local and international wines while learning a thing or two along the way.

Here are nine great places to go wine tasting in London.

1. Winemakers Club

Atmospheric and intriguing, the Winemakers Club is located within the exposed brickwork vaults of a Victorian wine cellar beneath Holborn Viaduct. Specialising in organic, biodynamic wines from small, traditional wineries around the world, the venue holds regular wine tasting events.

Guests are invited to try six to eight wines focusing on a specific theme. Tastings take place around a large communal table, and emphasis is on informal fun rather than education.

2. Cork & Bottle

Tucked away in a basement in the heart of the theatre district, the Cork & Bottle wine bar offers a fantastic menu of sharing platters and a range of fine cheeses to complement their selection of wines.

Every month they hold one or two bespoke dinner and wine tasting events hosted by winemakers and industry experts. Themes include American wines, cava and champagne tastings.

wine tasting

3. Cavas de Gaucho

As well as a host of events and special dinners, this delightful wine bar in Piccadilly holds wine tasting masterclasses focusing on their fantastic collection of wines from Argentina. The masterclasses are conducted by the head sommelier, who guides you through the carefully curated selection.

4. Vivat Bacchus

South African wine specialist, Vivat Bacchus, has two venues at Farringdon and London Bridge where they regularly host a range of enjoyable and informal wine tastings events, such as ‘winter steak reds’, wine and cheese evenings, and even a wine knowledge quiz.

5. Copa de Cava

This gorgeous, atmospheric brick-vaulted wine cellar hidden in the alleyways off St Paul’s is London’s first dedicated cava bar.  Tastings and classes feature a range of cava and other Spanish wines accompanied by delicious, authentic tapas.

wine sampling

6. Bedales of Borough

This intimate wine bar situated in the heart of Borough Market specialises in rare and unique wines.  They hold a variety of wine tasting classes including a blindfolded tasting to get all your senses working!

7. The Wine Tasting Shop

The ‘try before you buy’ motto of this wine shop and wine bar specialist in Balham extends to weekly wine tasting events and classes including blind tastings. Tastings are accompanied by canapés and cheeses to complement the wines.

8. Cheese at Leadenhall

Another wine tasting experience in a famous London market can be found at Cheese at Leadenhall. Their cheese and wine tasting experiences focus on pairing fine cheeses with wines, ports and sherries.

wine and cheese

9. London Cru

Finally, you can even visit a winery right here in London! London Cru in SW6 holds winery tours including tastings that are educational and fun. You can even book a ‘winemaker for the day’ course.

Our London experts can advise you on the best places for wine tasting in the capital. Contact Premium Tours today for more information on all our London tours.