Take in the views from the Sky Garden
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Go up the “walkie-talkie” skyscraper to level 35 and you’ll find a lush garden that doubles as an impressive viewing platform. The Sky Garden boasts stunning views over the city and entry is free. Just make sure to book a spot far enough in advance to avoid disappointment.
Visit Platform 9 3/4
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Instead of forking out your cash on tickets to the Harry Potter theatre production in the West End, head to King’s Cross station instead. Look out for the luggage trolley half-embedded into the station concourse wall and pretend to be a wizard (or witch) headed for the Hogwarts Express.
Embrace your inner bookworm at Lewisham Micro Library
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Take a book you’ve read and exchange it for a new one at this repurposed red phone booth. Known as London’s smallest library, this quirky spot was fitted out by local resident Sebastian Handley, including shelving, lighting, carpet and, of course, books. Grab a book (choose a Dickens or Austen for the true British experience) and head to one of London’s many public parks to read in the sun.
Pop into The National Gallery
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Some of the world’s most famous artworks can be found in the The National Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square. The building itself is stunning and once inside, even those with minimal interest in art will be captivated by the Michelangelo and Van Gogh masterpieces on display. Don't forget to check out Nelson’s Column, dedicated to the memory of Admiral Horatio Nelson, after you exit.
Visit Gods Own Junkyard
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This salvage yard in Walthamstow in north-east London showcases an amazing collection of vintage neon signs. Some were originally on display in Soho clubs or fairgrounds; others were handmade by owner Chris Bracey, aka the Neon Man, and have appeared in films and art galleries.
Nab a bargain at Portobello Road
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People come from all over the world to browse the antique wares at Portobello Road Market, located in the middle of the iconic Notting Hill area. The fruit and vegetables market is open Monday to Wednesday but the main event is the Saturday market, when the street fills up with bargain hunters.
See London’s skyline from Primrose Hill
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The Regent’s Park offers one of the most impressive views of the city’s skyline. The highest point of the park is Primrose Hill, a popular spot to go for a walk or enjoy a picnic in the summertime. Once you see the view, you’ll understand why.
Grab lunch at Borough Market
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Borough Market is a wonderful spot for tourists and locals alike. Visit any time of day and there’s a cornucopia of stalls selling fresh produce, gourmet burgers and pungent cheeses from all over the world. The best part? Be polite and most vendors will give you a free taste of their delicious goods.
Stop off at Speakers’ Corner
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Since 1872, speakers have aired their views to the public in this corner of Hyde Park. It often leads to intense debates and discussions but police aren’t allowed to get involved unless something unlawful is being said. It makes for a fascinating insight – especially in tumultuous times. And if you’re incensed by a speaker’s opinion? Heckle!
Walk along the embankment
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The River Thames is one of London’s best assets and by simply ambling along its length for a few kilometres you’ll be able to see most of London’s most iconic sights. Start at Tower Bridge and work your way westwards towards the Houses of Parliament.
Up Next: First-timer's Guide to London
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London is renowned for its many distinct neighbourhoods where cultural treasures come face to face with some of the world’s best restaurants, fantastic shopping and a vibrant nightlife. Just don’t forget to pack your brolly.