I've been in London for three weeks now and, being my first time here, I've explored a variety of different areas and put together a list of my favorite places in the city. I never knew prior to coming here how HUGE London is, so I'm glad I've had a few weeks here to really take everything in.
I'm staying in a neighborhood called Putney, which is in Southwest London. I'm a member of a website called Trusted Housesitters and I got a house sitting job looking after a couple's five story house in Putney while they were vacationing in Portugal for three weeks. It's an amazing site for travelers because you can eliminate hotel costs from your trip, but keep in mind that most home owners have pets, which is why they need someone there while they're away.
Here's a list I compiled of my favorite areas in London. It's a mix of neighborhoods, street markets, tourist attractions, places to photograph, and restaurants.
Neals Yard - Covent Garden
This photograph of Neals Yard is one of my favorite photos of the entire trip. I love bright colors, and I had to increase the saturation of this photo to really bring out the vibrancy of the buildings in Neals Yard. It's actually a very tiny alley in Covent Garden, but one of the most popular places to photograph in the area.
Portobello Road - Notting Hill
Every day until 6pm they have the Portobello Road street market, where they sell everything from clothes to purses to homemade jewelry, notebooks and art.
One of the things I loved the most about London is that there's so much green. Being a Southern California native, we tend to have more desert and palm trees than greenery here, thus I have a huge appreciation for parks with monumental trees and green grass that seems to go on forever. The Kensington Gardens park is a gorgeous gigantic park with paths that line the river, fountains, carousels, bike paths, and grassy areas where some people just lounge on chairs for the day. It also expands into Hyde Park, where you can rent a boat and ride around the river.
Next to Kensington Palace is the orangery garden, where this photo was taken. Such a beautiful place to take photos and spend the day.
Around the corner is the Kensington Roof Gardens night club, which is a great nighttime spot. I'm not a big nightclub person, but they have so many different rooms and outdoor areas that there's something for everyone.
Next to the Waterloo Railway station is the area of South Bank, where they have the Jubilee Gardens amusement park (and the London Eye), the South Bank street food market, and you can walk along the Thames River past a lot of outdoor restaurant areas such as Gabriel's Wharf.
I kept walking toward London Bridge until I reached the Borough Market, which is another great food market, and HUGE. So many people. So many options. Fresh squeezed juice, wine, cheese, jelly, hummus, pastries, pies, you name it.
Tower of London Bridge
A very cool landmark to photograph, as well as touring the Tower of London itself.
On Thursday nights they have a night market and keep everything open, and they have live music, street art, and a backyard cinema where you can watch an outdoor movie in a beanbag chair. SO COOL.
Amy Winehouse also lived here, so you'll see Amy memorabilia and art everywhere.
THE COOLEST restaurant in London! They have 5 different rooms, all decorated a different theme. They serve afternoon tea in their Gallery room, which is all pink (an instagrammer's dream!) The lighting is pretty dim in the gallery though so unfortunately it was a bit hard to photograph.
The Glade Room:
And last, one of the sole purposes of the trip was to meet my editor at the HarperCollins offices! Their office is in the London Bridge neighborhood, and the building is huge and has a gorgeous view of the city. My editor Charlotte took my friend and I to lunch at the Fish Market across the street, then gave us a tour of their offices. So many books!
And a book wall!
Here's a travel vlog I put together of the street food markets in London:
Next stop, Amsterdam!