100 Most Memorable Experiences in London

Moving to London is like discovering a bottomless treasure trove that lets you uncover new gems every single day. When I moved to London 5 years ago, this is how I felt. I just wanted to see and do everything, and felt like there was too much to do and too little time. So I started… one by one, making my way through this incredible city, feeling amazed every time, always holding on to the thought of how lucky I was to live here. Writing this piece is like re-living my wonderful experiences, each so meaningful in its own way. London has its icons that everyone wants to see.. Buckingham Palace, London Eye etc etc.. These are great places, and definitely generate wonderment when you see them for the first time. However, that thrill wears out soon, and you are left with the other ‘off the beaten path’ stuff that makes this city unique. Here are my favourite and most memorable London experiences in no particular order:

  1. Queuing up to get into the grounds at Wimbledon and watching superstars play (plus strawberries and cream)
  2. Walking through Portobello Road Market on a summer day and watching a film at Electric Cinema Portobello
  3. Climbing the 842 steps of the iconic BT Tower for charity (and the view from the top)
  4. Walking through the City over the weekend when it feels like a ghost town, and sitting down with a coffee on a bench in the serene Postman’s Park, or wandering about in Christchurch Greyfriars
  5. Snuggling up with a blanket and cocktail whilst watching a chick flick on a balmy summer evening at Rooftop Film Club, Queen of Hoxton
  6. Enjoying a romantic date night at the world’s oldest surviving music hall, Wilton’s Music Hall
  7. Taking a walk in Hyde Park on a hot summer day, and then cooling down with a great art show at the Serpentine Galleries; my favourite one was the immersive 512 Hours by Marina Abramovic
  8. Seeing my favourite stars in flesh and blood, delivering powerful performances, from a front row seat – Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow, Bradley Cooper in Elephant Man, Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth, Matthew Perry in The End of Longing, and Mark Strong in A View from the Bridge
  9. Entering a time capsule and experiencing the smells, sounds and sights of a 1700s house at Dennis Severs’ House  (even more magical during the festive period)
  10. Walking the red carpet at London Film Festival, as well as watching some of the most beautiful independent films at London’s most atmospheric cinemas
  11. Taking a tour of the Houses of Parliament led by my local MP, and attending a debate at the House of Commons
  12. Chilling in Monica’s apartment and having a coffee at Central Perk at Friends Fest
  13. Eating the most delicious vegan cupcakes at Ms. Cupcake in Brixton
  14. Watching the cricketing legends play in an epic match at Lord’s
  15. Gawking at the weird collection of pathological specimens at Hunterian Museum and Barts Pathology Museum
  16. Being an audience member at a recording of Q.I. with Stephen Fry
  17. Spending several Sunday afternoons in Brick Lane market, eating bagels at Beigel Bake, cereal at Cereal Killer Cafe, and shopping for vintage goodies at Spitalfields Market
  18. Whizzing down the world’s longest tunnel slide at the Orbit
  19. Reminiscing about my childhood, looking at the vintage games, dolls and toys at V&A Museum of Childhood
  20. Climbing the Big Ben all the way to the bell tower and hearing it chime whilst standing within
  21. Watching the Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremony in the stadium, and being blown away by the grandeur
  22. Sampling the creations of London’s best chefs and restaurants at Taste of London
  23. Exploring the National History Museum, Science Museum and V&A after hours as part of Museum Lates
  24. Eating street food in an East London pop-up
  25. Attending a criminal hearing at Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)
  26. Partying at the Mayor of London’s volunteer celebration event at London’s Living Room in City Hall
  27. Feeling like being in Jurassic Park amidst the dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park
  28. Watching a midnight performance of Shakespeare in the magical Globe theatre
  29. Bar-hopping and enjoying a tipple in some of the coolest bars in London during London Cocktail Week
  30. Enjoying the funky art and gorgeous view at Tate Modern
  31. Taking a tour of the disused Aldwych Underground Station
  32. Meeting then Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street at a private reception for London 2012 volunteers
  33. Watching films in the Tower Hamlets cemetery at Danny Boyle’s Shuffle film festival
  34. Planting ceramic poppies in the Tower of London moat as part of an installation in remembrance of WWI
  35. Learning all about Maki, Nigiri and Gunkan in a hands-on sushi masterclass
  36. Getting my fashion fix at great shows like Alexander McQueenat V&A, Jean Paul Gaultier at Barbican, Louis Vuitton at 180 Strand, and Prada and Dior at Harrods
  37. Seeing weird and quirky medical artefacts at the Wellcome Collection
  38. Attending a Choral Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral
  39. Stall-hopping at Borough Market, and wolfing down the burgers, paella and duck rolls
  40. Having fun learning wines whilst studying towards a qualification with WSET
  41. Watching the cyclists race through London in Tour de France 2014 stage 3
  42. Spending a day at Greenwich, visiting the Royal Museums, Greenwich Market, and finishing with a picnic in Greenwich Park
  43. Bringing in the New Year at one of the largest street parties in the world with the most spectacular fireworks display at the London Eye
  44. Getting a glimpse of life in Britain during the war at Imperial War Museum
  45. Devouring chocolate-covered strawberries at Winter Wonderland – ‘Christmas in London’ post coming soon!
  46. Climbing the O2 and enjoying the magnifiecent view from the top
  47. Taking a horse riding lesson at Lee Valley Riding Centre
  48. Discovering hidden and secret bars in London
  49. Seeing the deer roam freely at Richmond Park
  50. Being inspired by world leaders such as Kofi Annan, and meeting them at LSE’s public lectures
  51. Admiring the brutalist architecture at Barbican, and checking out its great art shows and tranquil Conservatory
  52. Spending a peaceful afternoon at the British Library, and visiting the ‘Treasures’ gallery
  53. Sampling some delights in Broadway market, and walking down to The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities for a drink with a taxidermied lioness for company
  54. Checking out cool, new art exhibitions in East London galleries on the First Thursday of every month
  55. Singing along at a fabulous West End musical – Mamma Mia and Thriller are my absolute favourites!
  56. Dressing up in my finest to see the queen and royal family at the Royal Ascot races
  57. Celebrating Diwali at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden
  58. Driving past the beautifully-lit Albert Bridge late at night
  59. Getting messy with London’s best and dirtiest burgers at Patty and Bun, Meat Liquor and Bleecker Burger
  60. Having a great laugh at a cabaret show at Madame Jojo’s (now closed)
  61. Spending the day at The British Museum and marvelling at the collections
  62. Practicing some self-defence techniques at Women of the World festival at Southbank Centre
  63. Shopping the latest catwalk trends at London Fashion Weekend
  64. Having a Christmas drink and meal at London’s most beautiful and festive pub, The Churchill Arms
  65. Attending a live concert at the O2 arena
  66. Enjoying nature amidst the concrete jungle at the Sky Garden
  67. Getting fashion freebies and champagne at Fashion’s Night Out London
  68. Attending one of the most prestigious social events of the year, Chelsea Flower Show
  69. Discovering a tranquil oasis in the heart of London at Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden
  70. Savouring exquisite Northern Chinese cuisine with a divine view at Hutong, the Shard – blog on best London dining experiences coming soon!
  71. Feeding the goats, llamas and rabbits at Mudchute farm
  72. Getting crafty at Drink, Shop & Do
  73. Partaking in the Chinese New Year festivities, and savouring hot pot and crispy duck at Chinatown
  74. Climbing up the 311 steps of The Monument for panoramic views of the city
  75. Taking a walk in posh Primrose hill and eating the delicious cupcakes from Primrose Bakery
  76. Getting the full effect of a high-power action film at BFI Imax
  77. Snooping around buildings that are usually closed to the public during Open House weekend
  78. Watching naked people bike for a cause at World Naked Bike Ride
  79. Exiting an art exhibition by sliding down the building at the Carsten Höller show
  80. Welcoming the new Lord Mayor at the Lord Mayor’s Show
  81. Picking up fresh flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market
  82. Throwing snow balls around on a snowy day in Green Park
  83. Seeing graves of famous people buried at Highgate Cemetery
  84. Learning all about booby traps at the National Army Museum
  85. Appreciating the best art from around the world at Frieze London
  86. Meeting my favourite authors at London book signings
  87. Waving my rainbow flag at the colourful parade floats at Pride in London
  88. Having a glimpse of life during during WWII in an underground bunker at Churchill War Rooms
  89. Getting behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous opera houses, Royal Opera House
  90. Being fascinated by the Egyptian collections at the The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
  91. Sitting down at Paternoster Square to watch an alfresco performance as part of the City of London festival
  92. Having a celebration meal at The Ivy London, Chiltern Firehouse and Bob Bob Ricard
  93. Experiencing match-day frenzy at Wembley Stadium
  94. Watching a Christmas concert and the Proms at Royal Albert Hall
  95. Feeling the pain and sweet victory at the London Marathon
  96. Brushing shoulders with fashion royalty at the Vogue Festival
  97. Holding a real gold bullion in the Bank of England Museum
  98. Watching a film in the beautiful setting of Union Chapel
  99. Watching tourists attempt to re-create the famous Beatles album cover amidst traffic at Abbey Road
  100. Visiting the animals after-hours at London Zoo Lates

 

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