You may think it’s a cliché when I tell you my favourite place in England is London. This bustling, fast-paced, opportunity-filled haven has been characterised by negative impressions in recent years, but I’m here to convince you that it’s not all doom and gloom, and that the Big Smoke should definitely make its way onto your travel bucket list.
As someone who grew up in the Lake District, my town is full of your typical country bumpkins. At home the closest airport is over two hours away, shops close early, and smog is just a four letter word.
City life is a whirlwind, and London never sleeps. You’ll never be short for something to do, something to see, or somewhere to go. Palaces, pubs, and photo opportunities on every corner, London mixes the old with the new, and the rugged with the classic. You’ll find greenery in a land of concrete, and a paradise away from the Caribbean.
Hyde Park is always a personal highlight. Minutes from the high-street, it’s perfect for a spot of sunbathing (in the summer of course), or a walk to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The park also comes to life during times of national enthusiasm; the World Cup, Wimbledon, the Olympics, royal weddings, it’s a hub for excitement where you can celebrate with strangers. Not to mention the annual British Summer Time 10-day extravaganza; street food, world-class entertainment, and drinking Pimm’s by the jug.
In the past few years I’ve visited a handful of times, and my London bucket list still remains as long as ever. My top 3 must-sees would be: Notting Hill, its abundance of brightly-coloured houses and vintage-looking cars will most certainly make their way onto your Instagram; Cahoots, a bar situated in a 1940s Tube carriage, a truly unique night out that lets you experience the spirit and glee of a post-war Britain; and a peep around Buckingham Palace, for a snoop into the Queen’s pad (whilst she’s on her hols) - you can only do this for two months in the year, so exclusive!
Although I’ll always be a country girl at heart, London is a place that sparks the belief that anything is possible and that opportunities are endless.