To mark the gripping TV series 24, we've put together 24 reasons to visit London - where the entire season 9 has been filmed!
1. You can visit Buckingham Palace and see where the Queen lives.
2. Great architecture, modern and historic living together side by side.
3. Some of the World's best museums and galleries are in London - and most of them are free!
4. London is world famous for its huge variety of restaurants, covering each nationality and culture from A (the Afghan Kitchen in Islington) to Z (Shaka Zulu, London’s largest South African restaurant).
5. The Tube celebrated its 150th birthday in 2013. It’s the third largest metro system in the World behind Shanghai and Beijing.
The London Underground
6. London is full of beautiful gardens, from royal gardens to small gardens tended to by volunteers.
7. London’s Cabbies have to go through a rigorous course called “The Knowledge” to become a black cab driver which means they know London intimately and if you ask, they’ll even given you some sightseeing advice. Or take a black cab tour.
8. London’s skyline is as iconic as its attractions and continues to change with the latest landmark being The Shard.
9. Southbank on the shores of the Thames is a great place to spend a day, from the London Eye, to the theatre, to galleries, it has something for everyone.
10. London's West End is famous for its fantastic range of top class theatre plays and musical.
11. East London has a fantastic street art scene, take a tour and see some of the ever-changing art. You never know, you might even catch a glimpse of a Banksy piece.
12. Be dazzled by the Crown Jewels and hear tales from the Tower on tours given by the Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London.
13. From gastropubs to pubs that have been around for centuries, if you don’t visit a pub whilst in London, you’re missing out on the local experience.
Pubs in London
14. Vintage clothes, antiques, food, bric-a-brac, fashion from up-and-coming designers: you name it, you’ll find it in London's markets.
15. Finger sandwiches, freshly baked cakes and the finest tea: indulge in a very British experience – Afternoon Tea. London has many places to enjoy it, from the eclectic to the traditional.
16. Follow in the footsteps of legendary football players at Wembley Stadium.
17. London’s nightlife isn’t just about pubs and clubs, but we have great comedy clubs, music venues and rooftop lounges.
18. The River Thames runs from the Cotswolds in the West of England to the North Sea in the East. There’s plenty to do in the London part of it, like a Rib tour or a cruise to Greenwich where you can actually walk under it through a foot tunnel built by the Victorians and was finished in 1902.
19. Neighbourhood diversity, from pockets of luxury, to multi-cultural areas, London is as diverse as it gets.
20. London is great for shopping, from department stores to designer stores, markets to high street shopping, there’s something for everyone!
21. London is a great place to bring the family, from its historical heritage to its fantastic museums, there’s something to keep them occupied for hours.
22. From jazz clubs, to the big names playing at the O2, to classical music at the Royal Albert Hall. If you’re a music lover, you’ll find your favourites in London.
23. London is full of icons, from the red London buses to Big Ben. From the London Eye to Tower Bridge, you can’t help feeling at home here because you’ve seen it all in movies and on TV. You can even tour the locations of your favourite shows!
24. If it's good enough for Jack Bauer, it's good enough for us!
I’ve been obsessed with London since I was a teenager, since the days when my school friends and I would get the train up at the weekends to chase pop bands around. Back then London was a place of absolute wonder and excitement; a place where you could realise your dreams, no matter how crazy or ridiculous. It’s so difficult to explain the exhilaration the 14-year-old me would feel getting off the train at Waterloo, a stranger in a city bigger than I could fathom with so much to see and do. I love London and always promised that teenage version of me that one day, I’d live there.
Why I Love London
Andrew and I have been living in London for nearly three years now and in all that time I’ve never lost that sense of teenage wonder. I have my favourite restaurants and pubs, cinemas, film festivals, museums and walks. I love the life we’ve carved in London, the people we’ve met, the work we do and the routines we’ve established.
It’s more than that though.
I love London for its newness and oldness squashed together, the tall glass buildings surrounded by old cathedrals and tiny Victorian houses next to towering council blocks. I love Christmas in London when the markets and pubs are full, the lights go up, the church bells sing and a centimetre of sleet can bring the transport system to a standstill. I love the summer time when everyone flocks to the parks and you can sit on the Southbank with a beer, gazing across the Thames. Right now especially, I love autumn in London, the frosty dark mornings and fireworks in the park.
Here are some of my favourite places and things to do in London.
The Southbank is my favourite place to visit in London, I just love the amazing view over the Thames. The river is lined with so many restaurants and pubs as well as the Royal Festival Hall and the British Film Institute. Best of all, I’m lucky enough to work in Southwark, so I can walk over to the river in my lunch break.
Free London Attractions
London has some of the best free museums and they’re often the best places to visit in London on a rainy day. My favourite is the Imperial War Museum, which has a truly devastating Holocaust exhibition, the National History Museum is also great. Aside from that, one of the best things about London is that there’s always something going on, a festival, a celebration, a protest, the Olympics… What’s even better is that you won’t pay a penny for lots of them. Recently I’ve seen alien street art at a festival in Greenwich and been to the annual Thames festival.
Buildings, Sights & Museums
There are so many sights to see in London. My favourites include Greenwich, especially the view from the observatory on top of the hill shown below, the tower of London, secret corners of Covent Garden like Neal’s Yard and the London Dungeons – touristy but brilliant!
Why I love London – the Parks
There are many great parks in London, the one we love the most though is the one closest to where we live, Dulwich Park. It’s the best park for sunbathing, table tennis, running and dog-watching. Oh, and it’s absolutely stunning.
We used to live in East London and the markets there were brilliant, cheap and full of proper east-enders heckling and trying to swindle you. My favourite is Borough Market though, which also happens to only be a 10 minute walk from work. Yes, I really lucked out on office location.
Film is one of my big passions, I even spent three years studying it at Uni. London is the perfect place to indulge my obsession with film. I have membership at my favourite art-house cinema, the Curzon in Soho. I’ve also been to some great film festivals, including the annual sci-fi film festival, a Japanese film festival, the Human Rights film festival and of course, my favourite: Fright Fest.
I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning our local pub. We love it for the fact that it’s independent, the barman is crazy and it’s called The Hob (as in the Hunger Games, cool, huh?).
So why do I want to leave the city I love so much? Right now I find I’m asking myself that question every day. The only answer that I can come up is that my desire to travel trumps my love for London at this point in my life and who knows, maybe I’ll find somewhere even better? In any case, the city will always be here and hopefully one day I’ll return.