7 Things I Learned In London

London is by far one of the world's best destinations. For culture, tea on tap and of course historical buildings around every corner, it is definitely a fantastic place to have seen. Whether you're from abroad or from the UK, London is a city that represents so many wonderful things, yet isn't necessarily one of my favourite cities. After spending time in London, staying at the Clayton Crown Hotel 4*** I came to realise a few things about the city that I thought would be relatively helpful tips for first timers to the city. Here are 7 things I learned in London from culture, to food to the people!

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1. Not all Londoners are cold hearted unfriendly folk!

It is a well known fact that the southerners are not known for their friendly behaviour like people in the north. London is now so integrated and multi-cultural that the very misleading phrase of Faceless London seems to be a little outdated. You will often find people holding doors open for you, people smiling, friendly shop staff and generally other like minded people who will smile and chat if the opportunity arises. I have many friends in the south and they are all lovely people who I have a lot of time for!

2. The Tube Is A Necessary Evil

As much as the tube gives me the chills at the thought, it does make every place in London incredibly accessible. Taxis are generally around 5% more expensive than most other UK cities, btu this is speaking from the good old fashion London cabs, Ubers may vary in price. The tube can get busy, definitely avoid it at peak times, because you will have a queue around the block of people trying to get down to the tracks after their shift ends at 5pm.

3. You Must Plan Your Trip Well

There are so many hidden gems in London, that can be easily missed without thorough research and planning. Many bars are hidden away, or in private courtyards or rooftops of buildings, so ensuring you have this planned beforehand is essential if you want to make the most out of your trip. Also anticipate the London traffic. If your train home leaves at a specific time, ensure a decent amount of time before it leaves; you'd be surprised how many road works, hold ups and slogs of traffic are in and around London!

4. The Chances Of Seeing Someone Famous Are Almost Nil

If you're browsing around in Harrods hoping to spot a familiar face, then it's more than likely that your dream will fizzle quickly out. If you are going to spot a celebrity, then it will likely be down streets that are being cordoned off for filming, and not catching them eyeing up the Prada bags in Selfridges. A lot of famous and influencial people do live in London but the chances of seeing them are very slim. You're more likely to spot them at a cocktail bar in the evening, but again, not hugely likely!

5. Taking Photos Can Be A Nightmare

In the tourist hotspots of London, it is impossible to grab a good photo opportunity without hoards of people drowning you out from the background. There is also a good chance that five people will walk in front of you just as you're about to click the shutter. It isn't ideal but if you want to walk a little further out of town, down the river, there could be a few cute photo spots, but it can be incredibly busy, so a little bit of improvising with your photography is definitely needed!

6. You Feel On A High Walking The Streets

London is a vibrant incredible city. Just walking the streets alone, you can sense the power and wealth of the city, it envelops you, and it's truly invigorating. I would say I felt it more in London than even New York; possibly because New York seems even more saturated with tourists, and London still remains to be a city with born and bred Londoners living there. The thrill of seeing the cabs and the shops. The buzz from people rushing to work, and the royal influence just makes London a very exciting place to be.

7. Without Knowledge, Finding Good Food Is Hard

Everytime I go to London, even with the masses of restaurants, I seem to pick badly. In the west of London, the high streets tend to have more general restaurants such as Zizzi's, or cafes such as Pret. All fabulous, but if you're wanting to try something new, I'd suggest researching first, because I have found myself in some incredibly dingy and strange places, with food that tasted less than appetising. I have found a few other people say the same, but as times are changing, some of the best restaurants are in London now. Research, find what cuisines you like, and attack!

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