In spite of the fact I have lived here now for 15 years, it would be of course impossible for me to say I have seen everywhere or know everywhere in London. Impossible! I know pockets of everywhere but can’t say I know everywhere in the slightest (I’m not sure who could). I’m not your lady to come to about good clubs I’m afraid, although if you are asking about afternoon teas, museums, gin bars/events, those would be far more up my street!
As we know, London is a city of around or just under 10 million people, and a city that changes all the time. I have a constant scribbled list where I am writing down recommendations for place to go: either from places told to me, or from reading magazines like Time Out London (which I sorely miss). This list is creased, crossed out, well thumbed, and regularly updated, hidden in my weekly work diary, always within easy reach should a new location, venue, park, event be told to me. My phone camera is also littered with additional ideas from recommendations on insta!
I was recently working on a yet to be finished article on places I definitely feel I have to return to once lockdown is over, the London events or places that have brought me the most joy. Well, this list is for London places that I have not yet visited but have really wanted to see! Hope you’ll join me in that, enjoy this list, or as always, share your recommendations with me so I can be further inspired!
The list comes without photos in the main, but I hope by clicking on the links you’ll see how truly spectacular these places are.
1. Spencer House
Spencer House was reportedly built in the 18th century for an ancestor of the late Princess Diana and calls itself London’s most elegant stately home. I don’t think I’ve ever physically clapped eyes on it (which very much excites me- see above statement, it is impossible to know everywhere, and that’s what I love about this city!) and I only came across the idea of going thanks to a beautiful show case of it on Instagram last year. When open, it costs £15 for adults to visit, and it’s going to the top of my list, because the inside looks absolutely stunning.
Where to find Spencer House and further information: https://www.spencerhouse.co.uk/plan-a-visit/
2. Changing of the Guards
I don’t consider myself a royalist, but I do like a bit of cultural pomp and fanfare from time to time! The changing of the guards normally runs a few times a week, obviously for free, outside Buckingham Palace and looks like a sight to behold for a bit of pomp and photo opportunities! I’ll be getting there, pram and baby in tow, as soon as they announce lockdown has very much stopped.
Where to find Changing of the Guards and further information: https://www.changing-the-guard.com/
3. Rainham Hall and Marshes
There’s a lot on the outskirts of London that gets missed out on, which is understandable when Central London offers so much, but it’s a pity nonetheless. I first came across the idea of going to Rainham (East London/Essex borders) for both its hall and marshes around 2 years ago, but haven’t set out on the trip as yet. The Georgian hall looks beautiful, and the marshes are vast and prides themselves on their variety of wildlife, especially birds.
They are a 13 minute drive apart, and whilst I’m putting them together here, they may well be worth 2 separate trips if you have the time!
Where to find Rainham Hall, Rainham Marshes, and further information:
4. Iconic Streets for a step back in time and quick pap: Roupell Street
I saw Roupell Street in the Krays film with Tom Hardy, “Legend” and assumed that the beautiful little streets shown were either from a set, or somewhere up North. It was only from a feature in Time Out I believe that I realised these streets are just 2 minutes from Waterloo station, and I’ve walked past them many a time!
When lockdown ends, historic tours are possible which would be really fab if you wanted further detail. The area is apparently and understandably a conservation area too.
Where to find Roupell Street and for further information:
5. Freemasons Lodge
I remember when I first clapped eyes on this glorious Art deco building, in the area of Covent Garden, because honestly it doesn’t feel like that long ago that I stood, gawped and looked it up on my phone straight away. When I say recently, I mean I’m quite sure just in the last 4 to 5 years only.
The building is absolutely stunning and that’s my interest in attending one of their free tours: we have tried to go on a few occasions but the main hall inside has been booked out for an event, and as yet we haven’t yet been able to!
Where to find the Freemasons Lodge and further information: https://www.ugle.org.uk/
If you are inspired to visit any of these when lockdown ends, I’d love for you to let me know!