We believe that travel is all about exploring, uncovering hidden secrets and getting a feel for the local vibe. It starts with renting a stylish apartment in the most happening part of town and hanging out where the locals do.
Still, checking out the main touristic sites can, and even should, be a part of your overall vacation; not for nothing they are called ‘local attractions’. So when in London, consider the following 5 very-British attractions; would they make you feel like a true Londoner? Not sure, but they’re loads of fun.
Picnic in London Fields
London Fields is one of Hackney’s most popular parks. It’s classified as common land (an aptly British designation) and has large grassy spaces. On your way there grab a few sandwiches, a six-pack of Fuller and a small blanket; with these, you’re good for several hours of fun in the sun. The park is mostly thin on tourists so kudos to you for being there! If it’s a really hot day, you can even go and dip at the London Fields Lido’s outdoor pool.
Play Giant Chess in Kyoto Gardens
If you’re looking for some zen time in between museums and shopping, make a pit stop at the gorgeous Kyoto Gardens.
Opened in 1991 as a gift from Kyoto, the zen-iest place in Japan, to commemorate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain. The garden is carefully designed to reflect key traits of Japanese gardens, including stone lanterns, waterfalls and plenty of koi – the hefty, colorful Japanese carps. But the best part is the giant chess board, where you can play fun tournaments and win the title of Best Chess Player in Kyoto (London)!
To complete this cross-cultural experience, next time you’re in Japan, visit The Hub, a chain of “British pubs”, or what the Japanese imagine a British pub is.
Shop at Brick Lane Market
Everybody knows that a vacation in London is not complete without a well-planned and expertly-executed shopping spree. Indeed, you can choose the infamous Oxford St, but is that really where you want to throw some cash around?
How about some local markets instead?
Our favorite one is Brick Lane Market, which brings in a crowd of artists and mostly-young Londoners. It’s a chaotic mix of vintage furniture, unique-to-bizarre clothing, and delicious foods. The joy of this market is that you never know what you’ll find; cheap leather jacket, stunning silks, art deco furniture or unrecognized foods that smell just yummy.
Happy Hour in a Pub
If you really want to understand London, you need to try one of the local pubs for a late (or early) afternoon. Most of the people around you would be with a pint in their hands, so it is a special dare to order something else.
Two strict rule of conducts in British pubs: Do not say “soccer” – it’s football. And no matter where the conversation takes you, do not mention The Spice Girls – it’s still an open national sore.
When you book with Sweet Inn, you can use the app to find pubs close to the apartment you rented and make it your go-to place when that “special time” has come; or any time for that matter.
Sing-A-Long to your Favorite Movie
After a few drinks at the pub, we recommend taking advantage of the light state of mind you’re most likely in and go to a fun sing-a-long! This is a real thing in London! You can find movies like Dirty Dancing, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (our top favorite) or even the all-time classic: The Sound of Music. In these shows, you are the real star of the movie, and can really show off your skills, while watching these all-time classics.
Actually, our top favorite is Dirty Dancing. We just said The Rocky Horror Picture Show to try and sound cool. Baby Houseman we love you forever!
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