Spending Time in London: Tips From a Local (Tim Albertson)

Crumpets and tea on a sunny bistro patio, only a few blocks away from Buckingham Palace may be what many London travellers believe they’ll experience while on an adventure in England, but there’s far more than meets the eye to see. Westminster Abbey and the “Red Coats” may be exciting sights to see while here, but I hope I can provide you with the inside view of how much London has to offer beyond the touristy attractions.

If you want to see the parts of London no one does, then you need to do a bit of exploring. Before taking a look at the confusing map of our underground tube, plot where you want to go. It’s easier to understand than it looks and if you keep an eye on where you are, and ask many of our friendly locals for directions, you won’t get lost. If you do, there are many landmarks to look out for so you can find your bearings. Of course, if it’s a beautiful day and you’re only going a short way, the double-decker bus or trolly is always a must for every visitor!

It can get expensive spending all your days in London at Big Ben, and on the London Eye. Why not get a picturesque view of the city’s skyline from the free viewing floor of the Walkie Talkie’s Sky Garden? My mates and I will often make reservations to meet for drinks at one of the many pubs of the Sky Garden. You’ll also find some excellent food to enjoy as well!

If you’d rather enjoy a traditional English meal, we have hundreds of small family owned pubs and taverns that will serve up some of the best Bangers and Mash you’ll ever taste! We’ve even got a selection of London pastries to match even those of France – you’ll want to take everything home with you.

The history of London will of course be one of the marvels of our unique and beautiful city. So many events have happened in this city, both tragic and wondrous, and relics of these time defining moments remain along (and under) all of London’s streets. You can see St. Paul’s Cathedral and other timeless landmarks from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern while you see some incredible modern art on display.

If you want to experience London like a local, you’ve got to start speaking like a local – at least a wee bit. If you’re used to taking the “subway”, say the “tube,” and if you say “excuse me,” we say “sorry” instead. Our “french fries” are actually called “chips” and your “chips” are actually our “crisps”. It might be a tad confusing, but you’ll catch on quickly if you listen and immerse yourself in our discussions.

In the charming village of Hampstead, where I reside, we can take a break from the craziness of downtown business and city life and relax in our back gardens to the sounds of birds and wildlife active in the forested area of the nearby Hampstead Heath. I recommend coming to my part of the city and really taking in what London life can really mean. Our homes are unique, colourful, and within walking distance to everything we need – including the excellent shopping on High Street.

That’s right, our shopping is world-famous, however, you aren’t required to only hit the a-class boutiques of downtown London. You can find some far less expensive and authentic finds throughout the city, each with their own treasures to take home with you.

I can’t wait for you to join me here in London. My neighbours and I have been talking about how excited we are to show you all the bright beauties that we see everyday, such as a walk along the boardwalk or a friendly cup of coffee from our corner cafe. Whatever your reason for coming, you won’t leave with frown on your face and if you do it will only be because you wish you could stay here forever.

You can get reach me thru triper and become my guest anytime here. Cheers, Tim Albertson

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