Hometown Holidays: Be a London Tourist for the Day


When we go abroad, or find ourselves in another city, we all try and get a few touristy bits in. Could you really go to Paris and not take a poke around The Louvre? Or ignore the Spanish Steps in Rome? Of course, doing exciting things that are off the beaten track is fun as well. But what about your own city? Do you ever stop to do touristy things in London? No, me neither.

That’s all going to change for me very soon. I’m taking time out to do all of those things I’ve always wanted to do. Might even put myself up in a fancy hotel for the night as well. The hidden parts of London are fantastic. But so are the parts that everyone comes to see. Here’s what I’ll be up to:

I’ll have afternoon tea at a fancy hotel. Because you really have to do this at least once, don’t you?

I’ll be popping to the Tower of London. Because it’s really rather stunning, and has an amazing history.

Ever been to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards? Nope, neither have I.

I’m going to buy tacky souvenirs from those weird shops on Oxford Street! Hurrah! I do love a tacky tea towel.

And I’ll definitely take a trip on The London Eye. Hopefully it’ll be sunny. Can’t believe I’ve never been.

As I’ll be right by the river I’ll need to take a river cruise. It would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

And the rest? Playing about in Hamleys and Harrods, waffles in Leicester Square, photos at Westminster, Portobello Market. Maybe one of those open top sightseeing buses. If it’s not raining.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. They’re popular with tourists because they’re good. They’re exciting and popular for a reason. We’re lucky living in such a historically rich city. Just because something is touristy, that doesn’t mean we should avoid it.

Although I do draw the line at TGI Fridays.

Flickr image from John-Morgan‘s photostream.


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  1. Britain’s largest seaside resorts. King George IV came to Brighton in 1783, and enjoyed the anything-goes atmosphere so much that he transformed a farmhouse into his headquarters for debauchery (the Royal Pavilion). A regal rumpus ensued. Since then, Brighton continues to turn a blind eye to some of the more scandalous activities that occur along its shores, as holiday-goers and locals alike peel it off—all off—at England’s first bathing beach.

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