London’s Top 40

    Medium
    Spotlight 10/2021
    Millennium Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral
    Von Lorraine Mallinder

    bearskin hatBärenfellmützeIf you’re planning to visit London, and you’ve already seen the main attractions, why not go off the beaten off the beaten trackabseits vom Touristenrummeltrack this time? To celebrate our birthday, we’d like to share with you our favourite places around the city, with insider tips for glorious views and open spaces, exciting markets and museums, unusual places to eat and places to think – and much more. Come with us around the city, from N6 to TW9 – and if you find the postcodePostleitzahlpostcodes confusing (you’re not alone), our info-to-go explains all.

    NORTH

    Highgate Cemetery

    Swain’s Lane, N6

    Not just the cemeteryFriedhofcemetery where Karl Marx and many other famous people are buried – this is one of the most peaceful graveyardFriedhofgraveyards in the world. A nature reserveNaturschutzgebietnature reserve, it’s filled with wild flowers and trees, winged angels and beautiful sculptures.

    Parliament Hill

    Hampstead Heath, NW5

    The highest point in London. Need we say more? Look down upon St Paul’s Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, The Gherkin skyscraper and other iconickultig, symbolischiconic spots. There’s a nearby lidoStrandbad, Schwimmbadlido, too.

    Keats House

    10 Keats Grove, NW3

    Between 1818 and 1820, the Romantic poet John Keats lived in this Regency villa on the edge of Hampstead Heath and wrote some of his best-known poetry. The museum’s collection includes paintings, prints and memorabilia.

    London Zoo

    Regent’s Park, NW1

    Opened in 1828, this is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Be sure to visit the squirrel monkeyTotenkopfäffchensquirrel monkeys, playing in their rainforest-like habitatLebensraum; hier: Zoo-Biotophabitat

    Abbey Road

    St John’s Wood, NW8

    John, Ringo, Paul, George on a zebra crossingZebrastreifenzebra crossing. You’d never guess it was just weeks before they to split upsich trennensplit up. The crossing is near the famous Abbey Road Studios. Selfie-takers beware – it’s a busy road!

    Alfie’s Antique Market

    12–25 Church Street, NW8

    to browsesich umsehen, stöbernBrowse through the bric-a-bracTrödel, Krimskramsbric-a-brac at this antique market spread over four floors in an Egyptian-style art deco building.

    The British Library

    96 Euston Road, NW1

    If you saw five items a day, it would take you 80,000 years to view the whole collection. You could start with the Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts and Jane Austen’s notebooks. Or just head to the cafe for some carrot cake.  

    The Natural History Museum

    Cromwell Road, NW7

    Step inside this world-famous cathedral of nature for a tour of the greatest natural wonders, from the gigantic blue whale skeletonSkelettskeleton hanging in Hintze Hall to the tiny hummingbirdKolibrihummingbird egg in the Green Zone.

    BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

    Pramukh Swami Road, NW10

    This Hindu temple, the largest outside India, stands shoulder to shoulder with Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London in terms of scale and beauty. An architectural masterpiece.

    SOUTH

    The pelicans in St James’s Park

    St James’s Park, SW1

    A Russian ambassadorBotschafter(in)ambassador gave the original pelican pair to King Charles II in 1664. Today, there are six of these unusual birds, living on an island of rocks in the park’s lake.

    Wimbledon Common

    SW19

    Get lost in 1,140 acres of glorious park and woodland. But not too lost, as you’ll eventuallyirgendwanneventually need to find your way to the Windmill Tearooms for tea and cake.

    Southbank Book Market

    Waterloo Bridge, SE1

    tucked awayverstecktTucked away under Waterloo Bridge, this book market is a must for lovers of second-hand books. 

    Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

    Cromwell Road, SW7

    One of the world’s leading museums of art and design, there are some 150 grand galleries to burst with sth.voll sein von, aus allen Nähten platzenbursting with rich collections of furniture, ceramics, sculpture and clothing.

    Royal Observatory

    Greenwich, SE10

    Home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the centre of world time. How can time have a centre? Consider this extremely valid question in the meridian courtyardInnenhof mit dem Nullmeridian als MessinglinieMeridian Courtyard.

    Evans & Peel Detective Agency

    310c Earls Court Road, SW5

    Live dangerously in a film noir setting. Secret cocktails in prohibition-era America, to the sounds of jazz from the 1920s.

    Maltby Street Market

    Maltby Street, SE1

    Want to try street food, but can’t face the crowds at Borough Market? Then visit the smaller, cheaper and much more relaxing Maltby Street Market.

    Changing of the Guard

    Buckingham Palace, SW1

    Atten-SHUN! It’s just a change of shift, but the men in red tunicUniformrocktunics and tall bearskin hats have been to clock in and outein und ausstempeln; hier: die Wachablösung vollziehenclocking in and out in style since 1656. 

    The Triforium at Westminster Abbey

    20 Dean’s Yard, SW1

    It’s known as the resting place of 17 kings and queens. But did you know about the triforium – the 13th-century gallery that was hidden for 700 years and is home to treasures like the Duchess of Richmond’s stuffedausgestopftstuffed parrotPapageiparrot

    The National Theatre

    Upper Ground, SE1

    This Brutalist beauty of a building is always worth a visit for some of the most exciting performances on the planet. 

    EAST

    St Dunstan in the East Church Garden

    St Dunstan’s Hill, EC3

    History and nature combine in these beautiful ruins. This ancient church was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666, only to be bombed in the Second World War. These days, its walls are covered with creeping vineRankengewächs, Kletterpflanzecreeping vines, the interior to fringeumsäumen, umgebenfringed with plants and trees. You can sit here for hours, soaking up the cool, green atmosphere. Without a doubt, the best-kept secret in the City’s square mile.

    E. Pellicci

    332 Bethnal Green Road, E2

    This art deco treasure in London’s East End serves the perfect fry-up (UK ifml.)englisches Frühstückfry-up of bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms and beans, as well as home-made pasta. Deeply cinematic, the shiny wooden panellingHolzvertäfelungwood panelling  is decorated with photos from the cafe’s glamorous history. A real slice of cockneyEinwohner(innen), Lebensart und Dialekt des Londoner East Endcockney life.

    Columbia Road Flower Market

    Columbia Road, E2

    Ah, the smell of freshly cut flowers! Go, drink coffee, eat matcha teacakes and inhale deeply. The perfect Sunday morning.

    The Sky Garden

    20 Fenchurch Street, EC3

    Forget the Shard skyscraper and visit the far prettier Sky Garden, located on top of the office block in the City known as the Walkie Talkie tower. This is London’s highest public garden and offers incredible views.

    Dans le Noir?

    69–73 St John Street, EC1

    Discover the joys of taste and texture at this special restaurant, where guests eat in the dark, served by blind waiters. You’ll need to book a table. 

    Dabbers Social Bingo

    18–22 Houndsditch, EC3

    What could be more British than bingo? The UK’s first ultra-modern bingo hall employs comedians to call the numbers, serves cocktails instead of tea, and offers prizes like holidays abroad or lessons to learn a new skill. 

    The Monument

    Fish Street Hill, EC3

    The Monument was built as a memorial to one of the most significant moments in London’s history: the Great Fire of 1666. But did you know you can also climb its 311 steps for a panoramic view of the city? 

    St Paul’s Cathedral

    St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4

    Christopher Wren’s masterpiece has mythical status in the city’s history. This is the soul of London, its domeKuppeldome far more impressive than the steel and glass futurism of the financial district. 

    God’s Own Junkyard

    Shernhall Street, E17

    Light up your life with a visit to this warehouseLagerhallewarehouse in Walthamstow, where you’ll find new and used neon artefacts, from disco balls to circus lighting to flashing madonnas. 

    The Barbican Conservatory

    Silk Street, EC2

    In the Barbican Centre, the largest arts centre of its kind in Europe, you’ll find a greenhouseGewächshausgreenhouse of extraordinary beauty, housing 2,000 plant speciesSpezies, Artspecies

    Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery

    159 Brick Lane, E1

    The city’s best bagels, filled with huge pieces of salt beefgepökelte Rinderbrust, Pastramisalt beef, covered with mustardSenfmustard and gherkinGewürzgurkegherkin. Throw in a cake for the grand total of less than a fiver (ifml.)Fünfpfundnotefiver.

    Dennis Severs’ House

    18 Folgate Street, E1

    See – and smell – life for a family of 18th-century Huguenot silk weaverWeber(in)weavers, through highly realistic, recreated scenes in ten rooms.

    WEST

    Sir John Soane’s Museum 

    13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2

    The labyrinthine home of Sir John Soane, eccentric architect of the Bank of England. A sort of DIY museum of the exotic, it’s filled with the thousands of artefacts he collected. A big part of the attraction is the house itself: its windows, mirrors and walls constantly take you by surprise as you take in masterpieces by artists such as William Hogarth and J. M. W. Turner.

    Statue of Princess Diana

    Kensington Palace, W8

    Located at one end of the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, this statue of Princess Diana was received with mixed feelings when it was to unveil sth.etw. enthüllenunveiled in 2021. BBC Radio 4 caused a to cause a stirfür Aufregung sorgenstir after liking a tweet that called the statue “hideousabscheulichhideous” (#awkward #wearenotamused).

    Hyde Park pet cemetery

    41 Bayswater Road, W2

    “Perhaps the most horrible spectacle in Britain,” said George Orwell. And there is indeed something unpleasant about this resting place for pamperedverhätscheltpampered pooch (ifml.)Hündchenpooches. The dead doggies still come out for walkies, they say. The faint of heartPerson mit schwachen Nervenfaint of heart can to sneak a peekeinen Blick erhaschensneak a peek through the park railingsZaunrailings from Bayswater Road.

    Kyoto Garden in Holland Park

    Holland Park Ave, W11

    Opened in 1991, this celebration of the friendship between Japan and Britain features sparkling waterfalls and a pondTeichpond full of marbledmarmoriertmarbled orange and white koi carpKoikarpfenkoi carp. Pure Zen.

    Prince Charles Cinema

    7 Leicester Place, WC2

    The perfect antidote to entertainment epicentre Leicester Square. The Prince Charles Cinema screens whatever it to fancy sth. (UK)auf etw. Lust habenfancies: blockbuster, indie and arthouse.

    Hampton Lido

    High Street, Hampton TW12

    Swim outdoors in heated water in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, day or night. Normally open 365 days a year.

    Claridge’s

    Brook Street, W1

    Having served as a refugeZuflucht, Rückzugsortrefuge for frontline staffMitarbeiter(innen); hier: Pflegekräfte mit direktem Patientenkontaktfrontline NHS (National Health Service) (UK)staatlicher GesundheitsdienstNHS staff during the pandemic, the hotel is once again offering its iconic afternoon tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier.

    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    Bow Street, WC2

    Delight in the opulence and elegance of this world-famous venueVeranstaltungsortvenue, which houses the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera and the ROH Orchestra. 

    Strawberry Hill House & Garden

    268 Waldegrave Road, TW1

    Georgian Gothic Revival folly (UK)Verrücktheit, hier: Zierbaufolly created by Horace Walpole. Live the fairy tale, complete with turretTürmchenturrets, grand fireplaceoffener Kaminfireplaces and dark vaultGewölbevaults.

    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

    Richmond TW9

    London’s largest UNESCO site, known for its perfumed Victorian conservatoryGewächshausconservatories full of exotic plants. We love the magical rainforest in the Palm House.

    INFO TO GO

    Are London’s postcodes confusing? Yes. It’s a very old system. Originally, the city’s postcodes were simply abbreviationKurzformabbreviations of “north” (N), “south” (S), “east” (E) and “west” (W), “north-west” (NW), “south-east” (SE), and so on.” 

    Since then, numbers have been added, with number “1” being kept for central parts of the city. The higher the number, the further from the centre. Additional letters and numbers help keep postal deliveries accurate.

    For example, the full postcode of Buckingham Palace is SW1A 1AA. “SW” shows it’s in south-west London.“1” shows the district. Unless you work in the London Post Office, you needn’t worry about the rest.

    Postcodes are often used in the property market to describe the social status of houses. The “golden postcodes” of W8 or W11, for example, are magnets for the super-rich. However, as London property prices reach to the stars, the stars are moving away – to the country.

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