It has been a few months since I first arrived in Hatfield and I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by. Although Hatfield isn’t one of the most exciting places to spend time, fortunately London is just a short train ride away. For one of my study abroad reports, I put together a brief list of some of my favourite things to do in London.
There are so many markets in London and each one offers a different experience. Camden Market near Kings Cross is perfect for alternative fashion, while Borough Market is a food lover’s paradise. If you are looking for antiques and Hugh Grant, head to Notting Hill to check out the Portobello Road Market. My favourite market of all was the Columbia Road Flower Market, where you can see beautiful vibrant flowers at any time of year – perfect on a dreary England day.
For history, you cannot beat the British Museum. This is one of the most informative and entertaining museums I’ve ever been to. The museum is home to Rosetta Stone, which was the key to understanding ancient Egyptian language and civilization, and the controversial marble statues from the Parthenon in Greece. Walking through this museum can feel like a trip around the world, without ever leaving London!
In contrast to the antiquities found in the classical British Museum, the Tate Modern is full of quirky and intriguing modern art. There is a great permanent collection of pieces divided by themes, such as “Transformed Visions” and “Structure & Clarity”. The location in an old power station adds to the experience and when you are done, you can cross the pedestrian-only Millenium Bridge for a great view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
London Zoo and Regents Park
Even if you aren’t a big animal lover, the London Zoo and surrounding Regents Park is a grand day out. The Zoological Society of London does a great job at promoting the conservation of some of the world’s most spectacular (and endangered) species. They offer student discounts and after your visit, you can stroll through one of London’s most beautiful royal parks or take a ride on a small ferry through the canals.
One of my favourite ways to familiarize myself with London (and any city) is to go on a walking tour. There are so many options and themes, you could do one every day and never see the same area of London twice. For an introduction to London, I recommend the free walking tour offered by Sandeman’s New Europe. It meets every day at Hyde Park Corner and shows you all of the most popular streets and attractions in London, such as Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, and much more.