Last updated on November 23rd, 2018 at 08:14 pm
As one of the largest and oldest cities on the planet, it’s pretty hard to run out of things to do in London. But if you feel like you’ve tried it all, including walking along the historic Carnaby Street, maybe you need our help to narrow down your options. Here are four things about London that you might not have heard of or experienced before.
Did you know that London is a prime kayaking destination? The Thames River, which runs through Greater London, is not only relatively clean as modern urban rivers go – it’s also a favorite spot among veteran kayak paddlers. Just ask Harry Whelan of Kayaking London, a man who has circumnavigated Ireland twice and has paddled across countless destinations in the British Isles. “I’ve paddled in amazing locations but these city waters are still some of the most exciting to kayak on.” Apart from providing a chance to see different parts of Greater London from a unique perspective, the Thames River also provides a gentle downstream current for beginners. Meanwhile, those who want more of a workout can choose to paddle against the current – which can sometimes run above four knots.
Read here: 4 Day London Itinerary.
Another interesting way to experience London is by visiting its many eccentric speakeasies. If you can find it, Barts in Chelsea makes really awesome comic book-themed cocktails. You can drink your fill while sitting in vintage leather seats, surrounded by crazy dadaist and pop art, along with various curious hanging on the walls. The challenge lies in actually getting to the place. Even The Londonist won’t divulge how to get to Barts in Chelsea. However, if you somehow find the door and find out the password, you’ll never see Chelsea in the same light again.
If you really want to get inside London’s head, check out the Hungerford Footbridge Skateboard Graveyard. Crossing the Thames River via the Golden Jubilee Bridges will take you past a freestanding bridge support structure that’s filled with a scattering of broken skateboards and sometimes shoes. This is the Hungerford Footbridge Skateboard Graveyard. What might look like an ordinary dumping ground for London’s skaters is actually an unofficial and impromptu memorial to local skater Timothy Baxter who died in the area. At 24-years-old, he was mugged, killed, and thrown in the Thames. While there have been some misunderstandings in the past where city authorities clean up the memorial, the city now mostly leaves the skateboard graveyard alone. And if you’re lucky, you might get to see it in full glory – with a mound of used up skateboards, ritually surrounded by a scattering of skate shoes.
Experience London on foot
Getting to these locations via London’s public transportation system is an experience in itself. That’s another cool thing to try here – don’t take any cabs or rent any cars, just walk and rely on the city’s well organized public transportation system. As one of the busiest cities in the world, London excels in keeping its citizens and visitors comfortably mobile. It’s an amusing experience, especially if you come from a chaotic city yourself.
Being a hub of global business and cultural activities, London is used to international visitors. In fact, it’s home to one of the busiest international airports on the planet, Heathrow Airport, which is reportedly expecting an even greater number of visitors in the future. In fact, Asia’s oldest airline has recently upgraded its fleet to cater to the growing number of Southeast Asians flying to London. Just last year, Philippine Airlines started providing daily flights to London from Metro Manila, a known gateway for affordable flights from Asia to Europe. The Manila-London route is serviced by the airline’s new, state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300s, one of the largest-capacity commercial airplanes available. This simply means that wherever you are in London, chances are you won’t be the only foreigner around. And that’s because nowadays, getting to London is easy enough. The hard part is leaving this gorgeous city.