London is a city that’s teeming with entertainment. From the West End to the outskirts, the English capital boasts a dizzying array of landmarks that entice all ages and cater to all tastes. There’s a lot to see and do during a stay at the Montcalm London City, but what activities are truly unique to the city?
London’s history dates back almost two thousand years, so it’s unsurprising that its culture is so developed and its entertainment so diverse. With tens of millions of visitors each year, there’s good reason that many return, and most motives stem from the fact that there is always something new to do in London. But what activities and attractions take the biscuit for “only in London''? And how do you decide which ones to book?
For first time guests of the Montcalm Royal London House, seeing the city sights is easy, but these activities promise to be truly reflective of London’s character.
Climbing The O2 Arena
With magnificent views and a fascinating, if not chaotic story behind the birth of the Greenwich mega venue come shopping centre, climbing the O2 is a one of a kind experience treating visitors to breathtaking views from the top of the structure. The O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, is an architectural marvel, and nothing beats standing at its top and drinking in the cityscape. Don’t worry though, when you climb the O2 Arena, there’ll be a professional with you who’ll also act as tour guide, and you’ll be tied to railings so as not to end up like Pierce Brosnan in James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.
Ancient Church Visits
London is home to a collection of structures that have been standing since the Mediaeval era. Okay, they may have had a few renovations over the years, but churches such as All Hallows By The Tower beside the Tower of London and St Giles Without Cripplegate have been standing since the AD 600s and the 14th century respectively.
If it’s something a little more grandiose you’re after, why not take a trip to Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, both of which stand on land that has been home to places of worship since the very conception of London.
Jack The Ripper Walking Tours
The infamous serial killer from the Victorian era lives on through blood curdling walking tours of Shoreditch and Whitechapel. There are many different tours you can book onto, including a feminist-focused jaunt and a multimedia “Ripper Vision” tour, but all circle round what is one of the most enduring mysteries of London - the identity of the murderer.
Soar Across The Thames On A RIB
The Thames Rockets are specially reconfigured rigid inflatables that were originally used for rescue missions and patrolling the Thames. Now, a small fleet of them are dedicated to the tourism industry, where they provide high octane trips down the Thames. Usually taking place between Embankment Pier and the Thames Barrier, a ride on a Thames Rocket is a thrilling way to see London’s riverside sights.
Look Into The Horizon On The London Eye
And if seasickness often gets the better of you, then stick to land with this sightseeing icon on the banks of Waterloo. The London Eye is a popular, half-hour trip 135 metres into the sky, giving customers stunning views over London that, on a clear day, offers 25 mile views in every direction. First opened in London in the year 2000 as the Millennium Wheel, the London Eye is kitted out with 32 capsules, one for every borough of the city, each of which holds up to 25 people.
Enjoy Art In A Former Power Station
The Tate Galleries are free to visit art museums that lie at the Bankside (Tate Modern) and Pimlico (Tate Britain) riversides. Whilst Tate Britain, which charts the evolution of British art dating back to the 16th century, is located in a beautiful classically designed domed building, the Tate Modern truly lives up to its name as it is located within the former Bankside Power Station. The imposing halls of the latter and large echoing space add heft to the modern experiments of art that fill its corridors. Furthermore, its upper floor balconies and walkways boast more powerful views over the Thames.
Take A Dive In An Open Air Lido
London is home to dozens of lidos in many of its green spaces. a n authentically London tradition, many of these open air swimming pools have been around for decades, if not more than a hundred years. Top picks for tourists include the swimming baths at Hampstead Heath, London Fields art deco designed lido and Brockwell Lido in South London.
Explore A Still Functioning Castle
You can’t visit London without at least acknowledging its royal history. Indeed, it’d be hard to miss the palaces and castle centrepieces to the city’s tourist scene and what’s more, several of them are still functioning in some manner today as royal households. Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London come to mind on that front, but if you venture further out to Greater London, Windsor Castle was, until her death, the favoured home of Queen Elizabeth II.
Get Swept Up In A West End Show
London is famous for its theatre scene, mostly (but not completely) concentrated around the West End. From new drama written and directed by household names to classic musical theatres, the razzle dazzle of the West End is astounding. With most West End plays running for at least two months at a time, you’ll never be short of West End options.
Green Your Fingers At A Flower Market
Guests of hotels in Old Street London needn’t travel far to explore the Hackney-based Columbia Road Flower Market every Sunday. Taking place from early morning into early afternoon on Columbia Road, this flower market has been running since 1869, and is a popular Sunday tradition for locals and tourists alike. Selling everything from houseplants to roses, the Columbia Road Flower Market is run by family sellers, many of whom have been in the flower selling game for years.