Sure, you know London’s iconic sights, but what about its hidden bars, pristine parks, and traditional dishes? To find some local favorites, we chatted with Will Johnson, an Undiscovered London tour guide, about his favorite spots across the UK’s capital.
So, Will, when’s the best time to visit London?
London is beautiful all year round, but something strange happens in the summer. There’s an infectious energy in the air that makes everything you do feel really special and memorable.
Take a wander along Regent’s Canal
What’s your favorite place in London that tourists rarely visit?
It’s hard to beat Regent’s Canal, which is a beautiful waterway running through the heart of the city. It’s populated with bars, restaurants, and boats, and I’m always baffled it’s not busier.
What’s your favorite pub that only locals visit?
There’s a great little cockney pub just off Brick Lane called The Pride of Spitalfields. You get the feeling that people were paying in shillings the last time the place saw a lick of paint.
Where’s the best place to see the sunset in London?
I would go for Primrose Hill, which is gorgeous in the summer. Located just north of Regent’s Park, this is a prime place for a picnic and offers a great view of the London skyline. Plus there are plenty of good pubs nearby.
Explore the British Museum for free
What is the best activity to do on a rainy day?
I wouldn’t really know, as it hardly ever rains in London… but on the rare occasion that it does, it’s hard to beat a trip around the British Museum and a couple of pints in the beautiful Princess Louise pub afterwards.
What dishes do visitors have to eat in London?
Black pudding in a cooked English breakfast. No two ways about it. Black pudding is famous for having some fairly gory ingredients, but it’s a vital part of a fry-up. Also, be sure to try some proper British ale, and don’t bother complaining to the barman when it’s not ice-cold – that’s how it’s been served for centuries.
What’s your favorite thing about being a tour guide?
I love meeting new people, discussing traveling and giving them advice on what to do and see in London. It means that I’m always on the lookout for new bars, quirky museums, and pop-ups so I can pass the secrets on to tourists.
What can people expect from your tours?
The Royal Free Tour is a great opportunity to pack 2000 years of British history into one short, free, informative walkabout. Expect bloody history, salacious tales of infidelity and plenty of plots to overthrow the government. The British Museum Tour takes you on a journey through human history, using the most fascinating and historically important objects from the collection to discuss the great issues of our lives, like money, religion, and war. The Camden Pub Crawl is our way of blowing off steam after a long day of touring about in the ‘unique’ London weather. Join the group and learn how to say “cheers” in heaps of languages as we get merry in London’s rock & roll heartland.