How to be a Local Tourist in London: Hidden Gems, London Secrets, Don’t Miss These! 2019

How to be a Local Tourist in London: Hidden Gems, London Secrets, Don’t Miss These! 2019


In our last London video, I created my perfect
5 day travel plan. What I, as a local, would recommend in my own home town. And you all
seemed to find that useful. Well, almost all. But your overall enthusiasm for that vlog
has sparked this mini sequel. So in this video, I’ll be going over some of my other favourite,
lesser known hot spots around London. Local tips with a few hidden gems thrown in, there
will almost certainly be something on this list you haven’t thought of but definitely
should if you have the extra time. If strolling around canals, getting lost in London’s
very own mini forest, visiting Harry Potter film locations and a lift that sings to you… (SINGING HIGHER NOTES RISING) All sound like your cup of tea, then stay with us. If you’re new to the channel, we make travel
movies from around the world, hoping you might just find your next holiday inspiration. This
is Suitcase Monkey going even deeper into my hometown of London. (GENTLE MUSIC) Situated in the East End of London, Spitalfields
Market hosts a trendy melting pot of independent traders, bringing together a wide range of
designers and artists. If you’re looking for a souvenir a little more unique than this,
then Spitalfields is a good place to start with hand crafted pieces, homewares, and original
artworks, along with a mixture of contemporary and vintage clothing. Starting life in an empty field 800 years
ago, the market has always kept up with the times with a recent regeneration creating
what you see here today. Once you’ve finished market hopping, Spitalfields
also boats an impressive selection of tasty grub. Although Borough Market is my favourite
London market which I covered in my previous video, Spitalfields is a close second. It
branches beyond food with a younger more dynamic vibe. And if you know me well by now, you
know that I am indeed, down with the kids. As with most things I’ll go through in this
video, I’ve linked more details about Spitalfields Market in the description below, along with
our own social media links so you can follow us as we discover London and the rest of the
world, live as it happens. Next is an area I avoided for years but have
recently come around on. Naming an area as Little Venice is a very quick way to make
me don my sceptical British hat and dismiss this marketing naming as nonsense. And while
you should very much understand that Little Venice should in truth be called… …it does actually offer
a peaceful oasis. Starting near Warwick Avenue tube station, you have the choice of a shorter
stroll towards Paddington Station or a longer roughly 2 mile canal meander towards Camden
Lock. Again, I have linked to a website below with a full map of the walk. Walking passed residential homes, cafes, bars,
wildlife and more, you’ll also have the option to ride some of the canal boats if
you prefer the even more leisurely approach. It might not be Venice but it certainly won’t
feel like London. (GENTLE PIANO MUSIC) One of the first touristy things I did in
London 15 years ago was a tour guided Walk. Whilst the typical sightseeing buses are a
good way to cover lots of ground quickly, London will always be best discovered on foot.
There are numerous tour guided walks throughout the city, some which are free and you can
Google for yourself, but the company I’ve used and always have enjoyed, is London Walks.
Over the years I have been on Ghost Walks, Jack the Ripper Walks, historical walks and
as filmed here, a Harry Potter Film Locations Walk. Starting in the City our guide talked
us through the areas thought to have inspired JK Rowling’s magical world. From there,
we quickly went on to the original Diagon Alley and the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. As an aside, if you are in the City of London,
then Leadenhall Market is a great thing to see in itself, boy wizard or no boy wizard.
Built by Horace Jones, his next project after this was Tower Bridge, so he was on to something
of a roll here. Now, I’m not specifically putting this Harry
Potter walk on my list here, but instead pointing out that London really comes alive when told
through the words of a guide right in front of you. London Walks have so many varied tours
happening each day, there will probably be something that fits your location and interest.
Even on this Harry Potter walk, there was lots of extra London history included and
it helps you notice all the little details that goes into making a 2000 year old city. On my last London video, I glanced over the
Southbank without much detail. So here I want to highlight something which is a bit of a
hidden gem in the list of rooftop bars. Rooftop bars in London sound like a great idea but
are often over-crowded and expensive, requiring advanced booking or a long queue before you
can even start to enjoy them. Enter the Southbank Centre and Royal Festival
Hall. This music hall opened in 1951 for the Nation wide Festival of Britain. In part,
this was a post war celebration trying to A particular highlight along the way is to
take a ride in its singing lift. Going from a deep voice on the basement level… (DEEP SINGING VOICE RAISING PITCH) …to a high soprano on the 6th… (SINGING GETTING HIGHER) Sometimes I find myself having “just one more go” like a mad child on Space Mountain. The lift also has more Twitter followers than me, which
is something I’m certainly not bitter about. But it’s on the 5th floor, that you find
the unheard happening in London. A bar, a balcony and a view with plenty of space for
which to enjoy it. And just behind the Festival Hall, away from
the River Thames and therefore very easy to miss, is an occasional food market. If you
are in the area and don’t want to eat at a chain restaurant, it’s worth checking
if it’s open for a quick tasty bite. Next is King’s Road in Chelsea, a long stretch
with a mix of fashionable boutiques, designer shops and high-street staples, alongside a
range of eateries. The name King’s Road comes from King Charles II, who used this
as his own private road to travel to Kew. Fast forward to the swinging 60s it then became
synonymous with mod culture and mini skirts and then later with hippies and punk. I’m not quite sure what it is about King’s
Road that I like so much since it is basically just a row of shops. But I think it’s that
in terms of shopping, it feels more local, unique and authentic than say Bond or Oxford
Street. There’s yet another mini food market here, there’s the Saatchi Gallery which
features contemporary art, multi pastel coloured houses and also the place where Chiaki and
I got married! Oh, and there’s also apparently, erm, wizards. (UPLIFTING SLOW MUSIC) Hampstead Heath is so lovely I’m actually
thinking of doing a standalone video just on this one area. Upon exiting Hampstead Tube
Station you’re immediately welcomed with this quaint English neighbourhood vibe. Wandering
around its numerous streets, passage ways, side streets, alleys and other things that
all mean the same, you can spend a good hour or two just meandering and
taking it all in. After leaving Flask Walk, make a gentle bee
line towards Hampstead Heath itself. And while along the way, making sure you enjoy the houses
that you’ll never be able to afford. Walking through Hampstead Heath is probably
the furthest away from London that you’ll feel whilst still being in London. Once the
greenery surrounds you on all sides, it’s easy to forget that there are 8 million people
beyond those trees. (GENTLE ACOUSTIC GUITAR MUSIC) A trip to Hampstead is not complete without
reaching the summit from Parliament Hill, offering the best wide angle view of the city.
And if you’re feeling spontaneous and especially if the weather is good, then why not end your
visit with a spot of swimming in a Hampstead Heath Bathing Pond. In my previous London video, I suggested The
Natural history Museum as my favourite museum to visit. If you still want more, then the
British Museum is a great choice. Opened to the public in 1759, is is the first national
public museum in the world. Entry was free and given to ‘all studious and curious Persons’.
Nowadays it’s just open to “all persons”. It probably helps keep attendance. Once inside and before you see anything old,
you will see something relatively new. Opened in 2000, the Great Court is the largest covered
public square in Europe and is a site in itself. Beyond this, the Museum houses an unrivalled
collection of relics from all over the world, with the actual Rosetta Stone being one of
its many highlights. (UPBEAT MUSIC) If you are near London Bridge, then Hays Galleria
marks the start of a nice little walking route I’ve enjoyed many times over. The Galleria
reveals itself beautifully when coming from Tooley Street. Housing an assortment of shops,
cafes and traders, it’s often a quiet oasis for a pit stop. (SLOW UPBEAT MUSIC) Heading out from under the
roof, you’ll be met with some great views of the City of London, and the HMS Belfast,
a 2nd World War Battleship which acts as a floating museum. Walking further East will bring you to an
open area known as More London or London Bridge City. Considering this is ultimately a place
for financial companies and City Hall, it’s a pretty great place, with a number of events
happening mostly over the Summer months. (UPBEAT CATCHY JAZZ MUSIC) This is also the best spot to get
THAT photo with Tower Bridge. Bringing us back full circle towards London
Bridge is a walk down More London Place, which is a long narrow path lined with modern glass
offices. This so far doesn’t seem too interesting, but as you walk down, I love how the design of this street is positioned so
that one side points towards The Shard, which is the UK’s tallest building whilst the
other side points directly to Tower Bridge. It’s a great little photo spot and a unique
piece of town planning. If this is your first visit to Suitcase Monkey,
then please check out our UK and London playlist, where we have numerous video guides discovering
London’s best sights as well as must visit dining: Brunch hotspots, cake cafes and more.
We make travel movies around the world, not just London so please subscribe and hit the
bell icon for all notifications since I only post every 6 weeks or so. I promise I won’t
spam you! Until the next one, thanks for watching Suitcase Monkey.

5 thoughts on “How to be a Local Tourist in London: Hidden Gems, London Secrets, Don’t Miss These! 2019

  1. Hi everyone! Please support us by giving this video a big LIKE! It really helps us and is appreciated. For more London/UK videos, I've made a playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLszSmMLISbAe5iVgihDj4DF1OaZ85hLzu We make travel videos from around the world, not just London so I hope you enjoy the rest of our content. Welcome! 😃

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