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It's Never a Dull Moment in These Parts of London

April 16, 2023
by Kathleen Gorman

After being in London for a whole semester, I understandably had some favorite neighborhoods in and around the city. After class many times I would either walk or take the tube to one of these neighborhoods to walk around, shop, get a bite to eat, study, or meet friends for the afternoon. They all have their unique parts to them, and in this list I will tell you some of my favorite things to do and see in each of these neighborhoods!

  1. Covent Garden

Starting strong with Covent Garden. There is so much to do and see here! Right around the corner from the West End, also known as "Theatreland," there is never a dull moment here! I would say Covent Garden was my favorite area to go and visit because it has everything you could possibly need: great restaurants and pubs, shopping, street shows and scenery, and activities at night like a West End musical! While I was in London, I was fortunate to see a few shows in the West End including Matilda the Musical, Mamma Mia!, and Wicked. A trip to Covent Garden cannot be complete without a drink at the Punch & Judy-one of the area's main features. The three-storey pub is thought to be named after the 16th-century puppet show starring Mr. Punch and his wife Judy! How cool.

Outside Punch & Judy in Covent Garden in London
View from right outside the Punch & Judy pub in Covent Garden.
  1. Soho

Soho, just around the corner from Covent Garden, has the lights, glitz, and glamor! Soho became one of my favorite neighborhoods right around the end of November because they had some of the most amazing Christmas lights displays I have ever seen! Oftentimes nearing the end of the semester it would be darker when I was leaving my classes, so heading to Soho meant I would get to see the lights sparkle in the sky. You can't be in Soho without visiting Oxford and Regent Streets, which is where some amazing lights are! There are also some great shops and restaurants there as well.

Lights and decorations in Soho at night in London
Some amazing holiday lights on one of the side streets in Soho.
  1. Kensington

Sort of a given, but after going to class every week in Kensington, I fell in love with the neighborhood. The CEA CAPA Center is perfectly located in the heart of Kensington right down the street from the Gloucester Road tube station, and is around so many cool things! Located right down the street from the CEA CAPA Center are the Victoria and Albert and Natural History museums, as well as Imperial College London. On Tuesdays in the early afternoon there is a food market right near Imperial College and it is all delicious! Also right down the street from CEA CAPA is a very big Sainsbury's (one of the local grocery stores). Often after class I would do my grocery shopping there because it had everything I could possibly need!

A doorsill and stairs decorated with colorful flowers in Kensington, London
A beautifully decorated door right around the corner from the CEA CAPA Center.
  1. Windsor

Windsor is one area I didn't necessarily see myself going to, but when given the opportunity to go with my theater class I was taking, I was so happy I went. Looking back now, I wish I had more time in London where I could go again! Windsor is about a 40-minute plus train ride outside of London, and there you will find Windsor Castle as well as an adorable English town! By the time I arrived in Windsor, the castle was already closed for the day, but I recommend anyone who goes to visit take a tour of Windsor Castle. There you will see where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip are buried, as well as the cathedral where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married! The town of Windsor was decorated very cutely, and had dozens of shops and restaurants. When I was there I got there with enough time to have a quick bite to eat, walk around the town a little bit, and then I was off to see Darker Shores, the play written by my theater professor Michael Punter-it was great!

Windsor Castle in England
Entrance to the Windsor Castle.
  1. Spitalfields

While living in London, I lived in Whitechapel, right near the Aldgate East tube stop, and just about a 5-minute walk from Spitalfields. Embarrassingly enough, although it was so close, my friends and I didn't discover the area of Spitalfields until about a month into living in London! Although it was found late, once we discovered it we were there multiple times a week. Spitalfields has a market every day of the week, as well as some very cute and delicious pubs and restaurants and many chain shopping stores. The Spitalfields Market has different vendors spread out throughout the week. I would have to say my favorite days to go were Saturday and Sunday, which is when many of the small businesses were there-lots of cute, handmade jewelry on those days! There is also lots of delicious food there as well!

Flowers on the side of a building in Spitalfields in London
One of the many flower walls inside the Spitalfields Market.

It was hard to narrow it down to just five areas in London, but overall there is nothing to lose no matter where you go! There is never a dull moment in any London town, and with every area comes its own unique flair!

Kathleen Gorman is the Content Creator - Blogger.
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