Over the years I’ve made it a mission to explore as many unique London nooks and crannies as I can, and yet I’ve never actually put them altogether and written an ultimate London bucket list. So, without further ado – or more fluffy pre-amble – here it is! Disclosure: This post was commissioned by Keith Prowse, the official hospitality provider for many iconic venues and stadiums across the country including Wimbledon hospitality 2020.
Living in London long-term is a fascinating window into the eccentricities of British history. Buildings that have survived more than 10 generations of human stories, streets that echo the rambling paths of underwater riverbanks, rolling acres of grassy parks and the delicious smells of a melting pot that is London cuisine. History books be damned, this city is alive with the most incredible tales.
And what’s more, as lifers, we get a chance to discover the small and precious moments of 1,972 years of inhabited streets (yup, London was apparently founded in 43AD. Let me repeat that – 43AD. My home country was founded in 1840, some 1,797 years later.) We obviously get to enjoy the major sights and sounds of tourist London every time we have visitors, but we can also slowly and deliciously discover the in-between bits over time. The nooks and crannies, the local history and finally answering the loaded question of what to do in London (hello staycation ninja status).
Actually See Big Ben
Did you know that as a resident if you apply to your MP, that you can climb the tower to see Big Ben? Elizabeth Tower (previously St Stephens Tower & renamed in 2012 to celebrate ‘er madge’s Diamond Jubilee) is known to the World at large as Big Ben, and you get to see the fascinating mechanism and clock face that comprises the world-famous icon, then the enormous bell himself. (nb: this is obviously on pause whilst the works are being done.)
Tower Bridge lift
It’s a fact* that you’re not really a Londoner until you watch the magic that is Tower Bridge lifting the road to allow tall boats float along the Thames.
Attend the Ceremony of the Keys
Forget the changing of the guard. Have you attended the the 700 year old Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London? You know I love the Tower because a) I’m a London geek b) it’s really old and very awesome c) Priceless Diamonds & Sapphires, Murder, Kings, Queens, 1000 years of history, Ravens, Torture & Beefeaters float my boat – so the ceremony of the keys is absolutely magical to experience. Learn more here.
Eat Strawberries and Cream whilst watching a Wimbledon match
It has to be done – ideally in style!
Witness the ancient act of herding Sheep Across London Bridge
The minute that I saw on an obscure website that there is an ancient right of a freeman of the City of London to drive sheep across London Bridge, I knew I wanted to see this for myself. Being me, I obviously went one step even further at the herding of the sheep…
Take a running jump at a magical brick wall at Kings Cross Station’s Platform 9 & 3/4s, Harry Potter style.
You know you want to…
Uncover the lie that’s been told about the Eros statue overseeing Picadilly Circus for years.
Lotharios have used it as an assignation point with their mistresses since the early 1900s, millions of tourists over the years have arranged to meet friends on the steps before they explore the city, and thousands of bloggers have used it to rendezvous for afternoon tea but do you know the biggest secret on this London bucket list?
Step into the TARDIS for a journey across time & space.
The first ever Doctor Who Episode “An Unearthly Child” was filmed in the East End of London, so it’s a nice echo that the Doctor Who Museum (and shop) is here too. Full of actual props, costumes and memorabilia, the museum is a treasure trove for Whovians (and part of the £3 entry fee goes towards a charity. This means you’re worshipping at the temple of Who for a good
What’s your London Bucket List score?