Mission Impossible: London Calling
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spend 24 hours in one of the most vibrant and culturally important cities in the world, London.
After flying into Heathrow, make your way from West London to East London on the city’s easy-to-use public transport system. Get on the tube at Heathrow airport and head straight for your first destinations of the day, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Located conveniently close to one another, get off the tube at South Kensington and take a short stroll through the well-to-do neighbourhood towards the
two famous museums. Both museums open at 10am and charge no entrance fee, unless you chose to view a special exhibition, so if you arrive a little early, treat yourself to a coffee and pastry at one of the local cafes with the money you’ve saved. The Natural History Museum hosts over 80 million specimens, spanning billions of years, and will help you to engage with the natural world and its uncertain future. Neighbouring V&A is one of the world’s leading design museums, and is the perfect place to find a little bit of inspiration. After immersing yourself in the very best of science and design, continue east, by tube, into the heart of London.
Get off the tube at Westminster for the money-shot of the Houses Of Parliament. For the best view, cross the Westminster Bridge to the other side of the river and enjoy panoramic views up and down the River Thames. To tick it off your bucket list, and enjoy the magnificent period architecture, go by foot to Trafalgar Square, a large open space in the heart of the City of Westminster with commemorative statues, and then take The Mall, a famous road leading from Trafalgar Square, past the iconic Admiralty Arch down to Buckingham Palace, for the quintessential “London” experience; you can even buy the t-shirt.
After all of that walking, you will undoubtedly be tired, but you can’t relax before one last sporting effort. Find a Santander Cycle, more commonly known as a Boris Bike, to rent for the short journey between Buckingham Palace and Chinatown. Head straight to busting Gerrard Street, for some of the best Chinese food this side of Europe. Immensely popular, you might find yourself queuing for a table during peak dining hours, however, in our opinion, the longer the queue the better the taste.
Take a short walk from Chinatown over to Leister Square. The pedestrianised square is dominated by large cinemas, and plays host to numerous film premiers. In this area, you will also be able to find many stalls selling matinee tickets to some of the most popular theatre shows in town, most of which are within short walking distance. Pick up a discount ticket and enjoy some of the very best theatrical entertainment London has to offer in one of the many, historical theatres.
After taking a break at the show, it is time to get your heart pumping again with a walk over to nearby Oxford Circus. Here you will find an eclectic mix of international and local high street and high-end brands. If you are looking for something a little bit more upmarket, or just plan to do some window shopping, walk the short distance to Bond Street to experience how the other half live, with back-toback luxury labels taking up every storefront.
After shopping up a storm, it’s time for another break. Continue east by tube to Liverpool Street Station. Here you will meet up with the bankers who keep the financial capital alive as the restaurants and bars in the area fill up with people who have just finished work. Take a ten-minute walk over to Boundary Restaurant, Rooms and Rooftop. Ever-popular, you may have to queue for a while to get up to the rooftop, which is open throughout the year, but it will be well worth the wait thanks to the unparalleled views across the city as the sun sets. Order a bottle of wine and enjoy the ambiance. For dinner, walk over to Dinarama, a four-day a week street feast market at Shoreditch Yard, with six diners, six bars, five street food shakes, two food trucks and a DJ. Warning: hipster alert. This food market will run until October, so hurry up!
Now that you are well acquainted with Shoreditch, and the intricacies of its outlandish inhabitants, it is time to
step it up a notch with an authentic, East London clubbing experience. Head over to the Queen of Hoxton, slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch, for drinking and merriment. This pub-cum-club plays disco and house music and is open until 2am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. After closing, it’s time to head back west to catch your flight out of this fabulous city. Use the CittyMapper London app on you phone to help plan your adventurous night journey back to Heathrow. Offering you all possible transport options, and using real-time transport information, this app will get you safely back to the airport in time for your morning flight. All you have to do is try and stay awake!