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30 Londoners reveal their favourite memories of the city

Time Out Reader Takeover Contributor
Written by
Time Out Reader Takeover Contributor

From the Olympics to Pride to 3am raving outside KFC, 
Time Out readers share their favourite memories of London. Illustrations Øivind Hovland

1. ‘I walked home along the Thames to Mile End after a night out at The Steelyard. It was 4am and I encountered no other people along the way. It felt apocalyptic. The sun was rising. The city felt like it was mine to keep.’ Marta Lucia Kupfer

2. ‘Walking to work early in the morning from Waterloo station, across Waterloo Bridge on a crisp autumn day. St Paul’s is stunning on days like that.’ Jane Glaubius

3. ‘Watching the very first New Year’s Eve fireworks from the London Eye on the South Bank.’ Mark Best

4. ‘Walking up the hill in Greenwich Park and seeing that amazing view for the first time.’ Giulia Parati

5. ‘Falling in the River Thames. Lol.’ Camille Denton

6. ‘Visiting Trafalgar Square as a young child with my grandparents. My grandad lifted me up so I could sit on the lions.’ Carla Bradman

7. ‘My favourite memory of London is meeting my husband in the line for passport control at Heathrow. Who knew good things happened at the airport?’ Bright Pryde-Saha

8. ‘I think my favourite memory of London is the time when, a few days after moving to the city, I went to the Barbican Conservatory. I was surprised and grateful to find such a peaceful oasis close to central London.’ Lucrezia Alfonsi

9. ‘Looking at the Thames at night while waiting for the N43 night bus.’ Alex Curtis

10. ‘I experienced the worst panic attack of my life on the tube. Each person in that tube carriage made sure I was okay, from offering me a hug to giving me a tissue. It reminded me that Londoners are strong.’ Chad England

11. ‘Discovering Pineapple Studios, a place where I can truly let go and dance my heart out.’ Kiran Kishore

12. ‘Going to the Natural History Museum when I was seven and not being able to sleep the night before because I was too excited (I can sleep now, but I still love it).’ Mel Luff

13. ‘The atmosphere and the crowd erupting into applause in the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Opening Ceremony.’ Stephanie Chan

14. ‘Helping to get the children from the Kensington & Chelsea Schools Band ready for Carnival – rehearsing dances and making costumes. They are children who all live in and around W10 near Grenfell Tower. It filled me with hope seeing them soldiering on.’ Catherine Nix-Collins

15. ‘Heading out to get lunch at Pret one work day and seeing the Queen pass by in her carriage. That was the luckiest day ever.’ Anaelle Amarasinghe

16. ‘Picking my first batch of salad from my tenth-floor-balcony veg patch, looking out over Hackney, thinking: Cool – I’ve managed to grow all this, up here, in our city.’ Danielle Jalowiecka

17. ‘Running the London Marathon earlier this year. Training and exploring London’s parks and along the Thames Path, and seeing the best of London coming out to support all the runners… Totally overwhelming.’ Gemma Harris

18. ‘Getting to Borough Market very early on a Saturday morning in December. Standing at the Bread Ahead stall when, lo and behold, it started snowing – lightly, but snowing nonetheless!’ 
Aggie Zielonka

19. ‘Walking through Winter Wonderland all bundled up in warm clothes while laughing and drinking hot chocolate with my family.’ Katie Dennis

20. ‘Adventuring down the canals of Little Venice on a sunny morning on a paddleboard, taking in the scenery from the water, trying to avoid the algae.’ Lesley-Jane Bryan

21. ‘When my boyfriend asked me out in King’s Cross, while buskers were playing.’ Holly Close

22. ‘Getting on the Circle line, thinking that it only went one way. When I realised that it, like every other tube line, ran both ways, I couldn’t stop laughing at myself. I’d thought I’d have to stay on the line for over an hour waiting for it to arrive at my stop.’ Summer Taylor

23. ‘Walking in the Pride parade, joined by my boyfriend and best friend, watched by the biggest crowd to date.’ Dan Hasby-Oliver

24. ‘A tightly packed roomful of sweaty people breaking out into cathartic queer belly-dancing at the Bar Wotever memorial after the Orlando shooting.’ Johan Palme

25. ‘My first evening out in Soho. As a plucky northern girl who grew up on cheap booze, I thought the bar staff were joking when they revealed the cost of getting drunk in London. Then a sassy drag queen walked in wearing four-inch platforms and a Dusty Springfield-style wig, and I immediately got why a) it costs so much, and b) Londoners are the best.’ Amber Hall

26. ‘When some American tourists asked me how they would know “which house” was Buckingham Palace.’ Abbey Stanford

27. ‘Dancing with other revellers to a busker outside Brixton KFC at 3am.’ Henry Brobbey

28. ‘Watching more than 60 volunteers come together on a winter’s Sunday night in Holborn to distribute food at an outdoor soup kitchen.’ Shatha Khalil

29. ‘London Trocadero, 1991, Saturday night. Sporting a brand-new pair of blue suede Filas. Three boys, eight girls, one night out – complete with a confident juvenile swagger I never knew I had. The coolest and proudest day of a young life, growing up in London.’ Jahvin Morgan

30. ‘My mum took me on an open-top bus tour when I was nine. Even though it poured with rain, we sat up on the top and I took loads of photos.’ 
Hayley Wood

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