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31 reasons Londoners love London

31 reasons Londoners love London
Parliament Hill

We asked Time Out Tastemakers and Londoners what their favourite things about this city are. Here’s what they said…

Our breathtaking skyline

‘Standing on top of Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. Where else can you be surrounded by lush greenery and feel you’re in the countryside and at the same time get a fantastic view of the city skyline?’ Anureet Randhawa 

 Comedy tube drivers 

‘All the wonderful, funny tube announcements: “This is your Piccadilly line service to Cockfosters. We’re now entering the tunnel of love, so put your phones away and spread the love!”’ Jules

Skyscraper views

‘I love The Shard, as the view over busy London is heavenly. There are four sections, each with a description of which buildings you can see. Plus there are screens where you can see what the view would have looked like in the past. It’s quite surprising how much has changed.’ Joanne Mortlock 

The bustling Thames

‘Sitting opposite Parliament, next to the river, watching the sunset and boats go by.’ Mike J

© Mauro Murgia

Fashionable locals

‘Very inspiring people just wandering around, almost everywhere. London is the world champion of street style!’ Enrico 

Food from every corner of the world

‘Name a dish from anywhere in the world, and I bet I can find a place that serves an authentic, totally faithful-to-the-original version with matching atmosphere. London has to be the absolute foodie heaven and global culinary melting pot!’ Vera S

Pubs

‘My all-time favourite place will always be The Monkey Puzzle in Sussex Gardens. A wonderful pub with great food, beer and amazing staff, and a little garden to enjoy summer.’ B Jazzy

Riverside walks

‘Walking along the Thames, starting from Tower Bridge, all the way to Westminster, passing Shakespeare’s Globe, the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye, Parliament and so much more.’ Fizza Raza

 

© Max Gor

 Dogs on the tube

‘I love it when a dog gets on the tube! That small section of the tube carriage suddenly becomes the happiest place on the Underground. Watch the faces of people walking into the carriage change from sullen and moody Londoners to suddenly beaming oh-my-God-there’s-a-dog face!’ Chris Evans

Culture for all!

‘We’re still the best ever when it comes to the arts – and places such as Somerset House, the Barbican, the V&A, the ICA and the other free museums are the ultimate proof.’ Enrico

London’s wild side

‘I love it that I’ve seen more deer and foxes in my five years living in London than in my 23 years living in the countryside. I still get excited about a trip to Richmond Park.’ Samantha Keech

Bracing heath walks

‘The Holly Bush pub after a brisk walk on Hampstead Heath.’ Catherine Menzies 

 

© Getty Images

 

Exploring our canals

‘Regent’s Canal. Being able to walk, run or cycle from Islington to King’s Cross, to Camden Lock, to Primrose Hill, all the way to Little Venice along one single pathway is quite lovely, really. Whatever time of day you wander along the towpath, you’re bound to see all walks of London life: commuters, dog walkers, elderly couples, toddlers. It’s the perfect idyllic escape from the chaos of the metropolis.’ Charlotte Day

Candlelit basement drinking

‘The incredibly romantic Gordon’s Wine Bar in Villiers Street. Timeless.’ Thomas Moran

Street food in the park

‘Going to the market in Venn Street in Clapham for a fresh rotisserie chicken sandwich on a Saturday, then sitting on Clapham Common to eat it.’ Aisling

Seeing the city from the upper deck

‘Sitting on the top deck of a double-decker bus when it’s raining on the way home. Or walking across Regent’s Park on a late summery Friday night when it’s still light.’ @Anneeleenna

 

 

A day in Chinatown

‘I love being out in Chinatown, whether I’m going for a meal with friends or family, doing grocery shopping or simply walking through that iconic strip decorated with lanterns. It’s always buzzing no matter when you go. It’s also where my favourite bar, Opium, is. Hidden among the restaurants, it’s recognisable by its jade-green door (and the bouncer standing outside). Don’t forget to look up at the building before entering, and you’ll be greeted by typical Chinese decorations, which most people don’t notice.’ Lee Hiang Seah

A memorial to heroic Londoners 

‘Postman’s Park, that gorgeous and dramatic yard between buildings.’ Matheus H de Bitencourt

 The best days (and nights) out

‘It has everything from the dinosaurs of Crystal Palace by day to the sweaty, mangled techno nights in Elephant & Castle. The best pubs (pubs, not bars) in the world. Sam Smith’s pubs in the centre of town get it right, as do pubs full of character in the East End. Though I always love sitting on the night bus going back south over London Bridge on my way home, looking east towards Tower Bridge.’ Dave Hummus

Greasy spoons

‘Having bacon and eggs in Mario’s Café in Kentish Town.’ Kirsty McDonagh

 

© Darrell Godliman

 

 

Treasures in the British Museum

‘Visiting the cat mummies at the British Museum and having to find them each time I visit. I’ve done this since childhood.’ Kirsty McDonagh

Summer evenings spent drinking outdoors

‘Sitting outside the The Palm Tree in Mile End on a balmy Friday night.’ Laura Smith

 Green squares in the heart of the city

‘Lincoln’s Inn Fields in the spring.’ Michele Benedict

Buildings from every era

‘The combination of historical and modern architecture, and how you can learn about the history as well as getting the sense of modernising culture.’ Rachel Wan

 

 

St Paul’s bathed in sunshine

‘When you walk over the Golden Jubilee Bridge, turn back and see St Paul’s caught in a ray of sunlight!’ AJ Croasdale

Centuries-old traditions

‘Did you know you can attend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London on every night. It has been going on since the fourteenth century. At 9.53pm, the chief warder, with the help of military escorts, locks up the Tower of London with a huge set of keys.’ Sasha

Being part of the London Marathon 

‘I loved doing the London Marathon and taking in all the amazing sights along the way. The highlight was crossing Tower Bridge: one of those rare experiences where you are truly lost in the moment and have to take a deep breath to take it all in – I actually stopped to take a photo.’ Paula Kanesanatha

Seeing city sights from a river bus on the Thames 

‘I love the Thames Clipper; it’s something very few people (locals and tourists alike) really know about. It might be a bit expensive, but on a nice day or evening, what better way to see some of the city’s most treasured and impressive sights?’ Michael Ratcliffe

 

© Laura McGregor

 

Chilling in the Wick

‘Sunny days and having a cider on the canals of Hackney Wick.’ Sara 

Discovering off-limits London 

‘I love Open House London weekend in September, making the most of each day by starting early and fitting in as many visits as possible to the wonderful buildings that are open for only two days a year.’ Linda Ross

Stumbling across culinary delights

‘I love the food scene in London so much. You can just stumble into an unassuming gem of a place, like Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch or The Good Egg in Stoke Newington. Next thing you’re eating the most delicious thing you’ve had in your life.’ Marta Lucia Kupfer

Check out even more reasons to love London.

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