34 things you can do if you're new to London, according to locals

New in town? Check out this hit list of places to go and things to do from the city's biggest fans
Al de Perez Lewisham Model Market

A wander down Brick Lane

All newbies to London must explore east London! Take a stroll down Brick Lane on a Sunday afternoon and taste delicious foods from all over the world at the markets and stalls lining the road. Munch away as you wander down and you’ll soon reach the second hand and vintage sales where you might pick up a unique goodie or two. On a nice sunny day you’ll no doubt be treated to lots of live music on the streets too. Laura Hartley

Model Market, Street Feast

Munchies from Model Market

Try as much delicious food from the vendors at Model Market, the weekend street feast pop-up in Lewisham. If you get there early enough you can grab a seat upstairs where you can watch the sunset over south east London. Steph Marston

I think Model Market has the best atmosphere and the food, oh the food - wings, burgers, squid, tacos, melt-in-the-mouth steak, crispy chicken. It’s heaven on a plate and I think every visitor here needs to swing by at least once to experience it. Jess Lawrence

Sunbathing on Hampstead Heath
© Paul

A stroll on Hampstead Heath

I would take a new friend for a walk on Hampstead Heath, a quick swim or dip in the ponds (if they're willing) and then on for a tea or ice cream at Kenwood House! If they are starting to get thirsty, we would head over to The Red Lion and Sun pub for a glass of their award-winning wines and a great pub dinner! Shara Tochia

Banh Banh

A tour of Peckham

For any Peckham newbies (including those from north of the river), here's a crash cultural tour. First, head to the Peckham Peace Wall and consider still relevant messages of unity following the 2011 riots. Next, head to The Sunday Painter for an artistic infusion of culture. Finish with summer rolls at Banh Banh and start looking for flats on Rightmove. Tom Davidson


Boozing at Tooting Market

I'd definitely take a newbie for a Graveney Gin (distilled in Tooting) at Tooting Market! Megan Morgan

Hackney City Farm016.jpg

Farm life in Hackney

I’d take a newbie to Hackney City Farm to show them that London even caters for those craving a hit of farm life. Jennifer Ward


A mooch around the V&A

If they wanted to be a proper tourist, I’d take them for a mooch round the new V&A followed by tea in the William Morris Room. Jo van den Driessche

Best cocktail bars in London, Behind this Wall

Eastside oysters and vinyls

Oysters and vinyl – is there a better combination in life? In Hackney Central, the Happy Hour oysters are just £1 a pop and the vinyl is excellently curated at the ever so discreet Behind This Wall bar. Always a winner with my out-of-towners. Tom Sweetman


Cheap and cheerful thalis in Wood Green

I would take them to the Asian Centre in Wood Green for a cheap thali cooked by Indian mamas! Chiara Pinto


A slow drift down the Thames

Anyone new to London will need to get the lay of the land, so if the weather’s fine and the tide’s in our favour, the first stop would be the Kew Pier to get a boat down the Thames. Which way? It doesn’t really matter, but you’re sure to see a side of the city that even many Londoners don’t. For those without sea legs, Kew Gardens is the obvious choice, especially while the mesmerising, bee-powered hive is in action. Caitlin Mackesy Davies

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Need more insider tips?

Restaurants, Ice-cream parlours

Four Winters

icon-location-pin Soho

Four Winters is an ice cream parlour with a rather unusual secret ingredient: liquid nitrogen. They’ve patented a special machine that freezes ice cream to order with a blast of the gas. Don’t panic. It all sounds nuttier than it actually is at this, Four Winters’ small, bright Soho branch. Yes, it’s a bit weird watching your ice cream billow clouds of gas as it’s frozen in that patented machine – but said contraption looks a bit like a standard Magimix, really, and the staff doing the freezing are wearing hairnets. There’s nothing less glamorous and more stoically familiar than a hairnet. But what does nitrogen-laced ice cream taste like? Pretty much like normal ice cream, if a tad smoother. Four Winters do a changing ‘seasonal’ offering as well as year-round specials, and the best flavour I tried was a tart, zingy passionfruit on the spring menu. Also excellent was a rich and nutty peanut ‘butter cup’ shake. The only disappointment was a rather cheap-tasting chocolate ice cream, which was too much like something you might hoover up at a kid’s birthday party and then deeply regret. Everything else was good though, and you’ve got to love the novelty nitrogen. And the hairnets.  

Venue says Four Winters is a new-generation ice cream maker that harnesses the power of liquid nitrogen to create customisable made-to-order ice cream.

Time Out says
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