Student Life in London

London Overview

London is the capital city of England which boasts a rich history with an even better present. The landmarks in London will leave you in awe at their shear size and beauty, shopping districts with fantastic places to eat, drink and listen to music, London is the one stop shop for a brilliant student life. One of London’s most famous landmark’s is The Palace of Westminster or as it is more commonly known, The Houses of Parliament. The Palace was built in 1016 where it stood for over 800 years before the Great Fire of London destroyed most of it, it was then rebuilt in the years 1840-1876 and still stands strong to this day.

There are several ways to see London; open top bus, river cruises, bike but I find the best way to really experience the city is by foot. Although London is a very big place (1,580 sq. km) the City is reasonably compact and whilst you are walking down the streets you will soon realise that you are walking in the footsteps of some of history’s most celebrated citizens. Whilst you are exploring London don’t forget to look out for the blue plaques, the plaques represent famous people who have worked or lived in certain buildings around the capital linking it to the buildings and people who work or live there today. The Blue plaque scheme started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its time making it very interesting when you find one of the 900 scattered across the capital.

This great city is not all about history, the present and the future are very bright and with an ever-growing city it is only going to create more stories for the future. With well over 20 million tourists visiting the capital every year, there is a reason for this, and that is because of its historical importance mixed with its transparent beauty and bustling tourist attractions alongside its power throughout the world both economically and politically.

Things to do in London

No matter what your hobbies, interests or budget you will always be able to find something for you or your friends to do in the city, for those who enjoy art you have several world class galleries to chose from. One of the most well renowned art galleries in the world, The Tate, have several galleries in London with the Tate Modern being located at the former Bankside Power Station and boasts modern art from around the world leading to a great day out with minimal cost as the admission to the gallery is free. Another gallery in London is the National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square and founded in 1824 it is now home to over 2,300 paintings dating back from the 13th century, with free admission it is a gallery that is not to be missed.

During the summer there is no better place to be in London on a sunny day than Hyde Park, here you will be able to take a stroll, cycle, sun bathe or even sit by the serpentine which is a small lake in the middle of the park. Hyde park is one of four Royal parks and is the largest with access to Buckingham Palace where Hyde Park meets Green Park. Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the Monarch and a focal point for the British people when state occasions are being held there. One of the most recent and eagerly anticipated events was the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton which had people lining the streets for miles awaiting their balcony appearance. After sun bathing in Hyde Park and visiting Buckingham palace for a picture, head over to the Tower of London where you will find was is arguably the most prestigious items of jewellery in the whole of the UK. The Tower of London was a historic castle that was first constructed in 1078 and later finished in 1399, it has a prison within the walls and the Crown Jewells under guarded protection. You are allowed into the tower of London and students get a special discount price making it a must see for anyone living in London.

If you would like to meet the closest thing to celebrities as possible then Madame Tussauds will be the best place for you. Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in Marylebone where you will be able to find all your favourite celebrities and grab a picture with them, with wax models that look so realistic you may even be able to fool your friends at university into thinking it’s the real deal. Tickets start from £29 but make sure you book before you go as it can become very busy during the weekends and school holidays. A well-known iconic place to visit in London is Piccadilly Circus, it is famed in recent years for the huge curved advertising screens and easy access to the ‘best’ parts of the city. From Piccadilly Circus you are able to walk to Leicester Square, Soho, Chinatown, Oxford street and many more great locations. Chinatown is a small part of town that is full of authentic restaurants and shops that will give you a real sense of Chinese culture. The Chinese New Year is a great time to visit Chinatown as it is decorated beautifully, and people line the streets to celebrate, whilst you are in the town make sure to check out the new fourth gate on Wardour Street, it was completed in 2016 and built in traditional Qing Dynasty style making it a great stop for a picture. Once you have had a walk around Chinatown make sure you visit Leicester Square where you will find the biggest and best cinema’s in the city. Leicester Square is the home of big film premieres where they will roll out the red carpet for A-list celebrities. During the day the square is bustling with street performers how will make you laugh, dance and sometimes even sing and they make for a great laugh for you and your friends.

Shopping in London

One of the biggest reasons London attracts so many tourists is because of its shopping streets and well-known shopping centres. One of the most famous streets for shopping in London is Oxford street, with shops lining both sides of a 1.2-mile street you are able to find everything and anything you like at any budget. You will find world-wide brands such as Adidas and Nike and even cheaper clothes shops such as Primark meaning you will struggle to not find something that’s perfect for you. Selfridges is a huge department store on Oxford Street that boasts a wide selection of clothing brands that are complimented by the sale of jewellery and clothing accessories.

If you prefer to haggle when you go shopping then make your way to Camden where you will find an electric mix of stalls and stores selling everything from vintage original fashion, unique gifts, hand-crafter accessories and everything in between. The market is always bustling with people and is a great place to find that perfect item that you will not find in the high street stores.

Nightlife in London

London has been famed for its nightlife for many years and this is because it offers top clubs in the West End, world class theatres, social nights out in Shoreditch and much more. The clubbing scene in London is one to be sought after with huge clubs such as Ministry of Sound and Fabric you will struggle to find somewhere that isn’t open all night. Shoreditch is a brilliant place to visit with friends if you want to have a few social drinks and eat some lovely food whilst listening to music. One of the main venues to do this is Boxpark which is a series of shipping containers that have been put together which host pop up shops, bars and restaurants making it a great place to visit. London is full of traditional pubs and new modern cocktail bars meaning you will never fail to find somewhere to have a drink and escape the stresses of university life.

Sport in London

You will struggle to find a sport you like at a place near you, this is because there has been a lot of money funded by the Government to improve sports in local areas and with an already booming sports industry, London’s is only going to get bigger and better. In terms of spectator sports, you will be able to see it all, from football to ice hockey London has it all.

For the football fans you have several different top-flight teams to choose from; Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham and Crystal Palace alongside all the lower league teams that have stadiums all over London. One of the best places to play football with your friends is at Goals, Goals are a company that has several different locations all over London and boast floodlit AstroTurf pitches making it the best place to play day or night. Another Spectator sport that is very popular in London is Cricket, with the world-renowned Lords and Oval cricket grounds being in London you will be sure to visit one of these on match day and enjoy a great day out for you and your friends.

Escape London

If you want to escape the bustling city life and go somewhere that has a stone beach and a great pier then jump on a train to Brighton, Brighton is only an hour and a half away on a train and is the perfect escape from London. Alternatively, if you prefer sandy beaches then head East to Southend-on-Sea where you will find lots to do and during the summer a great place to sun bathe and relax. If you would prefer not to travel to far but still find a relaxing place to stay for the day, then Hampstead Heath is a great place to go. Hampstead Heath is a large heath that spans for over 320 hectares and is one of the highest points in London meaning you will get some great views making it the perfect place to do some university work.

Transport in London

There aren’t many paces you can’t go from London, with several airports, great motorway links and trains that go to almost all parts of the country you will struggle to find somewhere you are not able to get to directly. The M25 is a motorway ring road that circles round the outskirts of London, it will also connect you to the majority of other motorways that run up and down the country. London has one of the best transport links within the city, TFL busses run every few minutes and are very easy to navigate and pay for. The underground (the tube as it is more commonly referred to) is known for its easy to read maps and speed and consistency of trains all year round, if you can try and avoid rush hour as these are the tubes busiest times.

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