London: A cultural centre

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Our much-loved capital really does have a lot going for it, and this all adds up to make London undoubtedly one of the most cultural cities in the world.

LONDON

Every corner you turn offers something unique and exciting for you to experience, from museums and galleries to street art, an array of bars and, of course, food from across the world.

Where do you even begin though?

Well, you can split the city up into four distinct quarters, although each of these are still made up of different places offering literally hundreds of things to see and do.

Starting in west London, here you can find the Museum Quarter. This area is known for the famous Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert museums. Whether you want to find out about dinosaurs, space crafts or see art and design from the past 3,000 years, you’ll be able to find it at this trio of cultural gems.

These are based in the upmarket area of South Kensington, one of London’s wealthiest districts. You can also find a number of stunning parks in the area, proving that London isn’t the grey city that some people consider it to be.

In fact, London has a huge number of green spaces, with Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park both sitting in the west. Hyde Park spreads across 142 acres and contains 4,000 trees, a meadow, ornamental flower garden and a lake. So why not take a picnic and breathe in the culture of west London to your heart’s content?

The east of the city contrasts the west in many ways, with a much more diverse and unique offering of culture. The east has seen huge development in recent years since the Olympics in 2012, and it’s now truly thriving as a cultural centre.

Brick Lane is most well-known for its markets, as well as the delicious food you can try, either from one of the many restaurants or the street food vendors that can be found there almost every day. It’s a lively and diverse neighbourhood, and one that you could spend hours exploring.

Not far away you can also find Old Spitalfields Market, one of the finest Victorian market halls in the country. This is filled with stalls selling a variety of clothes, jewellery, trinkets, artwork and an absolute banquet of food and drink. Choose from one of the restaurants or many food vendors dotted about, who sell anything from burgers and ribs to oysters and fine wine.

If you’re heading south and you’re a fan of street art, then you absolutely cannot miss a visit to the Leake Street tunnel. This hidden gem is a playground for street artists, being a legal graffiti area.

Those that don’t know of its existence will easily miss this cultural extravaganza, with thousands of people walking by every day completely unaware of what they could be enjoying just a few minutes away.

Every weekend you’ll find the place filled to the brim with artists and art lovers alike, while events are often held here too.

The tunnel is quite a stark contrast to the rest of this area, which is where you’ll find some of the city’s most well-known tourist attractions. Why not take in the London Eye, Buckingham Palace or St Paul’s Cathedral, all of which hold their own delights for visitors to the city?

Slightly further north towards the centre of London you can then find the West End, where you can catch one of the many shows on offer every night, and see even more of the attractions that the city is known and loved for. These include Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and of course, the shopping districts on Oxford Street and Bond Street.

You won’t want to miss out Camden in north London either, which is probably one of the most famous market areas in the capital. This is filled not only with stalls selling almost any item you can imagine, but plays host to many quirky performances, as well as being a base for some of the city’s most popular music venues.

Of course, this is only scratching the surface of London. There are a huge number of exhibitions, shows and events every week, so there’s bound to be something that sparks your interest.

Why not search online and see what’s on during your visit? You’ll find hundreds of things to choose from, whether it’s a planned event or just an area that you want to explore yourself and really immerse yourself in.

Whatever you do, you’ll be sure to soak up the culture of London and everything it has to offer.

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