London: a world cultural capital

London: a world
cultural capital

London is a vast and diverse place. It offers a wealth of interesting cultural and historical activities that will mean you're never short of something fun to do.

Discover London

London is a diverse and exciting city with some of the best sights and attractions in the world.

It is often said that London is series of villages locked together over a great space. We take a broad overview of different London varied neighbourhoods to give you just a little taste of a great big city.

North and North West London has some of London's finest parks, famous music venues, markets and shopping.

As big and varied as the rest of London there are a few parts of North London that have always been special to Londoners.

Hampstead Heath is a wide and wild park with wonderful views over the city and wooded areas from which the city disappears. Nearby is the ancient and atmospheric Highgate Cemetery, final resting place of Karl Marx and many local literary celebrities from down the centuries.

A few miles further south is Camden Town and its famous, sprawling weekend market where you can find clothes, food, antiques and all kinds strange and wonderful things.

The Regents Canal or C3 bus takes you from Camden Town to the wonderfully regal Regents Park and London Zoo.

Heading from North West to North East London takes you Angel and Islington, full of bars, cafes and restaurants and to the boarders of the bohemian east.

Local Authorities in North London

Barnet
Brent
Camden
Haringey
Harrow
Hillingdon
Islington
Waltham Forest

East London is buzzing with creativity, but in the minds of many people is forever associated with the novels of Charles Dickens, the dark habits of Sherlock Holmes and the crimes of Jack the Ripper. There are certainly parts of Whitechapel and seem to have changed little since the times of Dickens.

But these days, amongst the old Victorian streets you’ll find the best contemporary art at the Whitechapel Gallery, a crazy mix of cutting edge fashion and curry houses on and around Brick Lane and a little north of Brick Lane London’s ‘In-crowd’ gather around the bars, restaurants and nightclubs of Shoreditch and Old Street.

For the best of new young artists and contemporary art from around the world there is Flowers East in Hackney, Victoria Miro east of Old Street and the White Cube in Hoxton Square.

Local Authorities in East London

Barking & Dagenham
Bexley
City of London
Hackney
Havering
Newham
Tower Hamlets

From St Paul’s Cathedral in the east you can head down to the river and cross the ‘wobbly bridge’ and find yourself in Southwark outside the Tate Modern.  The Tate Modern is the biggest and best contemporary art museum in the UK, with an outstanding permanent collection and regular blockbuster art shows all inside what was once a power station. 

A short walk west from the Tate is the South Bank Centre, which includes the National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, British Film Institute and Purcell Centre. A huge array of music, theatre and art is on show here all year round in these imposing purpose built venues. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars here by the river too if you feel like sitting and taking in the the river views.

The southeast side of the river is full of great places, with the Globe Theatre just by Tate Modern, Southwark Cathedral just round the corner from Borough Market, one of London’s best food.

Local Authorities in South East London

Greenwich
Lambeth
Lewisham
Southwark

From Kensington to Wimbledon, taking in Chelsea, Brixton and Clapham South West London is as diverse and exciting as any other part of the city. The rich and famous gather around Knightsbridge and shop at Harvey Nichols or Harrods. The Kings Road in Chelsea is also a favourite place for Royals and children of the wealthy to spend their time and money.

For the not so well healed, there’s still plenty of fun to had around the bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants of Battersea, Clapham and Brixton.

 But it’s not all about shopping, drinking and eating in SW London, there are some of the best museums in the country down this way. The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the V&A can all be found on and near the appropriately named Exhibition Road.

Local Authorities in South West London

Kingston
Merton
Sutton
Wandsworth

From the West End, out to Notting Hill and beyond, the vast array of historic buildings, theatres, shopping and sightseeing is phenomenal in West London.

The best of high street shopping all along Oxford Street and Regents Street, the bars and restaurants of Soho and Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and, of course Big Ben. Most of the sites the world associates with London can be found in West and Central London.

Local Authorities in West London

Ealing
Hounslow
Kensington & Chelsea
Richmond
Westminster