Moving to London was something that I always aspired to do, so when I got a place at the University of Roehampton, I was ecstatic! Over the course of my four years of study, I’ve made the effort to visit places in London that I’d always wanted to see. Now that I’m coming to the end of my time at Roehampton, I’ve created a list of my top ten places to visit in London!
1. Richmond Park
Living with one of the Royal Parks on your doorstep is one of the many perks of studying at the University of Roehampton. A fantastic step away from the hustle of London, this enormous green space has saved me from my stress many times. The beautiful forests and lakes really are great for clearing your head, even better if you bring a picnic and some friends. Watching the red deer and fallow deer roam free around the park really takes you away from the fast-paced city life, while still being in Zone 3 of the capital. They also have car-free zones, perfect for both walking and cycling.
2. Kew Gardens
The world-famous Kew Gardens is a short way away from the University of Roehampton. With an array of green houses and immense outside spaces, it’s a great place to spend a day out. Personally, visiting on a warm day and having a slow walk around while listening to a summery playlist was a great way to appreciate the vast collection of plant life they have accumulated over many years.
3. Camden Market
This place really does have something for everyone. If you’re like me and can appreciate a good market, I can guarantee you will have a fantastic time. From unique jewellery, vintage clothes, and even old videogames and toys, Camden Market has it all. To top it all off, they have an astonishing amount of food stalls to cater to all tastes and dietary requirements, perfect for a midday break before diving back into the stalls. I hugely enjoyed the Doc Martens shop, where they display signed boots of famous rock stars, and the world-famous Cyberdog shop, which is filled with neon lights and crazy décor.
4. 180 The Strand
Situated in Northeast London, 180 The Strand offers something out of the ordinary. Giant ceiling-high art projections, weird sculptures, expertly crafted lightshows, each new exhibition will leave you in awe. With the exhibition changing at least twice a year, this is a spot you’ll want to return to so you can enjoy a whole new experience.
5. Tate Modern
Located on the bank of the River Thames, Tate Modern contains an impressive collection of art. Tickets for access to the collection are free, and they offer a great selection of limited-time exhibitions. Being situated very close to the centre of London, it’s only a couple of tube stops away from some great sightseeing opportunities such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral – perfect if you want a free day out!
6. The Natural History Museum
One of my absolute favourite places, the Natural History Museum makes for a perfect free day out both by yourself and with a group of friends. I used to visit here a lot when I was little, and I still find it just as awe-inspiring. Ranging from exhibits on volcanoes, to dinosaurs, to space, there is something for everyone. As a zoology student, their Spirit Collection made up of many animals, big and small (including a great white shark!), is a must-do. They also feature limited-time exhibitions, so keep an eye on their website!
7. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
Although this is only open for a portion of the year, Winter Wonderland was one of the first things on my bucket list of things to do when I moved to London. Filled with the smells of tasty food and mulled wine, even just taking a stroll through fills you with the Christmas Spirit. For any thrill-seekers that want to visit, they also have some fairground rides for you to sink your teeth into.
8. Tooting Market
Tooting market is, in my opinion, quite a hidden gem. With a fantastic range of fresh fruit, vegetable, and meat stalls, it’s a prime location for any avid cook. They also have many mini restaurant stalls featuring cuisine from around the world at very affordable prices. One of my favourites and a must-do for any Japanese food lover, check out Hi-Ki Robata (and try the miso aubergine!).
9. Hampton Court Palace
For those that like a bit of history, Hampton Court Palace is the perfect place for a tour of an impressive estate and gardens. On top of having some brilliant sight-seeing opportunities, you can even ice-skate in their courtyard in the winter!
10. ZSL London Zoo
Located in Regents Park, ZSL London Zoo is a charity-led animal park with a big focus on the conservation of endangered species conservation, community conservation, and combating climate change. With exhibits focused on inspiring future generations to make sustainable changes to their lifestyles to ensure the futures of at-risk animals and communities, it makes for a fun, educational day out. Regents Park is also one of the famous Royal Parks and is perfect for a picnic too!