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Image of Big Ben and Parliament Big Ben and Parliament are iconic images of the city

London, a metropolitan wonder, does not disappoint during the summertime. For the millions who call this U.K. capital home (and to the many more who visit in the months of June, July, and August) it is a city that celebrates its sunny days with style! Here are some of our favorite events and activities to enjoy in the 2015 London sunshine!

See Outdoor Movies in London

Image of movie screening at South Bank The South Bank is just one place where you can catch an outdoor movie screening!

  • Pop Up Screens: Science lovers are in for a treat during this annual cinema screening series. Alien, The Terminator 2, Apollo 13, Shaun of the Dead and others will be shown beginning May 15. For just £18 (and £12 for those in the National Union of Students) you can enjoy these films – with commentary discussing their scientific validity – at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Read the entire story here…»
 

Image of London skyline The London skyline is a sight to behold

It’s arguably the favorite word of children everywhere – summertime! Question: When school is out, what can you do to keep the kids from getting bored? Answer: get inspired from our list of our top 10 favorite family-friendly things to do in London! (But who says summertime gets all the fun? We recommend these top yearly events in London, too!)

1. Nearby beaches

Nothing spells summertime quite like a dip in the water! Broadstairs and Sunny Sands are two beaches located in the nearby county of Kent. In the county of East Sussex, you’ll find Camber Sands and in the county of West Sussex you’ll find Littlehampton Beach. The best part? All of these locales are under a two hour commute from the city. Day trip or weekend excursion? You decide. Take advantage of our London vacation rentals for easy access to beachfront adventures! Read the entire story here…»

 

Image of Saint James Park View of the Saint James Palace in the oldest park in London, Saint James Park!

Parks play a vital role in what makes a city unique and London is no exception! London has an abundance of parks and squares, so residents and visitors do not lack precious green space. Not only do parks offer a retreat from city life, they are incredibly beneficial to the city’s economy, healthy lifestyle and vacation tourism. The parks also preserve ecological biodiversity, which benefits the environment, and also promotes outdoor living to encourage well-being! These ten parks in London showcase exactly why having parks can be so advantageous for the city and overall population.

1. Hyde Park

Did you know that Hyde Park, one of the most well-known parks in London, is the eastern side of the continuous green space that is shared with Kensington Gardens? Hyde Park, the more well known of the two, is often mistaken to be the entire park! With many entertaining activities to do in Hyde Park, such as play tennis or soccer, swim, horseback ride or to just take a stroll; this 142 hectare park has something to for everyone. Outdoor enthusiasts, consider staying in the neighborhood of Westminster to get optimal access to Hyde Park! There are multiple London landmarks within Hyde Park for locals and tourists to visit. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk is 7-mile walk through Hyde Park and its neighboring parks to see famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess. Another attraction in Hyde Park is the Speakers’ Corner. This is an alluring open-air place of public speaking where people are free to discuss and debate. Dynamism provides thousands of people the experience of the many great aspects of Hyde Park, every day. Read the entire story here…»

 

Image of Notting Hill Townhouses Notting Hill, London is known for their beautiful townhouses, built in the 19th century.

Possibly one of the most transformative neighborhoods of London, Notting Hill has a rich history that encompasses multiple cultural aspects of art and music that make this neighborhood so charming and unique!

Notting Hill, London welcomes you!

Notting Hill is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is in close proximity to the Kensington and Holland Park neighborhoods. While these three neighborhoods are rich with modern conveniences, such as shopping and restaurants, Notting Hill has a much more dynamic antiquity. The neighborhood was considered less than desirable up until the 1980’s but has now become one of the most sought after areas of London! This area is known for its bi-weekly markets on Portobello Road and the annual Notting Hill Carnival! While those events attract tourists and locals alike, this neighborhood has a rich history in music and art that is less well known with tourists but are all the more enjoyable!

In this article, we will explore the art and music scene in this distinctive neighborhood! To get a better understanding of the neighborhood as a whole, learn to live like a local in Notting Hill, London! Read the entire story here…»

 

Once known as “Lambehitha,” or “landing place for lambs,” the Lambeth district is located in central London. From its early Viking days as a lamb trading port, this region has since developed into one of the most iconic areas in London and the world. Although initially a marsh, Lambeth is now home to everything from the London Eye to Waterloo. It is presently one of the most visited areas of London, along with the popular West End, and is a great place to visit for any intrepid traveler.

Westminster Bridge at sunset with the Big Ben The Westminster Bridge connects two of London’s major neighborhoods: Lambeth and the City of Westminster.

The district of Lambeth is located along the south bank of the River Thames, opposite Westminster. (In fact, the two were linked by a horse ferry across the Thames until the opening of Westminster Bridge in 1750, followed by Blackfriars Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge.) It’s a great place in which to look for an apartment with a view of the Thames or just go for a walk along the river. Within the context of London Lambeth is centrally located with a wealth of culture all its own. Read the entire story here…»

 

picture of Big Ben in winter Big Ben on a snowy London Day

There’s nothing quite like seeing the joy in children’s faces as they frolic in the snow. Of course, wintertime cannot be entirely devoted to those white flakes. The answer? London. Centuries of history spread out across 3 districts offer countless activities for you and your family during the winter season. Some of these activities take advantage of snowfall, while others are best for chilly days where you cannot bear to be anywhere besides indoors. Here is a list of our favorite things to do for families in the wintertime.

1. Visit the city’s museums

Image of the Natural History Museum The National History Museum is just as famous for its architecture as it is for its exhibits

The metropolis of London is not short on museums, many featuring priceless artifacts! For marine fanatics, the HMS Belfast stores nine decks worth of history, from the ship’s mechanics to the ways in which sailors lived aboard the vessel. Want to know more about London’s iconic double-decker buses and black taxis? You’re in luck: The London Transport Museum seeks to educate the masses on the importance of London’s public transportation system. The National History Museum, one of London’s most prominent galleries, boasts exhibits dedicated to geology, ecology, zoology, paleontology as well as a wildlife garden. (And don’t miss the most complete Stegosaurus known to humankind.) For astronomy, engineering, and medicine, the Science Museum cannot be matched. A day of kitschy fun can be found at Madame Tussauds, where you and the kids can pose with the lifelike wax figurines of your favorite celebrities! And for the child in all of us (or the children in your party), there’s the V&A Museum of Childhood, which displays toys and other playthings as a testament to the boundless imagination of kids. South Kensington is home to many other museums; check out our guide to the district here. Read the entire story here…»

 

Canary Wharf is to London what Lower Manhattan is to New York – a financial powerhouse characterized by towering skyscrapers and finely pressed suits. Global banks and media houses attract some 100,000 workers daily. It is actually one of two main financial centers, sharing the title with the City of London. (See our video tour of the City of London here.) In fact, the second tallest building in the UK, One Canada Square, calls Canary Wharf home. Canary Wharf has historical roots in shipping, and for 160 years was one of the busiest docks in the world. The docks were finally closed in 1981 after the port industry began to decline. Its current iteration is the vision of Michael von Clemm who first came up with the idea to convert Canary Wharf into a bank office and business district in the late 1980’s. As one of the poshest districts in town, be sure you’re caught up on our basic tips for London etiquette.

Canary Wharf and London from above Canary Wharf in London on the horizon of the Thames

Located on a little peninsula along the north of the River Thames, Canary Wharf and Docklands can be found in the east of London on the Isle of Dogs. Its northern borders stretch from Limehouse in the west to London City Airport in the east. For information on what else is in the area check out our video tour of Hackney and the East End. This article will discuss the places in Canary Wharf and Docklands mentioned in the video, including Cabot Square, the West India Quay, the Thames Barrier, Island Gardens, and the Greenwich foot tunnel. Read the entire story here…»

 

Welcome to one of London’s best-kept secrets – the East End! In this video tour we’ll show you a glimpse of all that this thriving neighborhood has to offer, including a bit of the history, culture, and of course the local hot spots. Starting as a series of villages outside of the City of London, local docks brought high demand for workers and with them the seed of urban development. This has blossomed in the last few decades, making London’s East End and the greater neighborhood of Hackney a haven for art and culture.

Canal in the East End Take a walk along one of the East End’s many canals

The East End can be found (understandably) in the eastern section of London. It’s bordered by Bishopsgate to the west, the River Thames in the south, the River Lea in the east, and Regent’s Canal in the north. This article will discuss the places mentioned in the video, including Shoreditch, Hockston, and Spitalfields. Not sure how your London street smarts compare? Our tips and etiquette guide for visitors might help you out. Read the entire story here…»

 

Image of Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square is an iconic – and popular – open urban space for Londoners

With centuries’ worth of history and the arts across 32 boroughs and the titular City, London truly earns its distinction as Europe’s financial and cultural powerhouse. Covering over an estimated 600 square miles, there’s an infinite number of places to explore the full depth of London’s vibrancy. The West End of London, including the neighborhood of Bloomsbury, packs much of this energy into a relatively compact area – perfect for exploring! (Another neighborhood worthy of exploration? South Kensington, of course!)

Welcome to Bloomsbury / West End

An unofficial designation, The West End used to refer to the region west of Charing Cross in the 19th Century but now refers to the entertainment district and shopping areas from Covent Garden across to Oxford Street. Considered to be the epicenter of London’s commercial and entertainment industries, there are plenty of shopping opportunities and live theatre here. Many UK film premieres take place in the region’s Leicester Square, while Covent Garden entices tourists and locals with its shops and marketplaces. For a better picture of the area, take a look at our video guide of the West End! Read the entire story here…»

 

London streets light up for Christmas The city of London lights up for the holiday season

It’s that time of year again! Snow is glistening and Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. Christmas spirit has settled over London like fresh snow as the city lights up like a Christmas tree. In this article we’ve compiled all the best things to do for the holiday season, including holiday markets, outdoor ice skating, seasonal must-sees, and of course all those great Christmas activities you can’t live without.

Holiday Markets:

Hyde Park holiday market, with rides and ice skating The Winter Wonderland holiday market in Hyde Park

Hotly anticipated every year is the first day the holiday markets open. Glittering little shops spring up throughout the city, all of them great places to pick up a hot cocoa or a present for that difficult-to-shop-for relative. But of all the markets in town we’ve tracked down the very best. So be sure to visit one or two this holiday season!

  • A gorgeous park any day, Hyde Park looks like it’s straight out of a snow globe around Christmas. For that reason it has one of the best holiday markets in the country. The whole attraction is called Winter Wonderland but the market section is known as the Angels and Yuletide Christmas market, known for its unique stalls offering handmade gifts and hot cider. You can buy tickets to Winter Wonderland’s Christmas circus and ice sculpture garden, as well as to the biggest outdoor ice skating rink in the whole United Kingdom. The Angels and Yuletide market itself is, of course, free of charge. It runs every day from November 21st to January 4th, but the best time to come is just before dusk so you can watch the sun set over the park as the shops light up one by one. Read the entire story here…»