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Wednesday 19 June 2024

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A jaunt around the best of London


You can pretty much guarantee that London will give you a good time, no matter who you are.

Whether you’re a tourist visiting the bright lights of England’s capital for the first time, or a hardened Londoner who chews on jellied eels, bellows Knees up Mother Brown at passers-by and understands why taxi drivers don’t go “sath of tha riva”, there are always new discoveries to be made in this sprawling city.

Of course, other guides might try to fob you off by recommending the staples – Buckingham Palace, Westminster, the National Gallery. But we’ve put together something a little different, the places that it might not occur to you to visit.

If you’re travelling from Gatwick Airport, drop your car off at the Gatwick Meet and Greet, make your way into the city and get ready for a good time.

Have your Great Expectations met at the Charles Dickens Museum.

Charles Dickens – writer of Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and countless others – used London as the canvas for almost all his tales. Famously, the esteemed writer would wander around the most impoverished areas of the capital at night, using the squalor as inspiration.

The Charles Dickens Museum is the home to this legend’s canon, and features a slew of facts, relics and manuscripts from the writer’s life. Situated in the house where Dickens once lived, it’s a truly unique experience that almost lets you breathe the same air as one of Victorian England’s true greats.

The finest grub in Chinatown

Chinatown is one of the finest places to eat in all of London – that is, if you’re a fan of Chinese food.

To start with, try out the modestly priced Four Seasons, a restaurant famed for its Cantonese-style roast duck. If you’re heading down Wardour Street, you’ll find it easy to spot – it’s the one with the barbecued meats displayed in the window.

If you’re looking for a more authentic look to your dining, try out Longji on Charing Cross Road. Kitted out just like a Hong Kong fast food joint, it’ll give you the flavour of Asia in both sight and taste.

A laugh of an evening

The Comedy Store has become a mecca for stand-up comedy in the UK, priding itself on presenting the best in up and coming comics.

Originally making its name during the alternative comedy scene of the 80s, it played host to figures like Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall, Paul Merton, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, among others.

Now, it’s where comics come to make a name for themselves and, if you’re up for a laugh, it’s the perfect end to your night.

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