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From Soho to Notting Hill via Hackney and Hampstead, this is the London of Londoners

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At a glance

A perfect itinerary for the repeat visitor to London, spend your time exploring the locales and neighbourhoods preferred by Londoners themselves. While still offering historical interest and cultural discovery, you’ll bypass the crowds and learn about the city that 8 million people call home.

Partner up with our passionate local guide and embark on a tour of Soho, a favourite hangout in the heart of central London. From here it’s a stone’s throw to some of the capital’s best shopping districts focussed around the main arteries of Oxford Street and Regent Street. Stroll along the River Thames at the Southbank and visit some of the city’s prime cultural venues away from the big ticket attractions.

In North London you’ll discover Hampstead, a typically English village implanted in the heart of metropolitan London. This prestigious address has been home to many noteworthies and walking through the village you can visit the former homes of many important historical figures, or simply go for a walk across the Heath.

Across in East London, Hackney is London’s creative hub. The young, trendy vibe continues south to Brick Lane, a lively district that is known for its street art. Notting Hill and nearby Kensington Gardens are two of the most elegant locations to while away a day in central London have a host of local eateries and boutique shops to explore.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-7

London

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Airside meet and greet at London Heathrow airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in London

Accommodation in London

Seven days exploring London Seven days exploring London

London is one of the most exhilarating and diverse cities in the world. This thriving metropolis has a rich history evident at every street corner and yet it continues to innovate, reinvent itself and lead the world.

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Soho walking tour Soho walking tour

Head to Soho for a walking tour of one of London’s most eclectic and mixed neighbourhoods. So many rock stars and fashionistas have passed through this way, including the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, whose flat you can visit at a nearby museum. There are still record and vintage fashion shops around here, or you can go for more modern labels in the Carnaby Street boutiques.

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Guided shopping tour of London Guided shopping tour of London

Expert shoppers themselves, our guides know not only the headline stores such as Harrods and Liberty, but also smaller boutiques, quirky shopping precincts and local neighbourhood shopping districts. Spend some time shopping in Carnaby Street, which has been a fashionista’s paradise since the Swinging Sixties, or in the fashion mecca of Oxford Street, home to another famous department store, Selfridge’s.

london-southbank
Southbank walk Southbank walk

London’s unofficial culture mile, the Southbank, boasts free exhibitions, movies at the British Film Institute and shows at the National Theatre. To escape the crowds, either dive into Southwark Cathedral where Shakespeare worshipped or head around the corner to the George Inn, the only remaining galleried inn in London.

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Hampstead Village Hampstead Village

Hampstead is one of London's urban villages: until the 19th century, a sleepy rural settlement perched on a hill overlooking The Big Smoke below. As London expanded, it swallowed up Hampstead. Still, the village managed to retain its character and atmosphere, and today is one of the most peaceful - and exclusive - neighbourhoods in the city. Not only this but over the centuries the village was home to several prominent artists and cultural figures: John Constable, John Keats, Freud, Agatha Christie and many more besides. This artistic legacy has left an incredible collection of small museums celebrating the village's history. Perhaps the best art collection is at Kenwood House with its British paintings and European Old Masters. The house sits on the edge of Hampstead Heath, one of London's most popular spots for locals to come walking. Enjoy the view over London from Parliament Hill or if you're feeling brave and the sun is shining, take a dip in the Hampstead Ponds.

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Highgate Cemetery Highgate Cemetery

Visit the atmospheric Highgate Cemetery; opened in 1839 the cemetery is divided into east and west and is where many illustrious figures from the 19th century are buried, including Karl Marx.

You can also walk along the high street and browse the boutiques and cafes, and visit Hampstead Parish Church to see John Constable’s grave in the churchyard. Or if you feel like nosying around the houses of some of London’s most famous residents, there are plenty of house museums including Freud’s House, Keats House, and 2 Willow Road, former home of the modernist architect, Ernö Goldfinger.

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Explore London's trendy East End Explore London's trendy East End

Hackney is one of London’s up-and-coming areas and one of the coolest places to hang out at. Start your day at London Fields, either with a swim in the restored 1930s lido, or a pleasant stroll past the urban meadows to Broadway Market if you're visiting on a Saturday. Browse the boutiques and bookshops then cross Regents Canal and head to Brick Lane in time for lunch. See the hipster cafes, including the somewhat controversial Cereal Killer Cafe, and Bangladeshi curry houses, or explore the fashion houses and sari shops. Stop by a pub and get your first introduction to to English bitters and English sparkling wine.

See some of the local hangouts such as Boxpark and the Whitechapel Gallery which continue to be at the forefront of London’s creative scene and maybe pop into Christ Church Spitalfields, a working church that is also used for numerous community events.

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Notting Hill walking tour Notting Hill walking tour

The pastel-coloured houses lining the streets of Notting Hill were the backdrop to the hit movie starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and are just as picturesque in real life. The centre of activity is Portobello Road with its famous Saturday antiques market.

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Kensington Palace Museum Kensington Palace Museum

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, Kensington Palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century, and has been the official London residence of many members of the Royal Family from Queen Victoria (as Princess) to Princess Diana and her two sons. Hyde Park is adjacent to Kensington Gardens and here you can stroll along the Diana Walk or visit the latest exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Heathrow airport

Transfer

Airside departure assistance

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