If you’re a teenager and you find yourself in London for a short time soon – probably on a school or college trip, or most likely on an overseas holiday with your parents – you may feel that the UK capital sounds a rather prim and proper, old-fashioned and dull place to spend a few days and nights. Well, don’t believe a word of it. London is one of the world’s most dynamic, electric and exciting cities – there’s so much vibrancy, colour, culture and history to explore. All of it’s basically oozing from the place’s every pore.
So, what to do while you’re here then? Where to start? Well, here’s our guide to just two neighbourhoods you might want to visit (and just what to get up to in them) in one of the world’s most essential cities, especially if you’re making use of high-quality hotel loyalty programs courtesy of a terrific accommodation scheme like the Park Grand London Kensington reward program…
Check out Shoreditch
This East London neighbourhood is the favourite of many a young visitor and young local. A very arty part of town that’s home to hip restaurants, cool outlets and some of the best street art anywhere in the world, it also boasts Boxpark, a cacophony of popup shops and cafés inside old shipping containers – fun to explore and then some. You’ll also want to head down nearby Brick Lane for some fantastic vintage clothe shopping at the likes of Rokit and passion fruit chocolates at Dark Sugars.
Meanwhile, Brick Lane Market’s not to be missed of a Sunday, not least as Truman Brewery fills up with myriad food vendors offering Burmese, Chinese and Singaporean cuisine. Plus, this long street that’s at the centre of the East End’s Indian-Pakistani community comes alive of an evening thanks to the coterie of quality curry houses that line it; so great are they that they’ve arguably become world famous. If your stay in the capital’s seeing you indulge in the best hotel rewards program, then you must too savour some of the finest cuisine the city has to offer right here. Lip-smackingly good!
Seek out Southwark
Fair dos, Central London proper (i.e. the West End) is absolutely fine… if you like tourist traps. But away from the likes of Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, you can cross the river and discover the district that’s Southwark, a somewhat down-at-heel and rather cool area that’s also big on old and new culture, thanks to it being a hot-bed of an emerging 21st Century multicultural vibe and the centuries-old grandeur of Southwark Cathedral. The latter boasts more than a thousand years of history and is definitely worth a visit. Especially as they serve delicious scones in the refectory.
That said, for every taste-bud-tacular taste under the rainbow you must head next door to the legendary Borough Market, which is an irresistible haven of artisan food stalls, restaurants and cafés. Be warned, though, it gets mighty busy at the weekend! Finally, topping off the new-meets-old feel of this neighbourhood is, of course, the near-cloud-piercing skyscraper that’s a tour de force of modern architecture, the extraordinary Shard; with its extraordinary 360-degree view of the whole of London from its observation deck right at the top. Spectacular!