Sometimes London feels a bit too big and you may want a break from all the madness from the city. Luckily, you don’t have to always travel far to feel like you’ve gotten away! Here is the list of my favorite places to go when I feel that I want to take a breather from the business and vastness of wonderful London.
Holland Park is a real treat, a place that has an atmosphere unlike any other. With multiple different themed gardens inspired by countries around the world, you can find your fancy in at least one of these gardens!
Kyoto gardens present a tranquil area in which you can relax on a bench, watching the carp swim along in the pond while listening to the calming waterfall. Or you could head over to the Dutch gardens and enjoy the bright tulips, organized in beautiful patterns. Who would have thought that this would all be present within the city? Whatever sort of atmosphere you are looking for, I am sure you can find it somewhere in Holland Park!
The British Museum:
The British Museum has so much culture and history under its great glass tile roof, one could get lost and forget where they are. The museum is also known as the “World Museum”. This is because there are so many different archaeological artifacts from around the world, from Aboriginal Australia, to China, to Canada. Thus, there’s so much to see and learn. You can get lost in all the history that you forget you’re in the present!
Now, you may recognize this bridge from a Harry Potter film, but this bridge is still just as great and camera-worthy in real life! Walk along the river Thames and take in the beautiful sights of central London. You will be snapping pictures that will make all of your friends and family jealous. The steel suspension footbridge was built as part of the UK’s millennium celebrations. Check out the famous “wobbly bridge” and see views of the London skyline that almost seem distant although in the middle of the city. You will feel as if you are in a movie while on this movie star bridge.
Victoria and Albert Museum:
Much like the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum is not only a museum filled with many different amazing artifacts and cultural pieces. The building itself is stunning! You can enjoy both the wonderful exterior of the building, with the grand red brick and perfect arches. There is also the sophisticated, bright interior that helps to showcase all the artifacts.
No matter what mood you are looking for, you can get it just right with all of the different exhibits. The V&A have many classic European sculptures, but also different works from all over Asia. You can once again get lost in history when at this museum.
If you would like a pop of color, you absolutely need to check out Neal’s Yard! Tucked into an ally way near seven dials, this colorful getaway is the perfect place to get that fun atmosphere. It is one of the most vibrant areas that you can find in central London. With such fun colors, what better place to hang out? This colorful escape makes you forget about the hustle and bustle of the city that is just steps away.
Hampstead’s protected wild park is a wonderful grassy public space that you can just go and relax on. It is located in Northern London and consists of 320 hectares of land, including many different biking and hiking trails. The view of the Central London from the park is phenomenal. With the wooded areas and meadows surrounding you, you will forget that you are a short tube ride from the main part of the city.
Yet another South Kensington gem, Kynance Mews is a beautiful picture spot in the spring and summer that isn’t extremely popular. You can always go to a park to see blooming flowers, but at Kynance Mews, you get to experience wonderful cobblestone streets, traditional architecture, all enhanced by various flowers and trees. It is a quaint area that is the perfect spot for some fun and springy photos that feel far gone from the touristy areas.
Enjoy this blog post? Check out our other posts as well here. You can also join us on our treasure hunts, available at both the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum and discover wonderful treasures from around the world with some friendly competition!
Fittingly for a museum of art and design, there are three beautiful and inspiring places to eat, drink and rest inside the V&A. The Main Cafe is also the worlds very first museum cafe, with its three rooms still in their original design. All of these can also make great places for score tallying and prize giving after you THATMuse Treasure Hunt!
The Garden Café
In one corner of the V&A’s beautiful garden is the relaxed Garden Café. Serving coffees, cakes and other refreshments in the heart of the buildings, its the perfect place to admire the building’s uniquely beautiful architecture.
We often begin our Travel Trail and Fashion Hunts here, (weather permitting!) and it can be a lovely place to dip your toes in the pool and enjoy the sun.
The Garden Café is open all year, weather dependent in December and January.
The Courtyard Café
The new Courtyard Café at the Exhibition Road entrance is a stylish place to grab a bite, right next to the exciting special exhibition gallery. Depending o time of day it serves healthy breakfast pastries, open sandwiches and salads for lunch, as well as an interesting selection of British craft beer and sparkling wine.
Daily: 8.30 – 17.45
Friday: 8.30 – 20.30
Please note: occasionally the Courtyard Café will not open until 10.00 due to museum events.
The Main Café
Gamble, Morris and Poynter Rooms
The V&A’s main cafe is actually the world’s first museum cafe! First built in the 1860’s, long before London’s other museums invested in catering, the South Kensington Museum as it was then known was a bit more of a trek out of the city proper than it is today. So the founding Director Henry Cole decided a restaurant would attract more visitors and aid in their enjoyment of the wonderful collection. He hired three eminent designers to decorate the rooms; James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter.
These incredible rooms now host a huge range of hot and cold meals, drinks and treat. You can even book a replica High Tea that Queen Victoria herself enjoyed!
Daily: 10.00 – 17.10
Friday: 10.00 – 21.15