Things to do if you’re new to London

Moving to a new city can be extremely daunting, especially to London as it’s a big old baffling place. When I moved back from home from Leicester everything I knew had  completely changed. There are a thousand and one things to do here and here’s my list of fun ideas and some advice on how to fit in and feel at home in the capital.

Tweet me at @anna_boast or @activeinldn if you try any of them out!

 

Walk Everywhere 

It’s seriously the best way to orientate yourself in London. The tube map is incredibility misleading and most station are only a stones throw away from each other. Use Transport for London’s walking tube map to discover how near or far stations really are. Since I got my FitBit I walk everywhere and I can’t wait to move out of the suburbs so I can run to work.

Catch London’s Cheapest Bus Tour 

So, walking isn’t your thing. That’s fine, how about a tour of London’s major sites for just £1.50? Hop on the number 11 bus and you’ll get to see some of our most-loved landmarks. It travels from Liverpool Street to Fulham Town Hall, taking you past the Bank of England, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

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Don’t go up The Shard 

Seriously – don’t. It’s a complete rip off at £30. Instead head to the Walkie-Talkie building and visit the Sky Garden which is completely free! Avoid the queues and book into one of their early morning yoga sessions. Nothing beats watching the sunrise over London.

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Go for a £10 Steak

There are few places where you can get a cheap steak dinner, but Flat Iron serves up the best. Their menu is incredibility simple and some of their branches are attract queues of up to two hours. Luckily, they work the queue with an app so you can have a few pints at a pub nearby whilst you’re waiting.

Wander along the South Bank 

It’s home to dozens of street performers, the National Theatre, outdoor food markets and second-hand book stalls. Borough Market is a must see, it’s got every type of food and drink you could ever possibly dream of.

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Attend a Supper Club 

Turning up solo in a restaurant can make a lot of people anxious, so why not book a supper club instead? The goals is to bring strangers together over food. London Pop-ups have a great list here of the regular and best supper clubs in town.

Try a new Exercise Class 

It’s the perfect way to find a new gang of workout buddies, plus London has heaps of unique and insanely fun workout options. I’ve recently tried 1Rebel and Another Space and I can’t wait to go back.

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Follow Active in London

Follow me on Twitter @ActiveinLdn to keep up to date with stuff happening in the City. You can also catch me on Instagram.

 

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Things to do in London when it’s Sunny

With summer just around the corner and the unpredictability of English weather, you won’t want to waste a second of the sunshine – It’s time to get those sunglasses out, drink Pimms and eat ice cream.

 

Visit a Rooftop Bar

One of the best ways to enjoy London is with a drink in hand, on the top of a tall building. Madison’s boasts one of the best views over St. Paul’s Cathedral, and at Vista bar you have Nelson’s Column on one side, Big Ben on the other. Dalston Roof Park is a slighty kitschy with astroturf, coloured deckchairs and a gaint flamingo – but there’s also an edible garden in which the produce is used in their cocktails.

Madison

 

Eat Street food 

Who wants to be stuck inside a stuffy restaurant when you can eat al fresco? Borough Market is by far the most famous food market in London and it has the perfect balance between fresh produce and meals you can eat straight away. Whilst working near Holborn I would frequently visit Leather Lane, you can’t go without trying Grill my cheese  – their mac n cheese toasties are to die for. Working in the city means that Kerb at the Gherkin is my new go-to street food market on a Thursday. They also have markets at Kings Cross, Paddington and West India Quary. Now, you can’t talk about Street Food without mentioning  Streetfeast, and Dinerama is a foodies paradise with highlights from Yum Bum and You Doughnut.

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Get on your Bike 

London is a big place, and tackling the city by foot can be daunting. London has some great cycle routes – why don’t you cycle around the East End and stop off at loads of cycling-themed cafes? Make sure you stop off at Look Mum No Hands.

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Visit London’s Little Gardens 

Hyde park is over rated and full of tourists – get yourself to Dalson Eastern Curve Garden, you can relax can have a coffee or craft beer by the cafe, pizza from the woodburner and even join in with a spot of gardening every Saturday from 2pm. On Tuesdays from 7pm there’s also live acoustic music. There are plenty more to discover here.

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Devour Frozen Treats 

It’s the best way to cool off on a hot sunny day and if you find yourself North London, you have to try Chin Chin Laboratories. They use liquid nitrogen to freeze their ice cream and they change their flavours weekly. Sloane Brothers serve up Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt in Shoreditch and you can add a little bit of naughtiness by topping it with peanut butter brownies! It’s not often that lactose intolerant or vegans can enjoy frozen treats, but at Yorica you can. You’re spoilt for choice with tonnes of flavours and toppings.

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Your June Fitness Agenda

With summer just about the corner everyone is gearing up to get fit – and not because you need a ‘bikini body’ but you can chase those ice cream vans down the street.

You need to try these fitness classes – it’s so much better than being stuck inside a gym on a sunny day.

House of Voga 

A yoga class inspired by Madonna’s 80s hit ‘Vogue… Strike a Pose’ – It’s described as yoga was sass. Classes run on Saturdays from 4 June-17 September at King’s Cross Pond.

House of Voga

Secret London Runs: London’s Power Woman Week

Discover London and celebrate the amazing women who helped shaped it. It’s a 8km group running tour which takes place every day between 5th and 9th June.

Sunset Aquathlon Series 

It’s the first of four taking place in Hyde Park. You complete a 500m swim, then tackle a 5k run in Hyde Park. It’s on my bucket list to do a triathlon and this will act as a warm up, sign me up for the one in August.

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Enormous Elephant Run

A fun fancy-dress run all about saving African Elephants – you can either run 5k, 10k or 15k on Clapham Common. The elephant suit is included in the fee, and all the money goes to saving these beautiful creators.

The Colour Run

You start the race alongside thousands of Color Runners start the day in a white t-shirt, getting covered from head to toe in a rainbow of colours at each kilometre of the course.

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The Gherkin Challenge 

Take on the Gherkin and its 38 floors, you’ll be rewarded with a glass of champagne and spectacular views when you reach the top.

 

Junkyard Golf Club, Shoreditch

The Old Truman Brewery has literally been overtaken by a load of rubbish – in the form of crazy gold courses. Junkyard Golf Club originated in Manchester, and until August it will be in London’s Brick Lane. Navigate your way around jacuzzis, slides, speed boats, wendy houses and treadmills.

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You can choose from three courses – Pedro, Frank, and Helga – each course is 9 holes long. Scott and I went last Friday evening and tried out Frank. It’s made up all entirely recycled rubbish and second hand goods, from a mock-up kennel, cereal boxes, and a worn out mobility scooter.

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They’ve got four different bars dotted around the course where you can grab a golf-themed cocktail like the Tee Diddy or Who’s Your Caddy.

Being the gym nut that I am, my favourite hole was ‘Witness the fitness’ in which you had to navigate your way around a treadmill. The last hole ‘Space invader’ was incredibility difficult, but a whole load of fun. Golf isn’t my forte, so it’s fair to say Scott beat me hands down.

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If you get peckish after you can treat yourself to nachos and hot dogs from some of the street food stalls.

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Junkyard Golf Club,  Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL