London A-Z – ‘A’
Ok-sies campers. I know you have been waiting on baited breath for my next blog post, especially after the very exciting (cutting? Hilarious? Straight up antagonistic?) ‘Sorry’.
Being the Dictionary Hostel and all, we thought we should really drive this whole alphabet thing home. Because who likes subtlety.
We are going to go through London, A-Z. And when we finish, we’ll probably just start over because London is very big. And this won’t be totally comprehensive.
We’ll start with A. Because it’s the beginning.
It’s literally all here. London has amazing art, all over from street art in Shoreditch to the National Portrait Gallery. You could spend your whole trip seeing art. Maybe start with the big ones:
We love booze. Could ya tell? We’ll get more specific as our A-Z goes on, but for now, visit these historical and quintessentially London boozers to get a taste of what we are talking about.
The Mayflower – Hop on the overground and head to Rotherhithe to visit this beautiful riverside pub that overlooks the original Mooring for the Mayflower ship before it sailed to Plymouth to collect the Puritans who escaped to Boston.
The Ten Bells – legend has it that Jack the Ripper used to frequent the Ten Bells back in Victorian times. Luckily now it’s less of a haven for murderous woman-haters and more of a trendy East End pub with beautiful original features. But it’s still a little creepy.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – this pub has its own Wikipedia page! It was rebuilt right after the great fire in 1666, and besides indoor plumbing, it hasn’t changed much. It’s AMAZING. Tiny doorways! Charles Dickens and Mark Twain used to hang out there! Neat.
The George – it’s by Borough Market, Shakespeare used to actually go there and stage readings and the National Trust own it. Get drunk and reenact the eye scene from King Lear. I dare you.
Ye Olde Mitre – this pub is freaking old. Built in 1546, it was technically a part of Cambridge, making it a right schlep to get the correct licenses. And there is a cherry tree that Queen Elizabeth I apparently danced around.
Don’t know if you knew this, but in the days before iPhones people in London, even people who were from London, used to carry this little book around called London A-Z. Which was just maps. Of everywhere in London. Because the streets have no logic to them. It is literally impossible to get around without a map. You can still get one in most bookshops and newsagents, and it’s pretty useful to have. Especially since phones get nicked all the time.
Love a bit of military history? Or, want to learn about what Colonial jerks the British were? Go visit Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square (and then you can go to the National Gallery after! I love a link). He’s the most famous Admiral in London. Have a read about him here, and about the battle of Trafalgar here.
We love animals. Love them. Just see how many animal painting there are in the museums. But here are some places you can see real live animals. Also, look out for dogs. And cats. And parrots. And visit the Lions. And see if you can find the dragons all around the city!
Hackney City Farm – chickens and pigs and donkeys and a restaurant that makes some of the best pasta in London!
St. James’ Park – pelicans. So many pelicans.
Waterloe Park– up in leafy Golder’s Green, you can have a little visit with some Llamas and some ostriches. And feel a little out of the city.
London Zoo – it’s a good zoo. They have little owls that can run really fast.
Horniman Museum – these animals are dead. And stuffed. It’s one of the weirdest most wonderful museums in London.