My favourite city: London

I remember a friend saying to me that New York City was the best city in the world. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but for someone less traveled than myself I pondered whether he could proclaim it as the best?
If he’d said the best he’d been to so far or his favourite city, sure, I’ll allow it but stated as fact? No, I can’t accept that. Particularly as he spent his visit staying in New Jersey. If it’s too expensive to stay in the city it doesn’t really give merit to the idea that it’s the best city in the world, does it?

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NYC, best city in the world?

For what it’s worth, I love New York City and I can understand why it’s so highly rated but it just falls short for me when compared to London. My love for London is unrivalled really. It is the best city that I have been to and will probably always be my favourite.
I had high hopes for New York City though, if anywhere was going to surpass my favourite this was as likely as any.

I said above, for me personally, it just fell short compared to London and I asked myself why? What gave London the edge? New York City has everything, ignoring the cost (London is hardly cheap either) my only criticism of NYC was that it “wasn’t London”. Needless to say I’m not entirely impartial when it comes to being a travel critic – my system was already rigged in London’s favour.

So rather than focus on some overseas based destination, I thought I’d dedicate this post to “my city” and giving a few reasons why it’s my favourite.

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Little Venice, London

It’s home!
First and foremost it’s home. I was born in London, living there until I was 9 years old so it’s a city that has been with me since day one. I feel proud to have grown up in London and have that association with the city. I’ve lived in Peterborough for the 20+ years since and whilst I do possess some local pride it just isn’t the same.

I have so many good memories growing up in London and it’s a city that is always there to welcome me back when I visit. It’s a special city with special people and it’s easy to see why so many people around the world fall in love with it.

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Views like this have people falling in love with London

It’s diverse!
One of the things I love most about London is that it’s open to everyone. I’m privileged to be able to travel pretty much anywhere in the world without fear but not everybody has that same luxury. Homosexuality for instance is still punishable by death in some countries, whereas London has one of the largest Pride festivals in the world.

I’m not suggesting London is perfect but it’s a lot more accepting than many parts of the world and celebrations of all backgrounds are widely enjoyed here. For example a vivid memory of my time in school was learning about Diwali and being fascinated by the “festival of lights” in assembly.

London is home to people of so many backgrounds so throughout the year you’ll find various celebrations to reflect that. With the Chinese New Year approaching it’d be a great time to take a wander through London’s very own Chinatown and see some of the decorations on display.

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London getting in to the Christmas spirit!

It’s not all city life!
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about London is that it’s just a big city – all traffic and pollution. You might be surprised to know that it’s estimated that 47% of London is green space, almost half of the city! London always has so much going on and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by that but if you need a little time to sit back and escape the London rush then there are so many places to do so!

London is full of beautiful parks and places to relax. Admittedly the weather can be detrimental to actually enjoying some of these spaces but on sunnier days there are few better places to enjoy London. Park visits were always an enjoyable part of my childhood and I used to love collecting “conkers” as the change of season hit and they started falling from the trees near our home.

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Green Park last Autumn.

It is ever-changing!
I think there’s a reluctance among travellers to visit somewhere more than once but with London you’re never going to see everything. Whether you visit once or you visit 500 times it’s never going to be the same experience.
For starters, England has four different seasons so London has a very different feel to it depending what time of year you visit (rain in the summer, rain in the winter..). London is a great place to see the changing seasons and the festivities that come with that, such as great outdoor festivals in the summer or Christmas decorations in the winter, make it a place you’ll want to return to.

Beyond the seasons there’s so many other things constantly happening in London. New restaurants opening, new shopping brands arriving in the city, new shows to see in the city, new bars to check out. You’ll never experience everything in London and it makes it such an enjoyable city to return to time after time.

 

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One of the new shows I went to see in 2017 – it’s good!

It’s home to world-famous sights!
I thought I’d end on this final point but the last thing that makes London special for me is that it’s home to so many iconic landmarks. Everybody is familiar with the likes of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s cathedral and the London Eye and they look even more impressive in person!
I’ll never tire of wandering through Westminster and taking in some of London’s best known landmarks.

Of course the landmarks stretch beyond the best-known ones. Many popular TV shows and films feature some famous places in London such as Baker Street or the Millennium Bridge, whilst of course you have iconic music, theatre and sporting venues too.

Some of the marketplaces in London are some of the world’s most famous and everyone loves a good red bus / telephone box photo when they visit. London is full of familiar sights and sometimes you’ve got to go and see them for yourself!

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Beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this post and the little glimpse in to the reasons why I love London. There are many more of course but I’d be writing forever if I listed them all.

Now tell me, what do you love about London and if it isn’t your favourite city then tell me where is! Maybe I’ll have to pay it a visit!

All the best

Jason

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jasonlikestotravel

I'm Jason and from a little place in England. Here to just talk about my various adventures. Hopefully you find some inspiration or just enjoy hearing my stories :)

21 thoughts on “My favourite city: London”

  1. I love this post and I’ll take London over New York any day. I think my favorite city in the United States is San Francisco (I lived there for 10 years) except I felt like I was going broke at the end of each month. Still wouldn’t have traded living anywhere else for anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah thanks Paul, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m hoping to visit San Francisco for the first time in the summer so it’s encouraging to hear it’s your favourite city in the US 🙂

      Like

  2. Nice post! London is my favorite city, too, followed closely by Pairs. Why do I love it? It feels like home, although unlike you, I have never lived there. But when I am visiting, I feel at home, at peace, comfortable and unafraid, and familiar as though I have been in its streets before. It is a welcoming and easily understandable place.

    Keep us the sharing, I love seeing London through the eyes of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you feel so at home in London, it’s such a wonderful place. I’ve only spent a couple of days in Paris but hopefully I’ll go back sometime and experience more of it 🙂

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also love London Jason but not sure it’s my absolute favourite city – I don’t even know if I have one. I love so many cities for differing reasons. I also love your article. Have a great weekend and best wishes from rainy Manchester (another great city btw)! PS Have never visited Peterborough but pass through its station frequently, maybe I should stop off one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That’s understandable. There’s bias in my love of London. In terms of the places I’ve traveled to it is tough picking between them as they’re all so different.

      There’s not much to see in Peterborough but we have the most beautiful cathedral. It’s a fairly easy trip from Manchester so if you ever visit let me know. I haven’t spent much time in Manchester but I’m up there overnight in March so I’m looking forward to seeing a little more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for suggesting a few more places I really should seek out for my next trip to London. What I love about London is how you just stumble across things and it’s always interesting. Whether it’s street art, a little bar. Always worth popping off down a side street in London

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome. There’s so many things you find just in getting lost. Hopefully you’ll get back soon and discover a little more London 🙂

      Like

  5. Favourite city too! I visited London a few times and had the opportunity to stay there for a month and I instantly fell in love with it!! I remember being fascinated about the architecture and took mostly photos of houses and buildings. I liked the combination of old red bricks and modern buildings 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed visiting London so much, a month is a good amount of time to see a lot about it.
      The architecture is impressive too! Hopefully you’ll get a chance to go back! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well written post and I love the way you described London as diverse. WE spent 2 weeks there in October and had the best time. And while we loved everything you mentioned we all agreed that the it is the efficient Underground that makes life fun…and easy. We could stay in town or go to the country. Very nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. The underground is certainly convenient and makes it easy to get around, not everybody is a fan of it though for some reason. I’m glad you enjoyed London so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We did. Yes, we talked to some folks who would agree, the rush hours crowds maybe, but it really was a great way to get around along with the busses. I think my favorite place in the city is Hyde Park and the memorials for Diana. Have a nice weekend Jason.

        Liked by 1 person

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