I love London!

By | Category: Travel rumblings

My friend Ben popped down to London from Leeds yesterday. As his time in the capital drew to a close, he confessed that he was more than a little relieved to be leaving – and then laughed as he watched my jaw drop to the floor.

It’s true: I love London – there’s always something to do. You have everything you want in terms of activity and accessibility. Every week a new bar or restaurant is opening and I love the constant buzz. There are brilliant parks, carnivals, museums, theatres, art galleries – whatever you’re after, London has it all.

Yes, like any city there are downsides to London life. The environment is noisy and polluted and the aggression and sense of urgency, unrelenting. London can be dirty and claustrophobic and I sometimes miss not having fresh air. The tube is packed full of people  pushing to get a seat – yet I soon find I’m doing the same! The London experience can be, as Ben can attest to, overwhelming but everyone finds this at times – both newcomers and old timers alike.

I have friends and family outside the capital, who love visiting London to indulge in some serious retail therapy but only for the odd weekend here and there. They moan of a lack of green open space, a complaint I find puzzling:  30 percent of the capital is given over to green space so wherever you find yourself in the city, a park is never far away. London is also a nation of gardeners, so there is no shortage of stunning gardens to enjoy. The most famous, of course, is the Royal Botanical Gardens located at Kew.

By contrast, I enjoy visiting my country dwelling family and friends for weekends. It is relaxing and peaceful – but only for a short time. After a weekend away  – be it in Cambridge or the Cotswolds – I breathe a huge sigh of relief on the journey back to town and realise how much I love living in London.

I adore the old and the new side by side: the London Eye towering over the Thames, the tatty fabric shops in Broadwick Street market nestling between Soho’s multi million dollar film companies. I love waking up in the mornings and knowing that the rest of the city is waking up too. The hustle and bustle… the healthy cosmopolitan mix. To see the streetlights! To hear the taxis! The sheer, unadulterated adrenaline of it all! London is frenetic but it gives you energy.

 

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