Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sponsored post: A perfect day in London

In the last few years of my living in and reading about this city, I've come across numerous articles, books and websites promising to share the secret of the 'perfect day in London'. They suggest schedules and unmissable spots across the city, creating packaged collections and check-lists of things that visitors absolutely must do or see, or otherwise risk never truly experiencing London properly. And you can see the slaves to these curated city tours, struggling around London clutching guidebooks and maps, on the verge of tears because the queue outside Madame Tussauds was too long and they never made it to the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace and their London holiday is as good as RUINED now!

Well, dry your eyes, weepy visitors. There is no single perfect or 'right' way to see the city. It all depends on what each of us finds interesting or pleasurable. And heaven knows, we all have our own ideas about those things - it's what makes the city so chock-full of things to do. It's what attracts the glorious mixture of people who live here and come to visit London. So, the pressure's off. We shouldn't search for a single perfect day, rather a series of tiny perfect moments, hours, days, and weeks; each negotiated by our diverse likes and dislikes, our personalities and previous experiences.
Rather than checking off places or measuring my perfect day in things achieved, I choose to recognise my favourite days as the ones that end a long way from where I began. Sometimes literally, i.e. on the other side of town, and sometimes figuratively. My favourite London days are the ones where I wake up with the vague inkling of a plan or a single thing I want to go and do, and end with me having managed to fit in all kinds of unexpected or unplanned things around it. Of course, it also helps to have someone fun to come along with you, to spot hidden gardens or a sausage-dog that lives on a houseboat, to help you taste-test a new coffee shop or a surprise foodie pop-up, or just to keep you company chattering about everything and nothing. 

Kaplan International, who teach English language courses all over the world (and here in the city), recently asked their students to share their thoughts on what makes their perfect London day. As you can expect, the 535 questioned students all came up with hundreds of different things. And Kaplan created a sort of perfect day jigsaw from their responses, in a rather charming little film called '8 Great Things To Do In London'. You can check out (and get some inspiration from!) the video below. 
What makes your perfect day in London or your city? Kaplan International is still after suggestions, so they'd love it if you were to head over here and share your top London things with them.

This post has been written in collaboration with Kaplan International. Although I was remunerated for this post, any opinions expressed in the above post are those of The Accidental Londoner alone.

9 comments:

  1. aw, Mamma Mia was the show they chose? there are SO many shows in london better than that. I'm a bit of a theatre geek so excuse me. To me, a perfect day in london (or anywhere for that matter) is just to do something different from anything I've done before, or see something I've never seen before. So I love going to new museums, seeing new shows and visiting new places, new to me anyway. I try to avoid the really touristy places like madame tussauds and the london eye, I've done them when I was younger anyway, and go to the less popular but still amazing places :)
    Helena / helenaterry.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh yes, so many wonderful shows in London. Maybe students are more familiar with the newer shows (ahem, or the ones recently turned into films!)? I totally agree with you about doing new things - there are so many things to do and explore in London and so few of those things appear in the guidebooks!

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  2. Oh London! I miss it so much! Access to amazing theatre was my number one favourite thing about London when I was living there. Apart from New York, it's just not the same anywhere else. I feel like it ruined me for local Australian theatre forever!

    Love your blog - I've nominated you for a Liebster award! Check out the details on my blog here: http://www.heylouise.com/blog/2014/08/26/the-liebster-awards-blogs/

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    1. We are blessed in London with so much theatre to chose from. There's always a play to go and see, from cheaper local theatres to the mega-shows full of acting stars! Come back and see another show!

      Thanks for the award, too! I'll go and check it out...

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  3. HI Flora, it has to be a picnic in one of the fantastic parks for me - so many to choose from but I've got a soft spot for Holland Park and a stroll around their Kyoto Garden

    LuxuryColumnist

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    1. Ooh, I discovered the Kyoto Garden for the first time this summer, Suze. It's a really special place. Got to love a London park picnic...as long as the rain holds off of course!

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  4. I gone through your post and really feel that It is nice and video is also a insightful.

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  5. There are so many things to do in London. I love to have an afternoon tea in a posh hotel (my favourite is the Berkeley). And the Turner collection at the Tate Britain. And the little farmer's market all over onion. And Kings road. And so many other things!

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    1. Ah, yes, I forget you used to be an SW fan! So many great things to do around that area. Plenty in your new area too....you're not so far from the lovely Kyoto Garden in Holland Park that Suze mentioned above now right, Muriel?

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