Experience London as a Londoner

Read the blog to uncover the best-kept secrets of London with our guide to experiencing the city as a true Londoner. Find hidden treasures and experience London's true essence.

The internet is full of countless suggestions for fun ways to experience London, primarily for tourists. But what about Londoners who have already explored every nook and cranny of the typical tourist hotspots?

In this blog, we have prepared a list of experiences that may not immediately come to mind if you're just passing through but are definitely worth your time if you call London home. Let’s skip the iconic landmarks and popular attractions since you must have already checked those off your list.

Think of this as your personalised London bucket list, designed specifically for locals. There's a plethora of undiscovered delights waiting to be uncovered in your own city. So, whether you're a born-and-raised Londoner or have come here recently, let's delve into the lesser-known must-do things in London that make this city truly special.

Let’s explore London for Londoners!

How to experience London like never before?


London is a fantastic city with lots of different things to do. There are so many ways to experience London that you could never run out of ideas. London is famous for its many hidden gems and special surprises that you can discover when you least expect them.

1. Visit Severndroog Castle

There's a castle you might not know about, but it has amazing views over seven counties (Kent, Surrey, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Berkshire) on a clear day. Severndroog Castle is a beautiful old tower located on Shooter’s Hill, one of the highest spots in London. It's like a hidden treasure in the middle of ancient trees, away from the busy city. The castle was built in 1784 by Lady Anne James to honour her husband Sir William James, who did something remarkable in capturing the Suvarnadurg fort.

Sitting 132 meters above sea level, Severndroog Castle offers stunning views of London, the River Thames and even parts of seven nearby counties. It's surrounded by Castle Wood, which is one of the few remaining ancient woodlands in Britain, dating back thousands of years. This woodland area is very special and is protected because of its scientific importance. It's a great place for walks and bike rides, with nature trails that are part of London's Green Chain Walk and Capital Ring Walk.

You can definitely visit Severndroog Castle to experience London.

2. Explore Barbican Conservatory

There's a great place in the City of London for Londoners that looks like a tropical garden. It has ponds with fish and turtles and lots and lots of plants. The conservatory was made by the same architects who designed the Barbican. It wraps around the Barbican theatre's tall tower, where they lower down the sets for plays.

There are three ponds in the conservatory. Two of them have exotic fish like koi and grass carp from Japan and America. The other pond, near the Arid House, is a safe place for turtles.

The conservatory was planted in the early 1980s and opened a few years later. It's home to about 1,500 different plants and trees. Some of them are rare and in danger where they come from. The plants come from all over the world, from hot deserts to coastal areas.

It is one of the must-do things in London for Londoners.

3. Visit God's Own Junkyard

If you're looking for a fun place to visit in East London, God's Own Junkyard is the spot to go. It's filled with colourful neon lights and artwork and there's even a café and bar inside. Founded by Chris Bracey, a famous neon artist, the place is like a big gallery and workshop combined. You'll see all sorts of neon signs and sculptures, from old-fashioned to modern ones.

Walking around God's Own Junkyard feels like being in a different world. Everywhere you look, there are bright neon lights in different shapes and colours. Some are fun and quirky, while others are more serious and make you think.

It's even been used as a set for movies and TV shows! Whether you're really into neon art, love all kinds of art, or just want to experience something new, you'll have a great time at God's Own Junkyard.

Explore neon artworks and experience London like never before.

4. Must-do things in London: Play unusual sports

London has a wide variety of sports to try and some of them are pretty unique. Here are a few unusual and niche sports in London for Londoners to try.

  • Three-sided football

Playing with two teams is good, but playing with three teams is even better. You might think three-sided football sounds like something friends came up with after having a few drinks, but it's actually a real sport that's gaining popularity.

In three-sided football, also known as 3SF, three teams compete on the field at the same time. The winner is the team that lets in the fewest goals. During the game, you might find yourself temporarily teaming up with someone you'd normally be playing against, all while trying to score against another team.

Three-sided football involves tactics, strategy, skill and a bit of chaos. If you're looking for a new challenge in the world of sports, give it a try!

  • Quidditch

Quidditch, the magical sport from Harry Potter, has made its way from books to real life in England. Although it can't include flying or dangerous elements, it's still a lot of fun. In this game, two teams with seven players each ride broomsticks on a rectangular field. They try to score points by throwing a ball through the other team's hoops while stopping the opposing team from doing the same.

  • Chess boxing

In a sport that combines thinking and toughness, boxers face off in both the ring and on the chessboard. After getting punched, they switch to using their brains. To win, you either have to checkmate your opponent or knock them out, so you need to be good at both boxing and chess.

Usually, matches take place in a regular boxing ring, following standard amateur boxing rules. The chess part is played inside the ring too, with the table, board and chairs moved in and out for each round.

5. Walk along Regent's Canal to experience London

You can take a stroll along the whole canal, from Paddington to where it meets the Thames at Limehouse. Or you can just choose your favourite part and walk there. The Regent's Canal is a peaceful place in London. It's like finding a secret world.

Starting from the colourful boats at Little Venice, it goes through Regent's Park, where you can see the big bird cages at London Zoo. In Camden Town, it goes past stalls selling handmade crafts and shops with quirky clothes, all part of the famous market known for its alternative culture.

Must-do things in London for Londoners: Explore these places along the Regent’s Canal

  • King’s Cross

Face it – you go through Kings Cross and St Pancras stations every day. But have you ever considered the canal you cross as your train pulls away from the station?

  • Little Venice

Many narrowboats, day trip boats and water cafés are found along this peaceful part where the Grand Union Canal and Regent's Canal meet. The fancy mansions of Little Venice make a beautiful background. There's also a triangular pool with a willow tree where you can find floating businesses like the Waterside Cafe, London Waterbus, an art gallery on a boat and a hotel boat.

6. Swim in Hampstead Heath Ponds

Hampstead Heath Ponds are natural swimming spots in Hampstead Heath, a large green space in North London. Londoners love coming to these ponds to relax away from the busy city.

There are three main ponds in Hampstead Heath:

  1. Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond
  2. Highgate Men's Pond
  3. Highgate Ladies’ Pond

Each pond has its own rules and atmosphere to suit different swimmers. The Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond is open to everyone, so both men and women can swim together in a peaceful setting surrounded by trees and plants. The Highgate Men's Pond and the Highgate Ladies’ Pond are for one gender only, giving people a private space to swim.

Swimming in these ponds is popular, especially when it's hot outside. The City of London Corporation takes care of the ponds to make sure they're safe and clean for everyone. Besides swimming, there are lots of other things to do in Hampstead Heath to experience London, like walking, having picnics and watching wildlife. It's a special place where people in London can enjoy nature all year round.

Must-do things in London for Londoners: Explore different GBS Campuses


Global Banking School (GBS) is one of the well-known higher education institutions in the UK, known for its specialist courses in fields such as business, finance, health and social care, to name a few.

Different GBS campuses in London

With nine campuses in four of the UK’s biggest and most exciting cities – London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, the institution is dedicated to its mission of “changing lives through education”.

Listed below are the campuses in different regions of London that you can visit.

  • GBS Greenford campus

The Greenford campus is a beautiful place in West London, not far from the famous Wembley Stadium. It's easy to get to the City of London from here, but you can also enjoy the peaceful green spaces around the campus. The campus is where the global headquarters is located, which brings lots of new opportunities to the local area.

Greenford is part of the London Borough of Ealing and has a friendly small-town vibe. There's lots to do when students aren't studying, like visiting parks, sports facilities and the town centre with its bars and restaurants.

With Wembley Stadium nearby, the Greenford campus is a great choice for students like you who want to study in a small community but still want to experience London.

  • GBS Stratford campuses

There are two GBS campuses in Stratford for you to check out.

Stratford is a lively and modern part of East London, perfect for studying and working. The area has lots of successful local businesses and it's close to Canary Wharf and the City of London, where many big companies have their offices.

You'll be near some great shopping spots in London and it's easy to walk to the arts venues, bars and coffee shops in the Stratford Cultural Quarter. Plus, getting to the campus is really simple from anywhere. Stratford has one of the best-connected train stations in London, with lots of tube trains, buses and long-distance trains going to Central London and beyond.

  • GBS Olympic Park campus

The GBS Olympic Park campus is in London's lively East End, very close to the Olympic Park where the 2012 Olympic Games were held. It's also near Canary Wharf and the City of London, two big financial areas. The campus has good connections with top companies in management and healthcare because it's well-known and highly rated.

  • GBS Canary Wharf campus

The Canary Wharf campus is a beautiful place in East London, right next to two of the world's biggest financial areas – Canary Wharf and the City of London. You'll get amazing views of the city and can enjoy lots of tasty food from street stalls and restaurants.

The campus has a modern building with great facilities. Close to London Docklands and the City of London and near the Thames Path, the GBS Canary Wharf campus has a lot to offer students. Once an old, abandoned dock area, Canary Wharf is now known for its top-notch education and lively community, making it a great place to experience the city.

Frequently asked questions about must-do things in London for Londoners

Some must-do things in London include visiting iconic landmarks like Big Ben, exploring world-class museums such as the British Museum and enjoying a stroll along the River Thames.

Experience London by visiting famous landmarks, exploring diverse neighbourhoods and indulging in the city's rich cultural offerings.

There are numerous places to visit in London, such as Severndroog Castle Barbican Conservatory and God's Own Junkyard.

Experience London as a Londoner by immersing yourself in local markets, trying authentic cuisine and discovering hidden gems off the beaten path.

Explore lesser-known neighbourhoods, attend local events or festivals and delve into niche museums or attractions to discover new experiences in London.

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