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Top Ten London Parks

Top Ten London Parks

by Nina Christopoulou

In all honesty, we think this one was a no brainer. London has so many greenspaces that picking out the Top Ten required minimum research. This list starts you off with the most well known (as if we would leave Hyde Park out of the list!) and gradually gives way to the more hidden little gems. So stay tuned and we promise, you are in for a treat!

1. Hyde Park

Open to the public since the 1600s, it is probably the most well-known area of greenery in the city, and this comes as no surprise due to its central position. From beautiful flower arrangements to the oldest boating lake around town (the Serpentine), filled with ducks, swans and many more amazing creatures, it has definitely earned its international reputation.

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2. Battersea Park

Not as well-known, but definitely one that has it all. Battersea Park has the most stunning view of Thames, an animal enclosure that you can roam around and an art gallery. With its wonderful versatility it attracts guests any time of the week, but we suggest giving it an entire day, to make the most of what this park has to offer!

Credit: @Clare Waight Keller

3. Hampstead Heath

This one is quite something. Spread across a dizzying 791 acres, Hampstead Heath has ponds, meadows, playing fields and really anything your heart desires. Parliament Hill boasts a superb view of London and we should also note that the area the park has been built in has incredible houses to gaze at while walking around.

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4. Richmond Park

Now this is one for a full day trip. If Hampstead Heath’s 791 acres was impressive, Richmond’s 2500 acres is jaw dropping. It has protected status as an important habitat for wildlife, and numerous things to do and see, such as King Henry’s Mound or the Isabella Plantation.

Credit: @Samantha Harrold

5. Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is famous for the festivals it hosts, but even on days where no specific event is scheduled the attractions abound. From the London Zoo, to an Open Air Theatre, rowing boat hire and tennis courts, the list is endless. A personal favorite though would be the rose gardens, which are filled with over 30 000 roses and offer for a majestic view (and a cool photo spot if we may add).

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6. Victoria Park

One of London’s favorites, Victoria Park hosts plenty of festivals including Lovebox and Field Day. This one boasts two incredible lakes, a mesmerizing statue sourced straight from Greek mythology and the Burdett-Coutts Fountain. Oh, did we forget to mention that it also has the Pavilion Café, which is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite and kick back?

Credit: @Chris Rhodes

7. Greenwich Park

The park is a tourist attraction mostly due to the astounding Royal Observatory, with the Greenwich Meridian Line. In case you have no idea what that is, let us enlighten you: this one represents the prime meridian relative to which world time is calculated, and the distance to every planet on earth is measured. Impressive, huh? Well, the top of the park also boasts jaw-dropping views of London, while the park includes numerous tennis courts, the National Maritime Museum and so many more!

Credit: @Betül & Abdulbaki

8. Kensington Gardens

As you may have assumed from the name, Kensington Gardens is home to Kensington Palace but that is not all it has! From the Albert Memorial, to the Peter Pan Statue it is perfect for a weekend picnic break among your strolls in this beautiful Royal Park.

Credit: @Royal Albert Hall

9. Holland Park

Situated pretty close to the immensely cute Notting Hill houses, Holland Park is less known but equally beautiful as any of the rest. Its landscape is really something, there are hidden Japanese gardens inside of it and you may also spot some peacocks along the way! As if all that wasn’t enough, there is also the annual Opera Holland Park festival season throughout the summer which is worth checking out…

Credit: @Emely Garcia

10. Brockwell Park

This strip of greenery is located south of Brixton and it is wonderfully diverse and with multiple outdoor activity options. From swimming in the outside pool, to football and kite flying, it is perfect for most tastes. Its event selection is also pretty cool, with circus and concerts among the options. So if you haven’t already, head over and check it out for yourself!

Credit: @Wingnut D’Souza

15 Breathtaking Images of London (and places where you can take them, too!)

15 Breathtaking Images of London (and places where you can take them, too!)
by Nina Christopoulou

From basic tourist attractions to in-the-know specific spots, London is a haven for anyone with a lens. Whether you are in need of a colourful frame, or wish to experiment with classic versus modern elements all in one picture, this city has a picture-perfect spot for you. We made a list of our top picks so you can start exploring and spruce up your portfolio!

15. Neil’s Yard

Also known as Covent Garden’s secret yard, it is a perfect amalgam of plants, architecture and colour. Especially during early morning hours!

Credit: @Mike – Travel & Destinations

14. Millennium Bridge

Standing on one side of the bridge facing St. Paul’s cathedral is a unique sight which translates to a perfect shot when you get your camera involved. The symmetry in the end-result will amaze you!

Credit: @Xavi Sanz

13. Leadenhall Market

The jaw dropping interior offers a unique opportunity to put your camera to the test. Search for symmetry, look up and take a shot of the ceiling or simply aspire to capture the maze-like market – whatever you go for the outcome is guaranteed.

Credit: @Jan Stojkovic Plexy Ⓜ️

12. King’s Cross Light Tunnel

Situated inside of the central tube station, it may take you a few minutes of walking around to find it (I definitely had a hard time), but the colourful light tunnel is one worth photographing.

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11. Girl and Dolphin Statue

Tower Bridge is obviously going to photograph well. But if you aim your lens at the Girl and Dolphin statue, allowing for Tower Bridge to become your elaborate backdrop, you’re in for a treat.

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10. Houses of Parliament

Yes, they are astounding and yes they have been photographed a million times over. So, insider’s tip? Walking from Westminster bridge down to the little archway you will find the perfect view.

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9. British Museum

Any artefact in the museum is worth your attention and will photograph well. But next time you visit the museum try looking up instead of around – the ceiling offers an exquisite frame.

Credit: @A Lady in London

8. Somerset House

There is no other place in London where you can capture the gloomy essence of the city more accurately than in Somerset House.

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7. St. Dunstan’s in the East

Hidden between Monument and Tower Hill, this little gem is a garden with Gothic architecture which is worth your time. What’s more, you can search for this perfect little spot which offers a view of the Shard and make your frame even more interesting!

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6. Number 10, Adam Street

The magic of this location is its stunning resemblance to Number 10, Downing Street. If you want to stun your social media pals, this is a perfect way to do so!

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5. Leake Street Tunnel

Graffiti at its finest and the strongest underground vibes London has to offer. Need we say more?

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4. Crossness Pumping Station

A pumping station may not be your average photography spot. This one though is so much more than a mere pumping station.

Credit: @Atlas Obscura

3. The Palm House

Kew Gardens are wonderful on their own merit, but photographing The Palm House serves as a portal to a magical place far away from London.

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2. One New Change Rooftop

St. Paul’s is quite unique and photographs well. Little known fact about it is, one of the best views you can get is from One New Change Rooftop – care to try your lens?

Credit: @Si Revington

1. Pergola and Hill Gardens, Hampstead Heath

Doing such a countdown of London’s top photographic spots is a challenge. Therefore, I decided to put a personal favourite in the first spot: Hampstead Heath is one of the hidden gems of the city and a picture perfect spot all in one.

Credit: @Frances Mary Rose

8 Most Instagrammable Places in London

8 Most Instagrammable Places in London
by Nina Christopoulou

London is the mecca of aspiring photographers and Instagrammers alike, with virtually every corner offering for an amazing frame. But which spots promise the most likes? We’ve gathered a few for you below, a sort of “starter’s guide” to vivid Instagram content!

1. Peggy Porschen:

An all pink backdrop for your shots, an entrance that changes its flower arrangement constantly and treats that can create a standalone frame, this cafe is renowned for its long queues and Instagram friendly ambiance. Tip: it’s a risky move trying to find a table during the weekend!

Credit: @Peggy Porschen

2. Neal’s Yard:

AKA Covent Garden’s secret spot – a well disguised alley where cafes, colourful buildings and foliage abound! Tip: Try it on a sunny day, it’s worth the wait.

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3. Dalloway Terrace:

The interior of the restaurant is jaw dropping, and the added plus: the food is great as well! Tip: There is a heated outdoor space for chilly winter evenings.

Credit: @Comino Couture London

4. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel:

A click of the staircase will convince you that the hotel is worth a visit. Tip: After a stroll around the amazing interior of the hotel, the bar is a wonderful place to kick your heels up and end your day.

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5. Biscuiteers:

If I said that all of Notting Hill is a gem I would be simply stating the obvious. Instead, I prefer to nudge you towards the Biscuit Boutique that has righteously earned its title! The cafe’s facade will definitely dazzle you. Tip: The biscuits are both tasty and Instagrammable (it’s a win-win kind of thing!)

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6. Sketch:

Every inch of this bar and restaurant will speak to your artsy self. One thing is for sure: you will not be the only one searching for the right click. Tip: Don’t forget to take your phone with you when visiting the ladies’ room. You will know why when you get there!

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7. Elan Cafe:

In this cute little cafe it is not the facade that’s Instagram worthy – more so the seductive flower wall located inside. Tip: The dishes match the cafe’s pretty pink hues!

Credit: @Polina’s Privé Lingerie

8. Tate Modern:

Closing with an obvious one, the Tate is always a frame filled heaven – what’s more there are so many different perspectives from which to capture. Tip: The orange wall on the third floor is a perfect backdrop for a portrait!

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7 Must-Visit Museums in London

7 Must-Visit Museums in London
by Nina Christopoulou

In the cultural mecca that is London, choosing which museums to visit first is undoubtedly a challenge. In case you would like a little guidance on which are the top picks, we have selected a few for you:

1. Tate Modern

Personal favourite and something more than a museum – an experience on its own right! Even those indifferent to contemporary art can not resist its charms. The numerous exhibitions are an added plus! Tip: Don’t miss the swing sets for three, currently placed in the Turbine Hall.

Credit: @Sterling Chandler

2. Natural History Museum

The building alone is breath-taking, but the various collections inside of it leave you in awe. Understandably, the most popular being the Dinosaurs – and yes you do get Jurassic Park jitters. Tip: Did I mention the gigantic roaring T-Rex?

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3. Victoria and Albert Museum

Dubbed the world’s leading art and design museum, it lives up to its title! The permanent exhibition is more or less all-inclusive, and there are frequent exhibitions for all preferences. Tip: The Jewellery collection will definitely dazzle you!

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4. The British Museum

No introduction required here I would say. Around 8 million works originating from all continents fascinate guests, and it takes strong perseverance to manage most of the museum in one go. Tip: Do not miss the Rosetta Stone and Elgin marbles.

Credit: @Alona | London📍

5. The Design Museum

A new addition to London’s museum scene, the Design Museum opened its doors in 2016 with a rather small but immensely interesting main exhibition. Tip: While you are there, don’t forget to look up: the modern architectural structure of the ceiling is impressive as well.

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6. The Saatchi Gallery

Well, not exactly a museum but it made it to the list nonetheless! High ceilings, white walls and scarcely placed paintings and sculptures offer an experience like no other. Tip: The Gallery’s shop has the most miscellaneous findings.

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7. National Portrait Gallery

From Picasso to Rembrandt and Van Gogh, the National Portrait Gallery (conveniently located in Trafalgar Square) houses more than 2000 works! Tip: Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” is worth more than a momentary gaze!

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TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON THIS MARCH

TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON THIS MARCH
by Nina Christopoulou

7. The Great Daffodil Appeal

The Great Daffodil Appeal is making a come-back in 2018 for a great cause! Head over to Paternoster square to be dazzled by the 4,000 illuminated daffodils, hear letters from patient’s families describing the incredible work Marie Curie Nurses do in support of those affected by terminal illnesses and their families, and contribute your own message to the installation. You will have a chance to do so until Sunday, 11 March.

Credit: @Rick Barker

6. March4Women

Αny plans for March 4th? No? Not yet? Well now you do- the March4Women is taking place, and no it is not just a female thing! From Sadiq Khan to Bianca Jagger all will be present, supporting gender equality. The rally ends in Trafalgar Square where inspirational speeches, music and entertainment will abound.

Credit: @Daniela Estevez Fernandez

5. St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrating St. Patrick’s day is a must-do in this city. Don’t be fooled by the term “Day”- the celebration is a weekend thing with all sorts of activities available. Most notable of said activities is of course the parade. But I wouldn’t want to disclose too much info- you can prepare your Paddy’s weekend when we release our guide on the top things to checkout for St. Patrick’s day!

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4. Hope to Nope

An exhibition bound to bring out your skeptical self, Hope to Nope chronicles the most turbulent events of the past decade. Opening on March 28th, it is definitely worth popping over to the Design Museum for a stroll around the exhibition!

Credit: @Isobel (Finn) Dennis

3. The Oscars

The Oscars are just around the corner, and there is no better way to enjoy them than with your friends, in a comfortable chair and a huge screen! How is that possible you ask? Well, we’ve got you covered. The Stay Club Colindale is hosting an Oscars screening in the cinema room (no, that’s not a typo, I am referring to an actual cinema room). There is also a popcorn machine. Also not a typo. So your Sunday night (March 4th) is now reserved, I presume?

Credit: @THE STAY CLUB

2. London Beer Week

In other news, London Beer Week is closing up and my excitement level is rising dangerously. The seven-day festival requires a Digital Pass which entitles you to 5 pound Beer Flights in over 75 bars across the city. I am definitely sold. Hurry, it’s closing up: 12 to 18th of March.

Credit: @The Sun Tavern

1. The Cancer Research UK Boat Race

Sports for a good cause between Britain’s top universities sounds kind of cool. On March 24th, The Cancer Research UK Men’s and Women’s Boat Race will take place. Position yourself on either side of the Thames (tip: Putney Bridge or Duke’s Meadows are some of the best viewing spots) to see Oxford and Cambridge compete with each other as almost 250,000 viewers cheer along!

Credit: @Parmigiani Fleurier

Top 5 One Day Destinations

Top 5 One Day Destinations
by Nina Christopoulou

Student life in London can be overwhelming, moody or simply too stressful. While London has a lot to offer, a complete change of scenery can help release that student-life stress. Time is of the essence though, that’s why we gathered the Top 5 One Day Destinations for you:

5. Windsor:

A 30 minute train ride away, the incredible Windsor castle will amaze you both on sunny and not-so-sunny days (and London has too many of the latter). If you do choose a sunny day though, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Savill Garden before grabbing a pint at the Duchess of Cambridge (and yes, that is an obvious name for a pub).

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4. Brighton:

For those rare sunny days (getting a little repetitive, I know) Brighton would be the way to go. An amazing view of the sea, the world’s oldest aquarium and the best fish and chips around at Bardsley’s. And for the thrill enthusiasts the Brighton Pier Rides have a variety to suit everyone’s needs.

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3. Bath:

Whether you are the museum type, or the endless brunch kind of person you are bound to enjoy yourself in Bath. The Roman baths are undoubtedly the city’s most beautiful attraction, but there are many more things to see! From the Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery to the Pulteney Bridge there are great spots and places to explore.

Credit: @Country Life magazine

2. Cambridge:

Cambridge is well known for its universities but there’s more to it than that: like punting on the river Cam or the Fitzwilliam museum. The scenery is idealic to say the least, and the greenery is a sight for sore eyes. Then again, the universities do justify the reputation of the city: King’s College, St. John’s College and Queens’ College are a must to stroll around!

Credit: @University of Cambridge

1. Oxford:

Hands down the most picturesque city I have ever visited. Walking around Oxford gives you this feeling of *I wish I was a student here* and I would advise walking as much as possible through the alleyways, or simply take an official walking tour to get a quick feel for the city. Trinity College is bound to take your breath away, and a personal tip would be to try The Turf Tavern (one of the oldest pubs in Oxford).

Credit: @The University of Oxford

7 things to do in London this January

7 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON THIS JANUARY

A brand-new year is finally here and the excitement for new adventures and memories to make is everywhere. Let’s get started and dive into the top 7 things to do in January 2018.

First of all, let us introduce you to Lumiere 2018. Coming back to the capital for another year, this festival of lights will feature works of 40 best lighting display artists who will invade the city with the most extravagant light installations and amaze Londoners once again with their stunning creativity. Visit King’s Cross, Fitzrovia, West End, Mayfair, Westminster & Victoria, and South Bank & Waterloo on 18-21 January to discover the stunning artworks.

Credit: @HuffPost UK

The next three events are for those of you who love to fill their weekends with art and coffee. This January you absolutely must visit the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition at Victoria & Albert museum to discover how Cristóbal Balenciaga’s exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs shaped modern fashion. The Harper’s Bazaar 150 – The First and Last Word in Fashion exhibition displayed at Fashion and Textile Museum celebrates the 150th anniversary of America’s first fashion magazine and highlights key moments and images in Bazaar’s history. Finally, North: Fashioning Identity is an exhibition that explores contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England. Enjoy these three expositions to emerge yourself in the fabulous world of fashion culture.

Credit: @#shotz__fired

However, if you prefer to put yourself up for an extreme challenge, this month marks the opening of another Barry’s Bootcamp studio, the ultimate fitness experience, in Victoria South London. The fantastic trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp are ready to kick your butt and get you back in shape for summer 2018, so what are you waiting for to get them gains?!

Another unmissable spot within our top 7 is the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf, a 300-metre enclosed roof garden in the middle of the city with free access. Perfect spot to relax for a couple of hours and appreciate nature!

Credit: @Nabi Awada

Last but not least, visit Top Secret Comedy Club this January and every Tuesday for £1 only. Come down to see capital’s best stand-up comedy shows in the West End. Ideal place to enjoy some quality time with your friends and laugh the night away.

Credit: @Jack Mitchell