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7 Alternative Spots to Hit Up on Your First Trip to London

London Insider Guides
by Paul K Porter Jan 19, 2017

When visiting London for the first time there are so many ‘MUST DO‘ lists. Selfie Big Ben? Taking in the panoramic views from the London Eye or perhaps catching a glimpse of the Queen at Buckingham Palace? It is like a conveyor belt of iconic tourist destinations. If this is your first trip to London, of course, you will want to see all these, but what about heading somewhere else. Somewhere not as busy that offer a different, local, experience.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.

Greenwich Park

 Greenwich ParkLondon, United KingdomFresh air with amazing views of London – what more do you need? Greenwich park is great with friends or for taking a wander and escaping the hustle and bustle. #viewpoint #london #free #hiking

Take in the views of Greenwich Park. This is a free viewpoint offering great alternative views over London. While getting to Greenwich Grab a beer from the bar on board the Thames Clipper and take in the sights along the river towards Greenwich. After checking out the Cutty Sark, head up the hill in Greenwich Park to check the Prime Meridian with a longitude of 0’ and then take in one of the best views over the city of London.

Ride on the DLR

 Docklands Light RailwayLondon, United KingdomThe DLR is a good way of getting around. Not as busy as the underground and generally above ground allowing you to see where you are going. It can be a bit slower, but you can play train driver :)
#publictransport #train #railway

This is the Docklands Light Railway that operates around the Docklands area in London. These driverless trains are a great way of traveling around that offer alternative views over the city. Get to the front and you can be the driver.

Canary Wharf

 Canary WharfLondon, United KingdomLondon’s major business district is home to some architecture. It is deserted on the weekends making it rather eerie and great for taking pictures of London’s skyscrapers. #skyscrapers #businessdistrict #quietontheweekend

Canary Wharf is in the Docklands area and is home to the second largest building in the UK, One Canada Square. This is a major business district and is very busy Monday to Friday. It is deserted on the weekends, making it the best time to go and check out the metal and glass architecture. While here, Crossrail Place Roof Garden is a must see, hidden oasis with beautiful flora and fauna that is completely unexpected in London’s major business district.

Lewisham Book Exchange

 Phone Booth Book ExchangeLondon, United KingdomThis phone box is a book exchange ! Swap your book for a “new” one ! What a cool place. I was here for ten minutes and three people came by. I don’t think there is wifi like a library would have though :) #free #londonbookexchange #bookexchange

Pop along to the coolest little book exchange in London. It is in a Red Telephone Box. There is a surprising selection and you do not know what you may find.


 BrixtonLondon, United KingdomBrixton is growing increasingly popular and is worth visiting for food and drink. Check out the David Bowie memorial while you are there #food #drink #davidbowie

Brixton is a multi-ethnic population that is predominantly Caribbean. It is an area that has seen gentrification and is now home to independent bars and coffee shops offering fantastic food and a buzzing nightlife. It is also where David Bowie was born and his mural is worth a visit.


 MonumentLondon, United KingdomAfter climbing 311 tight steps you are greeted with a great view of London. Take your camera and you can get pictures through the mesh #viewpoint #london #lotsofsteps #greatforyourstepcount #history

The Great fire of London is a very important part of London’s history. There is a monument that stands 202 ft tall, that has a viewing platform at the top. After climbing the narrow staircase of 311 steps you can look at the sites of London through mesh fencing. It is £4 to climb to the top, but the view is worth it and is great for your step count.

St Thomas Hospital Garden

 St Thomas’ HospitalLondon, United KingdomWestminster and the Southbank are crazy busy. Head to the tranquil garden of St Thomas hospital and relax on a bench while taking in the view #viewpoint #free #relax #london

Head to the garden of St Thomas hospital, find a bench to relax on while taking in the views of the garden and of Big Ben. This is a nice peaceful hospital garden that is well maintained and is the perfect spot to sit for a while and reflect on your visit to London.

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