I love London, which is why I’m glad KLM resumed service to London City Airport on 6 February. This city was made for city trips. Even if you’re coming here for the tenth time, you can expect to feel new in town. And as a “newbie” at KLM, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the British capital even better with the help of two unusual storytellers – iFly Magazine and Holland Herald. The former is a digital e-zine while the latter is an inflight magazine. Both are extremely useful if you’re planning to travel.
Tips from KLM
Here are the five most interesting things to do in London, all of which I discovered through these two sources. And I’ve got one more for you – a special must-see (or must-read) – just an hour’s ride from London.
Shoreditch: London’s urban playground
I’ll start by taking you to Hackney. A forty-minute walk from this once-rough area of East London, lies Shoreditch. Not so terribly long ago, it wasn’t a particularly welcoming part of town. But there was something inspiring about it, so much so that it drew fashion designer Alexander McQueen and artist Damien Hirst to live and work there – and a new creative scene was born. It’s a taste of London that every tourist should try.
The Hoxton Hotel is also located there and you don’t have to stay overnight to experience a pleasant evening at the bar. The Hoxton’s credo is “Live East, Love East.” You can find a branch of the Hoxton in Amsterdam as well, and the vibe there is entirely recognisable. Now on to Spitalfields, a twenty-minute walk from Shoreditch, where you can also feel “Love East” when you stroll along the Old Spitalfields Market. It’s open seven days a week and each day has a different theme – antiques, art, affordable vintage, inventive design, and more.
Go golfing in the heart of London – of course
Wind and rain – nothing new for the average Dutch person. London is also no stranger to bad weather, which you can ignore as you go golfing on the Kensington High Street. Even pros visit the golf simulators at Urban Golf regularly.
The remarkable Lost Property Office
Here’s something I want to see – a municipal service that collects all the things left behind in buses, taxis, and the Underground. False teeth, electric irons, mobile phones – even breast implants – are all labelled and kept safe here. Most of it never gets picked up, though. So this has become a unique collection of found objects since 1933.
The smallest cinema in town
The Exhibit, the smallest cinema in London, also sounds pretty interesting. It’s the second smallest in all of Great Britain. If you bring twenty-three friends along, you’ll fill the theatre. You can watch art house films for just seven pounds. You’ll sit hip-to-hip in leather loveseats. It’s very comfy and the sound and image quality is excellent.
Colourful Neal’s Yard
This one is a real hidden gem. You’ll find Neal’s Yard just a few minutes’ walk from Covent Garden. The houses in this courtyard are easy to miss despite their bright colours – yellow, green, blue, even hot pink. They’ll work well on Instagram or in your photo album.
Extra: Roald Dahl, the writers’ writer
This particular hero is world famous. He lived just an hour’s ride from the hubbub of the city. Great Missenden is a picturesque village where Roald Dahl lived and did his shopping for thirty-six years. Since his death it has become a place of pilgrimage. At his grave lie countless letters and pens from fans of all ages. In the Roald Dahl Museum, you can visit his writing hut. Originally it stood in his garden but has been moved in its entirety to the museum.
I remember why a flight into London City Airport is a dream of a city trip. Would you like to find out more? You can find everything you want to know about Shoreditch here. And more about London in general here. But be sure to check out the Holland Herald online. My colleague is also very happy about the new destination. And he flies there as part of his daily routine and has worked at the new destination with Commercial. (See below.) I’m curious to see if he knows about all my tips. I’m sure he does as he’s not so new in town.