If you are thinking of coming to London and you want to enjoy some quintessentially British things to do on your trip then we have the perfect list for you. From getting a family snapshot outside Buckingham Palace to indulging in a fish and chip supper, London has lots of instantly recognisable, iconic and very 'British' attractions and activities to enjoy while you are here.
The Must-See Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
The momumental Elizabeth Tower, affectionately known as Big Ben, is a must see for any trip to London. This London landmark is one of the most famous and iconic British symbols in the city and no trip to London would be complete without a view of it. Westminster Bridge is an ideal spot for photos and you can also check out the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey while you are in the area. Next, head over to the epitome of all things British and Royal, Buckingham Palace, to see the Queens guards with their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats. You may even get to witness the changing of the guard ceremony which takes place at 11.30 a.m. on a daily basis.
There is nothing as quintessentially British as the tradition of afternoon tea. Tiny cucumber sandwiches and scones with jam and cream are the standard fare along with dainty cups of tea and floral teapots but alternatively, you can also seek out some quirkier options such as the fashionable Prêt-à-Portea Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge and the Gent's Afternoon Tea at the Sanctum Soho Hotel. Read more about our favourite afternoon teas here.
Red Telephone Boxes
Although these iconic British telephone boxes are no longer in common use, you can still find these brick-red British beacons dotted all over the city. Essential holiday snapshot fodder, you don't have to look too hard to find them as they still hold pride of place on London streets. We recently headed to Covent Garden to get a photo of the telephone boxes on Broad Street (left) but other locations include Argyll Street and Leicester Square.
You’ll find the traditional British supper of fish and chips offered everywhere in London, from high-end restaurants to traditional pubs. True fish and chips should consist of crispy battered fish encasing a delicately cooked fish with a side of crispy chips and a citrussy tartar sauce. Surprisingly, this combination can be difficult to find but some of our Check-in-London'ers favourite fish supper options include Poppies in Camden and Spitalfields and Toff's of Muswell Hill.
A traditional Sunday Lunch of roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and all the fixings is also a must for those visiting London and some of our favourite Sunday Roast establishments include Hawksmoor Seven Dials and The Anchor & Hope in Waterloo.
A Pint of Ale in a Traditional Pub
Round off your whistle-stop tour of all things British in London with a pint of ale in a traditional pub. There are pubs on every corner in London but if you are seeking out historic pubs with original features and interesting stories then you will have to delve a little bit deeper. The Dog and Duck pub in Soho is one of our favourites and was established in the 18th century and is steeped in history which is clear to see from the moment you set foot inside the door. Their tongue-in-cheek tagline 'Famous for serving John Constable, George Orwell and Madonna' says it all about the type of clientele that have frequented the establishment over the years. Several pub tours are also available which allow you to sample the ales and atmosphere in a collection of historic West End pubs. For more information and prices for these tours, click here.
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