London is meant to be walked: A Chevening Scholar’s guide to the city of opportunities

Are you hoping to live and study in London? Chevening Social Media Ambassador (SMA) and Goldsmiths University student Luis Felipe Molina shares an alternative guide to this vibrant capital city!

Living in the vibrant city of London as a Goldsmiths University student provided a unique opportunity to go beyond the typical tourist attractions and delve into the lesser-known gems that the city has to offer.

By embracing alternative approaches to exploring London, such as walking, venturing to the south, and seeking out hidden treasures, you can create an unforgettable and authentic experience during your time as a student. In this blog post, I will show you how to remain a tourist in your own city while discovering an alternative side of London.

The art of walking

With its charming streets, architectural wonders, and hidden alleyways just waiting to be explored, London is a city best discovered on foot.

Put on comfortable shoes and embark on a self-guided walking tour to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere. Sometimes, you may encounter rain, but that is all part of the magic.

Wander through neighbourhoods like Shoreditch, Camden, or Notting Hill, where street art adorns the walls and independent shops exude creativity. Take the opportunity to discover hidden parks and gardens like Postman’s Park or Kyoto Garden, offering peaceful retreats amidst the hustle and bustle.

Go south

""While the northern part of London often steals the limelight, the south is a treasure trove of cultural delights. Cross the Thames and explore areas like Brixton, known for its vibrant multicultural scene and famous food markets.

As a Latin American, going to Brixton and Elephant and Castle was a unique opportunity to find typical cuisine from my region and encounter some familiar brands.

Visit the Southbank Centre, a cultural hub offering art exhibitions, live performances, and stunning views of the city skyline.

Take a stroll along the picturesque South Bank, stopping at the Tate Modern or enjoying the street performers along the way. Walking the South Bank is vibrant; it’s different.


Be alternative

London boasts an array of alternative attractions that offer a unique perspective on the city’s history, culture, and creativity. Step into the surreal world of Sir John Soane’s Museum, a hidden gem filled with art, antiquities, and architectural curiosities.

I also recommend exploring the quirky exhibits at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History, which showcases eccentric collections in a fantastical setting.

And if you enjoy surprises, don’t miss the National History Museum, where you’ll find a wealth of gems and experiences. Best of all, it’s free!

Attend offbeat events like immersive theatre performances or rooftop cinema screenings, taking advantage of London’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Check social media for more plans that you can share with your new friends to strengthen those bonds.

You are a local; you are a Londoner

""As a student living in London, it’s easy to get caught up in the routine of daily life. However, it’s important to make a conscious effort to stay curious and explore new neighbourhoods and experiences, as that is the ultimate goal of travelling. Join walking tours or historical talks that shed light on London’s rich heritage.

My recommendation is to engage with the city’s diverse communities by attending festivals, markets, and cultural events that celebrate humankind. I highly recommend attending an opera, a theatre play, a musical, and anything else that will create wonderful memories. No one can take those experiences away from you!

And when you have visitors, it’s fun to be their guide and show them the best places to walk, eat, and hang out. Before you know it, you’ve become the Londoner who knows all the tricks and hidden gems!

So what are you waiting for? London is waiting to be explored—go forth and embrace its unconventional charm!


Related news