How to explore London

I hope you’ve all had a great holiday and are looking forward to the year ahead! I love the motivated feeling that the dawn of a new year brings and have my new year resolutions ready to go. This time last year I launched This City Life with the aim of motivating myself and others to get out there and discover the great things London has to offer.  Over the past twelve months I’ve enjoyed so many different places, discovered the things I love doing and met great people along the way.

In case you’ve set exploring London as one of your new year resolutions, I thought I’d share my tips and tricks to help you achieve it.

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The things you love doing. You can learn so much about London just by searching out all the different places that offer the things you love doing (especially if you get off a tube stop early or take a different route).

A burger fan? There’s a foodie scene for that. Like Gin? There’s a club for that. Enjoy drinking really good coffee? There’s hundreds of independent cafes in the city.

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The right people.  On social media, not on the streets of course.  Twitter is great for finding new places.  Start with a few good London guides and the places that you already know, then keep an eye out for the people they interact with and retweet.  If you go to a new place, follow them and mention them in a tweet.  If you get a retweet you might just find a few like minded people or places.  Bloggers are also great to follow as we all love finding new places to share.

Need a few suggestions to get you started? Here are my favourites.

London guides: @InLondonGuide; @TimeOutLondon; @AboutLondon; @LondONtheInside; @VisitLondon; @Londonist

Cakes and places for the sweet tooth: @BiscuiteersLtd; @Beas_Bloomsbury; @TheTeaRoomsN16; @PrimroseBakery; @TheTeasKnees

Independent coffee bars: @CoffeeLondon; @CoffeesmithsHQ; @SpeakeasyW1; @CaravanKingsX; @OzoneCoffee

Cocktail experts: @TheCocktailGeek; @CocktailLovers; @Archer_Street; @DiffordsGuide; @Callooh_Callay

Bloggers: @MelissaFoodie; @LyndonsCoffee; @Mulia; @LadyLovesCake@ThisCityLifeLdn (me!)

If you need any more, check out my follow list.

Buy---Explore-London

A few guides aimed more towards Londoners. I have gathered a few since moving to London.  My favourites are the London Style Guide, 1000 things to do in London and London’s Best Bars: 500 Great Places to Drink in the Capital.  I also received a few new books over Christmas that look like they’re going to be really useful – Secret London – Unusual Bars and Restaurants and Great Cake Places London 2012.

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And try to stick to them.  A few simple goals, like trying one new place a month or going to a different cafe when you get a coffee craving, should keep you on track to exploring what London really has to offer.  Once you get into the swing of it you’ll find you hardly ever return to the same place twice.

Will you be exploring London this year? Or do you have any tips or tricks that you’d add to help?