The Cool Guide to London

The Cool Guide to London including free attractions, where to eat, bars and where to stay via
While in London, I was constantly looking for cool places to visit and experience. I like to think I found quite a few little gems, some you may have heard of, and maybe some new ones, too!

Sure, people visiting London tend to do the tourist things like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the West End and on and on … but some of the gems of London aren’t those attractions.

In fact, there are plenty of free places to explore (and, sure, they are likely in guidebooks).

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite free places to visit, walks to take, great restaurants and bars and even some hotels to add to your itinerary.

So, what’s cool to do in London? Why, hello, The Cool London Guide (as curated by yours truly) that includes all of the things to do in London that I love.

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Living it Up at Sofitel St. James

A review of London's Sofitel St. James via
Editor’s Note: I was a guest of Sofitel St. James. For more, please read my disclosure policy.

We arrive into the grand entry at Sofitel St. James. It’s been a long day, and it has only just begun. Around us, business people and families are spread throughout the posh lobby, readying themselves to take in the rainy London afternoon.

The two of us standout, surrounded by hotel guests who are dressed far nicer than us, but it doesn’t matter to the staff.

Smiles greet us as we check-in and head up to our room. The past few days, we’ve experienced everything from a converted townhouse to a 70s disco room, to the mod Sex Pistol’s room we shared in Brighton, and now we have entered the heart of luxury.

And, I mean luxury.

Hotel Reviews

Daily Wanderlust: The London Eye

With everyone having Olympic Fever, I figured I’d open up the dusty photo album of London today and take a stroll down memory lane.

Travel back in time with me … there I was, fresh-faced, eyes wide open, wandering the streets of London during my first few days of long-term travel way back in March 2010 (which seems like a lifetime ago given that I am now living in Chiang Mai, Thailand).

I remember taking in the novelty of the cards driving down the “wrong side” of the road … the fish and chips and toads in the hole and the Tube. And of course, the gorgeous wheel of the London Eye.

Do I love London? No. It’s expensive. It reminds me a lot of Washington, DC, minus the accents and the way hipper fashion. But, it truly is a spectacular city to vista, filled with beautiful sights like this one.

 A view of the London Eye


Escape of the Week: London’s Big Ben

London’s Big Ben is recognized the world over. Located within the historic Palace of Westminster grounds, Big Ben is the name for the bell of the clock, but is also used to refer to the entire tower.

Did you know it is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world (according to Wikipedia)?

At more than 150 years old, Big Ben is one of the must-visits while staying in London.

If you’re a resident of the UK, lucky you —  you’re able to climb the 330-plus steps inside the tower to the top! For the rest of us, we get to take photos and imagine (or ask our UK buddies) what the interior of this iconic tower looks like.

Have you visited Big Ben? Have you been inside?


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