A Local’s Guide to London is part of a series collaboration with Spotted by Locals London

There’s nothing like summer in London when the sky is clear, the sun is out and the temperature is warm. The only downside? The city is packed more than ever with tourists who come from around the world to see the city’s grand royal palaces, world-class museums and famous squares. To enjoy London during the best if not warmest time of year, follow in the footsteps of the locals to these incredible alternatives to London’s most sought-after attractions.

Local's Guide to London - Newport Street Gallery

Get cultured in London’s best museums and galleries.

Whether it’s pre-historic artifacts at the British Museum or Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the Tate Gallery, London offers endless opportunities to experience the finest art in the world. To avoid the crowds without sacrificing any cachet, head to Lambeth for the Newport Street Gallery. Like London’s top museums, the gallery, which presents exhibitions of work from renowned artist Damien Hirst’s collection, is free of charge. Don’t miss Ornamental Hysteria, Ashley Bickerton’s first U.K. show since 2009, running throughout all six spaces of the gallery until August 20, 2017.

Local's Guide to London - Kensington Palace

See how the other half lives at a royal palace.

The facade of Buckingham Palace is famous around the world. For generations, it’s where the royal family appear on the balcony to greet the people of the commonwealth after major events. Skip the palace tour and get a fuller experience at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, which displays changing exhibits from the Royal Collection. Or, get fully immersed in palace life at Kensington Palace, the former home of the late Princess Diana, where visitors can have lunch, tea and cake in the Orangery Restaurant.

Local's Guide to London - Rotorino

Eat with the locals in the British capital.

While Padella won Best Dish 2016 for its Pici Cacio e Pepe, the locals are heading further north and east to Rotorino in Dalston. The restaurant, helmed by chef Stevie Parle, is known for its southern Italian fare and wine. Meanwhile, as foodies flock to Hook Camden Town, try Bistrotheque for a more local flavor. Housed in a former warehouse, the white-painted restaurant in Bethnal Green serves modern European dishes like foie gras and chicken liver parfait to start, steak tartare, chips and gem salad for a main, and orange, Cointreau and hazelnut trifle for dessert.

Local's Guide to London - Markets

Shop at an old-school London market.

London’s grand department stores like Harrods and Fortnum and Madson are spectacular, yes, but shopping should be done in one of the city’s many unique features: its markets. Borough Market, London’s most renowned food and drink market, is also its oldest, in its current spot for at least 250 years. Instagram-ready Columbia Road Flower Market is open on Sundays only. Best known for its beautiful foliage, the market is comprised of 60 independent shops including antiques, fashion, food, garden and vintage purveyors.

Local's Guide to London - Sky Garden

Catch the view from atop one of the tallest buildings in London.

For years, locals and visitors alike have been heading to Roof Gardens, a popular rooftop club in High Street Kensington. For even better views, try the Sky Garden. Located atop one of the tallest buildings in the city’s financial center, the spot offers views across London and beyond, as well as three stories of landscaped gardens, restaurants and the Sky Pod Bar. Not quite as high up, the roof terrace at One New Change with its views of St. Paul’s and the city are available to the public seven days a week.

Local's Guide to London - Queen of Hoxton

Have a pint with the locals.

In London’s hip East End, drink with the locals at the industrial-chic Queen of Hoxton. Catch London’s best DJs, live music and cultural events here. For a more traditional pub, head to Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden. Order a Fullers at the favorite pub of renowned writer Charles Dickens, in a setting that’s changed little since 1772.

Local's Guide to London - Hoxton Hotel

Stay in the heart of London at The Hoxton, Holborn.

The Hoxton’s mission is to provide guests, visitors and locals alike with a place to sleep, eat, work and play every single day. One of the few hotels to successfully pull off this lifestyle concept, The Hoxton, Holborn is set in an incredibly central location, far enough removed from the chaos of the West End, but conveniently located near the best London has to offer. From its contemporary guest rooms to the creatives plugging away at the lobby’s communal work desks and dining options like the basement-level Chicken Shop, this hotel has all you need and more for a perfect stay in London.


A Local’s Guide to London travel photos courtesy of Johan Mouchet, Raphael Koh, Valor Kopeny, Toa Heftiba, Clem Onojeghuo, Daria Shevstova, Queen of Hoxton, The Hoxton

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