Stephanie Limuaco, Senior International Officer at King’s College London, shares her top tips for getting to know the centre of London.
Have you arrived in London and are ready to have the best time of your life?
We’re ready to welcome you to London with open arms, and universities like King’s College London make it possible for you to make the most of the city from the moment you arrive. In this article, learn how to navigate the city centre and instantly become a Londoner!
Get to know your surroundings by walking
I was an international student myself before I started working at King’s. The first thing I always encourage new students to do is to learn about their new surroundings above-ground. I wish I had done this when I first arrived in London! It’s so easy to just hop on the tube to get to places, but it means you can’t appreciate the sights above.
Houses of Parliament
So, to tick off many major landmarks of London in one go, I recommend the walk along the south bank of the River Thames. Start your walking tour at St. Thomas’ Hospital (one King’s three teaching hospitals) which is opposite the Houses of Parliament (nearest stations are Waterloo or Westminster, or bus routes 147,160, 452, C10, 44). I love the photo spot just above the steps to capture all of Big Ben’s magnificence.
Coca-Cola London Eye
Continue along the south bank path towards the London Eye, which you simply can’t miss! You will find the London Aquarium to your right. Walk along until you find another photo spot with the London Eye behind you, and another beautiful angle of Big Ben!
South Bank Centre
The South Bank Centre that you will see next is home to great theatres like the National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall, art and music spaces, festivals, a Christmas market in December, and street performers. I enjoy going down there with my packed lunch as it’s a 5-minute walk from my office in the King’s Waterloo campus next door. There is also a World Street Food market from Thursday to Sunday – I recommend the Moroccan curries or the Korean burrito.
If you cross Waterloo Bridge, it will take you to King’s Strand Campus and the Somerset House. You can easily see the buildings from across the river.
Staying on the path south of the river, you will pass the OXO Tower on your right and the looming dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral on your left. When you reach the Millennium Bridge, take a moment to capture another photo-perfect opportunity of the Cathedral in the background.
After that, you will pass Shakespeare’s Globe where you can watch a play for £5, as if it were during Shakespeare’s own time!
You will pass many nice places to eat as you walk along, but save space in your belly as you head towards Borough Market. You can sample some delicious fresh produce directly from British farms, and buy some unique, organic or gourmet ingredients to take home with you.
After having your fill at Borough Market, cross over or under London Bridge and find your way back to the path along the river. Look right and you will find the tallest building in Europe, the Shard! Note that King’s Guy’s Campus (home to the Life Sciences and Medicine Faculty of King’s) is just behind it, so you’re never too far from any King’s community!
Back on the path along the river, my favourite bridge is coming up: Tower Bridge. You can take hundreds of great photos from the south side of the river. The round glass building to your right is the Mayor of London’s office, with an amphitheatre just in front. The area is home to many different events throughout the year; check out the schedule of events at The Scoop.
Cross Tower Bridge for more great views of London and to visit the Tower of London where Beefeaters can take you on a tour and you can see the crown jewels.
As you can see, you can get to know London and see some great sights just by walking around. Search for free walking tours too and you’ll be surprised what you can learn. This path along the river is my first tip for new Londoners – it’s free to do and lots of fun!
Know your local area. Walk around and enjoy the city above-ground!
Welcome to London! You are finally here. In all the excitement, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed when you actually arrive. Luckily, you will meet many people at your university offering help and information. There are a few things you will need to do and organise when you arrive. Use this checklist to help […]
Student finance expert Vivi, founder of Blackbullion, shares her top budgeting tips for new students starting at a university in London this September. The romance, the history and the future of London are now at your feet. One of the best cities of the world has just become your home. Congratulations! Going to university is […]
As a student at one of London’s universities, you have a wealth of sights and experiences right on your door step. The opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, visiting museums and galleries or attending events and festivals are endless. You might be surprised how much there is to do in London that’s free of charge – and […]
If you are starting a degree course at a university in London this September, you haven’t got long now until you pack your bags and set off on your journey to London. There are many questions that will go through your mind when you prepare to travel to London. Here are a few practical tips […]
Image credit: BUILA We’re delighted to hear that Priya Morjaria – a graduate of City, University of London and currently at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine – has just been presented with The Paul Berman Young Leader Award. Priya received the global accolade at the 2nd World Congress of Optometry in Hyderabad, […]
A clear vision for every child – how my London experience is helping me change the world for the better
For Tanzanian-Indian student, Priya Morjaria, accessible eye care for every child is essential. Priya’s experience studying in London is helping her to make this a reality in parts of the world that need it the most. Study London caught up with Priya at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to find out […]
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, released today, confirm London remains the higher education capital of the world. London has 4 universities in the global top 40, more than any other city in the world. Imperial College London (8th) and University College London (16th) remain in the top 20 whilst London School of Economics […]
Dousan is studying BA Industrial Design Technology at Brunel University London. As part of his degree course, he has designed a new way of storing rice which is more functional and visually appealing. Here Dousan shares his reasons for moving from Hong Kong to study in London and his experiences of living and studying in […]
The global metropolitan city of London is full of energy and diversity that overflow the streets, creating the vibrant atmosphere that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Immersed in history, the city has charmed both tourists and locals alike for centuries from its beguiling architecture and iconic landmarks to its evolving multicultural cuisine. With so […]