There are several different types of travellers and, sometimes, travel guides and recommendations tend to hone in on just one. However, the great part about London is that it is so diverse and that most boroughs offer something for every type.
Whether you are a foodie, a knowledge-seeker, an art-enthusiast, or an experience-seeker, these are the top boroughs that have something to offer everyone.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Foodies can have all their needs met in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There are restaurants and markets galore, as well as farmers markets with every type of food and fancy. Notting Hill is a great area for those looking to taste their way through the city, and only a short distance from Grand Royale London Hyde Park. The area is packed with lovely restaurants, like Chucs and The Ledbury, but it is also home to the iconic Portobello Road and the Notting Hill Farmers Market. Those with a sweet tooth and a passion for a good Instagram picture ought to look no further than Peggy Porschen Cakes on King’s Road, Chelsea. This corner-property is a cornerstone of the borough’s quaintness and charm, and home to killer cake. The only place able to compete is the afternoon tea in your Shaftesbury Hotel London Paddington.
Some are more inclined to feed their brains when travelling, and this borough is arguably the best for this given the sheer quantity of world-famous museums within its boundaries. On the aptly-named Exhibition Road in South Kensington, you will find a treasure trove of knowledge and interest. There is the Natural History Museum, the V&A Museum and the Science Museum all within walking distance of each other. Otherwise, still within the borough but closer to Holland Park, you will find the Leighton House Museum and the Design Museum. There is also the National Army Museum by the river. Each as enriching as the other, you could spend your whole trip between Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington Hotel and these institutions.
Arts-lovers are in for a treat within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square was opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi to exhibit his collection to the public. It is now one of London’s most impressive displays of contemporary art. Cadogan Hall is one for the music lovers – it is an early 20th-century hall, where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs classical music programmes. It also is sometimes a venue for events, such as an event for this year’s shortlisted authors for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The Edwardian picture house, Electric Cinema, screen both mainstream and art-house films.
Shopaholics are covered in this borough, which is the home to flagship stores like Harrods and all the incredible shopping opportunities in the Knightsbridge district. Even just strolling through Portobello Road market, down High Street Kensington, or along Kings Road, Chelsea is enough to weaken the knees of any ardent shopper.
London Borough of Camden
Those with a hankering for all-things-delicious will be blown away by the options in Camden borough. What many people don’t realise, given their knowledge of the position of Camden Town, is that London’s iconic Soho falls within the borough’s boundaries – a food-lover’s paradise. So whether you want some street food from Camden Market or a steaming bao bun or sushi roll from one of Soho’s many restaurants, you certainly won’t go hungry.
Those hungry for information are sorted within Camden borough and can head to a great number of intellectually stimulating and fascinating museums. There is of course, most notably, The British Museum, home to countless relics from the empire. Slightly more niche but just as interesting, there is the Charles Dickens Museum, offering an insight into the life of one of Britain’s most well-known Victorian writer and social critic. Another niche-but-fascinating museum is the Freud Museum or Keats House in Hampstead. Book-nerds and film-enthusiasts alike will be drooling over the Harry Potter shop at Kings Cross’ Platform 9 and ¾. You will have a day so packed with experience and enlightenment that you will fall asleep as soon as your head touches the pillow in your Park Grand Paddington Suite.
If it is arts and culture you are after, that is what Camden borough provides on so many different levels and on a multidisciplinary basis. Musical theatre buffs, for instance, can explore the beloved West End’s Dominion Theatre, Gillian Lynne Theatre and Cambridge Theatre, seeing shows like the Dominion’s BIG The Musical, Gillian Lynne’s School of Rock and Cambridge’s Matilda, to name a few. Comedy enthusiasts, on the other hand, can head to the Camden Comedy Club every night of the week for some side-splitting stand up above the Camden Head Pub. Jazz lovers do not need to look much further than Camden Jazz Cafe, an intimate venue for jazz, soul and reggae, known for hosting both local and international stars.
City of Westminster
Basically, the joining borough between Camden and Kensington/Chelsea is the borough known as the City of Westminster, encompassing massive landmarks like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park within its boundaries. Food lovers don’t need to look very hard to find one of the numerous restaurants and bars that make areas such as Covent Garden and Mayfair so well-loved. Home to the London Paddington hotels that make a trip to London so special, this area is every traveller’s holiday-haven.
If you are a sight-seeing type of traveller – a subcategory of a knowledge-seeker, for sure – then you will tick off all the big ones off your list when visiting this borough. Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, The National Gallery, Nelson’s Column… the list really just keeps going, all the way from the banks of the Thames to London Zoo.
The majority of London’s West End falls within this borough, meaning culture-seekers will be in their element. Just standing in the sparkle of the lights in Piccadilly Circus, or outside the theatres by Trafalgar Square, are experiences in themselves… so wait until you head inside to enjoy the show!
London is a great place to visit because of how much there is to do for just about every type of traveller and the same can be said about its individual boroughs. Each comes teeming with things to do, eat and see and you could spend hours exploring just small portions at a time, knowing with glee how much there still is to see.