The 8 Most Overrated Places To Go In London If You Are A Tourist
Got your bag packed, your tickets printed, and your hotel booked for London? Good. Here are all of the places that you should avoid when you get here.
2. Piccadilly Circus
3. 221b Baker Street
Why? There shouldn't be a 221b Baker Street, as Sherlock Holmes's home is fictional, just like the detective, but the address has been given to the Sherlock Holmes Museum (and a mighty museum it is too). But this causes a problem. The museum is located slightly further down the road, between 237 and 241. This is wrong because, well, the location just doesn't look right. The number ordering of the road isn't right, the position according to what you have seen in the BBC adaption isn't right. It's weird.
So this happens: you try to work out exactly where 221b Baker Street should have been. You pass the blue door of 231, you pass a huge office with a silver sign of 219, then you pass a café called Francesca and a Pret. You walk back and forth again, feeling slightly sad that you haven't found it, even though you knew that you had a 100% chance of not finding it anyway.
Go here instead: The famous Abbey Road crossing, which actually exists, so you can pose like The Beatles. Just don't hold up traffic for that long, alright?
4. Borough Market (on Saturdays)
5. Buckingham Palace
6. Oxford Street
Why? The consensus by Londoners is that shopping on Oxford Street is terrible. It is terrible, and it's a popular London custom to complain to others about how terrible it was when you were there last. Why is it so bad? Well, it's got nothing to do with the shops themselves; it's the fact that everything is shoved into such a small space that you have to fire yourself past people like a nuclear missile to get in and out of anything. Plus entering Oxford Circus underground is like trying to squeeze into a matchbox with 430 other people, and Christmas in this area seems to start in August.
Oh and whatever you do, never say "Fancy meeting up directly outside Oxford Circus later?", because you will get lost within the great amount of people who are also planning to meet someone directly outside Oxford Street tube station but cannot find them because of all the other people trying to find other people outside Oxford Circus station.
Go here instead: Covent Garden, Carnaby Street... Oh god, anywhere.
7. The bit opposite Westminster on the South Bank
Why? The South Bank provides one of best walks in London. The skyline constantly changes as you follow the Thames as it winds its way from one side of the city centre to the other. You will see all kinds of culture, ranging from the highbrow (the National Theatre) to what some see as lowbrow (the skatepark).
So why do a great deal amount of tourists stick to one part of it, hanging around the London Eye and the Aquarium paying street entertainers before disappearing? The attractions there are fine. The photo opportunity in front of Big Ben is fine. But everything else along the South Bank is so, so much better than that 500m.
Go here instead: Keep walking down the South Bank! Go on to the roof garden at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Get soaked to the skin by running through the fountains at the Southbank Centre. Pose on the pier for photos with Tower Bridge in the background. Walk aimlessly along the South Bank until you start to think that you might be leaving London and your feet start to feel as if they might fall off at any moment, basically.
8. Leicester Square
Why? Oh god. There are restaurants around Leicester Square that Londoners are surprised still exist, such as Angus Steakhouses. The square is a destination for glitzy movie premieres, but you can't get near them because the whole place is closed off when they're on. The price to go to a cinema there is extortionate and on a Friday night you just want to run through it as fast as possible because everyone is drunk and wants a kebab. True, the square underwent under a £15 million renovation in 2012, but the only notable improvement seems to be a new fence and pavement.
Want another reason? M&M WORLD. That is all.
Go here instead: Absolutely anywhere else. Seriously.