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10 Ways to Imitate a Holiday in London

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by Maria K (subscribe)
Postgraduate student based in London.
Published October 28th 2016
Pretend you went a on a holiday when you in fact didn't
We all need a holiday from time to time, and it is especially true of those living and working in London. Ironically, it is particularly difficult to commit to, as you risk falling out of London's pace even if you take a short break. Cheer up, there are ways to trick your body and mind into thinking you actually went on a holiday when you actually never even left London. Without any further ado, here are 10 tips on how to go on about this.

1. Go to the park
It sounds like pretty basic advice but sometimes all you really need for the peace of mind is some fresh air and some quiet time. To make it feel like a well-deserved break, choose a park that's not too familiar, for example, Kew Gardens. This place would be especially good to be distracted from the noise of the city and to meditate among the exotic trees and the cool botanical garden collections with rare plants.

Kew Gardens
Peacock in Kew Gardens


2. Spend a day in a spa
A perfect advantage of living in a city like London is the range of great services you can find almost at any time. A spa is another traditional way to relax: you can get a professional massage, go to a sauna, and just spend some quality time with yourself. An easy way to find a top-quality spa is to pop into a 5-star hotel, for example, The Dorchester. However, you might end up paying the same money you could have paid for a weekend in Paris, so for more affordable options, check out Aveda Institute or The House of Elemis.

3. Regent's Canal cycling
If you're looking for some active time, go cycling alongside Regent's Canal, going from Regent's Park to King' Cross. This would be a perfect journey to relax your nerves and tone your body, and the canal would be an ideal setting to forget about London busy streets.

Regent's Canal
Regent's Canal (Source: Wikipedia)


4. Party on a rooftop
If you only have an evening to take some time off, go for a rooftop party in London. Rooftops make everything feel a little more special. Plus, the view of London by night is always strangely satisfying. There is a range of bars to choose from: the most popular event is the Silent Disco at the Shard. Alternatively, you can pick a rooftop terrace in the centre, like Notch in Oxford Street, or Aqua in Soho, which guarantees you the best view of the city.

5. Southbank Food Festivals
Sometimes, all you need to feel like you are away from London is to find yourself at an international food market. The lively buzz of people excited for delicious treats accompanied by music and decorations create a truly festive atmosphere. The best of those usually take place in Southbank, attracting large numbers of people who want to try some authentic foods. You can check the next market's date on the website
Southbank Spanish Food Festival
Spanish Food Festival
.

6. Trip to Trafalgar Square

It might be a good idea to reconnect with the tourist side of London that you most likely ignore or get annoyed by. Trafalgar Square is a place avoided by the true Londoners, and one easy way to feel like a tourist in your own city is to find yourself in this cultural centre of the city. Take some pictures, sit down by the fountain, watch the street performance, and London might suddenly appear in a new light.

7. Museum trip
If your type of holiday usually involves sight-seeing, try and pick a museum that you haven't visited since you were in school. The best option would be something that would happen to be a must-see if you actually went to a new city. It could be something traditional, like the Imperial War Museum or National Gallery. Paradoxically, you will realise that there are a lot of things you thought you knew but you don't know anymore. It's a good way to learn again, or simply test your knowledge.

8. Take a trip to a historical place
Another way of pretending you went on a holiday is to actually go on a trip inside London. You can stroll around Greenwich and see all the key attractions, such as the National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College. It is a great way of escaping your everyday routine and spending a day outside your regular surroundings.

Greenwich Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College


9. Go to a tropical party
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a tropical holiday. In London, it is quite simple: just visit one of the many tropical-themed parties or bars. One option is Mahiki, with bamboo-decorated walls and fruity cocktails. Otherwise, try Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge - a high-end location with original exotic drinks, Pan-Asian cuisine and top DJ sets.

10. The Summerhouse in Little Venice
In this case, the name of the place really speaks for itself. The Summerhouse is an elaborate seafood restaurant, with the terrace overlooking the canal of the Little Venice. This view does make you feel like you're outside of London, add the Mediterranean delicacies, and you are practically on a holiday without leaving London.

Little Venice
Little Venice

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Why? If you are tired and short on time and/or money
Where: In London
Cost: Varied
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