London Calling | Grace Sullivan

london

Prime Minister: ‘Whenever I’m gloomy about the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport.’ (Love Actually, in my opinion, is in itself reason enough to love London.) I’ll admit I’m no Anglophile, I don’t know every fact about the Royal wedding, the Windsor family or the, ahem, Royal conception, but I do enjoy visiting our nearest neighbour. I decided that this weekend was going to be my big adventure to London – my way to beat the January blues and wash away my failed New Year’s Resolution guilt (yes, it is only the second week, but ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ Or so I console myself with!). I think I speak for most of us when I say that London truly is always calling. It’s not too far away and you really only go when you’re full of energy and up for a good time. What is it about this city that makes it so appealing? This week’s article is my attempt at showing you, that perhaps The Clash really were on to something.

The Attractions

Now, no one can deny there is a whole lot to do and see in London. A weekend is simply not enough (both a justification for a revisit, and also the truth) as the city is jam-packed with activities. Perhaps you could catch a show at the West End, there’s something to appeal to everyone. If you’re not really interested in anything in particular, go see a classic long-running show (Les Mis, anyone? Unfortunately you won’t see Hugh Jackman or Anne Hathaway). If not out of an interest in theatre, then go just to experience the atmosphere. Order a Pimms, live the high life!

lesmiserables

One of the main attractions is the London Eye, now I must advise you go to the loo first, it takes a while as it’s quite slow. I’m sure the panoramic view would be less impressive, if you’re hopping up and down with an ‘I’m-going-to-burst’ face. For the historian in you (if there is one) why not visit Westminster or the Abbey – if it’s good enough to house a Royal Wedding, it’s good enough for any UCC student! Even if none of this is appealing to you, perhaps a good old fashion black cab, red bus tour and ride on the Underground (150 years old this week) will provide you with the Landan experience! London really is a check in lovers’ paradise with all it has to offer.

The Diversity

London truly is a diverse place, containing a wide variety of races, religion and cultural backgrounds. However, what is worth noting is the acceptance and ability to be you and not be judged. I think that if you wanted to don your mankini in public, there would be a place for you to go. If high end retail is your thing, the SW3 area is the place for you. Who doesn’t love a bit of Made of in Chelsea? Or there’s Camden town, filled with markets and musical history. It seems whatever you’re into there’s a place that would cater for your every. (Saying that, Tayto and Barry’s Tea are fairly expensive so I’d bring your own, guess you really can’t have your tae and drink it.)

The Opportunity to Bump into a Well-Known Face.

If you’re a bit of a 007 (okay you won’t bump into to him. 1. He works for MI5 so he’ll be under the radar, and 2. he’s… Well, not real) you could actually plan to meet someone famous. Leister Square is crawling with the rich and the famous when there’s a premiere – all it takes is a Google search and a piggy bank full of penny’s to get that meet and greet. There are book signings, promos and all that going on all the time. If you’ve got the outfit, or the gift of the gab, you could chat your way into one of those high end nightclubs that Prince Harry is constantly photographed in. Mahiki could probably do with being introduced to the prinking culture.

Granted, I’m no Lonely Planet Guide and probably very inaccurate with some of this information, however, why not try to experience it again/for the first time yourself? They’ve had quiet the year over there, with the Olympics, the Jubilee and now a royal baby (if you haven’t heard which is unlikely!), so why not do a Joey on it and step into the map? Buy the British flag hat, and Fergie – well, you’ll have to find her yourself! And honestly, it’s time to forget about Mary, because there’s something about London.