As Londoners, we know the main events, we’ve done the attractions.
We’ve been on the London Eye, we’ve seen Damien Hirst at the Tate (or at least thought long and hard about it, if you’re me) and while we aspire to spend our weekends doing Really Cool Shit, more often than not…we just don’t.
Come the weekend, we want cheap, we want easy, we want to take in our surroundings without the crowds.
We want to leave the house (/ shared flat / postage-stamp sized room) and do something that requires minimum effort in exchange for maximum “Ahh, this is nice.”
The solution? Put away your Amazing Guide to Wild Fun Crazy Events in London, shelve your fancy-pants ideas, begone with your crowded museums and get a load of these tried, tested and utterly normal ways to spend your weekend in London.
You know where’s really nice on a Sunday? Moorgate, Farringdon, Smithfield, Barbican, Bank, St Pauls, Fleet Street, Cannon Street, all round there. It’s quiet. Everything’s closed. There are no suits clutching Blackberries bashing into you, just the odd lost, slightly bewildered looking tourist and a fair few pigeons. But it’s nice, the buildings are pretty, and it’s the perfect place to grab a Boris Bike, too.
2. Get on a bus to anywhere
Yeah I know – buses, shut up about the buses. But seriously: get on one, sit on the top deck, and see where it takes you. Explore wherever it is that you end up. Unless that place is Peckham, in which case, I’d probably just get back on the bus.
3. Sit on Southbank with a cup of tea and people watch
Definitely a morning (and warm day) activity, but if you’re up early, grab a cuppa to takeaway and plant your arse down on one of the big stone blocks outside the Southbank Centre. Sit there. Drink your tea. Eat a croissant. Watch all manner of people walk past, and earwig on every sort of conversation you can imagine.
4. Take the tube to Greenwich, and get the Thames Clipper back.
I did this two weekends ago just because I felt like it. It’s about £4.60 with a travelcard, one way. Pick up the Clipper at Greenwich (try early evening for a quieter ride) and sit on it all the way back to Embankment.
5. Play the piano / listen to someone else play the piano
These are dotted all around London at the moment, complete with sheet music and the instructions “Play Me, I’m Yours“. There’s one in a church yard on Old Street. It looks lonely. Try that one.
6. Shop in a quiet place
Oxford Street’s a bit frenetic for me on a Saturday. Last weekend I went to One New Change (again, in the city) which was dead as a doornail. There’s not a huge amount of shops, and it’s no Westfield, but there’s just enough to satisfy any small Sunday shopping itch you may have. And did I mention the lack of people?
So there you have it, a few suggestions and a bit of insight into how mundane my average weekend actually is. So come on, let’s be out with it. How do you actually, really, honestly spend your weekend?
[Image of the piano by chrisjohnbeckett]