… feel the urge to show that London-tiredness is just not an option.
Some people are tired of London, which is a dangerous place to go for we all know the famous words of Samuel Johnson: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life…for there is in London all that life can afford”. So yes, dangerous.
Although I hope my previous blog posts have been of any help, I do understand they won’t be the one and only answer to the London-related tiredness some people may experience.
These people need some serious tools.
Therefore this blog post is dedicated to those who feel like they’re fed up with London. To cheer them up. The blog post is also suitable for long-term Londoners, out-of-the-box tourists or people who are facing a London-guide-crisis. And of course all others that feel attracted to this village.
If you, like me, like to discover London you can go to a bookshop. You can go to a bookshop and buy a guide. A tourist’s guide. The choice will be enormous, but in the end you will find a suitable guide to tour you through London.
Unfortunately, you’ll find that this guide leaves you with an empty feeling, every now and then… “Less is more” is nice, but I have learned that there is not just one guide that suits you best. None of them will manage to cover it all! So no more less is more when it comes to London guides.
Best alternative is to go your own way without a guide at all, but hey…don’t we all need some guidelines sometimes?
So, I’ve started my own little London Library which contains more than a dozen of guides, piles of interesting articles and two home-made-bibles. My home-made-bibles are my own home-made-bibles and no one will ever get to touch those. I’m sorry. But I am willing to share my top 3 of best London-guides. Guides that aren’t guides really. They come in the form of a map, a magazine and a blog-became-book-you-can-partly-customize-yourself book. And bonus, they fill those gaps that the other guides leave you with – they bring you to places you would never be able to find with your “200% London” and “Happy Jupiter” guides. They’ve actually collected those quirky facts and they bring it with passion.
Indeed, that’s “wow”! Or “yay”. Whatever you prefer. That’s your London-dip sorted.
Curious? Here goes:
Tool nr. 1 – A Map of London Peculiars
Whenever people ask me what London-tips I can give them, my respond is: “Get lost…” And this isn’t meant to be rude, people. No, no, no.
Literally getting lost in a city is the best way to discover it. Getting lost in London means you’ll get to see as much of it’s beauty as possible. It’s how you’ll meet that lovely local couple that have lived in the area for more than 40 years and that small independent lunch room on the corner.
I do advice to bring a map on your lost-tour, just in case. The Map of London Peculiars so to speak.
This map is a must-have for London-geeks, history-freeks, lovers of non-cliche facts and people who experience London mainly underground.
Designed by the London-enthusiasts who also run London Peculiar (one of the most intriguing London-related websites, which I only allow myself to visit once a month to stop myself from going insane with greed), this map shows you curious secrets – 64 to be precise – to be found in the West End and City. It shows the things you never knew, didn’t realise or took for granted and it stops you from checking the pavements while finding your way to the nearest tube station. When the happy owner of A Map of London Peculiars, you soon will find yourself looking up and turning ’round and ’round with an amazed look on your face, followed by a smile from ear to ear and the urge to hunt down all the peculiar facts mentioned on the map.
I have fallen in love with this map – which shows a sense of affection for this city, an affection that I recognize – and will be searching Soho for noses and ears until I’ve found them all. Join me if you like and let the pigeon lead you.
A Map of London Peculiars can be bought here for £3.00 only. I repeat: £3.00 only! Taking all the finds you’ll find through this map into consideration, this is what I call a bargain. One that will give you long lasting pleasure in return! Something else: it’s a map. Meaning it is a) small, b) easily fits in your pocket or bag and c) is light. So, no excuses. Perfect!
Tool nr. 2 – Lost in London magazine
Frankly, I’m not really a magazine type. I buy them, check the pictures, read one article from A – Z and that’s it really… Now Lost in London is a magazine they say. But I do not agree with that. Lost in London is a piece of art that can be read and should never be recycled. And apart from being a piece of art, it also shows a different London. A London that won’t be found in any guide whatsoever.
I first discovered this magazine when exploring Tate’s museum shop. I bought me a copy of the first issue. And she was hooked.
Set up and co-produced by Lucy Scott and Tina Smith Lost in London focuses on the city’s hidden charms and so showing Londoners their city in a different light. Londoners who love not just city life but also the rustic of nature and joy of outdoor life, will find themselves reading this magazine with joy and surprise. And even those Londoners who don’t believe the city has a rustic side to it might find they – dare I say it – like it. From rare birds and nature events to foraging, recipes and non commercial Christmas fairs; it’s revealed in this magazine.
Lost in London works with freelancers who come with a variety of backgrounds, making this “magazine” a one of a kind with stories for all tastes, beautiful prints and unique pictures.
Being the proud owner of two issues I can tell you, although your gut feeling will tell you to do the opposite:
DO NOT FRAME YOUR LOST IN LONDON MAGAZINE! Nope. Fight that feeling, be good and read your issues carefully from A – Z, don’t just check the pictures. Sniff the pages (they smell of uniqueness and passion and freshly printed ink) and dedicate at least one weekend per month to follow up the magnificent tips and ideas.
With five issues released so far and a hint of Spring in the air, issue number 6 must be on it’s way. I cannot wait.
More information on this beautifully designed magazine?
Go to www.lostinlondonmagazine.com
Lost in London costs £10,00 and a one year’s subscription £40,00.
Issues 1 to 5 can still be purchased here.
You can also follow Lost in London magazine on Twitter @LostinLondonMag
Tool nr. 3 – Tired of London Tired of life book
Having never won anything in my life (sad but true) I was thrilled to receive the news I won a book. And not just a book! I won a book from the hand of an interesting London-blogger: author/blogger Tom Jones. For those who think the obvious thought right now…don’t.
Tom Jones is the man behind the blog Tired of London, Tired of Life. The blog that began after the author felt he was a bit tired of London himself. The blog that shows there is something new to discover in Londinium every day. The blog that is worth checking out on a more than regular basis.
Now the book is based on the same concept as the blog and is named after the blog as well. But apart from old time favourites that have featured on the blog before you’ll also find “brand new ideas never before seen on Tired of London, Tired of Life”.
The book arrived just in time – one day before I was of to pretty London, again – so straight into the suitcase it went. Ready to be tested! Which sounds not too nice…but it’s “tested” as in “the fun way of testing out new things”. And unsurprisingly it got through the test ea-si-ly.
It’s a book that guides you to all corners of London. A whole year long. And then another year, and another, and so on. Describing a monument, cinema, park, pub or statue per day accompanied by some distinct and interesting history or funny facts, it almost takes you by the hand. In between all the ideas it leaves you room to scribble down your own notes and finds. So eventually it will become a book written by Tom and a little bit by you… I like that idea.
And it comes with lovely illustrations!
I’m convinced the blog has shown many tired Londoners that it’s not London itself that makes you weary and tired; it’s the long distances London might make you walk to show it’s hidden gems. And as convinced as I am about the blog, as convinced am I about the book. I even dare to hereby promise you: the book will take you on a slow-tour through a city that you may have forgotten is so beautiful.
You might be relieved to hear this brilliant book can be bought here for just £8.33.
These were my three suggestions. Three items that show London from a different angle. It’s that angle you’ll hardly find as a tourist and that long-term Londoners tend to forget.
And yes, it’s the author’s opinion but they all three deserve the If I were in London right now – Highly Recommended stamp (which doesn’t actually exist, it’s a fictive stamp).
Last but not least I once more like to address to all you out there suffering from a London burn out or having lost London-faith: I hope my blog and these tools will help you to find ways to love this characteristic Metropolis again. Do not give up, not yet. Step outside and smell the Spring. Time to fight the London-blues.
This was another If I were in London right now… I hope you enjoyed it and are inspired!
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