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Top 10 things to do in London

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London keeps growing and even if you spend your whole life here, there is too much to see and do. However, if there are ten things that are totally worth it, then here they are.

1. Get a good view of the city

Take a trip on the London Eye (Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster; 10am-8pm; £17.95) and you will get a pretty good idea about the expanse of the capital.

In fact, according to the attraction, the 3.5 million annual visitors can see up to 25 miles on a good day.

At other times, you can still get a great view of Canary Wharf, Buckingham Palace and Westminster from 134m in the air, although watching the streets light up on an evening trip is also breathtaking.

For a cheaper view of the city, head to Primrose Hill (Camden or Regent's Park; free entry), which is 78m up and has a clear view of Central London and its landmarks and quite often the odd celebrity.

Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London

2. Dip your feet at the Serpentine Gallery

Fans of modern art should head to the Serpentine Gallery (Knightsbridge; Telephone: 020 7402 6075), which is right in the heart of Kensington Gardens and puts on exhibitions all year round.

Meanwhile, nearby is a beautiful lake and memorial fountain to dip your feet in.

3. Brace yourself in the ponds of Hampstead Heath

Who cares if it's cold! Hampstead Heath (Golders Green or Archway; from 7am; £2 entry; Telephone: 020 7485 3873) has three freshwater swimming ponds and a lido for single sex and mixed sex use.

Be careful of the birds that nest on the buoys, but that's all part of the fun.

During the summer months the temperature of the ponds are about 18 degrees, but that can't be said for the other months of the year!

4. Stand in the pit at the Globe

The Globe Theatre (London Bridge; Tours £10.50, performance from £5; Telephone:020 7902 1400) is a replica of a 16th century London playhouse, the remains of which were found nearby.

To experience what it was like to see a play 400 years ago, head along during the Globe's season, which runs through until October, although you can take a tour throughout the year.

To make seeing one of Shakespeare's plays all the more genuine, buy a 'groundlings ticket', right in the pit for just £5 (although you'll have to stand).

5. Hear late night jazz in Soho

It takes an awfully long time before London goes to sleep, and one great way to spend a late night in town is listening to jazz at Trisha's bar (Piccadilly Circus; Telephone: 020 7437 9536) in Soho, which is tucked away in a basement and is suitable for young trendy types and old-time jazz lovers.

Another hideaway is Freud café-bar (Covent Garden; Telephone: 020 7240 9933) off Covent Garden, which claims to be the first of its kind in England and while you're drinking your cheap cocktail, there are art exhibitions always on the go.

Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London

6. Have your say at Speaker's Corner

If you've got something to get off your chest, head down to Speaker's Corner (Marble Arch; free entry) in Hyde Park where anyone can say whatever they like (kind of).

Karl Marx and George Orwell are among the famous names to have spoken here, although most of the time you'll find some rather more strange debates going on.

People flock here to see democracy in action, even if they don't agree with what is being said.

7. See what is bizarre and eclectic about London

With London housing 7.5 million residents, there is always something bizarre to see.

The Sir John Soane's Museum (Holborn; 10am-5pm; free entry) is the home of an 18th century architect and antiquarian and visitors will find that it is as he left it on his death – full of thousands of artefacts from his travels.

From a sarcophagus to a series of Hogarth paintings, this is eclecticism at its best.

Meanwhile, across the square is the Hunterian Museum, housed in the Royal College of Surgeons (Holborn; 10am-5pm; free entry).

This is not for the faint-hearted, however, as shelves are lined with bottles of surgical experiments, from brains to 18th century implements.

8. Live the East End with pie, mash and liquor

If you truly want a taste of the East End, then go no further than a pie and mash shop.

G Kelly Pie & Mash (Mile End; 10am-3pm; Telephone: 020 8980 3165) on Roman Road has been selling their hand-made pies for 70 years. If you're feeling really brave, try their jellied eels as well.

The Evening Standard even called Kelly's "a piece of living history".

Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London

9. See London from its canals

London has man-made canals running throughout the city and you can walk a couple of routes for a completely free and fun day out.

A popular course for Londoners is to join Regent's Canal at Victoria Park and follow the water all the way to Camden where you can stop of for a pint before taking the tube home.

Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London Top 10 things to do in London

10. Walk through a Victorian cemetery

Highgate Cemetery (Archway; tours 11am-3pm on weekends; £7) is one of London's most famous graveyards and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

It opened in 1839 and has stayed pretty much the same ever since.

Famous headstones include George Eliot, Henry Moore, Karl Marx and even Charles Dickens' parents.

The grounds are full of what seems like almost untouched wildlife, while the tombs and graves are elaborately gothic and beautiful.

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