London Life

How to walk in London

As it’s August, London is absolutely crawling with tourists and my experience of attempting to pass through some seriously popular areas prompted me to offer some polite advice to visitors to the nation’s capital…

Firstly, don’t watch where you are walking. Put another way, only look in a direction that is not the one in which you’re walking. London is old has many fantastic landmarks that you’ve only ever seen on TV before, so don’t miss a thing. Always walk in one direction while craning your neck to look in another. London is extremely safe and you’ll never walk into something like a bollard or other pedestrian. And if a friendly local sees you coming towards them, they will or course step out of your way. Cars too. Probably.

Secondly, if you feel the need to look at something in more detail, be it building, street performer or the river Thames itself, remember to simply stop walking at once – don’t think about it for a second. A little-known fact about Londoners is that they all have an in-built sixth sense for the movements of others and can easily anticipate your every move… sometimes even before you’ve decided to stop. It’s just like a city-wide scene from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

Thirdly, when travelling in groups, you’ll want to ensure you can share all of your insightful commentary on London’s loveliness with everyone at the same time. So it’s simply easiest for your group to walk abreast at all times. Most of London’s pavements are too narrow for you to do this without blocking the route for every other person. However, if you see people walking (or indeed running) towards you, don’t even think about making a space for them to pass through, or step aside and let them pass to one side. Whatever you do, keep walking hand in hand and force your fellow visitors (and local Londoners) in the path of oncoming traffic. Don’t worry, this is a London tradition. Which you imported…

When traveling with children, it’s much more fun to set them free in central London and let them explore alone. Indeed, the younger the better. Toddlers especially should be given their own luggage – on wheels – and the steps into Tube stations are the ideal place to learn if they can carry this luggage themselves. Indeed, stairways across London are perfect for teaching your offspring to walk. Of course, you’ll want to share this miracle of nature with as many others as possible, so make sure you time it for about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Little Timmy will be the focus of every commuter’s conversation on their way home that evening.

So, in summary: walk, don’t look.

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