When it comes to North London, there’s a vibrant mix of culture and attractions. There really is something for everyone. From enjoying a place that feels like the countryside but with city views on Hampstead Heath to wiling away time in Camden market, everyday can bring something new. This is an exciting part of the capital, and there are so many things to do in North London. Book a serviced apartment in North London so that you can visit all of these places with ease.
So, whether you fancy swimming in outdoor swimming ponds to indulging in street food, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best things to do in North London.
1. Explore Alexandra Palace
Declared a nature reserve, you can be forgiven for thinking you’re heading back in time when London’s land wasn’t quite at the premium it is today at Alexandra Palace. It’s such a blissful place for a stroll and you’ll feel like you’re in a period drama. There’s actually a lot to do here in its own right. You can go rowing on the boating lake or take to the trees at Go Ape. There are often events, shows and concerts here too. In the winter, there’s usually ice-skating here and on Sundays we really recommend factoring in some time (and stomach room!) for the farmer’s market. Discover why locals love Ally Pally!
2. Indulge in Turkish street food
Head to the Green Lanes area and you’ll have stumbled into one of London’s most expansive Turkish communities. It’s got a great vibe, but what you really come for is the fantastic food. Think kebabs, baklava, and insanely thick coffee. This area stretches six miles from Palmers Green to Newington Green, so make room and grab yourself some meze.
3. Wander in Regent’s Park
Regent’s park is iconic and such a tranquil escape from the hubbub of London’s surrounding streets and traffic. It’s possible to feel like you’re completely away from it all here. Grab a picnic and kill time like Londoner’s do, or enjoy some open-air theatre here in the summer. There are lots of trails around the park to explore, but we definitely recommend wandering through Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens when in bloom and the boating lake can be fun.
4. Go treasure hunting at Alfie’s
Alfie’s Antique Market is an enormous indoor antiques market that you can find in Marylebone. It’s a complete treasure trove for vintage lovers. From furniture to hats, you can find it all here. The building itself, with its art deco vibes, is enough to entice any antique lover inside.
5. Step aboard the Knight Bus at Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Harry Potter fans absolutely must visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour when they are in North London. It doesn’t matter if you’re a muggle or a wizard, you’ll have a cracking good time. Climb aboard the Hogwart’s Express from Platform 9 ¾, marvel over the Weasley’s Burrow, and let your eyes pop as you enter Diagon Alley. There’s so much film memorabilia to get excited about and of course, a fantastic wizarding world themed gift shop.
6. Follow in the steps of the Beatles at Abbey Road
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Beatles fan or not, you’ll recognise the Abbey Road zebra crossing a mile away! Found just west of Primrose Hill, Abbey Road Studios is found here, but so is the infamous crossing. It’s a real mecca for diehard fans and those who just love the cultural reference. Don’t worry if the Beatle’s aren’t your thing – Pink Floyd, Adele, Aretha Franklin, Oasis and Amy Winehouse are just a handful of other artists that have recorded songs here. The studios are still working studios, so settle for outdoor photos, but there’s a great shop.
7. Read a book in the British Library
Undoubtedly, one of the unmissable things to do in North London is to spend an afternoon or two with your nose in a good book at the British Library. It’s in the Kings Cross area (so Harry Potter fans can also go and pose, again, with pushing a trolley onto the ‘real’ Platform 9 ¾). This is one of the biggest libraries in the world, with a staggering 200 million + books and artefacts! You could spend years here and barely make a dent in what’s on offer.
8. Go clubbing in a garden in Tottenham
Grow Tottenham is one of the eclectic and interesting things to do in North London. It’s a community garden that is also a club venue. Parties have bloomed here, as well as flowers, and it’s a space where some of the best raves in London happen. The proceeds from club and party nights are ploughed back into the garden, and it’s just a really inspiring community project.
9. Pick up a bargain at Camden Market
Camden is such a wonderful area to explore and has long been one of the top things to do in North London. It has an alternative-vibe but is distinctly down to earth. You’re sure to be able to find yourself a bargain, and you’ll love exploring the different street food options that are available. Don’t head off too fast though – there’s more to Camden than the market. Enjoy an evening show at The Roundhouse.
10. Wander the waterways in Little Venice
Little Venice is such a magical corner of North London, found near the Warwick Avenue area. It’s crying out for a Sunday afternoon stroll and a great place to focus your attention is around the Rembrandt Gardens. Quickly you can see how the area got its name. What is incredible is all the quirky and interesting attractions and ways of life that have sprung up here. Make sure you check out the Puppet Theatre Barge. There are 55 seats in the boat house where you can see a marionette show!
11. Blow the cobwebs away on Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is an enormous ancient heath, within easy reach of central London. There are lots of quieter spots to explore, but if you’ve only got time for one walk, make sure it takes in Parliament Hill. From here you get outstanding picture postcard views over the city. Bring a kite if you want, but do make sure you visit at sunset for some of the best views.
12. Go for a dip at the Hampstead Heath ponds
Wild swimming in London? This is the place. These bathing ponds are found in the centre of Hampstead Heath and for very little cost you can come for a swim, any day of the year. You can choose which pond suits you best. There’s women’s only, men’s and mixed. It’s a really beautiful and relaxing spot, and in winter it’s definitely invigorating!
13. Have a picnic at Forty Hall Estate
Forty Hall is wonderful for history-buffs, but the picturesque parklands are perfect for everyone to enjoy. Dating back to the 1600s, this is a fascinating experience.
14. Enjoy pastries as you walk in Epping Forest
2,400 hectares of ancient woodland make up Epping Forest which nestles right up to London on the North East side. We recommend going early and buying some delicious fresh pastries from Popham’s Bakery and then heading out for a day in ‘the People’s Forest’. If you’re feeling mildly energetic then you can hire a rowing boat here too.
15. Chill out in Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill is an area of North London near to Regent’s Park. It’s a really lovely part of London to just go for a wander. You can find lots of independent boutique shops and some of the best cafés and bars in London. It has a very distinctive vibe.
16. Take a selfie at Madame Tussauds
Often listed as one of the best things to do in North London, and just on the edge of Regent’s Park, is Madame Tussauds. It’s the perfect place to get a selfie with your favourite celebrities, who you probably won’t get to see in the flesh! So wax will have to do! Always search before you go as there are usually deals available to bring the cost of a visit down.
17. Stroll through Highgate Cemetery
We wouldn’t usually recommend a day out to a cemetery, but a walk through Highgate Cemetery is one of the most fascinating things to do in North London. Here you will find an overgrown gothic cemetery that is somewhat magical and romantic. See if you can find the graves of prominent figures like Karl Marx, Christina Rossetti and Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame).
18. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Open to anyone who would like to come and take a look, this wonderful Hindu temple offers a distinctly different experience in North London. Marvel at the wooden Haveli with its intricate carvings, as well as being amazed at finding everything from a gym to classrooms inside. Then head into the Maha-Mandap, or Great Hall, in the stone temple and find yourself in awe at everything you see. Time your visit so that the shrines are open and learn more about the Hindu gods and faith. It’s a very peaceful and inspiring place to visit. There’s even an interesting exhibition for learning about Hinduism and a fabulous vegetarian restaurant.
19. Be amazed at Wembley Stadium
Grab tickets to a concert or a sporting occasion and enjoy the atmosphere that you can only get in Wembley Stadium. It’s been the site of many cultural and sporting moments in history and it’s something you’ll want to experience at least once.
20. Roar with the lions at London Zoo
London Zoo is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best days out in London. This world leading zoo, found in Regent’s Park itself, is a fascinating excursion into the animal world and conservation. There are 36 acres to explore and you’ll wile away plenty of time watching the pygmy hippos, lemurs and otters before discovering the big beasts like gorillas and lions. If you can, book onto one of their experiences for an up-close session with animals of your choice.
North London has so much to offer that you’ll want to stay here! Discover more about staying in North London and search for a London serviced apartment that puts these things to do in North London on your doorstep.