What can I do to have an authentic British experience? Make time to head off the beaten path to discover the cafés, shops, galleries, and neighborhoods that form the heartbeat of that city. This is where Local Guides (and Monograms Local Hosts®) are invaluable. They can introduce you to the less-traveled areas and enhance your experience like no one else.
The following are some of the most popular “local” suggestions:
1. Drop into a local pub to have a pint and sample England’s famous fish n’ chips. Or give yourself a truly British treat and enjoy Afternoon Tea at the English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel or the Wolseley.
2.Enjoy a night out at London’s West End and see one of the amazing shows, including Wicked, Billy Elliott, Les Misérables, Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera.
3. Take a stroll in Hyde Park, one of the largest green spaces in London with over 350 acres, or an afternoon on the bustling South Bank along the Thames.
4. Shop ‘til you drop at one of the many markets or shopping streets. Oxford Street is London’s best-known shopping area, with over 300 shops and many of London’s flagship stores. Bond Street offers luxury stores with exclusive brands, while Westfield Shopping Center is Europe’s largest in-city shopping center with over 275 stores. Check out Camden Market, London’s most popular open-air market. For antiques, browse the Portobello Market on Saturdays.
5. Explore the seedy underbelly of Victorian London when you join the Jack the Ripper tour to trace the unsolved crimes of the Ripper.
6. With over 1,000 establishments, Irish pubs remain a focus of Ireland’s culture, so grab a pint and enjoy the craic (crack)—Irish for “fun.” Take a pub crawl and discover Dublin’s traditional pubs and Irish music, or enjoy a drink at the Octagon Bar in the Clarence Hotel.
7. Take a stroll in St. Stephen’s Green, the inner-city park laid out in 1880 at the initiative of Sir Arthur Edward Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family. Or, go south of St. Stephen’s Green to the Iveagh Gardens, one of the finest and least known of Dublin’s parks and gardens.
8. Explore the many shops along Grafton Street, Dublin’s pedestrian street with some of its best shops, performers, and musicians.
9. Visit one of the many wonderful museums, including the National Museum, which takes you back to prehistoric and medieval Ireland; the James Joyce Museum, dedicated to the works and life of this famous Irish writer; and the National Gallery of Ireland, with a collection of European and Irish art.
10. In the British Isles, people drive on the left side of the road. You can drive up to 12 months with a valid license from your home country. Americans are used to looking to the left to check for traffic before crossing the road. In Britain and Ireland, be sure to look to your right before crossing any roads—or choose Monograms and leave the transportation to us!