What It’s Like to Travel to London in 2022
London has it all – iconic landmarks, the coolest bars and restaurants you’ll be talking about for years. But what is the bustling city like in 2022? We spoke with three travellers who recently returned from the UK to hear about their adventures, their top local tips – like where to find the biggest (and best) Yorkshire puddings – and the secret spots you need to discover.
“There’s always something to do in London. It’s a city that’s always on!”
For UK-born Sydneysider Matthew Edmondson, a trip to London was a chance to reconnect with family and friends.
“I was in London in February; it was exactly two years since I’d been back home to the UK to see my family. The emotions really hit me on the plane because it was finally happening. Flying into Heathrow felt like a homecoming; it was so special.
“I went over with my partner Tim and when we’re travelling, we like to visit places that have a bit of a connection to celebrities. We actually looked up Dua Lipa’s favourite restaurants and visited lots of those when we were catching up with people!
“On our first night we went to The Ivy Brasserie in Soho which has the best margaritas I’ve ever tasted. Lore of the Land, which is owned by Guy Ritchie, has world-class food; they do things like pickled eggs but they’re so good. The Hawley Arms in Camden is the pub Amy Winehouse used to go to so, of course, we went there for a few pints. Everyone should also get the linguine alle vongole e bottarga at La Brasseria in Marylebone.
“West End theatre is also fantastic. We saw Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre, which was incredible. I love that London is always on – even though the show ended quite late, we were able to walk into Chinatown and get dumplings. The city is always buzzing; it’s really unlike anywhere else in the world.”
Take off to London from Australia any day of the week with Qantas. Visit our London travel guide to start planning your trip.
“This trip reminded me of why travel is so important”
For Clara Murphy, a trip to London reignited her passion for travel.
“I went to London for five days as I had a friend’s wedding; I hadn’t seen the couple in three years. The wedding was so special as there were 250 guests from all around the world. Everyone was in great spirits and it was so much fun.
“I’m not going to lie, I was a bit apprehensive to go travelling at first because the paperwork seemed like a lot at the time and everything felt very unknown. But I am so glad I had a reason to book a trip because as soon as I boarded that Qantas plane, the excitement kicked in and I realised how easy it was. As always, the staff were so lovely and it just felt so nice to be back on a big plane!
“I did lots of shopping when I was in London; I’m obsessed with Selfridges and actually spent a whole day there. There’s a restaurant called Tonkotsu within the building where I got ramen for lunch – and then kept shopping! The food really is outstanding in London. J. Sheekey has phenomenal seafood and you must visit The Quality Chop House for a traditional English roast. The Yorkshire puddings are huge!
“The trip reminded me of why travel is so important. It’s so good to experience new things and just be somewhere else. I came back completely refreshed and booked a trip to Greece within a week. It just felt so good to get out there again.”
“I stumbled across the best food spots when I was in London”
For Sydneysider Hilda Ching, a trip to London saw her reunite with her cousin and discover London’s best viewpoint.
“I was living in London when the pandemic started but six months into my two-year visa, I had to return to Sydney. That’s why I decided to travel back to the UK in February – I wanted to make up for lost time. Boarding that plane I just kept thinking, ‘It’s happening!’ I was so happy to be on the plane and around other people who were excited about life returning to normal.
“It was such a special trip as I was reunited with my cousin, Jess, who I hadn’t seen in four years. It was surreal seeing her in person after so many years of video calling each other.
“I loved the simple things like walking around the city – I finally got to see Big Ben without the scaffolding! It’s so easy to stumble on amazing food spots when you’re just wandering around London. That’s what I love about it. I joined the line outside a Malaysian restaurant called Roti King – it took a while but was worth it for the roti canai. Kappacasein Dairy at Borough Market has the best cheese toastie and should be on your to-do list.
“I also visited HMS Belfast where you can go into the hull of the ship and get a real sense of what life was like onboard during the Second World War. The view from the top is epic – I would say it’s the best view of London.
“I’m now itching to go on another trip. My old mindset of ‘must save the annual leave’ has now gone out the window. Life’s too short and if I can travel, I’ll go.”
Whether you're gallery-hopping across the city, perusing the markets or devouring a traditional pub lunch, London has something for every traveller. Plan your next trip with our helpful travel guide.
SEE ALSO: What It’s Like To Travel To Singapore In 2022
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