It’s difficult to know where to start with London. The Hockey World Cup venue at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reflects the city: stylish, bustling, cosmopolitan and exciting. A trip to one of the most iconic capital cities in the world will always throw up surprises and spectacles.
Close to the venue is the modern shopping area of Westfield at Stratford. All the big brand names; restaurants, cafes and delicatessens; and a range of one-off designer shops make Westfield a premier shopping destination.
A trip into the centre of London will be an assault on the senses. Everywhere you turn there are iconic landmarks, from the towering Shard and London Eye that dominate the south bank to the historic buildings of the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament that line the northern bank of the River Thames.
Theatres big and small are dotted all over the centre of the city although, for the best known shows, the West-End is the place to be. Booking in advance is advisable for any of the shows although you might be lucky enough to pick up returned tickets if you turn up at the box office on the day of the show.
There are also numerous art galleries and museums, mostly free to enter, although you will normally have to pay for special exhibitions.
Nothing highlights the multi-ethnicity of London more than its food scene. From street food to high-end Michelin starred restaurants, London is home to exciting food from around the world. Most street markets will have a range of stalls selling all types of cuisine but for the bigger restaurants, again it is advisable to book in advance.
London is also famous for its pubs and wine bars. Look out for pubs that sell craft beer or specialty gin, these are becoming increasingly popular and normally attract a vibrant crowd.
Getting around London is surprisingly easy for such a busy city. The tube is crowded but efficient; the London Red Bus gives you a great view of the city; the rented bikes – colloquially known as Boris Bikes – are a good option, so long as you are a confident cyclist and stick to the cycle paths and parks. A trip up the Thames in a river boat gives a very different perspective, while walking around the city is also a great way to see London. If you do walk around the city, you will never be far from a street-side map that will show you exactly where you are.
To get away from the bustle of the streets, pay a visit to one of London’s many parks. Hyde Park and Regents Park are the best known but there are also many smaller squares, which offer a great place to sit and chill. And of course, the Olympic Park with its cycle and walkways, plus its beautiful landscaped areas, is just a short walk from the hockey stadium.Back