Londoners love... recommendations from people who know

Win a personalised Monopoly set or a book (100 to give away) recommend your favourite bit of London

collage peopleAs a Yank who read for my MA at University college, I'm very partial to Bloomsbury's leafy squares, academic ambience, and fabulous British Museum (where I'd often pop by to see Lindow Man, Egyptian treasures, and the Rosetta Stone). Also, Highgate Cemetery where I worked as a guide and researcher. I recommend the guided tour of the Western section, and if you've gotten your fix of Victorian funerary architecture, then get yourself up the hill to the wonder Flask pub. Other favorite bits: Cloth Fair with its 17th-century architecture, the pleasantly perfect Georgian streets surrounding the Baroque St. John's Smith Square, the charming "back streets" of Chelsea, Sutton House in Hackney (for Tudor interiors), the view of London from Parliament Hill, and lingering along the Thames near Putney Bridge on a late summer afternoon. Stephanie Shestakow, USA

As a foreigner - although I have lived in London for almost 20 years - I have perhaps seen more of London's attractions than most London-born people, from the match museum in Erith to the big central London exhibition venues. I have found many treasures on my travels, but my favourite still remains Sir John Soane's Musuem in Lincoln's Inn and I never fail to take visitors from abroad there. The collection of paintings are worth a visit in themselves, but above all I love the sheer amalgamation of items, from priceless treasures to worthless fakes, and there are a hundred curiosities to point out to those fortunate enough to visit for the first time - the dog's memorial being one of my favourites. Siri Hansen

One of my favourite parks in London is Holland Park as it offers something for everyone. In the southern section are a good range of sports facilities, in the centre attractive formal gardens and to the north woodlands, in which you could easily be miles from London. It has enclosures and a pond to encourage wildlife with an ecology centre available for group use in the stable block. Most of the house was lost in WWII but the remains provide an impressive backdrop for opera, dance & theatre performances in the summer whilst the east wing was reconstructed as a youth hostel. The Orangery and Ice House provide attractive venues for exhibitions and there are a number of art works to be found around the park. Children of all ages are catered for with a play area & adventure playground and adults can enjoy the peaceful Kyoto Japanese Garden. The cafe is open throughout the year with plenty of outdoor seating for fine weather and formal meals are served in the Belvedere Reataurant. Only one thing lets the park down and that's the toilets which are pretty awful - shame. Janet Digby

My favourite part of London is Borough Market where I can browse, eat, shop and be entertained all at the same time. Fantastic food from all over the world right next to Southwark Cathedral and a stones throw from London Bridge, what more could you want. Even the London Dungeon is close by as is HMS Belfast so there is something for everyone all within a small area great on the feet and great on the pocket.
Di Smith

Hampstead on a Sunday. Stroll up the High Street, past the flower stalls, shops and boutiques. Turn left at the underground station and walk up Heath Street, taking time to explore the narrow streets with their 18th and 19th century cottages and houses. Walk past Whitestone pond and take the left-hand fork towards Golders Green. A little way down you will come to a path on your left which will take you into a secluded (hidden) garden – quite delightful. Further down the road you will come to Golders Hill Park where parents often take their children on a Sunday to see the flamingos and the animals. If you’re thirsty the famous Old Bull and Bush pub is just opposite. Julia Stebbing of the The London Bed & Breakfast Agency

Little boys especially are in awe going through the Strong room door entrance of the London Silver Vaults. I've never seen so much silver in one place. There are literally dozens of small merchants and if it can be made of silver, I bet someone there will have it. A great place to buy gifts. John Hawkins

The Regent's Canal is one of my favourite hidden parts of London. You can walk uninterupted from the Thames at Limehouse through East London to the Angel Tunnel and with a little detour through Chapel Street market to the Caledonian Road on to the junction with the Grand Union Canal. This walk provides a great picture of the differences across London in a social and economic sense, whilst providing a quiet look at the backside of London. You pass by some great London landmarks, including Victoria Park, scene of Chartist meetings, the Gainsborough Film Studios (now new flats)where Alfred Hitchcock started out, past the house where George Best hid out when he retired from football the first time, past the National Canal Museum on to Camden Lock, through London Zoo and onwards to the Grand Union. It is a different access point that you can use to discover other bits of London and provides a pleasant walk or cycle route away from the great hurly-burly of London life. A great way to discover London from the inside out. Michael Howard

I really love Battersea Park. Its a great place to
just go and relax. Lots of open spaces, views over the river, walks around the lake and the childrens zoo is a great place for kids and adults alike. Not to mention the giant Pagoda with its statues of Buddha and the Deer and Peacocks which live there. It is such a wonderful place and right in the heart of London. James Forrest

This is best done when the weather is good.
Get out at South Kensington station (don't forget the picnic basket) and follow the signs for the Natural History Museum (drop in if you have time). Walk down Exhibition Road past the Science Museum on your left (you can nip in on the way back) all the way up to the top of the road and cross over through the gate into the bottom end of Hyde Park. Turn to your left and follow the signs to the Peter Pan statue. As you follow the path it will take you round by the Serpentine and, if you're lucky, past London's most imperious herons. Not even dogs in the river can disturb them. Say hello to Peter Pan and continue down the path to the Italian Gardens, to the seats and fountains. Saunter round to the end of the Gardens and gaze back down the Serpentine. On the way back to the gate detour to the pond in front of Kensington Palace. You will never have seen so many swans in one place before. Denys Gaskill from Ealing

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