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25 New Places to Visit in London This 2020

Have you been to London lots of times? This is what’s new this year

Happy New Year! We hope you’re feeling full of energy and are ready to explore London this 2020. Is your camera fully charged? Good! Are you wearing your comfiest and most stylish shoes? Great! Let’s now see what London has in store for you.

London Animated by © Al Boardman

This year cranes have been busy, there’s a new exhibition opening almost every week and London’s culinary scene is booming more than ever. In other words, the city is already up for an exciting and bright new decade 🤩.

Our role as curators is to bring you the best and most relevant of what’s going on here so we’ve compiled a list of locations offering the most insight and fun in London— mostly fun, ok

[ And To keep this list useful, we’ll update it monthly: Last updated: January 2020]

In our fabulous world of architecture, art and food (and Instagram of course) these are the places that you can’t miss in London:

 

For more inspiration, get your Architectour Guide of London


BUILDINGS

1. Coal Drops Yard by Heatherwick Studio

Coal Drops Yard by Heatherwick Studio

The area around Granary Square (page 250 📕) is booming and its many derelict buildings are finally being restored. Coal Drops Yard, a former complex of rail buildings from the 1850’s, has been transformed into a new shopping district. However, the main architectural gesture — a kiss — has been equally praised and criticized. Our opinion? The project is buzzing with activity and helping with the much-needed regeneration of the area. For us is a YES. Read more here

Location: Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross St Pancras

 

2. One Park Drive by Herzog and de Meuron

One Park Drive © Philipp Heer

Sorry to disappoint you but Herzog and de Meuron — one of our favourite architectural studios on Earth — won’t be constructing another Tate in London. Instead, a juicy and profitable residential skyscraper would be their next project in the British capital. The tower, located in the Canary Wharf vicinity, has 468 flats distributed in 58 storeys. We know what you’re thinking… Listen! Architects deserve to make money too 😂. Read more here

Location: London E14 5JJ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Canary Wharf

 

3. Hoola London by CZWG

Hoola London by CZWG

The reason why you haven’t heard of any residential buildings around the Royal Victoria Dock is because, until this century, nobody other than pirates have ever lived there. It was opened in 1855 on a previously uninhabited area of the Plaistow Marshes and specifically designed to accommodate large steam ships. Docks in London have experienced a great decline since the 70’s and residential areas have been created in otherwise unthinkable locations: Shad Thames, Canada Water and now Royal Victoria Dock. Hoola is a complex of two tall residential towers of 23 and 24 storeys. What is very interesting is that CZWG have been involved in the construction of very significant projects in emerging areas — check The Circle (page 187 📕) and Canada Water Library (page 223 📕). 

Location: 5, Tidal Basin Rd, Royal Docks, London E16 1AD (Google)
DLR Station: Royal Victoria

 

4. One Blackfriars by SimpsonHaugh and Partners

One Blackfriars by SimpsonHaugh and Partners

One Blackfriars, which will house 247 luxury apartments, was inspired by a piece of Fifties art: a Scandinavian glass vessel from the architect’s private collection. Hence, it’s been affectionately nicknamed ‘the Vase’. 

And we say, THE VASE? You must be joking 😡 This building — The Hunchback of … St Paul’s? — is playing the same dirty (formal) tricks as The Walkie Talkie (page 174 📕). ‘Let’s make the upper floors bigger, as they are the ones paying higher rent’. This is a NO for us, next!

Location: 1-16 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 9GD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

 

5. 18 Blackfriars Road by WilkinsonEyre (under construction)

Render of 18 Blackfriars Road by WilkinsonEyre

Not far away from the Hunchback of St Paul’s is this mixed-use scheme by WilkinsonEyre. The 178.5m high residential tower contains 227 new homes over 51 levels, a 550-bed hotel and 61 affordable housing units. Although permission was granted in 2009, they were still dealing with planning permits by 2018. By the way, do you see a pattern already?

Location: 18 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 9JU (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

 

6. 15 Clerkenwell Close by Amin Taha

15 Clerkenwell Close by Amin Taha

This superb project had it all: The historical location of an 11th century limestone Norman abbey where later Marx and Lenin briefly inhabited, a RIBA Award and an order of demolition by Islington Council. Worry not as on August 2019 Amin Taha, architect and also resident of the building, concluded this battle and you will be able to visit the building whenever you want. Read more about its façade here

Location: 15 Clerkenwell Close, Farringdon, London, EC1R 0AA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Farringdon

 

7. The Scalpel by Kohn Pedersen Fox

The Scalpel by Kohn Pedersen Fox

Luckily for us, Lloyd’s Building (page 167 📕) is still visible from Leadenhall Street. The Willis Building (page 166 📕) wasn’t so lucky. The Scalpel has a peculiar shape — it does look like a play button when spotted from the south 😂 — but the real reason of its form is due to a landmark viewing corridor (it’s on the way of St Paul’s). 

Location: 52 Lime Street London EC3 (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bank, Monument, Aldgate

 

8. 22 Bishopsgate by PLP Architecture (under construction)

22 Bishopsgate, the tallest tower in the City of London at 278 m (912 ft), replaces an earlier plan for a 288 m (945 ft) tower named The Pinnacle. The design is the work of PLP Architecture, the same group of people who designed the Pinnacle, but who broke off from KPF in 2009 to set up their own practice. 22 Bishopsgate is already blocking out all the light and is twice as big as the buildings already there…

Location: 22 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AJ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bank, Monument

 

9. 1 Undershaft by Eric Parry Architects (under construction)

Render of 1 Undershaft by Eric Parry Architects

This office skyscraper will be 73 storeys and 300 m (984 ft) tall when completed, surpassing the nearby 22 Bishopsgate. It will also become the second highest tower in the whole city — pipped just to the post by Renzo Piano’s The Shard. Funnily enough, 1 Undershaft (which won the backing of committee members in November 2016), received formal consent in August 2019. Will it ever be finished?

Location: 1 Undershaft, London, EC3A 8EE (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Bank, Monument

 

10. One Nine Elms by Kohn Pedersen Fox (under construction)

Render of One Nine Elms by Kohn Pedersen Fox

Another pair of skyscrapers by American firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. The development will replace two towers on the site built in the 1970s called Market Towers. As well as residential apartments, the scheme will include a luxury hotel.

Location: 1 Nine Elms Ln, Nine Elms, London, SW8 5NN (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Vauxhall

Demolitions 💣: The Robin Hood Gardens (page 238 📕), Welbeck Street Car Park (page 81 📕)

 

PHOTOGRAPHY POINTS

11. Fen Court

We recently shared with you our visit to the newest rooftop in the City. Our verdict: 10/10. In addition to offering spectacular views of the Walkie Talkie and the Gherkin, it also shows a very interesting angle of the mysterious Lloyd’s Register by Richard Rogers (the other Lloyds).

Location: 120 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 5BA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

 

12. Wembley Park Boulevard

Wembley Park Spanish steps

Situated around the heart of the transformed Wembley Park, numerous art pieces can be spotted in the area from the famous Spanish steps to pillars and posts along Olympic Way. Designed by London based studio Committee, each stair will be gold-wrapped and ‘LOVE’ printed three times across. Read more about it here.

Location: Lakeside Way, Wembley HA9 0BU (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Wembley Park

 

ART & EXHIBITIONS

13. Fourth Plinth (2020)

THE END by Heather Phillipson

Heather Phillipson’s ‘THE END’ is the cherry on the cream. And, on top of the cherry and the cream, the parasites. It will be installed in April so make sure you check the current artwork before then. Read more here.

Until: From April 2020 to 2024
Location:
Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5NJ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Charing Cross

 

14. Larry Achiampong’s London’s Tube roundel 

British-Ghanaian artist has replaced the well-known blue, red and white design of London Underground’s roundel. The eight new roundels were designed to represent various African “diasporic” identities — people who were once part of a community that has since dispersed. The new roundels have been installed in 70 sites throughout Westminster Underground station. Read more here

Until: February 2020
Location: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Westminster Tube Station

 

15. STIK And Thierry Noir paint The Berlin Wall at Imperial War Museum

French artist Thierry Noir lived in a squat near the Berlin Wall and began painting on it in 1984, the first artist to systematically paint long stretches of the wall. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, he has created a new work with his friend and fellow street artist STIK. The pair have painted directly onto two original pieces of the Berlin Wall, recovered from Berlin especially for the installation. Read more here.

Location: Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Lambeth North, Elephant and Castle

 

16. Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum

© Adrian Hirschi

The fifty-fifth Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will immerse you in the natural world. Encounter the beauty and fragility of wildlife, see fascinating animal behaviour and get to know extraordinary species, exhibited on 100 stunning lightbox displays. A panel of international experts selected the awarded images from almost 50,000 entries. Read more here

Until: 18 October 2019–31 May 2020
Location: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington

 

17. Radical Figures at Whitechapel Gallery

© Michael Armitage, Kampala Suburb

With the world of art embracing video and newer technology, what does painting still have to offer? Whitechapel Gallery tackles this question head on with a selection of painters who look at major social concerns. They range from Michael Armitage’s brilliantly executed paintings that depict violence in East Africa to Tala Madani’s works, which depict horrific acts being committed on caricatured figures. Read more here.

Until: 6 February-10 May
Location:
77–82 Whitechapel High St, Shadwell, London E1 7QX (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate East

 

18. Steve McQueen at Tate Modern

Portrait of Steve McQueen in Year 3 at Tate Britain © Tate

Politics, identity and representation are three key themes in the work of artist Steve McQueen. Tate takes us through his 25-year career as an artist and film maker, in which he’s covered drug-related murders, the civil rights movement and the labour conditions of gold mine workers .Read more here.

Until: 13 February-11 May
Location:
Bankside, London SE1 9TG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

 

19. Masculinities at Barbican Art Gallery

© Sunil Gupta — Untitled 22 from the series Christopher Street, 1976

This Barbican exhibition features 50 artists and over 300 works as photographers and film makers capture different elements of what it means to be a man and how diverse masculinity can be. Taliban fighters, American fraternities, cowboys and men-only private members’ clubs take us inside the male psyche for a look at masculine ideals, fragile egos and insecurities. Read more here.

Until: 20 February-17 May
Location: Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Barbican

 

20. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at V&A

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at V&A

Discover the secrets of Japan’s traditional garment, the kimono, including rare kimonos dating as far back the 17th century. The exhibition also explores the way kimonos have shaped past and current fashion trends. Read more here.

Until: 29 February-21 June
Location: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington

 

RESTAURANTS

You have a wide selection of trending restaurants, fancy places to have a drink, and the best venues for a traditional afternoon tea on page 304 📕 of our London Guide.

 

21. New Mercato Metropolitano

Mercato Metropolitano Mayfair

Billed simply as Mercato Mayfair, the new market is housed in the Grade-I listed St Mark’s Church, making this a food hall of divine proportions. The church recently underwent a two-year £5 million revamp, so you can expect this to be one gorgeous food hall and cultural space.

Location: 13A N Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 6ZA (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Marble Arch, Bond Street

 

22. Sussex Bar & Restaurant

© Sussex Bar

British ingredients, game everywhere, a cheeseboard that’s more of a… cheese-island. Squirrel tortellini. Mushroom marmite eclairs. There’s a lot to love about the new Gladwin brothers restaurant.

Location: 63–64 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 3JW (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road

 

23. Sushi Samba Covent Garden

© Sushi Samba

The second restaurant of well-known institution at Heron Tower, opens its door on Covent Garden — literally. At this Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion restaurant, the huge menu features everything from plantains to wagyu beef and butterfish. This jungle-like space has a balcony, plants dangling off every inch of the ceiling and dining booths that look like birdcages.

Location: 35 The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden

 

24. Norma

Norma

A Fitzrovia townhouse that’s done a very literal glow-up, into a golden-lit, burnished-metal, Moorish-tiled dream of a date night spot. Sicilian-meets-North African in a menu with beauty in its own right. Pasta dishes are simple, perfect and come with prices that wouldn’t have your nonna rolling over in her grave.

Location: 8 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LS (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road

 

25. Seven Dials Market

© Seven Dials Market

Seven Dials Market is a new food court run by street food connoisseur Kerb, which currently counts another five outdoor markets around the capital. Not only is the Seven Dials spot Kerb’s first indoor venture, but it is also its largest, its first permanent home and its inaugural foray into the West End. A total of 25 food and drink vendors showcase their wares.

Location: 35 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Market


We hope you liked this list and get yourself started as there are another 290+ locations waiting for you in London. If you need some help to arrange your plan or want to listen to London’s quirkiest and most fun stories, then make sure to book a tour with us.


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