Throughout my time at LSE, I have treasured studying within the heart of London. Being an LSE student means that you are never far from an exciting event happening nearby, something that is extremely useful if you ever need to take some time away from your studies or just enjoy a nice day out with your friends. From my experiences over the last three years studying in Holborn, I’ve narrowed down my favourite spots to visit in London.
The Royal Opera House
This opera house in Covent Garden is less than a 10 minute walk from campus, making it perfect for a post seminar treat or an evening activity. With a capacity of over 2,000 people both seated and standing, you can lose yourself in a mesmerising ballet performance or a captivating opera show. Tickets with a visible view of the stage are also very affordable. For example, watching the beautiful Swan Lake ballet performance cost me less than £10.
There’s also a lovely café on the ground floor which is open to all and offers some delicious hot drinks and snacks. It’s the perfect place to sit and discuss the show with your friends before heading back home. Architecturally, the site is breathtaking on the outside and inside the hall itself, where in certain performances, you can also have a view of the live orchestra accompanying the show. At such an affordable price, this experience is truly unmatched.
Chinatown is another popular and exciting destination that is approximately a 15 minute walk from campus. Chinatown is a bustling hub of culture and has plenty of opportunities to dine. You can easily fill up a container of Chinese food which is bound to be delicious, for just £5 at many buffets in the area. There’s also plenty of space to sit down and eat where you can order some lovely hot food, which is perfect for a cold day where all you need is a nice dinner to warm you up.
You can also find a bubble tea spot on almost every corner. Whether you prefer a fruity or a milk tea, you can find everything you need right there! If none of this tickles your fancy, then I personally recommend visiting Bubblewrap for some delicious waffles. You can customise your waffles with anything from strawberries to Oreos, to Kinder Bueno chocolates – a perfect way to top off your time in Chinatown.
188 – 189 Drury Lane
This is one of my favourite brunch spots to visit in the Holborn area. Founded by two best friends who left their 9-to-5 jobs to start an independent café, its unique nature means that customers are supposed to feel disconnected from the rest of the world and take time to enjoy each other’s company. As such, there is no WiFi and, instead, the café is full of books that you can read as you eat and chat. The inside of this café feels very homely and inviting too. When you enter, the staff are so lovely and welcoming that you won’t want to leave. The prices are affordable, so it’s likely that you won’t spend too much money here.
Last but certainly not least, we have Little Venice, a peaceful canal area which is known for being a slice of Italy in London. It’s not as local as the rest of the venues but it’s still accessible, at just half an hour away from LSE. There are many beautiful boat side cafés and restaurants to visit in the area. You can also take a canal trip on one of the boats which would take you to Camden Lock Market in less than an hour. If you enjoy a tranquil afternoon by the water, then Little Venice is the place for you.
Next time you’re on campus, why not plan a trip to one of these lovely locations? It’s important to really make the most of your time at LSE. Your time as a student will go by very quickly and, when you graduate, you’ll treasure having studied in one of the most culturally rich cities in the world.