In normal times, London is one of the busiest cities in the world with tourists travelling from all corners of the planet to sample in its delight. Since the pandemic hit in early 2020, however, tourism has understandably slowed down – especially in the case of overseas travellers.
As much as the constant rush and busy crowds were an annoyance before Covid was a thing, many of us find ourselves yearning for the days when we can be sandwiched in like sardines on the busy London Underground. Well, maybe.
The point is that simply having the choice is something that we have not had for more than a year, barring a few months in between the lockdowns. Now that we are free to travel domestically, we have the choice as to whether we wish to indulge in what London has to offer.
Things are a little bit different from the last time we were there, with social distancing guidelines remaining in place, but in many ways, it still has the same vibrant energy as it always had.
Can You be a Tourist in London?
Yes! London has mostly reopened up, apart from the noticeable exclusion of its famous nightlife. For families that wouldn’t necessarily be interested in nightclubs, everything that may have previously featured on your itinerary is open. You just have to be a little more savvy about how you go about fitting everything in.
Everywhere is operating under reduced capacity, which may mean you face a longer wait before getting into different shops and attractions. Because of this, it will probably be worth booking in advance where possible to save you from standing in line, especially with impatient little ones.
If, after spending the last few months cooped up inside you are eager to get out and spread your wings, then you can go out and do almost all the same touristy stuff as you would before the pandemic. That means hitting the shops on Oxford Street, visiting the famous Tower of London and taking in the history of London’s iconic Victorian buildings.
Eating and Drinking in London
Restaurants, bars and café have all taken the opportunity to open up outside table service to increase capacity as much as possible. Should you decide to take a trip through Soho, you will see roads closed off to vehicles with full tables and chairs dominating. In fact, you would be hard pressed to know that there is any social distancing happening with how busy the streets are which may be a cause for concern for some, but for others it will be a welcome sign of recovery as we start to come out of the pandemic and the restrictions that come with it.
Booking a table should be high up on your list of priorities, especially if you are planning on having a session in the sunshine with a cold drink in hand. Look as far in advance as possible, because the most popular sites are filling up quick – that means if you have your heart set on a cocktail at Hard Rock Café, you had better reserve your table at least a week in advance, especially if you are travelling at the weekend.
Is This the End?
We hope that this is the final recovery coming out of lockdown and that, in a few months’ time, we are not right back where we started where we are not allowed venture outside of our homes. Currently, it does appear that the vaccines are working and the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths has been broken, but as we have learned all too well, that could change at the drop of a hat.
So, with that being said, we should try to make the most of the freedoms we have while we have them. Never again will we take for granted life’s simple pleasures and, undoubtedly, we look forward to the day when we can say that the pandemic is well and truly behind us.
London is open.