The Resident Tourist

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." ~Samuel Johnson

One of the great things about living in a foreign country is the chance to experience new things from a dual perspective: as both a local and a tourist. With that in mind, I've put together a list of my favourite London attractions or activities -- some of which may not be on every tourist's radar but are nonetheless exciting, interesting, and, in some cases, a little bit quirky or unexpected.

A London bus tour: Okay, so this one really is the mother of all tourist activities, but I truly believe it is the best way to see the city, especially for a first-time visitor or those with limited time on their hands. There are loads of companies that provide hop-on hop-off tours, and most of them include other activities like a cruise on the River Thames or entry to one of London's big attractions like the Tower or London.
Afternoon Tea: Of course, the most famous venues for afternoon tea in London have to be The Ritz or The Savoy or Harrod's, but as far as I'm concerned you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy a good cuppa and a warm scone with clotted cream and jam.
A Proper Pint: I don't drink beer, but no visit to the UK is complete without the obligatory visit to a "local" pub.
Hampstead Heath: This is one of my favourite London parks, with fantastic views of the city from Parliament Hill.
Highgate Cemetary: A bit macabre, but this is the final resting place of several well-known historical figures, such as Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Christina Rosetti. Nearby Waterlow Park is also worth a visit on a sunny day.
Hendon Royal Air Force Museum: I admit that I haven't actually been here myself, but according to my dad it is definitely worth a visit.
Hatfield House: This is actually in Hertfordshire, not London, but you can get there within about 20 minutes from King's Cross Station, so I'm including it here. The house and gardens are impressive enough, but what really makes this place worth a visit is the four-course medieval banquet that goes on every month.

Note: My aim is to update this page on an ongoing basis, so if it doesn't seem complete now that's because it's still a work in progress... and probably always will be!