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London Series with Bohemian Trails: North London

Featured guest blogger, Megan McDonough, is the writer, traveler, and fashionista behind the blog Bohemian Trails. This Virginian native hadn’t set foot off of US soil until the age of 21. But once she got a taste of travel, she couldn’t get enough! She loves exploring places off-the-beaten track and finding beauty in the less obvious. Megan hopes to inspire others to travel and soak in the culture!


In love with the city she studied and worked in, Megan shares her knowledge of London in a continuing series of posts. First up: North London – Three Underrated Neighborhoods

It’s been nearly four years since I first stepped foot in London, yet the city still feels like an old friend. Upon landing at Heathrow Airport after a sleepless red-eye from DC, I couldn’t wait to hop on the Tube and find out where I was going to be living for the next four months.

After a stressful experience on the Tube during rush hour and with a laughable amount of luggage, I finally gave up and made my way to the taxi line. As we drove the short distance from Kings Cross Station to my new home in Islington, I started to second-guess my decision to study in London. I was imagining some sort of Notting Hill neighborhood and I wasn’t seeing anything close to a Hugh Grant film.

Although disappointed at first with my Islington flat, I soon fell in love with the diversity of artistic influence in the surrounding neighborhoods of North London. After a few nights exploring the Angel area of Islington, I quickly discovered that I was living in a pretty desirable place. In fact, the area was a sought-after location for the young British community that had a special interest in underground music and an unquenchable thirst for cider.

Canal near Islington

Not too far from Islington is the love-it-or-hate-it Camden, although I only know people who love it. Camden is home to an eclectic sort. You’re bound to see lots of leather, piercings and of course bars. During the day, Camden Market is a popular hangout for the hipster and non-hipster alike. Tourists certainly flock to this area, but many of them leave as night falls, so experiencing Camden nightlife is not to be missed.

If you closed your eyes and tried to visualize a place geographically close to Camden but completely opposite in style, Primrose Hill would pop into your mind. Many tourists end up skipping Primrose Hill on their fist trip to London simply because it’s a bit out of the way…or so they think. Many assume the area is inconveniently located but if you get off at Chalk Farm stop, there’s a shortcut that gets you to the hill in less than five minutes.

Primrose Hill

The view from Primrose Hill remains my absolute favorite in all of London. It’s also an ideal spot to plan a picnic with friends or perhaps a romantic wine and cheese night with your significant other. Take the long route back to the station and stop in the many boutiques, restaurants and bars lining the desolate streets.

Megan’s London Series will continue soon with a post about London’s East End. To learn more about Megan and her travels check out her blog, Facebook, and Twitter! And if all of this talk about London has triggered your travel bug – check out our current vacation packages to London!

Tags: Bohemian Trails, Camden, Camden Market, Islington, London, Megan McDonough, North London, Primrose Hill, tourist


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