When you’re relying on the network of Tube trains speeding below street level, it’s easy to forget that central London is surprisingly walkable. Starting from Big Ben, you can stroll all along the South Bank, past buskers, street food trucks and the London Eye, to Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Tower Bridge – all without leaving the riverside. Then there are the canals of Camden and Hackney, and the resplendent royal parks (head for Richmond Park for deer-spotting, amid the oaks and beeches). In North London, hilly Hampstead Heath is where Londoners like to stretch their legs, generally followed by a long Sunday lunch in one of the cosy local pubs.
Stay at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is, as its name suggests, right on the edge of Hyde Park. You’re perfectly placed for a turn around its rose gardens and lake, while also being close to central London’s shops and major museums.