The TrailFit city guide to London

Margarita Samsonova was born in a small European country: Latvia. She grew up surrounded by nature and listening to her father’s stories about far-away countries. She knew for sure that she would travel the world like her dad when she grew up… and she did. She moved abroad when she turned 18, and now 55 countries later she is still looking for a place that she can call home. In the meantime she’s inspiring her 70.000 followers on Instagram to be adventurous and explore the world!  Margarita travels a lot, and when coming back home she tries to explore London as much as possible. “I know a lot of people think London is not really a place for nature lovers, but trust me, even here, you can find places where you can find peace and be surrounded by nature and great views. Also don’t forget about food, Instagram spots, markets and museums.

“You cannot explore all of London during your visit and even the whole life is not enough, but I will try to show you my fav places.”

For me, it is important to prove that you don’t need a lot of money, tons of free time or a special moment to stay fit and active. You don’t need to travel far to see new places, get inspired and inspire others. By working out in your local area you have a chance to find places that you never saw before, save money on the gym, meet new people and of course, improve your lifestyle. I am very proud to be part of the TrailFit movement, represent London and encourage people to get out, quit the sedentary lifestyle, explore our beautiful planet and your surroundings. My Terradora shoes are my favourite working out and travel companion at the moment. They are light, sturdy, comfortable and of course very trendy, which is also really important for my IG! We have already travelled together to 10 countries and 27 cities! I think the right look plays a crucial role in getting out there. No one feels excited to work out in old shoes and a dirty shirt. You want to feel like a goddess when running down the street with your best Terradoras and leggings on and your hair swishing in the wind. What are you waiting for? Start being the best you today…. or tomorrow the latest!

Sight seeing in London

Not everyone knows that there are so many interesting places away from central “Big Ben” area.

One of my favourite places is Greenwich. Your exploration starts when you take a DLR train (electric train without a driver) to Cutty Sark station, make sure to sit right in the first row of the train and watch the city in front of you. Activities around include: watching deer, visiting local markets, Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory and of course standing on the famous Meridian Line that separates 2 hemispheres. Make sure to go all the way up the hill in the evening, to sit down on the grass and watch the sun going down behind skyscrapers. To me Greenwich has the best sunsets, so if it’s not a cloudy day, make sure to stay till dawn.

Sunset at Greenwich

(Sunset at Greenwhich)

Another area that is worth checking out if you are up for seeing a different London is Hampstead. This place won’t be in your usual tour guides, but for me it is like a true British village. When walking around those colourful streets with all sorts of interesting houses you can feel the culture in the air. Brits walking their dogs dressed like they are going to theatre, Brits drinking tea on every corners, and only here you can find the only coffee shop in a traditional telephone booth. Every season here is beautiful. In spring, houses are covered in blooming wisteria, in summer — roses, in winter — covered in orange and yellow leaves, and in winter — fantastic Christmas decorations. During my visit to Hampstead, I always make sure to visit Hampstead Heath, the park nearby. The road through the lake is very picturesque for running, and you can even finish your work out by diving in the lake (the only lake in London suitable for swimming) and of course I make sure to finish my workout by just chilling on the grass and having a picnic with my friends.

 Hampstead Traditional tlephone booth coffee shop

                  (Hampstead)                      (Traditional telephone booth/coffee shop)

Still my favourite area to work out is Notting Hill. I start my jog around Paddington and run through Portobello Road, St. Luke’s Mews, St Stephen’s Mews — streets with colourful houses straight from the movies. A lot of celebrities live here as well, so maybe you might have a chance to meet David Beckham during your morning jog, like I did one day J. I make sure to finish my work out in Kyoto Garden — a very unique part of Holland Park created by a Japanese designer. You can have your final stretch in the park enjoying peacocks, giant Koi fishes and squirrels. You can’t ask for a better work out on a nice sunny day in London!

Workout in Notting Hill

(Workout in Notting Hill)

The best Instagram Spots in London

To take the best Instagram pictures you have to know all the secret locations. So here is my list that will guarantee your pictures to get thousands likes!

Tate Modern is a modern art museum which is great by itself if you like art, but the best thing is that on the very last floor there is an awesome terrace that gives the best view over St Pauls and the city.  Shopping centre One New Change is another spot that will give you a great opportunity to capture great views of St. Pauls — make sure to check out their terrace on the last floor. The best picture of Oxford and Regent street will be from Urban Outfitters. Just go on the second floor and check out their window view, you won’t regret it!

View from Tate Modern  View from Urban Outfitters

        (View from Tate Modern)              (View from Urban Outfitters)

And, of course, there are a lot more Instagram spots:

Sky garden is a great experience with the best view over the city itself, make sure you book it in advance to get yourself a sunset slot (it is free).

Peggy Porschen Cakes — people come here not for cakes, but the most Instagrammable pink façade and cute little bike that have almost become as popular as Big Ben for grammers.

Leadenhall Market has some unique atmosphere and probably the best light in London for perfect portraits.

Sky Garden peggy porschen cakes Leadenhall Market

      (Sky Garden)                     (Peggy Porschen Cakes)                 (Leadenhall Market)

Restaurants in London

London is just an awesome place for foodies. You can live here for a month and eat different cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day — this is how diverse food here is. But not all the places are evenly delicious, so I urge you to do research before you go anywhere or, easier, just follow my recommendations!

After your morning workout you certainly need a good and filling brunch. Brunch is currently a hit in London, it is not possible to come to London and avoid having brunch. Bottomless Brunch is now very popular as well — mimosas (champagne with juice) are served with your food to make you feel even more excited for the weekend. My fav place out of all is Timmy Green, which is part of the Daisy Green Collection. All of the restaurants in the collection are unique, but Timmy Green is the best, as they also have live music on Saturdays. They serve the classics: avo toasts, waffles, pancakes, smoothies bowls and their special burgers with some of the most unique cocktails ever, everything is deliriously decorated so you want to eat your plate. Last time we spent 4 hours here brunching without even noticing, this is how good this place is!

Timmy Green

(Timmy Green)

After you have been hunting for those insta gems around Marylebone, you would probably need a healthy lunch as well. The most delicious restaurants for me are always a classic cuisine with a twist. Pachamama is a Peruvian restaurant with chic design, flowers in their dishes that make perfect photos for Instagram and of course unbelievably tasty food. Ceviche, crab churros, tacos and savoury waffles are to die for. If you stay for dinner on Saturday you will accidently find yourself at party, as a DJ comes out of nowhere and kicks awesome tunes from 8pm to 11pm.

If you want to treat yourself after the whole day of exploring and working out, I recommend a new place with killer views — Ivy Tower Bridge. Everyone is dreaming to have dinner with a view when visiting London. There are many restaurants that offer mind-blowing views over the city, like Duck and Rice in the Shard, but I think those are a little cliché now. My top recommendation is the Ivy Tower Bridge, which offers the best view over Tower Bridge. You can come here for afternoon tea — traditional British activity — or full-on lunch or dinner. The service is exceptional and food is just extremely delicious.

Pachamama Ivy Tower Bridge

(Pachamama)                                                       (Ivy Tower Bridge)

For some quick bites during or after your workout I recommend Yoobi Sushi, because who doesn’t like sushi, right? It is healthy, filling and keeps you going. This place is the best and the most affordable for a quick lunch in the heart of the city when you are running from one place to another.

If you find yourself in Hampstead area after your morning jog, you probably need some extra energy and there is nothing better than having coffee in a unique place. Kape Barako is the only coffee shop that was made inside of the telephone booth. You can only have the coffee to go, but this place is worth checking out! Interesting experience and delicious coffee sounds like the best combination, right?

After a long day, you are probably up for a treat and it is the time to swap your yoga pants to a nice dress. To have great cocktails you first have to pick the view that you want to see. If you want to watch the city from above, Radio Bar is where you need to go. Yhey have the best roof top terrace in the city and some of the most delicious cocktails. If you fancy enjoying the view over Tower Bridge from the ground level you need go visit Coppa Club and try their mind-blowing sangria. Both of those places are great for sunset as well, make sure you picked a clear day to enjoy it to the fullest.

Radio Bar  Coppa CLub  Yoobi Sushi

(Radio Bar)                              (Coppa Club)                               (Yoobi Sushi)

London Markets and Museums

Markets are part of the London culture as well. Street food is diverse, delicious and cheap, and you are able to purchase sustainable local produce from farmers. My fav one is Portobello Road market. Shops are open every day, but on Saturdays farmers come in, my fav sax player comes out, it smells like happiness, and there’s good food around. Camden Market — also great vibes and food open every day but gets way bigger and busier on a weekend. Brick lane Market is great for all the vintage lovers and you can find clothes accessories and more for very good prices. Brick lane attracts all kinds of people, so this area is full with musicians, hipsters and people with crazy hair styles and colours.

Natural History Museum is for sure worth checking out. It is perfect for learning about our planet as well as spending time with family, photography. In winter they have an amazing ice ring around and in spring, the butterfly garden.

Brick Lane Market Natural History Museum