10 ways to cheer up if you're sad in London

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London's a great city no matter which way you look at it, but melancholia has no GPS and sometimes you can find yourself feeling down, even in your dream town.  So if you find yourself in London and feeling less than swingin', try these ten little remedies - they might put the spring back in your step or at least make you feel better about feeling bad.

1. Tate Modern

Flip up to the 7th-floor restaurant first for a de-crapifying glass of wine and a bowl of olives. Bag yourself a window seat and let that grubby London skyline convince you it's not all bad, then check out the gallery's incredible contemporary art when you're wine-soaked and mellow.

2. Greenwich

A quick 15-minute train trip will get you to boho and villagey Greenwich. Have a pint at the riverside Trafalgar Tavern (Dickens' old watering hole) then take moody pictures of yourself in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, where you can over-act and pretend you're in an 80s video.

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3. Brighton

One way to cheer yourself up in London is to get the hell out of it. Hop on the express train and within fifty minutes you're in the cafe'd clutches of bawdy old Brighton, the slightly tattered home of the original seaside dirty weekend.

4. Hamleys

This multi-storey toy store in Regent St is the place to forget your worries and return to easier times. Knock yourself out sniffing the Play Doh and swishing the light sabres or pitying the poor saps who'll get 'educational' toys for Christmas.

5. New Piccadilly

Although sadly no more, this deserves a mention for its service to cheering up the down-at-heart. It was the original 50s greasy spoon in Denman St, all plastic plants and yellow laminex. You could order a fry-up and trace your gripes with the tip of your fork into the fine film of grease on the table top. Reminisce on its greatness with these love-letters on Flickr.

6. Portobello Road Market

Joining the throng at Camden Market is not going to help a snarky mood, so give it a body swerve and get lost in the quieter charms of the Portobello Road Market instead. Peruse the antiques and find that one chipped-up little antique tchotchke that epitomises your mood.

7. Café 1001

This gem in Brick Lane will coax all the aggro out of you once you've nestled into one of the plump couches by the long window on the upper level. Great coffee, great music, and on a sunny day, the upper branches of the trees outside dance against the window, sprinkling you in dappled light.

8. Donmar Warehouse

Eschew the blinding lights of the bigger theatres for smaller, crunchier fare at the Donmar. Slipping into a darkened theatre and getting taken away by incredible stories is sure to make you forget the blues for a bit.

9. Hampstead Heath

Sometimes all you need is a bit of fresh air in your lungs. Get into the rambling greenery of Hampstead Heath - guaranteed to blow the emotional cobwebs way. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill for a heart-busting view, and tip your cap to playwright Joe Orton on the way back down.

10. Relive the final scene of Withnail and I at Regent's Park

The final scene in Withnail and I is the most perfect depiction of misery in London. Withnail, getting drenched under a lousy umbrella after saying goodbye to 'I', swigs on a bottle and recites the soliloquy from Shakespeare's Hamlet to a couple of rangey, uninterested wolves at the London Zoo in Regent's Park. Never has such a sad moment looked so ridiculously poetic.