Headed to London anytime soon? Well, you should be! Jono and I both love history, so London was a great place to spend a part of our vacation. Although we do wish that we could have stayed longer…
Here’s a list of tips and things to do based on our trip and advice given to me by my fellow travel buddies:
1. GET AN OYSTER CARD! What’s an Oyster Card? It’s a pay as you go card that allows you to ride both the tube and the bus. It’s by far the easiest way to get around the city.
2. Oxford Circus shopping. It’s like I died and went to heaven. By far the best shopping in London.
3. The British Museum. I wish so badly that we would have been able to spend more time here. The museum is huge. I could have spent weeks there. They have a really cool Egyptian collection with real mummies (whaaaa?). Top tip— Get there before the museum opens. We got there early and there was no wait. We ate our breakfast on the tables outside of the museum. However, when we were leaving, the line to get in was insane. Those people must have been waiting for at least an hour. Get there early!
4. Westminster. You of course have to go see Big Ben. I’m not going to lie, I just kept thinking of the Peter Pan flying scene… We didn’t go into Westminster Abbey, but it’s fun to walk around outside. The architecture is beautiful.
5. The Tower Bridge/Tower of London. This bridge is absolutely breathtaking. It’s a must see! You can also do a big tour of the Tower, but we didn’t have time. I hear it’s kinda eery since it’s where prisoners once lived…
6. St. Paul’s Cathedral. You can walk through it and it’s beautiful. Be sure to turn off your cameras and phone out of respect. There are signs everywhere in the entrance to do so, but people ignore it. Don’t be one of the people.
7. Imperial War Museum. If you like war history, this is the place for you! Do keep in mind that it is a bit heavy. They have a large WWI collection (they even have faux trenches that you can walk through), a WWII exhibition and a Holocaust portion.
8. The Theater. We saw three shows while we were in London. We first saw Les Miserables and it’s a must in my book. It was absolutely fantastic. If you’ve never seen it, personally I think that London is the place to do so. __ even kinda looked like Hugh Jackman… We also saw Matilda. To be fair, it cannot in any regard be compared to Les Miserables, but we were not impressed at all. It felt like an elementary school play… I’ve seen professional plays and musicals with children and have been very impressed. With Matilda, it was not the case. Lastly we saw The Cursed Child and I would 1000% recommend it. If you don’t like Harry Potter, you probably won’t care. But if you do, I’m telling you this play is worth every penny! P.S. if you’re a super nerd like us, go to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour!
9. Lodging. We stayed in both Soho and Notting Hill. We were impressed with both areas. Soho was a little closer to everything, but they were both great locations.
10. FOOD. Jono and I love food, so we hunt down the good stuff wherever we go.
We ate breakfast twice at Hubbard and Bell. It was incredible. It’s kind of a hipstery place.
Pret A Manger has yummy, fresh baguette sandwiches at great prices. They also have fresh fruit and pastries. It’s an easy on the go option.
Paul’s Bakery is my fave. Their chocolate croissants are to die for. They also have delicious baguette sandwiches. I prefer Paul’s of Pret’s, but they aren’t on every corner like Pret’s is.
Byron’s has the most amazing chicken sandwich you will ever eat. If I remember correctly, it’s called the “Clucky”.
Things that we didn’t get to do, but that I hear are fun:
Apparently Ben’s Cookies is a London must eat. I’m still kicking myself for forgetting about this one. I love cookies…
I’m sad that we didn’t get to go to the Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s one of the most popular museums in London.
I’ve heard from several people that the Churchill War Rooms are awesome. It’s a museum dedicated to Churchill and the work he did during WWII.
I hear Camden Market is a fantastic food and shopping market. It’s supposed to be best on Saturdays and Sundays.
Regent’s Park is supposed to be outstanding. I heard from a friend that it’s by far the most beautiful.
I wish we would have visited the National Gallery. There’s some great art there, including Monet and Picasso.
Outside of London I would have loved to have made it to Cambridge. King’s College is so iconic and beautiful. A friend told me that you can pay for a tour of the grounds and she said it’s totally worth it.
Grantchester Orchard in Cambridge, has a little tea house where you can order food and sit outside in an apple orchard. I’ve heard it’s dreamy.
Lastly, I wish we would have made it to the Cotswolds. I wanted so badly to stay at a little bed and breakfast there, but it just didn’t work with our schedule. I guess we’ll just have to go back 😉
That sums up the novel that is my London tips! Let me know if you have any questions!