This post is 2.5 years over due. Considering I didn't have a blog when this trip happened I'm going to declare that it's right one time and not late at all! (I can make up rules like that right?)
About two and a half years ago my family and I set out on a trip to explore the UK and Ireland. We spent 5 days each in London, Scotland and Ireland. This is a wrap up of my favorite places we visited in London and coming next week there's a Scotland summary post. I'm not planning on writing one for Ireland because I don't feel I have enough material for a post.
Also as a side note, I loved absolutely everything we did in London and I very highly recommend visiting. This post is by no means comprehensive. We definitely didn't do some of the big touritsy things everyone does there and there is so much to do it's hard to squeeze it all into such a short trip. I 200% want to go back and spend more time in this amazing city.
We stayed in the Citizen M hotel which was in the Southwark neighborhood. I highly recommend both the hotel and the neighborhood.
The first thing we did when we got to the city (other than taking a jet-lag induced very long nap) was head to Borough Market. My dad was going on and on about these grilled cheeses we needed to try and how this was the only day we could get them because they only made them a few days a week (I believe that has since changed). Once we got there and tried the sandwich I could see why he was so excited. That was literally the best sandwich I've ever had in my life. And I've eaten many a grilled cheese and sandwich in my day. The sandwich from Kappacasein blows them all away. The rest of Borough Market is equally amazing with so many stalls filled with tasty produce, cheese, pastries, smoothies and anything else you could want.
Another stop in our first few days in the city was The Tower of London. Definitely one of the more tourist-y places we went but it was still very cool to learn about the history of this site. We spent the first couple days in London just exploring the city and taking the tube everywhere. My dad had bought us preloaded "oyster cards" for the tube and I recommend doing this if you plan to visit. It made everything very easy. We took the tube in from the airport and it was nice to be able to just hop on and not worry about loading the cards up when we were exhausted from the flight. Also I'm sure we saved probably thousands of dollars by taking the tube and buses instead of cabs.
My brother and I climbed on some statues in Trafalgar Square. I definitely needed some assistance getting up and down.
One of our last days in London we split up. My dad and I visited the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio tour. It was quite the trip just to get there but it was absolutely magical and if you are a potter fan I definitely recommend it! This is a tour of the actual sets they used for filming and quite a bit of the films were shot in these studio lots. It was so surreal to be able to walk around the Great Hall, on the Hogwarts Express and the potions class room. There's also the Hogwarts bridge connecting the two buildings as well as some of the outdoor sets. And it is one of the only places in the world where legit butterbeer is sold.
Our last full day in England was spent on a guided tour. Now normally we're all not the type for things like that but in this case it was totally worth it. We spent the day on a bus and stopped at Bath, The village of Lacock (which I learned after this trip is where Zoella is from!) and ended the day with a twilight tour of Stonehenge. My mom really really really wanted to visit Stonehenge. Normally when you just go during the day you have to stay on the road quite a bit away from the stones. The tour we went on allowed us to go after normal visiting hours and to walk among the stones. It was so incredible to learn about the history of this place on the way there then to spend time really absorbing the magnitude of it while standing next to these monuments. The stops during the day and the ability to really see Stonehenge up close and personal made the tour totally worth it!
Our last morning in London we hopped on the tube to King's Cross station where I took a brief detour to Hogwarts. Then we boarded a train to Edinburgh which was about four hours of beautiful views as we rode up out of the city and into the countryside. Look out next week for a post about our time in Scotland!
Where we stayed in London:
- Citizen M hotel bankside
What we did:
- Tower of London
- Borough Market
- Sightseeing (St James' Park, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Millennium Bridge, Globe Theater)
- Harry Potter Studio Tour
- London Bridge and Tower Bridge
- City of Bath, Lacock, Stonehenge