I have always wanted to travel and explore the world but never seemed to have the opportunity. I didn’t even have a passport until 2010. My husband traveled often for work, but teaching year round made it difficult for me to join him. However, three years ago, I was able to take a week off and journey with him for a work week to London. This was one of my first big trips and definitely the longest flight I had ever taken at the time. A few of our friends were coworkers of Brian, so they joined us along with some additional friends. We all enjoyed exploring the beautiful city, with the workers joining us in the evening time. I learned how to navigate without GPS and mingle with the locals. I believe this trip is what got me hooked on traveling.
Tip: It is true that the weather can be entirely different from one minute to the next so I highly recommend wearing layers and bringing an umbrella (even if it is bright and sunny when you leave!).
Where to stay:
- The West End – Centralized in the heart of London, you can find many hotels for all budgets. You will be near a variety of restaurants, attractions, and theaters, as well as access to the Tube for any other destinations.
Where to eat:
- Tea Time! You will find many places serving tea around 4 pm, stop by and have some tea and crumpets.
- Twist at Crawford – Here you will find delicious tapas. We enjoyed this place so much that we went there twice.
- City Social – An upscale, hip restaurant with a breathtaking view of the city. Reservations are highly recommended.
What to do:
- London Eye – It’s touristy but you can get some great views of the city.
- Westminster – Here you can tour Westminster Abbey (we did it in the rain and it was still worth it!). While nearby, you can see the London Eye or walk around Parliament Square and see monuments dedicated to those such as Winston Churchill.
- Buckingham Palace – Perhaps even catch the changing of the guards!
- Tour the Wimbledon Stadium – They have an informative museum and audio tour if you’re interested in tennis. It is also a cute, quiet town to walk around.
- Baker Street – Here you can find the iconic Sherlock Holmes’ street and museum. There is also a neat Beatles Store to stop in nearby.
- Soho – This is a quite popular nightlife area with many bars and clubs. It also has great shopping and cafes during the day.
- See the famous London Bridge!
- Piccadilly Circus – A vibrant part of town in the center of the commercial district.
- The British Museum – The Rosetta Stone is housed here.
- King’s Cross – Here you can find Platform 9 ¾ in real life. We were able to get our photo taken with wands and our favorite house’s colors!
- Brighton – A gorgeous beach town getaway with a boardwalk to walk around. Here, you can also check out the Royal Pavilion.
- Windsor Castle – Walk around the royal grounds where some members of the Royal Family reside.
Tip: The whole town shuts down for football games. We did not realize there was a game on a Monday afternoon and were wondering why so many shops and museums were closed. After passing by a few pubs, we learned why and decided to enjoy this rare experience and join in the fun!