Today I am taking a moment to reminiscence about my spontaneous trip to London exactly 2 years ago. I had just graduated nursing school and was about to embark on starting my career when the travel bug hit. I figured it was now or never. I planned the trip in a few days and left the following week. Spontaneity trumps everything. Some of the best adventures you will go on in your life will be because of a spontaneous decision. Don’t let the unknown scare you away from potentially having a once in a lifetime experience.
I actually went to preschool in a little town called Epsom that is right outside of London, so it was a no-brainer that I had to go back one day. I left a huge chunk of my heart in London 2 years ago. I still find myself daydreaming about the hustle and bustle of the city, the architecture, afternoon tea and scones with clotted cream, reading in St. James Park, and the theatre. Really, I could go on and on about this city.
Something you will learn about me is that I am all about acting like a local when traveling. There is nothing better than to fully immerse yourself into a foreign culture. If you do this, I promise you will not come back the same person. I did visit all the main sights, such as, Big Ben, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. (Check out my itinerary below) But I also made a priority to eat in the pubs and restaurants off the beaten path where the locals went, to roam around back streets away from the busy touristy streets and to GET LOST. I’m serious. Getting lost in a new place is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You will find so many unique places that you otherwise would have not discovered.
I stayed in the city centre, so I was able to walk to every prime destination. This is something I highly recommend when traveling. Walking everywhere lets you see more of the city. Plus, you will be walking off all the delicious new foods you’ll be eating! I was right in between Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. One of my favorite spots was sitting on the steps in Trafalgar Square and soaking in the city, especially in the evening. There is nothing better than watching the sun set over Big Ben surrounded by the chaos of the city winding down. The thing about London is that even though it was filled with the usual turbulence of big cities, it always felt serene.
London will always be calling my name. And the next time I visit my little girl will be able to join me, which will make it all that more special. Sharing a place that you’ve fallen in love with, with someone that you love will only create a stronger bond between you.
- Arrive in London. Taxi to hotel and get settled.
- Walk to Trafalgar Square
- Embark “Hop on Hop off” Tour <— i highly recommend this! you get to see all the main sights and get a good feel for how to get around the city!
- Explore Trafalgar Square
- Visit National Gallery
- Walk to London Eye
- London Eye Tour
- Explore Piccadilly Circus
- Walk to Big Ben
- Explore Westminster Abbey and Gardens
- Tube (Piccadilly → Victoria)/bus to Apollo Victoria Theatre
- Wicked <—this was the greatest show i have seen! see it! i purchased my tickets at the visitor center in trafalgar square
- Walk to Westminster Pier
- Board River Thames Cruise <–you get a free river cruise if you purchase the “hop on hop off” bus tour tickets! totally worth it!
- Cruise to London Tower Pier
- Visit London Tower
- Visit Tower Bridge
- Tube/Walk to Buckingham Palace
- Watch Changing of the Guards
- Tour Buckingham Palace and Gardens
- Tube/Walk to Harrods/Shopping at Harrods
- Tube (Knightsbridge → Piccadilly) back to hotel
- Enjoy last day in London! I always take the last day just to relax and soak up the city! Or see any sights I may have missed.
What were some of your favorite places in London? What hidden treasures in the city have you discovered? I would love to know!