My husband and I traveled to London sometime last year and I must confess that it is one of the cities where you can be overwhelmed easily because there is so much to do and see. Thankfully, we had a three-day itinerary that was quite handy as we were able to see the major attractions in such as short time. One of the amazing facts about London is that there is something for everyone from the London eye to the changing of the guard among others.
We kicked off our holidays in London by going to the Tower of London that is one of London’s famous landmarks and a world heritage site. This tower houses Crown Jewels, the Royal Armories, the Chapel of St. John as well as the prison cell of Sir Walter Raleigh that is commonly referred to as the Bloody power. This historical site is amazing even the stories told here are sad. This Tower is the heritage of London thus, it is well maintained. You must brace yourself to meet many people who come to see this tower. This tower is one of the best medieval attractions to visit in London and I highly recommend it especially for the history nerds or curious people.
Our next stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral that is known for its amazing architecture. This cathedral is a gem that is beautiful on the inside as well as outside. To enjoy the breathtaking views, ensure that you only visit when there are no services being conducted in the magnificent structure. I was surprised to learn that this cathedral also doubles up as the resting place for famous people like Sir Christopher Wren, the designer behind the structure as well as Nelson’s tomb. Although you are guaranteed to enjoy some great 360 degree views of the city of London from this old and charming building, the only down turn is that photography is not allowed. Thus, you can only take away the memories of this cathedral in your mind. Therefore, you will need to enjoy the moment while it lasts. Most importantly, you need to be prepared to part with some admission fee.
Another great attraction that we went to is the Millennium Bridge that has a modern design. It felt nice walking around the Thames. The Millennium Bridge is the link between the city of London at St. Paul’s Cathedral and the new Tate Gallery. The bridge is unlike any other I have ever seen and a great location for taking photos. In fact, we spent so much time taking photos here without realizing it. Moreover, there is no obstruction on this bridge because it is used by pedestrians only. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, there is no doubt that you will find this to be a fun site. This is because Death Eaters destroyed the bridge in the film.
From the Bridge, we went to Tata Modern that is an intriguing museum. It is amazing to see how the former power station makes art to be exciting for people of all ages. The collection of art in the gallery has a special appeal. There is so much to enjoy despite there being no admission fee. Even then, a few exhibits require you to pay but it is worth the price. Generally, there are great pieces of artwork that you can see here including the works of Miro and Picasso.
South Bank is another great place that you must visit when you go for holidays in London. It is an ideal location for photography. In addition, you also get some awesome views of river Thames as well as a glimpse of the architecture. Walking along South Bank allows you to see some interesting places in London such as the Royal Festival Hall among others. The place is also lined with restaurants and bars that are abuzz with many tourists settling in for a meal or drink. This place is also considered the cultural heart of London hence there is never a dull moment.
We could not miss to see the London Eye that is a great place to watch the sun setting. Although we paid an admission fee of £20, it was well worth it as we were able to see the sights of London from an elevated point. Even then, you need to have patience before accessing the viewpoint because there are usually queues of people waiting to get there too. It is not only a must see for photo enthusiasts but also a great opportunity for seeing the London skyline as well as London central. As the day ended, we went back to our hotel in anticipation of what awaited us the following day.
We began our second day in London by going to the Buckingham to see the Changing of the Guard. This is because the place gets so many visitors thus, when you get there early you are guaranteed of a good spot to see all the action. Moreover, the entire thing lasts for about two hours. I went there with very high expectations of an exciting parade but this was not the case. However, the ending brought back my cheer as the guards marched to the James Bond musical. All in all, it is something worth seeing at least once, except that you should not expect much.
London is known to have some of the finest department stores therefore we too took went to Harrods that is the shopping district. Although we had a great shopping experience here, we could also not fail to take note of the fact that the place looked more like a tacky tourist attraction. Even then, you are guaranteed to find great and unique items including designer collections, as this is the best place for shopping in London. Therefore, you will do well not to mind the presence of many tourists because you too are one.
We also went to the Victoria and Albert Museum; the world’s greatest art and design museum. Surprisingly, entrance to this museum does not require an admission fee. While here, we explored the contemporary as well as historical art pieces that include works that are based on different cultures of the world. From the museum, we concluded our second day at Billy Elliot where enjoyed an excellent musical show. The show was punctuated with lots of funny moments from the talented cast.
On the third day of our holidays in London, we went to Trafalgar Square that has the monument bearing the statue of Lord Horatio Nelson guarded by lions. This place is believed to the centre of London. It felt great walking here even though there were many tourists as there are many things to see from the Piccadilly Circus to the Square that leads to the Westminster Abbey. From the Trafalgar Square we ended up at the National Gallery that houses a good spectrum of art that include the impressionists to early religious art. This place is peaceful and you can be sure to recognize some of the paintings. There are true hidden gems here. The layout is also good and easy to follow. Unfortunately, it is a no photography zone.
The Oxford Street was our final stop even though we did not have any intentions of shopping. In fact, we just wanted to have an idea of what this England’s most famous shopping street had to offer. True to our expectations, the street was busy and full of life that we ended up shopping for a few items. The temptation was irresistible. Having spent most of the day and with a flight to catch, we went back to our hotel to freshen up and pack our bags. London is a great place with so much to enjoy for everyone, we had a beautiful experience and yes, I recommend that you spend your holidays in London and you will not regret.