With less than a day to “explore” London last month, I got around the city by the Underground, a double decker sight seeing bus, and on foot. Even though my time was limited (as it unfortunately so often seems to be while I’m traveling) I had a ton of fun and was so happy to finally visit such an iconic city — London was right up there with Paris and Tokyo on my list of cities to travel to when I was a little girl.
After grabbing some bagels for breakfast at a stand near the HMS Belfast, my friends and I started the day by crossing over the Thames and heading toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tower of London. The Tower Bridge (which is often mistaken with the London Bridge) is an iconic part of the London skyline. Crossing to the north side of the river, we just walked across the sidewalk, but on our way back, we took the elevator up to the top and got a nice view of the city.
According to my mom while I was planning my trip, the Tower of London was a must-see while in London, even with limited time. After visiting, I have to say that I completely agree. Highlights included looking at the Crown Jewels, seeing the famous ravens that live at the Tower, getting a picture with a Beefeater, and seeing the different torture devices that were used at the Tower back in medieval times as well as where prisoners were kept. I would have loved more time to take a full tour and get more historical information.
From the Tower of London, my friend Kyla and I crossed back to the Tower Bridge and saw the views of the city from above. After a quick glance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, — I am really sad that we didn’t have more time to go in for a tour or a play — we then hopped on a red tourist double decker bus and traversed around the city, enjoying the views of the buildings and streets below. I’m really glad I got to experience such a defining part of a trip to London. Even on such a rainy, dreary day, the upper, outside part of the double decker bus was definitely fun!
Next up was, of course, Westminster Abbey. Another World Heritage Site, there was no way I was missing out on this. We got there at the end of the day when they were setting up for the evening service, but were lucky enough to not be rushed for time.
Walking to Buckingham Palace was another favorite part of the trip because we got to walk off the main streets and see a tiny part of London’s neighborhoods. I found both the architecture and the rainy streets charming and cute. We didn’t plan our trip well enough to see the Changing of the Guard, but even just seeing the palace was so cool! We missed the Queen’s birthday by just a day! We stopped at Trafalgar Square and snapped some pictures before grabbing dinner at an Italian restaurant. That’s right — I didn’t eat fish and chips the entire time I was in London! Maybe next time…
One of the highlights of the city for me was getting around, exploring, and just seeing the city as a whole. From taking the tube to riding atop the double decker tour bus, the entire time I was in London, I just felt like the entire atmosphere of the city was a part of every breath I took and every single thing I looked at.
Even with such a short time span I really enjoyed the time I spent in this iconic city. From those red phone booths I posed with to the fish and chips I never ate, London most definitely left me wanting to come back for more.