I seem to evangelize a lot about getting out of London and exploring other places in the UK. It’s true that there is more to England than London. It is also true that London is a FABULOUS destination spot! I love it and am happy as a clam exploring it when I have the time. Below are only a few suggestions. I recommend a lifetime of exploration.
What do I love most about London? Well, there are several things I could discuss:
- Historical sites
Some of the historical sites I’ve visited and liked include:
- Greenwich (the Royal Maritime Museum). I’ve seen the Cutty Sark from the land and WANT to go to the Royal Observatory at some point. There’s also a great little Market in Greenwich near the rail station. This couple did a great blog post of Greenwich.
- Buckingham Palace. I’ve seen it from the outside. You can also tour Buckingham Palace during the summer.
- Overseas visitors can’t tour Big Ben, but you *can* now tour the Houses of Parliament and even have tea there!
- The Tower of London (go early as possible on a week day to avoid crowds – preferably when school is in!)
- Tower Bridge: where they have a super cool highrise glass floor for you to look through. Also a grand tour of the workings of the Tower Bridge. Check times to watch the actual raising and lowering of the bridge.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral: Where Charles and Di were married.
- Westminster Abbey: A MUST for history buffs.
- Haven’t been here, and don’t care for cricket… but I would love to visit the mother of all cricket grounds some day. Lords.
Why would you go anywhere but the West End for theatre? You can usually shop for half-price or discounted tickets at Leicester Square.
- The Churchill War Rooms.
- I’m not huge on art, but if you are, try the National Gallery.
- I did like the National Portrait Gallery.
- Victoria and Albert Museum.
- British Museum: I’ve seen the Rosetta Stone! It’s a lovely musem, but I didn’t get a chance to see much of it as it was close to closing.
- British National Library: Why not see the Magna Carta while you’re at it…other equally as interesting ancient texts.
- Imperial War Museum.
- Royal Air Force Museum (includes a LOT of WWII history).
If you like to shop, this is the place! There are so many options, there’s just not enough time in the day to explore them all. Where do I always go?
- Camden Market: It’s huge, it’s fun, and bargains can be had!
- Covent Garden: Shopping isn’t as good as Camden, but try the sticky toffee pudding at Battersea Pie Station… YUMMMMM. Also, I go there to see who shows up. There are always impromptu performances at Covent Garden. Jubilee Market (attached to the Apple Market) will likely have some things a bit cheaper.
- Fortnum and Mason: is where I buy my tea. It’s a smaller version of Harrods.
- Harrods. I never shop there… can’t afford it.
- This little market is always fun: Located in the churchyard of St. Peters, Piccadilly.
- St. James Park. Once the hunting ground of Henry VIII!
- Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens)
- Hyde Park (just for the interesting speakers who show up on Sunday).
- I once caught the Horse Guard Parade by happy accident! Highly recommended.
- Elizabethan Banquets. There’s one in London proper that I’ve not been to, but I can highly recommend the one here: Hatfield House is the residence where QE1 learned she would be queen.
- London Eye. Excellent views of London when the weather is good.
- The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. This happens every other day. See schedule here.
SummaryAs I said, this is just a small sampling of London destination spots. Check the following for further information:
|British National Library (April and I, 2014)|