London has a special energy. It is older, wiser, sophisticated and yet it keeps up with the times.
The beautiful city grew from a little village called Londinium, founded by the Romans in 42 AD along the Thames River. Today it is one of the great cultural centers of the world. The largest city in the UK, London is a busy place with so much to see and do.
Navigating around the city isn’t difficult. The easiest way to move about is through use of the Tubes, the underground subway system that crisscrosses through the city. If you are staying more than a day, buy a weekly pass and save time, it is worth it! Taxi rides are expensive and sometimes unreliable as many don’t take credit. One night my husband found himself stranded across town because he couldn’t get a ride that took credit and stood waiting for another until after the tubes were finished for the night.
London is city for explorers, historians, and even food lovers like myself. Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus are the shopping centers you shouldn’t miss. You will find everything here! My teen daughter loved shopping through Picadilly and dining in the trendy little shops. We needed a new bag to take home all of her shopping finds. Look online for the tickets to museums and attractions, you can often bundle them up and save money.
London is home to 270 different nationalities, but English is the language that brings them all together. So it wasn’t hard to navigate around the city, ask questions, or read the menus. But the diversity also means that you have influences in the cuisine in the many restaurants around the city.
There are so many things to see in London that walking 5 miles before lunch didn’t seem so bad. The Buckingham palace was cool but i didn’t see the guards. We did see a guy leaving by horse and buggy and another guy with special protection and a lovely fast black car. I want to believe it was Harry!
Bring your walking shoes! While we were there we did a LOT of walking. Well I should say, we walked and took a lot of photos. I was very thankful to have my comfortable walking shoes at the end of the day.There are so many things to see in London that walking 5 miles before lunch didn’t seem so bad. The Buckingham palace was cool but i didn’t see the guards. We did see a guy leaving by horse and buggy and another guy with special protection and a lovely fast black car. I want to believe it was Harry
5 Things You MUST SEE while in London
- Big Ben – While it isn’t as big as I thought it would be from the photos, Big Ben is still one of the icons of London and you shouldn’t miss it. Walk there and see it. Cross the bridge and see that is really part of the much larger structure, the Palace of Westminster. Big Ben is actually the bell inside the clock that weighs 13 tons. It is the world’s largest four-faced chiming clock and well worth seeing. The clock is not open for tours. So this is a quick stop. Then you can move on to see the houses of Parliament.
- Buckingham Palace – Buckingham Palace is stunning. It is the London residence of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. I didn’t see any royalty, yet we did see a guy leaving by horse and buggy and another guy with special protection and a lovely fast black car. I want to believe it was Harry. It likely wasn’t… but a girl can daydream
- The Tower of London – This shouldn’t be missed! A great visit for people of all ages, the Tower of London has so many stories to tell. Take one of the many tours if you have time. They are filled with unusual information and they tell great stories. The Beefeaters are fun and you will love them. There is a lot to discover at the Tower of London, including the Crown Jewels which are truly memorable and worth taking the extra time to see. We loved seeing the Ravens and learning about their special place at the tower.
- The Museum of London – Take a ride through history as you travel through the museum. From early prehistoric to modern day. This museum holds historical pieces to the music that has inspired millions. While we were there we saw the traveling Sherlock Holmes exhibit. It was fantastic. This is one of the best museums in the world.
- The London Eye – The eye is actually a Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. You better like heights, the wheel reaches a whopping 135m! There is always a line, no matter what time of year you go. However, the line moves fast and you will quickly be inside your little dome.