Londontown

So, London. Been thinking about how exactly to blog it…kind of a big place, and this trip was the longest I’ve ever spent there and therefore I saw more than ever before.

The other thing about London is that lots of people know lots about it, so I can’t share anything that’s terribly interesting, really.

So what I’m going to do is lay out some of the big, common sites of London into little groups for anyone who hasn’t been there, so that when you go (when being the operative word here), you can know how accessible things are.

So, starting in the west:

1. Kensington/Hyde Park Area

You’ve got:

Kensington Palace

The Albert Memorial (and Royal Albert Hall across the street)

Peter Pan (of utmost importance)

And the park itself

There are lots of other things: Princess Diana Memorial, places in the water you can swim or paddle boat, loads of other memorials (Brits love memorials. And when I say love, I mean with a hot, steamy passion.), and nice paths for walking, biking, and nature-enjoying. Hyde Park is one of my most favorite places in London. Nearby is the Victoria & Albert Museum, which I have thoroughly enjoyed (also it’s free so worth a pop in at any time).

Heading East from there, you’ll come to

2. Buckingham Palace Area

There you’ve got the Wellington Arch (in a square full of other memorials)

The Palace itself

Queen Victoria Memorial

And a little jaunt further east will bring you to Trafalgar Square (full of, surprise surprise, memorials)

On Trafalgar square is the National Gallery, free-ninety-free, if you want to look at a lot of fantastic art in the flesh. Changing of the guard at Buckingham might be worthwhile if you’re into pomp and circumstance. Personally, I just love Queen Victoria and that’s why I like seeing Buckingham Palace.

From there you can easily take a walk to:

3. Westminster

There, you’ve got the Abbey itself

Parliament building

At the end of which is Big Ben

And across from which is Parliament square (full of memorials obviously, including great leaders from other nations).

We went to an Evensong in Westminster, which was cool, because not only is the church ornately beautiful, but LOADS of super important, famous Brits are buried there and I definitely think it’s worth paying for the tour to see them all. Poets, scientists, and royalty alike. We also went to the Churchill War Rooms museum just a block or so away, which I’ll blog about in more detail later, but that was also very cool.

From Westminster, you can easily reach the

4. Thames

Along which you will see many famous bridges, from which you can get great views

From whence you can decide what cool things to see. This one was taken from the Millennium bridge. At one end of that bridge is St. Paul’s cathedral, which is lovely. At the other end is

Shakespeare’s Globe

Which will always get me excited. Still haven’t seen a play there but it will happen even if it’s my dying act.

Going along you’ll also see the London Bridge, and eventually you’ll come to the Tower Bridge.

Which is pretty cool looking itself, but even better is the Tower of London right there on the river’s bank.

Absolutely bursting with history, this building is. Also full of lovely jewels if you want to pay to glide past them on a conveyor belt. I think it’s worth it just to be inside where Anne Boleyn and such were held prisoners and executed, etc. because I love dramatic history like that.

Now, you can see all of this in one day in London. See being the key. You’ll walk, and you’ll see, and at the end of the day, your feet will be plotting murder against you. If you only have one day in London though, I would highly recommend this route (customizable to your interests). However, I wouldn’t recommend one day in London. I would recommend a year if that’s possible, where you go see something every day. You won’t get bored, I promise.

If you’re a normal person, however, who must return to responsibility so you’ve only got a few days in London, take some time to mosey around these hotspots to see the essential bits of London.

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