#TravelTuesdays: London in a flash
Who said you can’t see a city in a day? Not me! Here is how I went about spending my 24 hours in the amazing city of London for this week’s installment of Travel Tuesday’s with Tazelbox!
The Essential Sites you need to see in London:
Sight #1: The Harry Potter Exhibit at Platform 9 ¾
My first stop of the day was at the Harry Potter exhibit at Kings cross station; where a line up of school children, tourists and adults were all eagerly awaiting their turn to see the infamous Platform 9 ¾. This is completely free; they have two assistants on hand, one photographer (for paid professional pictures), and the other to lift your scarf so it floats magically!
If you are like me and don’t want to waste time waiting in line, then go into the Harry Potter store adjacent to the platform and purchase yourself some Pottermania souvenir!
Sight #2: Camden Lock
Camden town early in the morning is actually really amazing because there isn’t a slew of tourists waddling through the streets or bargaining at the multiple shop fronts. It makes Camden more enjoyable and I happened to stumble across the Cereal Killer Café! If you are a cereal junkie like I am, then prepared to be amazed by a variety of over 120 different cereals!
After a quick breakfast at the Café, we continued on walking through the Stables and Camden Lock. We didn’t spend much time there, as we wanted to continue on towards Tower Bridge.
Sight #3: Hays Galleria walk towards Tower Bridge
After a 25-minute tube ride, we got off at London Bridge station to make our way towards Tower Bridge. Following the signage, we ended up at Hays Galleria. A quick walk through the Galleria, leads you right to the South banks of the river Thames. It is here that you can spot one side of the famous London Skyline including the Gherkin and the Tower Bridge.
As we kept proceeding towards Tower Bridge, we walked past City Hall and the HMS Belfast Navy Ship.
Tower Bridge is an iconic symbol of London. At a 130 years old, it is a must see sight when visiting London. There are two options to choose from: walk along the glass floor ways that connect the two towers, or visit the Engine room (if that is more your cup of tea).
Sight #4: Tower of London walk
Another iconic Sight is the Tower of London; it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While I will spare you a history lesson, the Tower of London is always crowded with lines of students and tourists alike. We chose the fast pass and decided to admire the curtain wall surrounding the Castle and headed on towards the Tower Millennium Pier so that we could catch a boat towards Canary Wharf.
List of sights along the way: Millennium Bridge, Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and the London Eye.
Sight#5: Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
Once we reached Canary Wharf by boat, we walked towards the Big Ben (which is surprisingly not that big)! Adjacent to this are the Houses of Parliament. The walkthrough across this area takes less than 10 minutes depending on how many selfies / touristy shots you wish to take!
Quick tip: do a 360-degree image here, Westminster Abbey, Saint Margaret’s Church, the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and the London Eye can all be seen in one go.
At Westminster Abbey, we opted for the fast pass & did not line up to enter the Abbey at which Prince William and Kate got married in. If you need a quick break from all the walking about, this would probably be the best area to find some shade and catch a breath.
Sight#6: Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the most iconic royal building in England. (I couldn’t help but get excited when the flag was hoisted, which means that Her Majesty, The Queen, is at her residence!) This is one of only a few working royal palaces left in the world. A stream of tourists lined up outside the Gates to take their photos of this building. The Royal changing of the guard is also an activity to witness, during the months of April-July it happens daily and between the months of August-March it happens on alternate days.
Quick tip: A typical visit inside the Palace usually takes about 2 hours.
Sight #7: Piccadilly Circus & Trafalgar Square
This is probably my favourite part of London, because I like the mixture of modern technology with vintage architecture. The neon billboards remind me of Times Square & the double decker London buses just add this touch of class that New York’s Times Square lacks.
If I had more time before my flight, I would have probably gone inside the National Gallery just to witness some art along the likes of “Bathers at La Grenouillère” by Claude Monet, or “The Virgin of the Rocks” by Leonardo Da Vinci. However, I decided to save the art gallery tours for another trip around Europe concentrated solely on Fine Art exhibitions.
Finally, to round up our day, we ended up at Oxford Street ready to hit the shops! While the choice was made to spend the majority of the day sight seeing, shopping in London is a whole other ballgame.
Just a few tips:
- If you are looking for some new drugstore makeup, then check out Superdrug for Makeup Revolution, an amazing and super affordable English makeup brand!
- When it comes to clothing, hit up Primark for bargain deals on everything from accessories to décor items to clothes for men, women and children!
- Finally, you definitely cannot visit London without visiting the flagship store of Topshop.
These are my tips on potential sights to see (which we managed to squeeze into 24 hours) when visiting London in a flash. If you have any thoughts on further sights to see, do drop a comment, until then safe travels & happy exploring!