Upon arrival back in London our tour guide took us on a walking tour of maritime Greenwich before taking a relaxing cruise on the River Thames. Floating down the river under all the historic bridges was truly a memorable sight.
When in London we saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the Florence Nightengale Museum, Tower of London, Parliament, took a ride on the London Eye, saw Piccadilly Circus at night, and the beautiful fountains of Trafalgar square.
With a bit of encouragement, my hubby finally agreed to take some funny pictures of me where it looked like the water from one of the fountains was coming out of my mouth. Then of course, he wanted his picture taken like that too, hehe. I know, silly touristy stuff, but why not?! Looking back at those pictures they always give me a good laugh, and that’s what trips are all about... creating fun memories!
For all The Beatles fans out there a must-see is Abbey Road. Don't forget to get your picture taken as you walk across this infamous cross walk. Yes, there will be TONs of other people there doing the same thing. Our cab driver said that it’s like that all day long. So don’t feel worried about being the only one doing it, you will definitely not be alone. In fact, I had to have my hubby take this classic photo op a number of times, because I didn’t want anyone else in the shot. I wanted it to look less “touristy” than it was.
One of the really exciting things about London is the Prime Meridian. You can visit the historic Royal Observatory and stand where the earth’s eastern and western hemispheres are divided. I was so excited to stand there! You can only experience it here and how can you pass up commemorating this moment with a photo op for a special keepsake. At night, the Royal Observatory casts a green laser light marking the Prime Meridian in the sky. My husband and I stayed in this part of town till it was dark so that we could see this special event.
For all those that love to shop, London is filled with all sorts of wonderful stores. From Harrods to Old Spitalfields Market you will be sure to leave London with something that fits your taste and budget. I love to shop where the local artisan’s sell and show my support to the people who make such wonderful, fine crafts. Also, I walk away with something that is truly representative to the people who live there and is a wonderful reminder of the place I visited. When I was researching our trip, I found out about Old Spitalfields Market (since 1638). This was perfect, just what I was looking for. Every day they have something interesting going on, from food to fashion. We shopped on a Friday which was their day earmarked for jewelry vendors and a large variety of interesting artisan crafts. Also in Greenwich, they had a wonderful set-up in town that featured many of the local artists selling their original designs and crafts. Between the two of these shopping trips, I purchased great souvenirs for family members and myself.
If you are looking for an interesting story and a great view, check out The Monument. This monument has a staggering 311 steps and commemorates the Great Fire of 1666 where 13,000 houses and 87 churches burned to ashes. You pay a small fee to climb the stairs and on your way out they hand you a certificate saying you climbed the monument!
Speaking of stories. One of the most iconic stories of London, is of course, Jack The Ripper. On our first night in London, as we were trying to stay in sync with London time, we took the Jack The Ripper Tour. This is a story-telling walking tour of the places that Jack the Ripper “visited” and the story behind all the events. It was an exciting tour with friendly and well-informed tour guides.
If you have a free moment in your busy travelling schedule, I suggest taking some time out to just walk around. This is a fun and relaxing way to soak up all the city has to offer and come across things that you might not have expected.
Don’t forget about all of London’s museums, amazing restaurants and so much more! Between going from the old city and new city you will be sure to get a feel for all that London has to offer. Before heading home; try hailing a black cab, take a ride on the Tube, and of course check out their red telephone booths. All these things and more are quintessential London!