After visiting Iceland, we spent about six days in London, and the city exceeded our expectations in every way! We stayed in an Airbnb on the edge of Notting Hill, although we loved every hood we visited. We relied on the Tube for our main transportation, and aside from getting separated one time, we had no trouble at all.
Below are some of the places we loved visiting grouped by proximity. Full disclosure: This was our first time visiting London, so we spent most of our time visiting obvious spots, all of which were fun to visit at least once, but I’m really looking forward to seeing even more hopefully soon!
The London Eye – We booked tickets ahead of time, and the birds eye view was the perfect welcome to the city! The trip around the wheel took about thirty minutes, and while it did feel like the British equivalent of visiting Times Square with all the tourists everywhere, we still had a lot of fun!
Westminster Abbey – I had high hopes of waking up early and beating the lines outside of Westminster Abbey, but the morning we went, we overslept! So we waited for about an hour in the drizzling rain, but it was so worth it. Within the first five minutes of the audio tour, they point out the grave of Sir Isaac Newton, and the tour ends with a corner dedicated to Shakespeare and other famous writers. Nuff said.
The Victoria and Albert Museum – When your friend tells you, “This is my favorite museum in the whole world,” walk, don’t run there. Every inch of the Victoria and Albert Museum is covered in art. From the room of plaster casts of famous sculptures to the design exhibit surrounded by a library pictured above, there was something exquisite to take in around every corner. Just look at the cafeteria’s ceiling of all places!
Buckingham Palace – How could we visit and not drop by? Also, as if I wasn’t cliche enough, I read The Royal We while we were abroad. It’s about a young woman who falls in love with the heir to the Crown. Aka the perfect vacation read right up my alley.
Windsor Castle – We didn’t buy many advance tickets, but we did buy tickets for Windsor ahead of time. It was a quick train ride from the city, and a great day trip! We saw the former moat filled with a lush garden and the dining hall where they organize the dishware with a ruler. Like in Downton Abbey! Even the hanging lights have crowns on top of them.
The town next to the Queen’s weekend castle (casual.) had plenty to explore too! Had we known, we would have spent more time hanging out, but instead we caught the train back to see Dreamgirls at The Savoy. And no surprise here, we loved that too.
Harry Potter Studio Tour – When we booked tickets for the Harry Potter Studio Tour I first thought every time slot was booked, and I nearly cried. Thankfully I quickly realizing there was one open timeframe left. Hallelujah! I took nearly as many photos during the Harry Potter Studio Tour as I did during our three days in Iceland which says it all.
We saw The Great Hall! And Diagon Alley! And Privet Drive, Dumbledore’s Office, costumes and wigs from every character, and countless other amazing sets and props from the movie. They recommend spending four hours on site, and if it weren’t for our needing to catch the last shuttle, I have no doubt we would have poked around for longer than the almost three hours we took everything in. It was truly a magical experience, and you should absolutely go if you’re a Harry Potter fan!
I hope you enjoyed seeing some what we loved during our first trip to London. Tomorrow I’m sharing all of the restaurants we visited because if anything deserves its own post, it’s the food!
More from the trip: