Day Trippin: London’s Must Do’s

Five items to bring on a day trip:

No. 1 Comfy Shoes: There’s been many times I’ve made the mistake and gone away with just a pair of ballet flats, those these are great at home and running errands, but it’s a completely different story when out walking around ALL day. A well broken in pair matched with great socks, will keep you going long after the museums are closed!

No.2 Big Bag: Big enough to carry camera, water bottle, snacks and souvenirs. Too many bags can lead to an early mental breakdown while you’re hoping around the city, relieve the mental stress and keep everything in one place.

No. 3 Hand Sanitizer: Quickly bobbing around the city can soon leave you feeling more than gross, it’s amazing how having clean hands can make you feel so much better.

No. 4 Scarf: You already know how much we love these, but while on a day trip they are essential. They’re light to carry and keep you snug as the evening draws in, or any sudden weather change.

No.5 Umbrella: There’s nothing you can’t see in the rain than in sunshine, and in London it’s more likely to rain, even a small one you can easily fit in your purse is worlds better than getting drenched and cutting your day short.

Five places you must see visit:

No.1 Westminster:  Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street and Westminster Abbey are all found in within this small area.  The architecture of these buildings alongside the Thames makes the view absolutely breathtaking.  You simply cannot go to London without having your picture taken by Big Ben and peeking down Downing Street on the off chance of seeing the Prime Minister.  If you have time we would highly recommend sitting in on the houses of commons for a taste of British politics.  Also, right across the river you can hop onto the London eye, to see views of all of London.

No.2 Tower of London: This destination is easily one most fascinating places in London, it’s packed with history and chilling tails of darker days. It’s home of the crown jewels, royal armor of several past Kings, and the famous ravens. The only problem is there might be too much to see and you could easily spend the whole day here (which we highly recommend), but if you don’t have time you at least have to go see the surrounding walls and get your photo infront of Tower Bridge. Tickets are £19.80 per adult, but can be purchased cheaper online HERE, or if you’re traveling into the city by train you could qualify for 2 for 1 admission read more HERE.

No.3 Buckingham Place: If you go to London you’d better go visit the queen, or at least go see the Changing of the Guards. It’s extremely royal and extremely free so it’s a must! See HERE for schedule.

No. 4 St. Pauls Cathedral & Area: Again it’s just a beautiful place to visit, and it’s packed with history. It’s been on the site since 604 AD. They welcome visitors for daily services, which I like to do to relax and soak up to the atmosphere, info HERE.

Across the way there is Millennium Bridge which is worth a walk across. The bridge was built as part of the city’s millennium celebration and you may recognize it from the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Once across you’ll see Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, we’re yet to see a play, but the standing tickets start at only 5 pounds quite a deal, see HERE.

No. 5 Harrods and Liberty:  Harrods is as famous as a store possibly can get.  This store has it all.  It is the perfect place to buy souvenirs and gifts for home.  Make sure to check out their food courts, which are out of this world.  Also, the children’s toy department is pretty hard to beat.  Liberty of London is one of favorite store in London.  It is famous for it’s fabrics and unique designs. Liberty’s current location is on Regent Street in an old Tudor building built from two ships in 1924.  It is definitely worth visiting and is not known to many tourists, so is usually a nice, quieter place to shop.

London has many hop-on/hop-off tour buses that we would highly recommend to see lots of things in a limited amount of time.  It is well worth the money to get an audio tour of history while seeing the sights, and beats wasting time traveling from place to place using the underground.

Sarah, our sis Helen, and Em seeing the sights (and being wind blown) on a tour bus Autumn 2010.

We may be slightly biased, but this is our favorite city in the world! We hope this post will make your London experience comfortable and easy, and help you fall in love with this fabulous city.

2 Responses to “Day Trippin: London’s Must Do’s”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    I’m actually in London as we speak, and I had planned to pass on the Tower of London (too many crowds)… but I took your recommendation–and your discount–and went anyway. AMAZING! It was all it’s cracked up to be and more. Definitely glad I went. If you like history at all, this is a must-see. Thanks!

  2. beth Says:

    Thanks for the tips, I’m in the process of planning a trip to London next year. I’m excited to check out the Tower!