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The Top 4 Things To Do in London

Buckingham Palace London

Each time I’ve visited London, I’ve been short on two things; time and cash.

In researching what to visit on my trips, I often saw posts stating the obvious.  “Stop at Big Ben! Ride the Eye,” they’ll exclaim.  But for me, it’s less about the grandeur of a site and more about it’s atmosphere.  Not only will this help with cost, but it also makes for a more memorable experience.  So today, I’d like to share my personal recommendations for a proper experience in London.  Hope ya’ll enjoy!

Trafalgar Square

I am certainly  a person who enjoys taking in the sights and sounds of an environment and Trafalgar Square offers a unique opportunity to do just that.  I am not lying when I say that I could walk about the square and sit on it’s statue’s perches for hours.  As a matter of fact, I’ve actually done that on more than one occassion.

Watch the locals and tourists go about their days in the square and enjoy wine and snacks at the foot of the monuments.  Gawk at the National Gallery on the top of the square, or better yet, step foot inside and view the thousands of beautiful works that it houses.  Best of all, going in the museum is completely free!  I’d recommend visiting the Samson and Delilah painting and paying a visit to the small section that houses the Venetian cityscapes.  Each time I’ve visited London, I’ve made it a point to stop in this area at least twice during my stay. The vibe of the area is something so unique that I have yet to find it in any other place on earth.

Camden Town Markets

Even in winter, the markets are packed with individuals wandering through the shops.  The markets are comprised of a variety of sections, six in total, and they include one of my favorite spots in London called The Stables.  In the late 19th century, old horse stables used by distribution companies along the river were converted into retail shops.  Today, local merchants and artisans display their crafts for the world to see.  Lovely smells, the dull roar of conversation, and a unique energy fill the air making this a must visit spot when I visit London.

Other areas of the market also include the Lock Market and the Buck Street Market.

Eat Pret at Tower Bridge

Pret a Manger was not only one of the first places I dined at in London, but it was also one of the best.  Now, we all know that London is not the first city that comes to mind when thinking of fine cuisine.  Asking for anything that isn’t fried can certainly be a tall order.  It’s hard to screw up fish and chips or burgers but when I fancied something with a bit more flavour, I’d always stop off and grab a sandwich at Pret.  The prosciutto hero was my absolute favorite.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  I had one at least twice on both of my visits.

On my second trip to the UK I stepped up my dining experience by enjoying my sandwich on the banks of the River Thames.  The sun had just set as my brother and I enjoyed the cool air, a hearty conversation, and a hearty sandwich, all in the shadow of Tower Bridge; set ablaze by spotlights against the dark European sky.  I can’t think of many things more memorable or relaxing than that.

Walk (don’t shop) Down the Mall

A mall to most people means shopping, glitz and glamour but being the budget minded soul I am, this isn’t quite so appealing.  Instead, I choose to stroll down the long road in London reaching from The Royal Palace to Trafalgar Square that is not so aptly named “The Mall”.  Sandwiched between the ends are marvelous parks to enjoy on a sunny (or even chilly) day.  The buildings lining the street also stand to provide a healthy dose of history and culture.

If you time it right, you might even catch the changing of the guard!  Viewing this spectacle is totally free but be sure to pay as much attention to your wallet as you do to the guard…there are pickpockets.

For those that DO find shopping and fashion appealing, please make it a point to visit the Kensington Area, especially Herrod’s for it’s extensive high end shops!  That’s the place where I saw my first gold plated Bentley (hopefully that tells you something about the area).

I’d love to answer any questions or hear your own unique experiences from London!  Join the conversation in the comments below.  🙂

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I can’t believe you found Pret to be the pinnacle of British dining! I’m English, and Pret is pretty average to us – expensive for average food, I mean.

    We are sooooooo much more than fish and chips and burgers. Ad it’s very easy to mess up fish and chips – haven’t had a good one since leaving the UK. 😀

    When you next have the opportunity, try some ‘home cooking’ style food in England – mince and dumplings, chicken cobbler, beef stew, roast chicken dinner! We’re very good at winter warmer food. 🙂

    And follow it up with jam roly poly and custard – it’s like a suet sponge with fruit jelly in it. So very good!

    September 11, 2013
    • I’ve been waiting on you to comment! Haha. This is just based on my few (very quick) experiences in London and I’m sure one size doesn’t fit all.

      Last time I went I did enjoy a delicious plate of bangers and mash but it definitely wasn’t on a budget!

      I’ll definitely keep your suggestions handy for the next time I visit London. Jam roly poly with custard just sounds delightful!

      September 12, 2013
      • Can’t believe I rose to the bait! 😀

        The problem with all of the *really good* British food is that it was supposed to be filling, hearty and cheap. Since its become fashionable, restaurants charge an arm and a leg for it – bangers and mash should be the AFFORDABLE option!

        Stupid food fashion!

        September 17, 2013
  2. RookieNotes #

    I like your layout! very nice pictures. I will bookmark this for when I go

    August 29, 2013
    • Wow, congrats on going to visit! If you have any questions beforehand feel free to ask!

      August 29, 2013
  3. hey i did all that you recommended!! i did not ride the eye nor stop at big ben either -there were just too many tourists!! i like this post. Thank you.

    August 29, 2013
    • Good on you for getting past the obvious! Is there anything else you might recommend in London?!

      August 29, 2013

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