Playing Tourist in London

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    You’re going to want to get your most comfortable walking shoes on because London is definitely a walking city. I didn’t know this but the health section of my iPhone tracks the number of steps I take a day and whether or not this is accurate, it showed that while Jason and I were in London, each day we walked an average of 17,000 steps. 17 THOUSAND. Holy smokes! Definitely was able to burn off everything we ate ;)

    So, we took a red-eye flight Thursday night out of DC and we landed really early morning Friday in London and we were shoved onto the tube with all the rush hour folks. I’m sure they really appreciated our suitcases. Whatever. Anyway, so it took us about an hour and half to get to the flat we rented off Airbnb (something I HIGHLY recommend; you can be in the heart of a city and not pay an arm & leg for lodging. It was fabulous and we had so much space – we had the entire flat!). We kind of got lost after that but finally found the place and as soon as the owner showed us in the house and left, Jason and I passed out for two hours. Haha oops.

    I had this huge elaborate itinerary and was determined to get as much possible sleep on the plane (yeah right) so we could be up and ready to go sightseeing. Obviously that didn’t happen so we woke up around noon and realized all we’ve done in London is sleep so we quickly changed and headed out!

    Our first stop…Tower of London!

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    That sea of red you see above is an art installation of red poppies (Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red) in remembrance of 880,000 Commonwealth soldiers killed in WWI. Every evening at sunset, 180 of the fallen soldier names are read and this installation is up until November 11. You can read more about it here. You can actually buy yourself a handmade poppy (the actual ones they have planted in the moat area) and after the installation is over, they’ll send it to you. The proceeds go to six different charities.

    We didn’t pay for the tour or anything since we were short on time but that’s definitely an option if you wanted to see where they used to keep prisoners!

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    After Tower of London, we walked across the London Bridge over to Tower Bridge. It was a perfect day for walking. Light breeze, in the upper 60’s and we didn’t even have to take off our jackets or anything. No sweat to deal with!

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    Then we made it to Big Ben!! Yay!!

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    Then we went to see Princess Kate. Just kidding. Westminster Abbey where she got married ;) it was neat to stand where she was when the car dropped her off! It was under construction so there were no tours going on :( I totally would’ve paid to go inside and see the beauty. So mad.

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    We were really obsessed with Big Ben, lol

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    The London Eye! We didn’t go on that either because see the dark clouds in the distance? Yeah, that was rolling in fast and furious and I did NOT want to get stuck on the ferris wheel while a storm rolled through.

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    Ohh so we walked on a suspension bridge at night and was able to see some of the landmarks at night time. It’s so pretty!

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    This was that lonnnng road that the wedding procession drove on getting to Buckingham Palace. London was already in Fall mode when we were there!

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    Can you just see Will and Kate waving on the balcony and kissing?? Hehe, I was so giddy.

     

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    Then we took a really long stroll from Buckingham Palace. I forgot what this was :(

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    HIIIIII! Yup, I had my Tieks on. Had them on the entire trip because they’re seriously the most comfortable flats ever. 17,000 steps a day, y’all. My feet weren’t barking at me :)

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    Had to get a photo of the tube sign and the British flag!

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    Ok all the buildings in London are amazing and beautiful. The architecture blew me away and I couldn’t stop taking photos of buildings.

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    We went to Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill on Sunday – which in hindsight was a really good idea because there weren’t as many people there as there would be on a Saturday. Prepare for numerous photos of colorful houses.

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    Don’t yell at me but I haven’t seen the movie Notting Hill but everyone said this is the famous bookshop in the movie so naturally, I had to take a photo of it, lol

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    After our breakfast at Duck & Waffle, we strolled over to Leadenhall Market since it was in the same general area. This is where they filmed Diagon Alley in Harry Potter!! I’m such a Harry Potter geek so I totally had to geek out and do this :)

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    When we were in Picadilly Circus area in the daytime, we walked over to Burlington Arcade to check out the shops they had there.

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    They had a Ladurée there! I have heard so many good things about this bakery and their macarons so I had to buy a box :) they were quite possibly the best macarons we’ve eaten. This Ladurée was SOO tiny. Only like 3-4 people could fit in it.

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    So this is Picadilly/Regent Street area at night. We walked around here after our dinner at Nopi on Friday night. It reminded me a lot of Times Square so we would refer to this area as London’s Times Square. I’m sure Londoners appreciate that.

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    Yay! So that was us playing tourist in London. I’ve attached our rough itinerary for you to download. I basically planned it out by neighborhood. I tried to be strategic about it but I also didn’t realize how close some of the things were to each other so stuff I had ‘scheduled’ on another day, we just strolled over to see it the same day. So, I guess use the itinerary as a base to start your planning. There’s a ton of stuff we didn’t get to do (and we’re definitely returning!) but I think with three full days, we did our best!

    Amanda over at Kevin and Amanda has some great London posts that you might want to check out too!

    Here’s our itinerary for you to download. Word document <–Click that.

  • 23 Comments
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  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    Do you think there’s a chance we can convince the guys to move there because I think I’m in love and haven’t even been there lol. That first shot is gorgeous and of course I was all omg Harry Potter haha. Dorks ;)

    • Julie says:

      I seriously want to move there SO bad. If the guys won’t come, we can move there and they can visit haha ;)

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    What a fun adventure! Love the photos!

  • Jenny Flake says:

    Wow, what a beautiful place!! Your photos always make me want to hop on a plane and travel :)

  • anna | ANNAdventure says:

    I love it! I had so much fun in England & London when we visited a couple of years ago. I loved Wagamama!

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    I freaking love London! The Tower and Eye were definitely my fav. So much to do and see…..these pics make me want to go back!!

  • Sarah @ Making Thymr for a Health says:

    Great pictures! I visited the Tower of London about 5 years ago and the red poppies weren’t there at that time. They’re beautiful! I love that they’re commemorative too. And next time I go I will definitely be hitting up Burlington Arcade for some macaroons! Mmm…

  • Maria says:

    Loved all of your pictures! Looks like a great trip!

  • Heather Christo says:

    I just LOVE London! The tower of London was my children’s favorite (weird huh?!) but that poppy art installation was not there in July, and it is amazing!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says:

    I always love reading your recaps, Julie! I love the cascading flowers in that first picture. London is beautiful!

  • Catalina @ Shades of Pink says:

    Gorgeous pics, I want to visit this city so much, and I would probably do it next fall, as I love all the beautiful leaves.

  • jen @ one curly fry says:

    How timely! We’re actually planning on going to London in December and plan on booking it tonight or tomorrow!

    I was going to book a package on Expedia, but might look into the website you posted.

    Which area did you stay in?

    • Julie says:

      You definitely should use Airbnb!! So much more affordable :) we stayed in Southwark area. Just across the Thames River.

  • Gaby says:

    This looks like a wonderful trip!

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says:

    Gorgeous photos! Isn’t Air BnB the best?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, love Airbnb!!

  • Jess says:

    Your photos are gorgeous!!! Absolutely love the first few of the red poppies, it’s a stunning sight!

  • Tieghan says:

    Ok, I was jealous before but now I am just in awe!! I must get to London! Great photos!

  • Megan {Country Cleaver} says:

    I’m so pumped to read all about the trip!! I’ve got so much on my list now!

  • Katarina Alaupovic says:

    Looks awesome! Genius idea to provide your London itinerary for download. Hope I get to use it someday soon. :)

  • Linda | Brunch with joy says:

    17,000 steps – I can beat anyone’s records in my circle if I walk that far every day. Thanks for sharing the itinerary, definitely excited to plan for our next trip and Ladurée? No doubt, it’s a must visit place!

  • Kate says:

    Beautiful photos! I’ve yet to head down to the Tower to see the poppies but some of my friends were among the volunteers who helped plant them – a very moving experience all round I think.

  • Fe_the_Tee says:

    We just got back from London and I’m having step flashbacks– so many! Great pictures–brings back fun memories!

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