All you have to do is look through my living room window or stand in the doorway to know that I have a thing for London. The UK in general, actually. London is my favorite major city in the world. I love the people, the vast range of culture, the incredibly rich history, and generally everything about it. I am an anglophile through and through.
Kev and I are talking about a trip over to Ireland next year, and I think a stop for a few days in London may be in order since I haven't been in far too long. If that happens, another mini-guide to London may be in order!
But for now, here are a few of the things I love about the area. Some very cliche, and others are just little things that play to my personality.
Is there anything more iconic to London that that clock up there? Residing at the top of the Elizabeth Tower, I would get a little pep in my step whenever I saw it. It's not so much an attraction as it is just a wonderful, timeless landmark and symbol.
The Tower of London
A lot of people I talk to tell me that they didn't really like their experience at The Tower, and I guess I can understand that. Just kidding, I kinda can't. I already alluded to how big of a history buff I am, and the Tower of London is just so rich and full of history that it's basically impossible for me not to love it.
When I was in middle school I took a web design class where I made a website all about this place. That's how obsessed I am with it. Also - Yeoman Warders. They're the best.
Tip: If you have the London pass or an ISIC (International Student Identification Card) card, you can basically get in for free and skip any lines.
Again, this is the history nerd in me. I'm also related to Rudyard Kipling, whose name is in Poet's Corner, so that's cool.
It's just so fascinating to think that basically every English monarch has been crowned here, and that Westminster has served as this cornerstone in the city for nearly a thousand years. It's amazing to walk through and see the names and final resting places of some of the biggest names in history. Gah. I'm such a nerd.
Tip: Since it's still a functioning abbey, it's closed to tourists on Sundays. So make sure you don't plan to visit on a Sunday and you're good!
This is something that a lot of people don't think of when they visit London, but it is honestly one of the funnest things to do. I mean, this is the way that people saw London for hundreds of years - by boat.
Depending on the tour you take, the guides are really historical and full of interesting bits of knowledge they've picked up over the years. Taking a dinner cruise is a totally different and more romantic experience, and you should totally do that if you can.
Tip: A river tour is included in the London Pass! I hear it's one of the things people don't realize until too late, and it's one of the perks that make the pass totally worth it.
Hyde Park is just the beginning, friends. I love St. James's, and there are so many all over the place. I remember seeing a sign when I was in Hounslow reminding people that there was in fact a lot of greenery nearby, they just had to round the corner. And that's probably one of my favorite things about London. Somehow it manages to fit all this greenery and nature into a busy, thriving city. You can go from the stiff corporate world to a relaxing retreat in moments and feel like you're someplace completely different.
That was essentially the most cliche little guide of London ever. But I don't really mind, because when I look back these are the things I think of and remember the most. In the end, there is a reason that the popular things are popular, and if it's your first time then you're missing out on so much of the culture and history of London.
Kevin is highly engrossed in watching something in the other room and I'm not sure he remembered that we have to wake up extra early tomorrow, so I'd better go and nudge him.
Will most likely be found traveling, reading, writing, or somehow doing all three. Passionate about books, culture and art.