Lively, Lovely London! My Top 6
I had business in Chantilly and decided to tack a week on to the front end before flying to France. At the time, I was in a very unhealthy and abusive relationship. My family had gone through a tragedy and I went back and forth as to whether I should be splurging on a week in London. My mom encouraged me to go, and although I hesitated, off I went… I am so grateful for that push.
It was April, and the weather was beyond perfect. I checked into my hotel in Mayfair, near Picadilly Circus and walked the city. Then I walked some more. It was, hands down, my favorite way to get around London.
There are MANY things I love about London and I could go on forever about what to do and see, but in the interest of saving your eyes, here are my top six favorites:
Top Things to do In London #1 – Speakers Corner, Hyde Park on a Sunday
I could not stop snapping photos. For almost 150 years, people – famous (Karl Marx, George Orwell) and not so famous (these guys) – have gathered on their soap boxes every Sunday to proclaim their points of view. After tea at Harrods, I walked through the park and realized this was going on. I stayed for hours.
Top Things to do In London #2 – Afternoon Tea at Harrod’s/Harrod’s
If you like to shop, Harrod’s is the place for you. And if you love tea like I do, all the better! Take a break from shopping, enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Georgian Restaurant and bring some tea home for yourself and your friends! Check out the Georgian Afternoon Tea menu here (scroll down once you get to the page). Afternoon tea in London at Harrod’s. Le sigh… take be back, please!
Top Things to do In London #3 – Theatre in London’s West End
I had tried to get tickets for another show, but it was sold out, so I decided to see Chicago in London. I had a great time! London’s West End is vibrant and constantly moving! And yes it is true. I used to be blonde. 😉
Top Things to do In London #4 – The London Bridge
I know some people might do a second take! I STRONGLY DISLIKE bridges. I have a mad phobia when it comes to them. Yet, on another beautiful, sunny day I found myself walking past the Tower of London toward the London Bridge. I decided, “What the heck. I’ll go up.” The views were spectacular, the tour itself was quite interesting and I enjoyed the history. If you have an hour or so, I’d highly recommend going up!
Top Things to do In London #5 – Easy Day Trips
I am not usually a guided tour person, but the ease of paying a tour operator while I’m traveling alone appeals to me. I decided to go to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor. I choose to use operators who will drive to the destination and let passengers off for an allotted period of time before heading to the next place. That way I get the ride from someone who knows where he/she is going, but I can take my time touring the parts of a place I want to see rather than having to stick with a guide. I met other travelers and had a great time. Windsor was my favorite. Bath was lovely and Stonehenge is a been there, done that kind of place for me.
Top Things to do In London #6 – The People
Everywhere I went I was greeted with smiles and laughter. I love Londoners and their jolly temperaments! I had heard Brits are generally uptight. Well that is rubbish. One day after walking for hours, I NEEDED something cold to drink. Of course, the first place I stumbled across was a Hard Rock Cafe’. Not my first choice, but I was desperate. I pulled up a seat and told the bartender to give me the best drink he made. Let’s say he set it on fire and it was hard to stomach, but I did it. When in Rome London! I looked at the clock and saw it was almost 1700/5:00pm. I exclaimed, “Bottoms up! It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere!” They didn’t understand the saying, so I sang the song to them and they thought it was awesome. I got some ice water after the Flaming Lamborghini. With a German, an Irishman and my bartenders I got on for an hour or so swapping travel stories. It was a grand time.
The next day, just outside of Covent Garden Market I came across a street performer with a cod piece. What a hilarious guy! After the act, I left some change and he approached me.We bantered for awhile and I was on my way. I could have talked to everyone in London for hours on end! The people made this trip for me.
When I look back after leaving that Hard Rock walking through Picadilly I see myself from behind, wind blowing in my hair just like it did that afternoon. I recall my thoughts, “Oh just mail me my things so I never have to go back,” and I remember it was in that moment the decision I made to live healthy again; to take my life back. I always had freedom, I’d just handed it over for awhile. When I got home, I took my freedom back. It was hard at first. Then it was awesome.
Travel changes us, it helps us to grow. London changed me for certain and I cannot wait to get back to the city I so adore.
What about you? Have you been to London? What was your favorite part? If you have travel plans for London, what will you see?
Accommodations in London: Athenaeum Hotel – highly recommend, great location