Travel

A Day-Trip Guide to London

May 16, 2018

There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” – Vivienne Westwood

I’ve visited London on more than a few occasions while living in the UK, and it seems like each time I’ve been more mesmerized than the last – If that’s even possible, lol! There’s no place near home I can even compare it to, so every visit is a wondrous adventure. I feel like I can’t really put my finger on it, but there’s just something about London that seems so magical. Maybe it’s the gorgeous architecture, the historic and beautiful landmarks, the curvy roads and colorful doors, or the vibrant feel of a busy city.

Visiting London typically involves a lot of travel time spent on buses, trains, and walking, so trying to squeeze everything in can be difficult. If you’re short on time, here’s a guide to my favorite London spots to check out!

1. Borough Market

I came across the Borough Market the very first time I visited London, and I’ve never looked back. I listed this one first because it’s my absolute favorite place to go, and no trip to London would be complete without it! It’s nestled near the London Bridge and is constantly buzzing with tourists and locals alike who are looking for a quick & tasty meal. Even though it’s a popular lunch destination, it’s also home to a magnificent collection of market sellers – You can find meat, cheese, breads, hand-crafted coffee and pastries, fresh fruit & veggies, and pretty much anything you can think of.

My advice: If you’re traveling by tube, get off at Monument Station and take a walk across the London Bridge to get the scenic view over River Thames (if the weather permits it of course). And make sure to double check day & opening times before you go! I’ve made that mistake before and showed up when the market was closed (oops!).

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2. Notting Hill

Notting Hill is the posh London neighborhood of everyone’s dreams. It’s characterized by rows of colorful flats (multilevel apartments if you will) , esthetically pleasing buildings, and endless Instagramable spots. If you fancy a rose latte or avocado toast, visit Farm Girl Cafe and sit on the quaint outdoor patio. Then take a stroll down Portobello Road for more optical treats and to see the street markets!

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3. Tower Bridge

Frankly there are A LOT of sights to see in London so it’s hard to choose a favorite, but Tower Bridge definitely comes out on top. It’s hard to miss from a distance, and it’s just as beautiful and detailed up close. We went down to the water to get some pictures, and there was a whole line-up of restaurants & cafes – so grab a coffee and enjoy the view!

My advice: If you have a little extra time, right next to Tower Bridge is the famous Tower of London. I recommend taking the guided tour with one of the iconic Yeoman Warders! You’ll get the full experience of the grand fortress, and even get to see the Crown Jewels!

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4. Fortnum & Mason

I first discovered the wondrous entity that is Fortnum & Mason on a field trip to London while I was studying in the UK. If you’re visiting Piccadilly Circus, this extravagant department store is only a few minutes walk from the tube station and trust me – it’s worth the stop! Fortnum & Mason is known for their collection of magnificent teas, biscuits, jams, and SO much more. There are 5 levels and each one is even more enticing than the last! They even have a tea room where you can enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea (tea with an assortment of cakes and finger sandwiches), and afterwards enjoy a frozen champagne pop!

I always pick up a collectible tea tin and biscuits, but no matter what you buy you’ll be leaving feeling like true British royalty!

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5. Oxford Street

If you’re a shopper like me, you will LOVE this one. Oxford Street is home to one of the best shopping spots in the world. It’s mostly known for it’s decorative street displays especially around the holiday months. So, if you’re around during Christmas time Oxford Street is a MUST – you won’t want to miss the extravagant Christmas lights hung above the streets in decorating the buildings exteriors!

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I would be lying if I told this was all there is to see in London, but these are a few of my suggestions if you’re looking to get a little taste of everything! Shopping, sight-seeing, eating – what more could you want out of a trip to the city?

I hope this list was helpful for your trip planning, and I wish you all the best! Enjoy your time in this amazing city!

haileyxo

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