Some Things I’d Like to See and Do in London

This post was edited on June 28th, 2016, after my last full day in London, to reflect what I did manage to get to!

London has never been on my radar. It’s crazy expensive and the weather sucks. It is really one of the last places on Earth that I ever thought I would ever visit, much less vacation in! But now that I’m committed to a short holiday there, I’m getting rather excited at the thought of visiting this ancient city!

I’m only going to have three full days there, plus my arrival and departure days, so I don’t want to over commit myself. Here are a few things that I’d like to do that aren’t a million miles apart and would be easy to get to from my Airbnb.

British Museum

This is the only thing in London that I knew I wanted to do before I started doing research. It is one of the biggest and most amazing museums on Earth and has some of the best exhibits on Ancient Egypt that you can see outside of Egypt itself. I plan to spend a full day there!

The London Eye

This is the famous “Ferris wheel” I did some research and it sounds like such a great way to see the layout of the city. I will only do this if I get a clear evening for it, though.

Palace of Westminster/Big Ben

This is the UK Parliament buildings. I just want to see the exterior. This is the landmark that will confirm to me that I really am in London.

The Tower of London (sort of, I saw the exterior)

Simply for the historical factor.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

For the amazing architecture.

Abney Park and Highgate cemeteries.

Because I like cemeteries and these are two of the most special in London.

The Babbage Engine

This was one of the first computers. It’s in the Computer History Museum, which also sounds interesting.

Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre

Because it’s a bloody Roman amphitheatre! Need I remain y’all that I’m a history buff?! 🙂

I also want to do:

A Murder Mile Walk.

Just because I’m fascinated by this sort of thing.

Have afternoon tea. Not sure where yet. This will be a huge splurge, but I’ll be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the start of my transcription business!

Of course, have a pint, or two, or three at a pub, again, to toast my business. 🙂

And just walk around and see what I find because that’s the best way to discover a city. I may add and delete things to my list once I arrive and see what I stumble upon.

Because my Airbnb isn’t right in central London (but also not a huge distance away), I plan to be out for very full days and will need to balance lots of walking around with things that will let me rest for a bit.

My rough itinerary:

Saturday, arrival day, will be consumed by the long trek from Gatwick to the Airbnb and trying to stay up until it’s a reasonable hour to go to bed. I will very likely recreate my first day in Glasgow, where once I’ve checked in, I’ll just walk around where I’m staying for a few hours. Saturday is going to be my initiation to public transportation.

Sunday, with so many things being closed or having shorter hours, should be good for visiting the Palace of Westminster, perhaps checking out Buckingham Palace, having afternoon tea, visiting cemeteries, and capping the day with the London Eye. I’ll look at my list above and plot things on a map to see what’s close to each other.

Monday is going to be my British Museum day and possibly cap the day with a Murder Mile walk. I’m a fan of the BBC show “Sherlock” and the restaurant Speedy’s that is featured on the show is right around the corner from the museum, so I might do that for lunch.

Tuesday will be my last chance to see whatever else I’ve missed. I’ll do like Sunday and see things that are close together.

Wednesday, departure day, won’t be a complete write-off since I fly out at 4:30. My airport transfer is picking me up at Baker Street Tube station, so I’m thinking of exploring The Regent’s Park, which is nearby.

My list is a good mix of both pricy and affordable things. Many museums are free and, of course, it doesn’t cost much to just walk around. I’m still figuring out the Oyster system as public transportation will be a big expense unto itself.

Food is very expensive in the UK and it’ll be interesting to see if what I did in Scotland 18 years ago will be applicable to London, ie. having one proper meal out a day (usually at a pub), but otherwise getting inexpensive takeaways (pizza slice, burger, fish and chips, pasties) and assembling my own picnics from items purchased at the grocery store (bread, apples, cheese). But knowing that I’ll soon be back in a little village having to make my own food with few, if any, restaurants nearby, I may be less worried about food my budget when I get to London than I think I will be… I know I would like to sample an English curry and possibly eat my weight in fish and chips! 🙂

My flight from Regina to Toronto is taking off at exactly this time in a week. I can’t wait to revisit this post in 12 days and see how I ended up filling my time in London!

19 thoughts on “Some Things I’d Like to See and Do in London

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll add this one to my maybes as it’s rather expensive compared to other things on my list but is definitely something that would interest me.

      And your comment only came twice. Boy can I sympathise with your internet crashing! 😀

  1. Once again, it sounds very ambitious especially maybe with jetlag. Hope you do well.
    I have a suggestion (& yes I didn’t buy a ticket 😉 ) but like you did on some of your walkabouts in Mexico, you supplies us with a map… I know many of us may never ever make it over the great pond & a map to see how close you are to this or that etc, would be great. I may not speak for the masses but it would be very interesting as well. Or maybe a link for the ones that want to check it out further. Whichever is easier for you.
    BUT!!! Have fun most of all. I’m getting excited too 😀

    • I know that it sounds like a lot, but many of these things are close together and don’t involve hours worth of visiting. It might be surprising how much I can see in the time allotted. The one constant tip I get for London is to cram in as much as you can in a short amount of time because it’s so expensive and then plan to rest in a cheaper location after. That’s what I’m doing! 😀

      I will make maps when I’m over there; thanks for the suggestion! Remind me if I forget, though! 🙂

  2. It all sounds lovely and doable. I personally enjoyed Hyde Park and most especially Speakers Corner.

  3. I am not as much of a history buff but Churchill’s war rooms was amazing! At St Paul’s, I bought a velvety scarf that has the design of the iron scrollwork on it; It wears well and is great to keep off a chill. The London Eye feels nothing like a ferris wheel–it moves continuously at a slow enough rate than even I was able to step on and off; decide before you get on which direction you most want to face because you may not get a chance to change positions once others decide what’s best.

    • Thanks for all that! The scarf is a great example of the kind of souvenir I believe in buying — practical and evoking a sense of where it was purchased.

  4. My friend A just came back from Ireland and Scotland and said the food prices were astronomical. 🙁 Just a FYI.

    • I’m aware of that. 🙁 It’ll be interesting to compare to here in my particularly expensive corner of Canada.

  5. Catching up on your blog so I can get the details of your trip. Interesting that just before I read this post and your comment about splurging on afternoon tea, another friend posted some high tea pictures on Facebook. She and her family are in Ireland.

    • Hey, welcome to the blog! 🙂

      High tea is wonderful. Well, I’ve only had the one time experience with it, but I’m sure it’ll be just as wonderful in London. 🙂

      • It took me a while to get here, but here I am, and I am so looking forward to reading the detailed descriptions of your trip, not to mention enjoying all the pictures I’m sure you will share. I admire you and your desire to “pack up and go” just about anywhere you care to!

        • We’ll see how much time I have for blogging in London! 🙂

          As for pick up and go, it’s a biological imperative. 😀

  6. We’ll take what we can! “Biological imperative,” I like that and it really is you. So, no Mexico for you this winter? Your friends there will miss you!

    • Well, the biological imperative thing is real; a few years back, scientists isolated the “nomad gene”!

      As for Mexico, everyone knew I wasn’t going back to Isla, so that’s no surprise. This winter will probably be a combination of Serbia (into the late fall), Turkey (into the new year), and then Portugal and Spain.

      • I can’t see you ever losing your wanderlust! All new territory for you (I think): Serbia, Turkey, Portugal, Spain. You’re going to have such a fantastic time. I don’t think I would care to travel to Turkey alone but I guess I wouldn’t care to travel anywhere alone!

        • Yes, it’ll all be new. The UK isn’t since I spent 28 days in Scotland and 45 minutes in England in ’98! Turkey is absolutely fine right now and the chance of getting caught in something bad statistically much lower than in the US. I am foregoing any North Africa plans, though. Not a place to travel as a solo woman.

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