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.
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!
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.
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.
For the amazing architecture.
Because I like cemeteries and these are two of the most special in London.
This was one of the first computers. It’s in the Computer History Museum, which also sounds interesting.
Because it’s a bloody Roman amphitheatre! Need I remain y’all that I’m a history buff?! 🙂
I also want to do:
Just because I’m fascinated by this sort of thing.
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!
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!