London is a piece of what heaven seems like. It's got everything for everyone - from arts & culture to food & shopping, world history to amazing scenery... There is no reason not to pay the glorious city a visit (except for the strong sterling pound)!
Sharing with you guys some of the must-visit places and some tips while travelling in London. Of course, since my country offers no opportunities for me to showcase winter OOTD, I'm gonna do so here as well! And you can reference the best locations we used for my OOTD photos.
MY TRAVEL NOTES
I am not the type who follows any sort of routine or itineraries, so I did not plan a proper tour itinerary for this London trip. Below are some not-really-organised travel notes which I actually referred to while in London for 8 days. If you find it useful for you, click to enlarge & save images. Alternatively, if you prefer a printable copy, you can download HERE.
Out of the 8 days in London, we used 2 days for road trips to Bath, Stonehenge, Winsor Castle, Stratford Upon Avon, Cotswold, Warwick Castle. I used Evans Evans Tours. You can find out more about the tours HERE. I highly recommend them if you are not driving or you prefer to have experienced guides to bring you around; or if you're like us, who simply prefer fuss-free organised tours to bring us around so we can rest and relax our minds/doze off on coaches! These London tour companies are really organised and their tour guides are super punctual & efficient with very clear & precise verbal instructions. Listening to Londoners speak Queen's English is a bliss! (Trust me, when you return to Singapore, you will feel slightly embarassed at our Singlish. No offence, haha!)
|Outside Windsor Castle|
|Stonehenge: Travel 2 hours from London to view stones, why not?|
|Roman Bath House, Bath.|
|Shakespeare Birth Place, Stratford Upon Avon. For the literature buffs, as well as for Mr & Mrs LKY supporters.|
As for bus tours, the two major operators are The Big Bus Tour and The Original Bus Tour. We opted for the latter. There are positives and negatives of our experience, so I can't exactly recommend them to you. You might be better off taking the tube (London Underground) or travel by foot. Choose a centralised location for your stay in London, it helps! We had our first AirBnB experience and stayed 7 minutes walk away from Oxford Circus tube station. THAT really saved us quite a bit on transport, bearing in mind for a week, we each spent SGD80 on tube alone (and we stayed in the heart of central London)!
|Being on the top deck of a tour bus in deep winter is quite the exhilarating experience! You get an overview of the city in a couple of hours, but that's probably the only perks of signing up a bus tour.|
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITES
"One man's trash is another man's treasure." Taking MY preferences into account - I am a serious beauty shopper, coffee addict and a wee bit of an arts & literature buff... do use my travel recommendations with a pinch of salt.
MUST-VISIT PLACES IN/NEAR LONDON:
1. Notting Hill
2. Camden Lock Market
|I promise this is just 1% of what Camden Lock offers! You may spend half a day there!|
3. Kensington Gardens
4. Buckingham Palace (Change of guards)
|Downside of visiting Buckingham in winter months - dreadful rain!|
|Go in the summer months if you have a fetish for their usual red uniforms|
5. Covent Garden
|I went to Covent Garden for this...|
|..Ended up adoring the entire Covent Garden shopping area.|
6. Bath (out of London)
RECOMMENDED NOT-TO-BE-MISSED TOURS:
1. British Museum - free!
2. Tower Bridge Tour
|Scare yourself by looking down and imagining the glass breaking!|
3. Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tour (for performing arts lovers. Go in summer to watch a play!)
4. Windsor Castle (out of London)
|Windsor Castle, the area where Queen Elizabeth usually works at|
MY FAVOURITE CHEAP EATS:
Well, they are not exactly cheap per se...seriously, you're in the UK, nothing is ever CHEAP okay? These foods I love are simply not within the fine-dining tier, so they are considerably affordable.
1. Burger & Lobster
2. Gold Mine Duck
3. The Riding House Cafe
London Outfit Diaries
+ Where you can take OOTDs Without Photo Bombs
|Location: British Museum Back Entrance|
|Location: (Back facing) Trafalgar Square|
|Location: Tower of London, along Thames River Bank|
|Location: Tower Bridge, along Thames River Bank|
|Location: Along Oxford Street|
|Location: University of Oxford, Science College area|
|Location: Notting Hill, backyard of residential areas|
Travel Tips (not included in my travel notes):
1. Best time to visit London is July-September (summer) or Christmas season if you want to experience the festive cheer. I went after Christmas for their post-season sale, only to realise I don't fancy their winter wear. Boots selection were alright though not the cheapest in the world. And January in London is the coldest, with lots of rainfall and an occasional bout of snow, which is rare but I experienced it.
2. Buy an Oyster card and top up accordingly, NOT the visitor oyster card.
3. London B&B apartments are the cheaper accommodation options, BUT please select carefully. Some apartments have unwelcomed visitors, i.e mice. Remember to close the windows when you're out!
4. Londoners are generally friendly & approachable although some may look stern and their walking pace is fast, just like the Hongkies. Be polite and respectful and they will treat you the same, regardless of your ethic race or weird non-standard English (LOL).
5. You should really check out at least one museum or art gallery such as Tate Modern or Natural History Museum, whether or not you love history or the arts. Why? It's FREE and there are MANY interesting and educational exhibits to enjoy.
6. Money saving tip: Reduce eating out by buying yummy ready meals from M & S. A meal typically costs SGD8 or less. You do need a microwave oven to heat up though.
7. Bring loads of British pounds!!! You have been warned!!!
Hope this London travel/fashion post has been useful! If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in my New York Travelogue too!
Have you been to the UK? Anything you'd like to add to the list of things to do, comment below! :)