When we booked our trip to Europe, we knew we’d never be able to see all of London in a day and a half. But we were able to check off a lot of the must-sees and get acquainted with this fun city. Here’s what we did.
Our overnight flight arrived to London Heathrow at 9am. By the time we got through customs and took the tube downtown, it was around 11am. We dropped our bags at our hotel and made the short walk to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard.
After that, we strolled down the mall and through St. James’s Park. I was surprised there was still so much fall color in late November. The weather was cool but comfortable—there was sun and not a drop of rain!
After our walk, we met up with friends who live in London for lunch. If we hadn’t done that, we probably would have juggled our schedule a bit to go to the Evensong service at Westminster Abbey (http://www.westminster-abbey.org/worship/daily-services).
After lunch we took the Underground over to see the iconic Tower Bridge, and crossed over to the other side of the Thames to check out the Borough Market, an outdoor food market—you can find some fun things to take home like tea and jam.
After checking into our hotel—the Grosvenor, conveniently located near Victoria Station—we headed back out for dinner. We wanted a traditional English pub where Scott could get fish and chips. Our local friends had recommended The Albert and it was just what we were looking for.
Despite the time change, we had no trouble falling asleep that night after only getting a couple hours sleep on the plane. It made the time adjustment pretty easy!
The next morning we woke up early to start our walk down Whitehall, where we saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, Cenotaph, and 10 Downing Street.
We also totally accidentally stumbled upon the Horse Guards Parade changing of the guard, which turned out to be very neat!
We ended our Whitehall walk at Trafalgar Square. We grabbed coffee and a muffin at Café Nero and then spent a couple hours at the National Gallery. Entry is free and it was one of my favorite museums we visited the entire trip.
After the museum we headed to Dishoom for some Indian food, which was one of my must-dos in London!
Next up was the British Museum, and along the way there we stumbled across Neal’s Yard, a colorful little shopping street.
At the British Museum, we hit the highlights in about 90 minutes following the Rick Steves audio tour.
From there, we headed over to Mayfair for shopping. The shopping crowds were incredible and I was surprised to see a lot of “Black Friday Weekend” sales signs—who knew the Brits also have Black Friday! I have a slight obsession with Burberry, which is odd because I’ve never owned one Burberry item. Their stuff is so classic and gorgeous, but I just can’t bring myself to fork over that kind of cash for a scarf or purse. So I stopped in their flagship store and just looked wistfully at everything.
At this point we were totally exhausted, so the timing was perfect for our scheduled afternoon tea at the Wolseley. Having a traditional English tea was one of the things I was SO excited about, and Scott was a trooper to join along. And I think he enjoyed the yummy food.
And that concluded our tour of London. The next morning we got up very early to catch an 8am train to Paris. We snapped a few photos of the pretty hotel lobby before we left.
Next stop: Paris!