Ok. So before I get to far into this post, I need to explain something to you. I am not a museum person. I like history, but I'm more of a walk around the ruins of the Roman Forum and learn about what happened in particular spots many, many moons ago. With that said, we loved our time in London, but it might have been my least favorite leg of the trip. And I think that's because we did lots of museum-y type things in the short time we were there.
I have to admit to you that the main reason we chose the UK for our trip was to go see the Harry Potter Set Tour.
It. Was. Awesome. Yes, I know that I just admitted that I don't like museums much, but Ryan and I were super impressed with how well it was done and getting to see all the fun little trinkets that we fell in love with watching the movies and reading the books. I didn't want to post too many photos of the HP Set Tour because it is such a cool experience, I don't want to ruin it for anyone. They did, however, have butter beer which Ryan was very excited about.
- Stay Close We were traveling with 6 people so we wanted to try to find a place that would accommodate for all of us and ended up in a flat on Airbnb that claimed is was only 15 minutes outside London. Which was true, but that meant that it was 15 minutes to the first London stop on the Tube, but it was about 45 minutes to city center where most of the stuff we wanted to see was. Which doesn't seem like that big of a deal until your face is all up in some guys armpit during the sardine like early morning commute.
- First Day do a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour Seems cheesy, but we really enjoyed getting to see a good deal of London and get our bearings on the city first thing. If possible, get one that has an actual person doing the tour because it's much easier to follow and understand. We used the Original company and liked it a lot.
- Harry Potter Set Tour If you are fan, it's worth the trip out to Watford. We would suggest getting the walking audio tour, it was worthwhile but does take a bit of time. You will want to allot about a half of a day to travel by train out there and do the tour, and you will need to reserve your tickets in advance because they do sell out apparently.
- Knotting Hill We really enjoyed walking around Knotting Hill, it was a cute little neighborhood and I wish that we had stayed there.
- The Eye Some will disagree, but we really liked the London Eye ride. It was beautiful to see the city, especially at dusk when everything is starting to light up. It is helpful to buy these tickets in advance also, and you can reserve a time.
- Churchill War Rooms Super interesting, they have it set up pretty much exactly like it was when they were in use
- West End Great area with great food, and some nice theater options if you want to see a show.
- Balthazar This is under the heading of food. Some of my favorite meals of our trip were actually in London, rejoice, the days of bad food in London are over! Balthazar is a french restaurant with amazing food and great atmosphere in Covent Garden. You will likely need reservations, and dress nice.
- Dishoom Food again. Indian this time. London is known for it's Indian food, and Dishoom did not disappoint. We got super lucky by getting in with out reservations, but by the time we left there was a long line out the door. Also in Covent Garden.
- Westminster Abbey Where Kate got married. Enough said.
- Weather in July So apparently Ryan and I bring the heat with us wherever we go. London, like Italy when we were there, was having an uncommonly warm season. But it really wasn't too bad during the day when we were out and about, the bummer is that no place has AC so it can get pretty toasty inside. We attended the show Wicked and it was just miserably hot. And sleeping was uncomfortable.
- Tower of London So I hesitate to put this in the nay list because it really wasn't bad. It is just really big and we were exhausted after. If I were to give a suggestion on how to do the Tower of London, I'd say go see the crown jewels first (they were REALLY neat) and then walk around the main ground floor and main museum, don't bother going to the upper parts unless you really just love history and forts.
That's all we've got for now. Next time: Paris!