Scott and I had been excited to finally get down to London for the longest time. I said this earlier in the year, but I feel like whenever I look at travelling, I’m always looking at other countries and usually end up neglecting my own. The fact that I had never been to London for leisure was kind of embarrassing, so I was really excited not just to cross it off my list, but to explore the city without any work stress and with my favourite guy in the entire world.
Everywhere in England is pretty well connected by train lines, we got a train from Liverpool to London on Saturday morning – which, because we booked a few months in advance, only cost £30 for the return journey!
Trying to keep the accommodation on the cheaper side, we chose to stay in UCL accommodation near Euston Station.
Little did we know, this place was actually a diamond for everything we wanted while in the city.
It was on a quiet street with a gorgeous tennis court and housing terrace in front of us, and positioned equidistantly between Euston, Kings Cross, and Russel Square train/tube stations. The accommodation was super modern too, with a 24/7 concierge service and a really nice glass design throughout the buildings.
From where we stayed we could get to Covent Garden in 6 minutes, West Minister in 10 – so we felt like we had a quiet slice of London life with all the access and positioning of being in the middle of the city.
There’s something about big cities with underground tube lines that Scott and I just love. It’s so easy to get around, and we adapt to jumping on and off tubes and switching lines almost immediately. London reminded me a lot of Paris in this way, which I found incredibly fun to get around the city by riding the rails all day.
24 MARKET BUILDING, PIAZZA, LONDON WC2E 8RD
I was really excited to try Shake Shack. I knew that people raved about the burgers, especially in the U.S., but since going vegetarian at the beginning of the year I wanted to try their mushroom one – and since I’m on quite the milkshake kick lately, give those a taste too!
Even though the burger was pretty small, it was still delicious! The only part I wasn’t huge on were the chips, I thought they could possibly be improved (don’t kill me for this! Ha!) *NOTE: I’m now revisiting this a year later and I am OBSESSED with their chips. Like, I love them. Wow.*
Their concretes though? Wow! We ended up returning here for another concrete on the Sunday night because it was so good! I love that they do special concretes for each store, meaning you can get a slightly different variation depending on where you’re popping in!
The London Eye
Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
Other than just following our bellies to some delicious London food spots, we also had a great time exploring. We booked fast pass priority tickets onto the London Eye, which gave such incredible views over the Thames, Westminister and – when you got even higher – the entire city!
I’ve never been someone to have a real problem with heights, so I found it great fun! And even though Scott was a little bit nervous as we were boarding, he had a great time too. The entire journey lasts around 30 minutes, with the pod stopping at numerous places around the Eye to give you some time to take in the views.
And the views – they were definitely worth it. Being able to look out across the city was incredible, and so much fun! I definitely recommend doing this if you’re visiting London. I’d go for the fast pass tickets, too – since the normal queue looked around 2-3 hours longer (and we only waited around 20 minutes!)
London Travel Tip
If you’re visiting the London Eye and have already bought train tickets to either travel to or around London, make sure to check whether or not you’re eligible for 2-4-1 tickets! I had no idea that London even did this, so I didn’t end up getting any, but they offer 2-4-1 tickets on the majority of the attractions in London for anybody who has bought a train ticket either to travel to London or even travelling around London on their tube/overground lines!
Since the fast pass tickets were £32 each, this would have saved us both a bit of money to put towards dinner or something else which would’ve been great!
London W1J 9HP
As well as seeing London’s beautiful sights, Scott and I were excited to explore some of their shopping districts: starting with Piccadilly Circus. Known as London’s version of Time Square, I loved exploring it and noticed how much busier it was than other districts that we’d been through around London!
We walked from Piccadilly Circus, through Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and into Covent Garden – which was a great walk and gave us chance to take in all the huge storefronts, and bustling crowds among the shops!
Being among so many people is one of the things I love most about cities. I’m one of those people who can’t resist a good people watch, so it was fun to glance around and see others from all walks of life chatting and zipping excitedly around London!
Whilst zipping around London, you can’t help but make a visit to Buckingham Palace, and the neighbouring Green Park, can you? Scott and I ended up here quite accidentally, as we were actually on the hunt for Nosteagia (which you can read all about here!), and upon getting off at the Green Park tube station, I noticed how close Buckingham Palace was!
It was fantastic to see the Palace up close, and it’s so beautiful! It was almost surreal, but such a great thing to tick off our list of exploring the city for our first time!
With the weather being so nice while we visited, we were fortunate enough to be able to walk everywhere – so while we made our way through Green Park with the sun starting to set, it was lovely to arrive at Buckingham Palace during dusk and see the Palace in a soft light.
The Natural History Museum
I did an entire post on the Natural History Museum, which you can read here, but before visiting London it was pretty near the top of my bucket list! Scott and I love exploring museums, and the NHM is so famous for it’s collection that I couldn’t wait to spend a day taking in the incredible galleries that it had to offer.
I came away with an interesting view but definitely enjoying it. It’s somewhere that I think everybody could visit, and I’d love to say that I’m going to visit it again.
The only thing I wasn’t most comfortable with was the crowds – I found myself feeling quite claustrophobic in some of the exhibits – especially where boards had been set up to guide traffic through. That’s just a personal issue, however. And if you were to visit mid-week, I’m sure the crowds would be greatly reduced!
Overall, visiting London was a fantastic experience – and I already can’t wait to go again! It always surprises me how easy it is to travel from one end of England to the other, and with the low rate of £30 for the trip there and back, it makes the city a destination that I’m sure we’ll be visiting a lot more in the future!