Hi everyone, welcome back! I wanted to share my best friend’s experience when she went to London, England.
The streets of London have their map, but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner? She visited London, England in early March where the weather was about 45° -60° F. London is known for its gloomy weather and so she experienced days where it would be cloudy and drizzling while other days it would be little sun. She was always prepared with an umbrella and a water resistant jacket. When it came to her budget, she was able to get a roundtrip and Airbnb for 6 nights for under $800. Research was key for her and she definitely found deals that would save her money. She booked a bike ride tour through airbnb for $30 and there were places that she could enjoy without paying. The place she stayed was near Finchley Road Station in South Hampstead; it is a great neighborhood and the location could not be any more perfect. Since she was traveling alone, staying in a room at a family home was simple and provided essentials things for her trip. This helped with her budget as well because she stayed near the subway station so it was easy to navigate back and forth.
When it comes to transportation, use The Tube aka London Underground; it is their subway system. It’s the easiest form of public transportation and she purchased about a week long pass for roughly £45. The map can be confusing to read at first, but once you really look at it and determine where you are going, it’s as simple as reading the signs they have displayed on all platforms. There are attendants at entrances and stops incase you get lost. They were very helpful in pointing the direction to where she needed to go. They were also knowledgeable on what routes you can take incase any of the lines were closed for the day. She also used the Tube Map app and the Transport for London website, it was a lifesaver. If you need to go to central London from the airport, they have access to there. It may take a bit longer than other options but it is cheaper and convenient. When she flew in to London-Heathrow (LHR) she was able to take the Piccadilly line. If you look at the picture below, you can look at the stop you wanted to go and would follow the arrow.
She recommends to do a tour at the beginning of the trip because this can allow tourists to pick places they can visit and see up close. Asking your tour guide and locals would be the best references when it comes to finding places to sight see. Some places that she’s visited during her trip were Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Observation Deck at Sky Garden and Abbey Road. She also took an additional trip out to Liverpool for the Beatles! Going to Liverpool is a must on her list if you are a Beatles fan; you are able to see sites like Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, Cavern Club, Paul McCartney’s childhood home and more. For theater fans, she recommends stopping by Leicester Square. She went to see Dear Evan Hansen and purchased her tickets a couple days ahead through a website called officiallondontheatre.com/tkts. You can save lots of money for the best shows! She got good seats for about £120-£170. She definitely recommends Dear Evan Hansen, it was amazing!
When it came to food, she recommended to buy groceries if you didn’t want to spend too much on eating out. She didn’t go eat at touristy restaurants, but there were some honorable mentions that she ate at. She first went to Borough Market in South London. They had a restaurant called Brood Restaurant where she had their paella, it was delicious! She also walked around for awhile and sampled a lot of food. The other market she would like to mention was Camden Market; this was an outdoor market as well that had lots of options of all cultures. She stopped at a place called Laza Grill to eat there. The thing she loves most about these markets is that they had so many options for everyone that they were bound to find something they like. It was a fun place to walk around and explore so she highly recommended it to those that wanted to indulge spontaneously.
Her overall experience was that this trip, was a trip of a lifetime. Although COVID-19 made her cancel a few plans, London had a lot to offer. She wants to visit London again when the world is back to normal because it is truly a beautiful city. The advices that she left with my readers today are to plan but don’t over plan. Leave a little room for some time to explore and just let the day take you where it may. It’s good to have an idea of where you want to go and what to do, but a big part of traveling is to let yourself wander. Social media can only say so much until you experience it in real life for yourself. Lastly, if you love to travel, do it! It took a lot for her to agree on going to a completely new country all alone. It’s terrifying but it’s something that she will forever be happy about. It is one of the greatest, most amazing thing you can do in life and she was so grateful for the opportunity to do so. So don’t let life pass you by because other people didn’t want to join, live your life to the fullest!