Hi friends! I am sadly off of my vacation, BUT now I get to talk about my trip! So that is pretty fun on it’s own right. I am going to break this up into three different posts so that this is not overwhelming. The adventure we are about to have is about my London trip, so without further ado, let’s go!
We spent five days in London, which for me, was just enough time (don’t get me wrong, I want to live there. Do you live there? Do you need a roommate? I am a great cook, and an even better mixologist!).
*Warning: If you are looking for bars to go to, or where to find the best looking boys (they are literally everywhere, holy cow!) then this probably is not for you. Don’t get me wrong, I indulged in some adult beverages, but just to taste the different kinds they had to offer. Family trips are the best aren’t they? Haha.*
My younger cousins had never been overseas, so this is definitely a “How much can we fit into these five days? Everything? Awesome.” Let’s go ahead and talk about some general things!
Where on Earth did we stay?
Y’all this was cutest little place. We decided to Branch out this time, and stay at something more along the lines of a “boutique” hotel. I have been trying to get my family to do the AirB&B thing, but they just are not having it yet. We spent our nights at the Nadler Kensington Hotel which is in the Kensington area of Westminster (London). The outside reminds me of something that you would see in a typical photo of London. The interior gave me the modern decor vibe that I am so partial to, but the history of the building gives that old world charm that I also love. Difficult to please over here. I sadly did not get a photo of our room, traveling with teenagers is just ridiculous. Let’s talk about the highlights of the hotel room while we are here.
- Huge Windows which open up to streets
- Soft linens with faux fur footers to add texture
- Small kitchenettes in each room
- The world’s most amazing/deepest/perfect tub
- Heated towel racks
The staff was also really fantastic. Having never been in that area, we had no idea where we were going once we got off at our station. The manager of the hotel stayed on the phone with us the entire time until we found where we were going. I wish I could remember his name, but we all know I am pretty terrible at remembering anything.
How did we get around?
Don’t get me wrong, I was sort of nervous about this part of the trip. I am excellent at directions, and I am usually pretty good at figuring out the transportation systems that a city can offer. I usually have people asking me how to get places, which is always a great feeling. After about one day, I had figured out the Underground, and that was our primary source of transportation. We chose to get an Oyster Card (click here to find out more). I highly suggest this if you are going to be traveling via trains, then this is the way to go. It is a card that you just scan every time you enter or exit the trains, and has a preset amount of money on the card. Once you run out, you can easily reload the card. How easy is that? Better yet, you can do it at any tube station in the city.
Highlights of Day 1
This was our arrival day, so we were all pretty beat. We quickly ran over to the British Museum to see their exhibit on Ancient Egypt. If there is a mummy somewhere, best believe that I am going to see it. They had a pretty vast exhibit with a ton of different things ranging from pottery to jewelry to mummies. We sadly got there very late, and did not have enough time to see much of the museum. We did sneak our way over to see the Rosetta Stone, but they were closing the doors shortly after that.
Being the insane person I am, I realized we were decently close to Oxford Street. We all know what my end game was here….Lush. I have already posted my Lush Haul, so be sure to check that out. After we left there, I literally went to bed….at 7pm….wow. Hey grandma.
Highlights of Day 2
Alright, gonna shout out to my boy Michael right now. We booked a black cab tour of the town since there is a crazy amount of walking in London. Our driver, Michael Churchill, runs his own company called London Black Taxi Tours. In addition to having by a London taxi driver for 30 years, (yes, that means he did the knowledge and is still going!) he has also had special training in the history of London, which makes his tours more special than others. He will take you to whatever you have an interest in seeing, just tell him where you want to go, and you are off. This was a great benefit to me personally. As the prime navigator of all family vacations, it helped me a better sense of where things are located in comparison to everything else.
Second best thing of this day? THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER. I am about to get mushy and sentimental about this real quick…..okay. Like most people my age, I grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. I have witnessed their journey, as well as going through my own personal growth journey. I have been grounded for staying up past my bed time repeatedly reading the books, I have worn my robes to the premieres of the movies, I cried when I walked into the Universal park, and when we lost Alan Rickman, I felt like I had lost a family member. Walking into the studio seemed like nothing at first, but then you see all of the cast member’s photos staring at you waiting to walk into their world. I am not going to talk about it, as I don’t want to ruin other people’s magic who haven’t been there. I think if you are a Harry Potter fan that this is something you need to try and do if you are able. After a full day of exploring parts of London and Hogwarts, it was time to grab some fish and chips, and go to bed for our early wake up call the next day.
Hello again! I am skipping day 3 since it is part of another post! Once that post is live, you will be able to go over and check out Scotland and Iceland! Thanks!
Highlights of Day 4
Our last day may have been way too packed for us to manage, but we somehow got it all done. We started our day off at the Royal Mews. My cousin rides horses, so this was something that she had on her list of things to do. If you don’t know horses freak me out. Beautiful creatures, but they are too big for me to be near, haha. I did enjoy seeing the carriages of the queen, and being on that property was pretty special in it’s own right. While we were near the side of town, we went to Grenadier Pub and had lunch with the ghosts. This was recommended by our taxi driver Michael, and it was delicious. Plus, it is the oldest and most haunted pub in the city, so you know I am there.
We then hopped across town and did the London Eye, which had some pretty spectacular views of the Thames and the city. After we had our trip around the wheel, we walked back across the bridge to visit Westminster Abbey, which was something that was on my list of things I wanted to do. Although I am not religious, I definitely appreciate history, and this is one of those places that is just overwhelming, and quite humbling once you walk into it. We were on somewhat of a time schedule, so I was not able to spend as much time there as I would have liked to, but I guess that means that I need to go back right? Deal! We quickly ran into the Tower of London to see the crown jewels, and to see the rest of the exhibits that we had the time for before our reservations began. We hopped over to Bill’s beside the Lyceum Theater near Covent Gardens to grab some food before we went to the Lion King. Let me just go ahead and say that if you love musicals, then you NEED to go see this musical. I was crying in the first two minutes during “The Circle of Life” when actors were literally filling the theater. Honestly, Disney always makes me cry, haha. Even the stuffy old British men around the theater were laughing, jumping up to clap, and tapping their feet along with the songs.
We made it guys! If you are still here, wow! You are a trooper! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my London trip. It means a lot to me. If you live there, adopt me! If you are going, then I want to know about it! If you have been, then what places are absolute necessities next time I take a trip? We all know it will be soon at this point. Gotta find me some British husband. That accent is to die for, haha. I sincerely hope that you will stick around while I continue my series. Keep your eyes out for Scotland, Iceland, and France! Plus, maybe some trips for your next trip to Europe while they are fresh on my mind! Until next time!