A day trip to ... London

We thought that as we have been to a fair few cities across the country and the globe over the years, it might be great to share with you some places and things we love to do while travelling around and you may even have been to them all, never been there or think, now why would I go there!  Now, not all of these will be quick one day stops, there may be 24 hour versions, a quick hop over the water versions and of course home grown, things to do with your day off in your nearest city versions.  But isn't that the beauty of adventures, they can be as long or short and as near or far as you like.

I thought I would start with my nearest big city, the place I lived in for 5 years and of course the place I tend to go back to on a day off or day out as there are so many things to do, you cannot really get bored.  You can have culture days, food days, sports days or park days in London and so I decided to start with a bit of my favourites, food, a few museums, a little shopping and something for the evening - a day well spent I would say.
So, to start the day right, it has to be a right good breakfast or if you are having a bit of a lie in its gotta be brunch these days and what better place than going to Duck and Waffle.  Not only do you get great food, but the views across London are worth the trip over aswell.  Its a great way to start your morning and of course gets you ready for the day ahead - cos your going to need some fuel to keep you going as I find one of the easiest ways to see most of central London is by foot.

Its so much easier to find things you love along the way especially on a nice sunny day and of course if your not a fan of the underground.  If you are more of a underground user, a Oyster card or your contactless card will get you far.  But if you are coming for the day, you can usually pick up a day travelcard to include your train and any tube/bus journeys for the day too so much cheaper and easier. There is also a top tip to get something extra with your train tickets down at the bottom of this post too.

As I like to walk around the city mostly, I am going to take you for a walk to Spitalfields market to check out the vintage/curiosities that can be found there.  I used to love taking the bus from where I lived in Shepherds Bush to visit East London on my chill days in London as there is so much here to fill your day. From the markets and independent shops through to the pop-up bars, restaurants and cafe's, you could easily spend your whole day here.  We are on the move though, to London bridge and so we can walk past 30 St Marys Axe (aka the gherkin) and over Tower bridge, which you could also go up to the top of the towers to go inside the bridge too.  If your lucky a boat may need to get through and you will see the bridge go up.  But some may say you would be unlucky as it does take a while.  A very cool thing to see though.

Once you are over the bridge you can see The Shard, again you can visit the top and see a lovely view of the city, but if you have done that earlier it may be on your 'things to do another time' list. Then I would recommend a visit to the Fashion and Textile Museum if you are interested in fashion in any way.  Its a great little museum and again there is a little tip at the bottom of this post for any museum visits.

By this time, you will probably need a snack break/lunch depending on your hunger pangs and so it has to be Borough market.  You can visit the array of stalls from savoury to the sweet or if you want to rest your weary legs you can always find an interesting restaurant to pit-stop in.

From here you can take a walk along the River Thames past Shakespeare's globe, Tate Modern and Royal Festival Hall.  Of course you can visit anyone of these places along the way, but it depends on interest and of course time.  I have put in quite a lot of things to see!  I like to pack full a day!

You will then be able to walk over Hungerford bridge and get a great view of where you have just walked and of course the river.  A short trip up the hill and you will be in Covent Garden where you can again pop into any of the shops or restaurants but I recommend visiting the London Transport Museum, as there are so many really interesting things about the tube especially here - geek! Or of course if you fancy a little stationery shopping like myself and Sammy there is Kikki K and Paperchase for all your paper addict needs.

By this time, I think you should probably need another fuel up, especially if you have done some of the culture fun along the way and so I would recommend rosa's if you are a Thai food fan - who isn't?!?  They have a few branches, but there is one in soho and so just a short walk away from Covent Garden.  The food is so lovely and the fresh spring rolls have made me take nearly all my friends on visits to London since I found about the place.

Now its probably dark, your tired and you may choose to just go home after dinner, but, if you are thinking - hmm, I just want to top off my day with a little entertainment, you do also have the options of getting some cheap theatre tickets from the TKTS stand in Leicester Square or taking in a film at the Princes Charles Cinema which has a fab selection of art house and new films, just around the corner from the big Odeon in Leicester square but a whole lot cheaper and more fun.

At this point I would be ready for bed, but of course you can always find a bar to curl up in, which may be your preferred option to entertainment.  If so one of my old haunts was Waxy O'Connors which is a great big pub and has a living tree in the middle of it - as you do!

Last thing before I go, I promised you some top tips:

  • If you get the train in, you may be able to get 2 for 1 entry into some of the places you want to see on your trip, you can check out the days out guide here. 
  • Also if you have a National Art Pass you can get discounts in most museums/galleries - this also works around the country too.  So if you are a frequent visitor, it may help.
  • Always check out the Voucher codes website to see if you can get any money off your shopping or food for your trip too.
  • As I said before, if you are just going to be in Central London and not a fan of the Tube, walking is so much easier, you can get the bus too (I recommend the top deck so you can see everything) but I know that some people find this a bit harder.  Also gets those 10,000 and some, steps in we are meant to be doing each day.

That should be it for now, I am sure I could do so many of these guides especially for London alone.  Maybe I could do a North, South, East and West version, what do you think?  or specifics for types of activity.  Let us know and we can see what we can do.

H, xxx

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