October 7-9, 2023

London you are MASSIVE!

I had no idea London was so freaking big!  It really is something to see, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, is a vibrant and diverse metropolis with a rich history, cultural heritage, and global influence. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year.

London is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world calling it home. This diversity is reflected in the city’s neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and atmosphere. From the trendy streets of Shoreditch to the historic charm of Notting Hill, there is always something new to discover in London.

We only had about 2 days to experience this city and its surroundings.  So we packed it in.  We landed at London Heathrow Airport and headed straight to a Food Tour.  We wanted to do things that would help us see as much as possible in our short time there.  We did the London Walking Food Tour,  our guide was great and took us around the Borough Market and surrounding area.  We tried world famous Fish & Chips, Indian Food, and some traditional London cuisine.  From there was headed over to the Tower Bridge to get some great photos and check out the waterfront.  

We were staying the Whitechapel district. Whitechapel is a historic neighborhood located in the East End of London. It has a rich and diverse history, known for its association with the infamous Jack the Ripper murders in the late 19th century. Today, Whitechapel is a vibrant and multicultural area with a mix of traditional and modern influences. Our hotel was the New Road Hotel, centrally located with modern décor and  friendly staff.  And of course since we were in the area we had to do and Jack the Ripper Tour to close out our night.  Before was called it a night we stopped into a famous local pub said to have been host to Jack the Ripper and his victims many times, The Ten Bells.  A cool spot that still goes off and has a fun vibe.  

The next day we hopped on a bus and headed to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Baths and Dinner in Lacock.  We could have done this on our own but it was a full 12 hour day tour with lunch and gave us the benefit of not having to hassle with a rental car and it was around $150 per person.

Windsor Castle is a historic royal residence located in the town of Windsor, Berkshire, England. It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been a royal residence for over 900 years. The castle is an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and serves as a venue for state visits and ceremonial events.  This castle and charming surrounding little town were beautiful.  I can’t believe royals still live there. 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. It is one of the most famous and mysterious archaeological sites in the world. Comprised of massive standing stones arranged in a circular pattern, Stonehenge has captivated the imagination of people for centuries. The exact purpose and meaning of Stonehenge remain a subject of debate among archaeologists and historians. It is believed to have been constructed between 3000 and 2000 BCE, making it over 4,000 years old. The monument underwent several phases of construction and modification over the centuries.  This place was so cool. Even with 100s of people around you still felt an incredible feeling of peace while in the area. 

Baths was probably the most beautiful area we stopped in.  A historic city located in Somerset, England. It is known for its Roman-built baths, stunning Georgian architecture, and natural hot springs. Bath has a rich history dating back to ancient times and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Bath’s charming streets are lined with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants offering a range of culinary delights. The city is known for its traditional afternoon tea, local produce, and the famous Sally Lunn bun, a sweet bread delicacy.

With our last day upon us we definitely got our steps in.  We walked our way over to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard.  This is quite the production, I suggest you get there early and stand right next to the fence. Thousands will show up the see this, it gets crazy crowded.  On the way there or after stroll through St. James Park it is lovely and they have little café carts through out to grab a bite or coffee.  

We had to fit in a Royal Afternoon Tea.  Which we did at The Rubens at the Palace.   This establishment is top notch and has a variety of sweets and treats for your afternoon tea delight.  Although the food was not a favorite to my pallet. It was a fun, elegant experience.  From there we set out to see as much as we could in our last few hours.  Such as a walk best Big Ben a ride on the London Eye and some time just taking in the live music and sunny weather on the river walk.  

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