The city which holds so much history.
That is the most amazing thing about London. There is so much history but yet it is so modern. You can see where history and modernity lies.
I completed my first solo trip. I was only there for 7 days, but I made everyday worth it, budget wise and sight seeing wise.
Let me tell you how…..
I bought all my tickets online for most attractions because you save you a pound or so.
Day 1: Hyde Park
I arrive in the morning, exhausted. I stayed in a hostel (*Publove at Paddington). I love hostels! Especially as a solo traveller. I took a 15 minute walk to Hyde Park. I couldnt grasp the size of the park the first time I went. Its gorgeous, and a lovely place to take a stroll after being trapped on a 14 hour flight.
*Publove at Paddington: The hostel itself is very cramped and small, but the price was cheap. There is a pub down stairs which was actually pretty popular among the locals. I really liked that part. If you are looking for a cheap place and decent accommodation, I’d go here!
Day 2: Double Decker Tour
Tower Bridge& Tower of London.
So I bought my ticket online for the Big Bus Tour. There are plenty of bus tours around London, but I liked this one. Plus they have specials often. I bought a day and got the second for free!
There is an audio guide and a commentator depending on the bus and it was very informative!
I took the bus to the Tower London which is a must! You could probably spend all day here. It is a must because it holds so much history of London with in it.
I walked over to Tower Bridge(Which is commonly mistaken for London Bridge) and bought a ticket (save money and buy online!) to get a little view of the city and walk on the glass floor. It was pretty cool! It s a small fun little place to visit!
I opted out on going to St. Pauls Cathedral because its quite pricey. Instead I headed to Southwark Cathedral. Gorgeous inside and FREE! There is a cool little exhibit at the end of the entrance hallway, check it out. Most people miss it. It shows some old road and walls of buildings builders discovered while digging up recently.
Day 3:Double Decker Tour
The City of Westminster
There’s a lot in Westminster. Most of the really big tourist places are in Westminster and relatively close to each other.
I got off the bus at Trafalgar square and looked around. The National Gallery is here, but I had no interest in going there. I walked to Buckingham Palace about 20 minutes from there.I walked through St. James park, it was gorgeous. Highly advised!
I arrived during the *changing of the guards ceremony and it is NOT WORTH IT. It gets so crowded and all you see is people walking basically. Watch it on Youtube if you really want to see it that much.
I pushed my way through the crowds and walked to Westminster Abbey. Maybe a 10 minutes walk from the palace.
Westminster Abbey is a definite must. It is full of gorgeous architecture and history. Graves of famous Kings, Queens, and authors. Also the coronation chair that is about 1000 years old has its home here. (Again Online ticket). You still have to wait in line but it is pretty fast.
*Changing of the Guards is at 11am everyday. Sunday at 10am.
Big Ben is right next to the Abbey, so I walked over the bridge and took some pictures.
With the Big bus tour, you also get a boat ride on the River Thames. So I jumped on before I headed home.Froze my butt off too….
Day 4: Kennsington and Buckingham
Kensington Palace was probably one of my favorite places. It’s situated right in Hyde Park and there is a lot to see there. It will probably take you 2 hours or so to go through the museum/palace.
I headed over to Buckingham again because I didn’t get a good view during the changing of the guards. This time the amount of people was significantly less.
I walked to *Piccadilly circus and Oxford street. The Christmas lights were up, so it was a nice walk! Really crowded at night though..
*Piccadilly/Oxford/Regent is just a big shopping area. Chinatown is also in Piccadilly. I was on a budget so I didn’t shop.
Day 5: New Years Eve
Basically this day I walked all around London. I headed to the British Museum, which is overwhelming. There is so much there, but its FREE so check it out. I took a stroll around Regent park. Then that night we went to a pub by the name of O’Connors in Piccadilly. I had a great time there!
I didn’t see the fireworks because you needed tickets, so I just had fun in the pub!
Day 6: NYE Parade
I really didn’t see much of the parade. I was in a pretty rough state due to my festivities the prior night, so I spent my day walking around Westminster with some people I met in my hostel.
I wish I would have ridden the London Eye, but you have to do it on a clear day! Those don’t come too often in London. It is a bit expensive too.
Day 7: Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Day Trip
I took an Evans Tour day trip to Windsor castle (The queens favorite place), Stonehenge, and Oxford. Honestly, Oxford was the only one really worth it.
Windsor castle is BEAUTIFUL, but the day trip does not allow you to spend much time there, so I would suggest going on your own one day.
Stonehenge is cool. Its nice to say you’ve seen it, but it’s just stones. I’d rather listen to a lecture on its history.
Oxford is beautiful. I had heard that Oxford is one of the favorited places in England and those rumors are correct. Oxford has the character and history of England. It is quintessentially British. I could seriously see myself living there. The university and town are just really beautiful.
That night I ate dinner in Chinatown back in London. Dinner all by myself was slightly awkward but I was glad I finally did it! :]
Chinatown is really cool. It made me miss Asia.
Sorry we got there late and it was dark so pictures aren’t great.
That concludes my trip.
One thing I regret not doing, which is something I did on my last two day there, was get an Oyster card. I like to walk when I travel, but having the Oyster card to take the tubes was just so much easier at times.
I had so much fun. I do think in the future I bring a travel buddy with me. I love being around my friends and having someone I can just be like, “Hey lets go to the pub tonight.”
I’m really glad I tried a solo trip though. You meet so many people when you are traveling alone and people are really friendly to you. I kind of helps you get your mind of things too. You are just focusing on the now when you are by yourself.
I enjoyed myself in all. London was pretty cool. But I think everyone already assumes that!