Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things to do in London

queen mary's gardens, regent's ark, londonQueen Mary's Gardens in Regent's Park

Although we stayed in Hampshire for Doug's work trip, we had one full day in London on our own. With only one day, we had to make some tough decisions about what to see. In the end, we chose a morning driving tour of London to see the highlights and orient ourselves to the layout of the city. The driving tour included stops at Regents Park and Camden Market.

After lunch, we used our feet to get around, walking from Harrods to Hyde Park where we walked along the serpentine, then passed by the Wellington Arch, continued down Constitution Hill and stopped at Buckingham Palace. From the Palace, we wandered through St. James Park, stopped to watch the dismounted parade of the Guard at Horse Guards, then walked down to Westminster Abbey.

From the Abbey, we went on to Westminster Hall and Big Ben before crossing Westminster Bridge and catching one of the ferries on the River Thames. The ferry dropped us off at London Bridge where we went through the Borough Market before walking across the Tower Bridge and walking around the outside of the Tower of London. Another ferry ride took us back to the West End where we enjoyed dinner and a pint at a pub near the bus pickup. I'll be posting more photos from our walk over the next few days.

Yikes, that was a lot to see and do, but it worked out okay, and would actually be a nice 1st day itinerary for a stay in London. What would I do on the 2nd and 3rd days?

1. Yeoman Warders tour of the Tower of London
2. Tour inside Westminster Abbey
3. Visit the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms
4. See a Shakespeare Play at the Globe Theatre
5. Ride the London Eye- I initially dismissed the ride, thinking it wouldn't be worth the time or money spent, but then I saw the photos from other people on the trip, and they were very impressive.
6. Spend more time at Camden Market
7. Walk around Little Venice and Regent's Canal and other interesting neighborhoods.
8. Visit the British Museum and the Museum of London

I enjoyed London a lot more than I thought I would, and part of me wishes we had stayed in the city when we extended our trip. I can't regret going to Ireland, though, so we will just have to go back to London another time, hopefully when the exchange rate is better.

Thank you to Marilyn for the link to National Geographic's Free London article.