TRAVEL GUIDE: LONDON, ENGLAND #3


 




















From the Tate we had another 15 minute walk to the London Eye which is also located on the south side of the river. The London Eye, now the Coca Cola London Eye was originally opened in the year 2000 as part of the millennium celebrations. This area is always very full with tourists, so we ploughed on through and on to the bridge which leads to the Houses of Parliament. 










































Westminster Bridge is one of the best places to see the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben standing tall above you, and you also have a fantastic view down the river. The area around the Houses of Parliament also has a lot to offer including Westminster Abbey, New Scotland Year, The Supreme Court and HM treasury. Parliament Square is also a very symbolic place to visit, which features the famous statue of Sir Winston Churchill. You can spend a lot of time in this small area, however we still had a lot more to see, so we headed off down Whitehall towards Downing Street. 






10 Downing Street is where the Prime Minister, David Cameron, lives and works. You cannot actually see the front door of the house as you would do on TV, so don’t expect to get up close and personal when you visit. All you actually see are the gates and the police officers responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister. 





From Downing Street it’s only a minute walk to Horse Guards Parade. This is the start of the ‘royal estate’ and the first stop on the royal part of our tour. Horse Guards Parade is the location for the Queen’s birthday celebration and Trooping the Colour. At the front gates you are greeted by Troopers of the Household Division on horses. This is always a top attraction for tourists. But be careful, the horses may kick or bite! 











We walked on through the grounds of Horse Guards and through St. James’ Park towards Buckingham Palace. St. James’ Park is beautiful, so if you have the chance to stop there or just walk through alongside the lake, do it. 










After walking the 15 minutes through the park, we ended up at the front gates of Buckingham Palace. I don’t think I need to say too much about this historic landmark – it’s simply a must see location and a breath taking building. If you go at the right time, you can see the changing of the guard which takes place at 11.30 am.





From Buckingham Palace we walked through Green Park towards Piccadilly, a buzzing area of central London which is most famous for the neon signs of Piccadilly Circus . However, we started at the other end of Piccadilly at the famous Ritz Hotel. If you fancy afternoon tea, it’s the perfect place to stop, however you should be aware that traditional afternoon tea costs 50 GBP per person. 














From the Ritz we continued to the Burlington Arcade, one of London’s historic shopping arcades dating from the mid-19th century. We then headed 50m further to Fortnum & Mason. Fortnum & Mason was established in 1707 and is a showcase upmarket department store which sells fine goods, from groceries to clothes at premium prices. 








We then continued our journey towards Piccadilly Circus and came across a real gem! We were so excited to see Kahve Dünyasi, a Turkish coffee chain that we know from Istanbul and we had to stop there and drink a Salep (good one for cinnamon lovers) and a Turkish coffee.



















After enjoying our break, we made the final stretch to Piccadilly Circus and then walked on to Leicester Square. This area of London is where all the theatres are based, and there really are a lot! Leicester Square itself is a real entertainment area full of restaurants, attractions and theatres and this is where all the big cinema premieres are held. We also had another nice surprise here, as the Coca Cola Christmas truck paid a visit and it really looked magical. Leicester Square is also located next to China Town and Soho, which we didn’t visit this time around, but are planning to on our next visit. 






















From Leicester Square we headed down to Trafalgar Square which is the site of Nelson’s Columns. Around the square are a lot of Embassies and the National Gallery is located at the northern side of the square, this would be our next stop. Trafalgar Square also has a lot of street performers and some are more political than others. We saw 2 guys painting flags of the world on the ground with the tagline peace and love – we thought this was a really nice gesture.

The National Gallery is home to one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world and is free to enter. The building itself is stunning, as is the interior, however the artwork isn’t for everyone. Personally, I’d only recommend stopping here if you have the time, or have a real interest in portrait paintings or an exhibition being held.




 
With the National Gallery behind us, we had a 25 minute walk ahead of us to the British Museum. We walked back past Leicester Square and along Shaftsbury Avenue. By now it was around 4pm and we were getting hungry so we decided to take a lunch break. We went to Nandos, one of my favourite food chains which serves peri-peri chicken in various forms and flavours with a large choice of sides. After a satisfying lunch we made the final 2 minute walk to the museum.







The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture and from all the museums we visited, it was by far our favourite! From all the exhibitions and themes (and there are many), we found The Citi Money Gallery and the Clocks and Watches Exhibition most interesting. You can take a look at all the galleries here. We spent around 2 hours in the museum, but to be honest you could easily spend half or a whole day there. 

















So, our journey through London was complete, and all on foot. After 10 hours, 18 KM and 29,000 steps we were extremely tired and ready for a well-deserved rest. If you want to view the route we took, you will find a link to the map here.

We hope you enjoyed this post and maybe it will help you plan your next London city trip! 

Here you can read about part 1 and part 2 of our London adventure. 



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