This is one post I’ve been sitting on for two years – I went to London in Spring 2016 and stayed with a very good friend of mine who planned a really lovely week for me. When she is in New York, we like to go to museums, Broadway plays, and get tea, so we did very similar things in London. Her itinerary included museums, cultural sites, parks, and Harry Potter! She also took advantage of her Londoner insider’s knowledge to score some great tickets, and helped me save money by utilizing public transportation as much as possible. Although it’s been some time, I wanted to share some photos for the trip and the lovely itinerary.
Day One – Introduction
I arrived Saturday morning after a red-eye, direct flight. After a little confusion I booked a train ticket to meet my friend at Victoria Station. After a little rest, we headed out to walk around the neighborhood to check out Borough Market, and to walk along the River Thames, stopping by a festival that was going on. We also popped by Sainsbury’s to pick up some groceries for the week ahead.
Day Two – Pretend Locals
We attended a meet up on The Ship, a restaurant with river views. We then headed back into London to check out the Somerset House, and went to St. Martin in the Field and got tea at Cafe in the Crypt. This was definitely one of the most memorable meals of the week. We each got our own (very affordable) tea service. We ended our day with a walk up and down the Strand.
Day Three – The Famous Sights
In a great twist of fate, a friend of mine from college also happened to be in London, and we were able to meet up with her for a walk through some of the most royal parks in town. We met up at Trafalgar Square to people watch, then walked through St. James, Hyde Park, Kensington, and peered at Buckingham palace through the gates.
Day Four – Bucket List Achievement
My friend reserved tickets in advance for us to take a tour to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. Stonehenge had been on my bucket list for a while and it was really great to see it in person, although it was smaller than the photos made it appear. Bath was a really cool city stuck in time, and the tour also included admission to the Roman Baths, and our tour guide took us on a walking tour of the city. We stopped at Sally Lunn’s for a famous bun.
Day Five – Culture, New and Old
I popped over to the V&A museum in the morning to see some of the galleries, and in the afternoon we went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour, where we shared a butterbeer and got lost in the wizarding world! The tour tickets included a coach bus ride to and from the studios.
Day Six – Gardens and Boots
As you may know I’m a big fan of parks. My friend, being well aware, planned a day for us to trek to Kew Gardens. It’s such a large property, it’s definitely worth spending the day there. My friend had entered the lottery to see Kinky Boots on the West End and we LITERALLY had front row seats for a really great price.
Day Seven – OG London
Since it was a beautiful sunny day, I headed to Hampton Court. My friend had already been so I went alone and explored the grounds at my own pace. The audio tour was worthwhile and I felt like a princess roaming the gardens. My friend and I met up to see a Shakespeare play in Kingston at the Rose Theater.
Day Eight – Last Day
We went to a farmer’s market in the morning, and then met up with my friends’ friend at the Tate Britain Museum.
I am eternally grateful to my friend for planning such a full week of adventure and exploration, custom tailored for me. I hope to get back there soon to see her and also to explore more of that historic city.