My family have been travelling the UK for the past couple of weeks and last weekend it was finally time they came and saw me. Excited was such an understatement. I was only able to see them for the weekend but what a wonderful weekend it was.
Accommodation was booked for the Friday night at the Presidential Apartments in Earl’s Court. It was okay and for somewhere that I would just be sleeping it would do.
As I was coming in from Ipswich on the Friday afternoon, the night was relatively chilled. Just a bit of a catch-up and some dinner. For dinner we went to the Prince of Teck just down the road from where we were staying. It was a cute little pub, the food was okay for somewhere local.
On the Saturday we went to the Imperial War Museum. It’s quite an interesting place and you could spend hours reading everything. It’s free so definitely recommend if you’re looking for something a bit different to do. Next we went to The Shard and up to the viewing platform. It was quite pricey for just me and my brother, £55! I didn’t realise the cost so instead if you’d rather save some pennies head to the Sky Garden in the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building. It’s free and all you have to do is reserve a time online. I really do wish I had of gone with this option.
I find London quite old and interesting but also quite industrial. There are just buildings everywhere and not enough greenery.
For lunch we went to Byron which is a burger chain in the UK and then on to Covent Garden. As I had previously worked in Holborn, visits to Covent Garden were almost a daily routine. Don’t be too disappointed when you go there wanting to find a luscious garden because I’m sorry to say there isn’t one (I made this mistake). It is shops, markets, cafes and pubs. It is extremely busy and can be difficult to navigate through the crowds in the hotter months. In saying that, I still enjoy it everytime I go.
Dinner we made our way to The Kings Head near Earl’s Court tube station. This was a quieter pub than others but my goodness the food was delicious. I would highly recommend the shepherds pie. It was so filling but oh so good and I have to say rivalled mums.
London at night is quite beautiful and I would highly recommend getting on the London Eye and seeing all the beautiful lights. Book in advance if you can for your tickets and timeslot so you don’t turn up and get turned away if there are no tickets left. This happened to us but luckily there was an event along Southbank. It’s a busy area of London with many bars or family friendly spots to go to, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
My boyfriend and I stayed at Courtfield Studios this night. It was just around the corner from Kensington Apartments and I must say much better. It was a lot smaller but much cheaper and the beds were moderately comfy.
Sunday was an early start, well by early I mean out of the hotel by 9am. Head to Greggs for a bacon roll and on the tube to Tower Hill to go up the Tower Bridge and see London. In my mind I had that it would be like climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge but instead you just go up a few stairs to the top and look out. It’s pretty cool but it isn’t something that I would be doing again in a hurry. If you are looking for a climb similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge I would recommend looking into climbing the O2 Arena.
After this we took a short 30 minute river cruise back to Westminster Pier. It’s cheap and you get to see the city from a different perspective. We had the option of a one-way or round trip. I would highly highly recommend doing something like this in London. I was able to see many buildings I would never have been able to and seeing them from different angles was incredible. I got to realise just how old this city really was.
For lunch we headed to the English Rose which is an adorable tea room near Buckingham Palace. It can be quite busy so we were lucky to get a table for 5. The club sandwich was nice but next time I would skip the main meals and go straight for a coffee and cake. The carrot cake was to die for and would definitely recommend!
Seeing as Buckingham Palace was only a short walk away it would’ve been rude not to go and see if Queen Lizzie was in. Turned out she was (if the flag is full mast the Queen is in the house…). I half wanted her to stick her head through the curtains and give us a little wave but alas no such luck. Needing a quick rest before we kept on going Green Park (opposite the palace) is a great place to stop and relax. There are many people in the park and if you’re lucky there might be a spare chair for you to lay on.
That was a pretty full on couple of days. Although it doesn’t sound like much on paper, London is a big place and it can take 30-40 mins just on the tube to get from one side to the other. My tip would be to plan in advance what you would like to do and don’t get stuck like us especially at night without a clue on what to do.
As my family were leaving on Tuesday I was able to take the day off work and head back into London to say my good-byes. We went to the Natural History Museum which is great if you’ve got loads of time on your hands because this place is not small. It’s free entry and the only thing you have to pay for are any special exhibits they have on at the time that you’d like to go and see. The only downside to this was the crowds. Oh my goodness there were people everywhere it felt like I was watching where I was walking rather than paying attention to what was around me most of the time. Unfortunately because of this we were in and out in just over an hour. I bring it down to the fact it was peak tourist season in London and it is free!
The Natural History Museum is located just a couple of minutes from South Kensington tube station. There is so much around here to eat that it’s hard to decide. He ended up at Honest Burgers and I have to be honest….I didn’t think much of it. I have had better. The fries were nice, I think they may have had rosemary on them, but the burgers were pretty average.
After saying my good-byes (it wasn’t as teary as I thought), I headed back to little old Ipswich. All in all it was a wonderful weekend in London with my lovely family.