Hey guys! So today I’m continuing with adding more to the travel section of my blog. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit family in London. Even though this very popular destination and one of the most recognizable cities in the world, most people I have spoken to know very little about what London has to offer besides Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and that is such a pity. If you’re looking for culture, shopping and good food I would definitely recommend London. Most people opt for an island getaway in search of adventure and surprises but I can confidently say I experienced both on this trip. I feel that one trip isn’t enough to experience the amazing things it has to offer. Not only is it a photographers heaven its also great for experiencing a more modern way of life, something I’m not used to being South African and all. In South Africa I would regularly hear of people’s experiences in London how everything is so efficient. It was really great to finally see for myself how things are done in London. In hindsight I really wish I had a camera of my own at the time to show you London through my eyes because I know I would’ve really enjoyed getting some amazing shots for the blog.
What We Did
So as I said the main purpose of the trip was to visit family and we had such a blast catching up and we were really spoiled there as we were taken out to all the amazing sites and got to experience all that London had to offer.
I quickly realised why London is one of the fashion capitals of the world. You cannot go to London and not shop! Its an absolute must! To be honest with you we spent most of our time shopping and going from store to store and seeing what they had to offer. We spent a large part of our holiday in Oxford Street which is where all the major shopping is. I found it quite weird that London doesn’t have many malls and in London they are most just long streets lined with the major shopping retailers. Another thing that’s worth seeing is Harrods, though more for its completely over-the-top décor than for actual shopping. If you going to London on a budget its worth checking out and admiring because that is what we did as the shopping there is for those who can afford it. It’s very lavish and has some of the most beautiful and expensive items I’ve ever seen in the store. We did manage to get a few souvenirs from the Harrods store which was quite affordable though.
Stonehenge was really the highlight of the trip. I really enjoyed seeing Stonehenge as I had been fascinated with these rocks and the history behind them. It was so surreal seeing something I had seen so many times in movies and now it was right in front of me. There was a lovely tour of the Stonehenge museum included in the ticket price as well. Stonehenge is about 1-2hours drive outside London and is worth it if you looking to book a tour there.
Where We Ate
You can find food from almost any part of the world in London anything from Italian to Asian from Lebanese to Moroccan food it’s all there all you have to do is ask and there should be food nearby that could satisfy your particular taste. Street food has really taken off in London too, try Portobello Road Market and the Real Food Market on South Bank. My favourite London food market though was Borough Market as it has over 70 different stalls selling produce from the UK and all over the world as well as lots of tasting samples.
I noticed that eating at fast food joints and out at restaurants tends to be a bit pricey in London, although we thought we just had to try out the McDonalds and Burger King compared to South Africa’s and could taste the difference! It’s much tastier and one big difference for me was the Coke was so fresh compared to South Africa’s. I feel like the Coke in our McDonalds is more watered down compared to London’s. I know it’s silly but it’s something that always stuck with me. When you have a Coke there it always tastes SO fresh if you know what I mean.
Getting around London
Central London is fairly walkable, as we discovered in our first few days there but the city sprawls out, so you’ll need to use the Tube or bus. You will need to get a travel card which is quite pricey, but you’ll save quite a bit of money if you buy a weekly, you can load it up with money and touch in and out on the bus or Tube. There is quite a hustle and bustle in Central London as you would expect. We learnt the how to use the transport fairly quickly thanks to family who helped us. One thing I didn’t know is that when you taking the escalator you have to stand on the right have side and allow people who are in a hurry to pass you on the left. Everybody stands on the right and gives space to those who run down the escalator! I wish we had that rule here in South Africa!
I’m glad I could tick London off my bucket list now! I would say that London is a fantastic place to go on holiday. I really enjoyed my trip there and would go again if I could. It really is worth it as there is so much to see and experience. It’s definitely for the shopaholics like me and the culture and history buffs. Hopefully I will see London very very soon again!
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