London, England Part 2

Check out Part 1 here.

Day 3: Platform 9 3/4, Jeremy Betham Auto Icon, British Library, Speedy’s Cafe, Royal Academy of Music Museum, 221b Baker Street, Wallace Collection, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Burlington Arcade, British Museum

Day 4: South Bank, Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel, Big Ben and Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. James’s Park, St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Coach Station.

Day 3: Platform 9 3/4, Jeremy Betham Auto Icon, British Library, Speedy’s Cafe, Royal Academy of Music Museum, 221b Baker Street, Wallace Collection, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Burlington Arcade, British Museum

If you can’t tell yet, I was able to fit SO much in because of all the planning I did. Thinking back, there’s no way I would’ve been able to get through half of what I did on a whim because I wouldn’t have known about most of the things to do!

  1. King’s Cross Station/Platform 9 3/4: The store opens at 8 AM so I got there at 8 AM and there was no line! The store employees are not allowed to take pictures for you (insurance policy I’m sure) so a lovely couple behind me took mine and I took theirs. They have a scarf from each of the Hogwarts houses and three wands to choose from and a store employee will take your picture and you can buy 2 prints for £15. Went into the store for about 20 minutes and when I came out (before 8:30 AM) there were about 10 people in line to take their picture. Showing up early definitely worked out in my favour.

  2. Jeremy Betham Auto Icon: I’ll let you research this one yourself because there’s a video feed that records your reaction. So if you want to visit, don’t spoil it by researching it beforehand! It’s very interesting, I promise. You can find him in the UCL’s art building, so make sure the building is open when you plan to visit.DSC_0147
  3. Forgot about Hardy Tree but I decided not to head to it and take my time at the British Library Instead. So glad I did!
  4. British Library: this was one of the items on my list I didn’t know what I was in for. I showed up early (9:15 AM and the library opens at 9:30 AM) so sat in line. Doors opened promptly at 9:30 AM and I made my way to the Sir John Ritblat Gallery and I 100% recommend checking it out. It was my second favourite thing in London! The gallery (free) has all sorts of historical documents ranging in topics such as art, science, history, religion, music etc. They had letters from Henry to Anne Boleyn, shakespeare’s poems, Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo sketches, The Beadles sketches, Galileo’s notebook, just to name a few.
  5. Went to the Wellcome Collection galleries, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology but they were all closed Monday!! So that was disappointing but I realized I had written the opening times on my itinerary but forgot to cross them off the list because I couldn’t make them. Oops!
  6. Speedy’s Cafe: Since I had some extra time, I had a classic Full English Breakfast at Speedy’s Cafe (Sherlock BBC show anyone?). About 6 groups of people stopped to take a picture by the awning, under which I was eating breakfast. I’m sure I’m adding a lot of value to the pictures with my mouth full of beans and toast.

    Full English Breakfast at Speedy’s Cafe (got a lil hungry before the picture)
  7. 221b Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes Museum: the museum was a little too much for my wallet and there was already a line so I took a look around the museum shop and got a picture of the guard in front of the museum. He noticed me snapping a picture so he gave me a smile!
  8. Wallace Collection: my favourite stop in London. The Wallace Collection is an art collection in London open to the public, housed at Hertford House in Manchester Square and I highly recommend a stop. I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves.
  9. Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens: I was making my way to the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens but took a wrong turn and ended up about a 20 minute walk from the statue. In the interest of sticking to schedule (and resting my feet/body), I dipped my feet in the water and took a quick break in Hyde Park to enjoy the beautiful weather (15C in London in March! I’m a lucky girl). Speaker’s Corner is around 11:30 AM and I got there around 1 PM so just missed it!
  10. I also decided to skip the allies sculpture, didn’t see a single nose (of the seven noses in Soho), couldn’t find the Ziggy Stardust Memorial, walked by Lock & Co, forgetting to stop in and realized the Hunterian Museum was closed Mondays as well. Not my best day!
  11. Burlington Arcade Beadles: the Burlington Arcade is a strip of high end stores that has the oldest and smallest private police force called the Beadles. The only thing I could afford were 8 macarons at Laduree, which I saved for later.DSC_0240.JPG
  12. Took a break halfway from the Burlington Arcade to the British Museum to charge my phone, rest my feet and have a tea.
  13. British Museum: an amazing museum filled with all sorts of interesting artifacts and I particularly enjoyed the Clock & Watch room. You could easily spend an entire day in the museum so if I ever go back to London, this one is at the top of my list to revisit. Took a break on the front steps to enjoy those maracrons while people were being told the museum was closed. I stuck around to get a few pictures of the museum without a crowd of people in front it it. Afterwards, I retired early and went back to the hostel.
    My favourite exhibit! This ship is a clock and would travel across the dining room table when the alarm went off.
    Inside the British Museum

    Outside the British Museum

Day 4: South Bank, Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel, Big Ben and Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. James’s Park, St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Coach Station

The night before I had gone through my list of things to see on my last day in London and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy walking to the few museums I had saved for the last day so I decided to his all the big attractions again.

  1. South Bank: I read it was an excellent spot to get great pictures of Big Ben but got turned around on my way there and ended up at the London Eye! So I looped back around to the next stop.
  2. Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel: A tunnel under the trains that is wall-to-wall graffiti and SO cool. There were a group of construction workers and commuters in the tunnel working while I was taking pictures and they probably thought I was crazy! But I enjoyed every piece. I highly recommend checking it out.

    Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
  3. Big Ben and Parliament: getting lost AGAIN I finally found a spot to take some great photos of Big Ben and Parliament and eat the last of my macarons (which are just as amazing on the second day). Check out some of my shots below!
    View from South Bank
    View from South Bank

    View from Westminster Bridge
  4. Westminster Abbey: By the time I got to Westminster Abbey (around 11 AM) there was already a huge line to get in! At 20 GBP I decided against going in to the church and just took pictures of the outside. It is magnificent!

    Westminster Abbey
  5. St. James’s Park: Took another stroll through the park on my way to St. James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace. It was another nice day (how did I get so lucky??) and I stopped to enjoy the birds.

    Heron at Hyde Park. He flew away right after I put away my camera!
  6. St. James’s Palace: Definitely Buckingham Palace’s little brother but the guards were much closer.

    St. James’s Palace
  7. Buckingham Palace: I wandered around the whole courtyard getting different shots of the Palace and low-and-behold guess who drove past RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME? Prince Charles!!!! Very exciting for this small-town Canadian girl. That’s why the horse guard and horse drawn carriages were doing in the area!
  8. Westminster Cathedral: Very quaint cathedral but still impressive.DSC_0493
  9. Victoria Coach Station: walked back to the coach station and took an early bus to the airport. My ticket was booked with my flight to Dublin through Ryanair and didn’t have the terminal and the bus I got on was only going to the North Terminal. Not to worry, because they have a quick 2-3 minute “easyjet” train to take you to the South Terminal (which a nice security guard told me I needed to go for Ryanair flights). I was so sick that day I grabbed some medication from the pharmacy and relaxed at the airport.

Got in to Dublin on time and a shuttle took me to the Europcar rental facility where I picked up my car and drove up to Belfast. It was a quiet evening so driving on the left-hand side of the road (we drive on the right in Canada) was easier than if it had been during rush hour! Getting in late to Belfast was also a plus because I had to constantly remind myself to turn into the left lane not the right! If there was traffic I think I would’ve had a break down that first night.

What do you think of my trip to London? Any places I missed that you recommend I go back to? Let me know!

One thought on “London, England Part 2

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