If you hadn’t guessed it already due to the immense amount of guest posts last week by some amazing bloggers, I was traveling around London last week! I was in heaven! Not only am I a BBC-ophile, I’m obsessed with all things British. Jane Austen, Dr. Who, Great British Bake-off, high tea, pretty Victorian dresses, castles….everything. I often wonder if I was born in the wrong country. Any how I had a great time there and got to spend some quality time with family which was nice. Here what I think you should check out if you ever visit London!
1. The Markets
My friend, who is originally from London, told me to check out Portobello Road, Carnaby Street and the Camden Markets and they were amazing! Portobello Road is super granola- tons of vegetarian restaurants around there with booths selling antiques and vintage brand name clothing. Think Berkeley meets Brooklyn- super hipster. Carnaby Street on the other hand is actual stores, not really a market. It’s like New York City’s 5th Avenue. All brand name and boutique stores. Rhut and I discovered some amazing British brand names that we had never ever heard of and now will be a keeping an eye out for when we shop around the US. Camden Market hosts the alternative punk scene. It reminded me of South Street in Philly actually. If you walk near the Camden Lock there is a small passageway that takes you into an open air court that is filled with amazing food carts. Rhut and I stuffed our faces with some vegetarian lahamacun that was unbelievably delicious! There also was a cute second hand book shop nearby where I loaded up on some cookbooks by Mary Berry!
2. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a 30 minute train ride form Waterloo station. We initially tried to make this a half day trip but, Rhut and I ended up spending the whole day here! If you’re a history freak like me then you’ll love it! Henry VIII lived here and traces of all 6 of his wives are scattered throughout the castle. The ghosts of a few of his wives are said to haunt the palace. Unfortunately I did not see any. Womp womp. The gardens are beautiful and the kitchens are definitely a must see! If you go there during early all you can buy grapes from the the longest living grape vine in England!
My husband is obsessed with college campuses and always drags me to go see them. I think it makes him feel young again. Usually I hate this because it actually makes me feel super old, but this time I was actually excited about it. I read a book recently that was set in Oxford, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, and was excited to see the actually locations mentioned in the book, especially the Bodleian Library. We took a free walking tour around the campus and saw the eating hall that inspired the Great Hall in Harry Potter and a few filming locations for the movies. The campus is full of history and you may have to pay to see a few of the sites. For example, it costs 1 or 2 pounds to gain access to some of the chapels and eating halls. The Science and Ashmolean Museums are both free and worth checking out. I was fan-girling over Hooke’s microscope and lab notebook and all the chemistry apparatuses. If you’re a huge nerd or are like my husband the trip is well worth it!
4. National Gallery and British Museum
These two museums are a definitely worthy of a visit and admission is free for both of them. I would like to rename the British Museum the “Shit we took from other countries” museum, as they have put tons of items up on exhibit from countries that used to be under the British rule. A crown from Nepal and tons of pieces of temples that they had taken from India were on exhibit. You can see Cleopatra’s mummy, Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and much more.
St. James Park
St. James Park
St. James Park
There are three big parks in London I think are worth walking through. The infamous Hyde Park, St. James Park and Regent Park. Rhut and I walked around St. James Park at dusk and it was beyond beautiful. Very romantical if you ask me Of the three it was my favorite and you get a great view of the London Eye/ waterfront and Buckingham Palace.
-Skip Brick Lane and Harrods- both are overrated and in Harrods’s case overpriced.
-Get a day pass and use the tube to get around! Super easy to use and the subway comes around quite often.
Stay tuned for my places to eat post