Europe Tripp Recap Part 1: London

Back in October, Jordan and I took our first trip to Europe! This trip was a long time in the making and I'm excited to share all that we did and saw. Just to preface this recap, Jordan and I really enjoy getting to know the cities we visit, so we did A LOT of walking. We feel like that's the best way to discover a new place! And we loved Rick Steves' Audio Walking Tours

After an adventurous ride to the airport (shout out to my good friend Ashley who's car broke down as she was driving us there ha!), we got on a plane for a 9 hour overnight flight to London. Luckily for us, both Jordan and I fell asleep for most of it and woke up to find ourselves in jolly old London! Jordan, the planner that he is (which I so appreciate!!), had already ordered us Oyster cards, so we hopped aboard the tube to our Airbnb near Putney Bridge. It was a Saturday afternoon and there was a big football match (Manchester United vs Liverpool) happening. In the five minute walk to our place, we passed by at least 3 pubs overflowing with cheery spectators. It was a lovely British welcome!

Day 1: The afternoon we arrived, we made our way to the Tower of London to see the crown jewels, which are truly unbelievable. We walked around the Tower Bridge, along the Thames, and near the Borough Market before our jet lag and hunger caught up to us. We ate dinner and grabbed a pint at the historic George Inn pub, before heading to the Tate Modern for some late night art viewing. 

Eat: The George Inn

Activities: Tower of London (£21.50), Tower Bridge (you can pay to go up on the walkways, but we didn't), Tate Modern (free, open late on Saturdays)

Day 2: At this point, we had ridden the Underground three whole times, so we figured we were pros and could handle the bus system. We decided to take the bus to the Columbia Flower Market, however we encountered unforeseen bus stop closures and detours. It took us a little while, but we finally made it to the market! So many pretty and cheap florals, plants, and food! If I lived in London, I would definitely be there every week for fresh flowers. 

From the Market, we visited the British Museum. Among a collection of historic art and artifacts, it also had this amazing Great Court that was flooded with light (a fave of Jordan). From the museum, we decided we hadn't had enough shopping for one day, so we went to Covent Gardens for some more window shopping and street performers. 

Eat: Flat Iron, La Gelatiera

Activities: Columbia Flower Market (free, only open on Sunday mornings), British Museum (free), Covent Gardens (free)

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Day 3:  If you follow my Instagram, you can probably tell that I'm a little obsessed with all things green and ivy-covered, so a walk through Notting Hill was a MUST. Jordan downloaded a walking tour by A Lady in London and we spent the morning taking in all the picturesque homes of this lovely neighborhood. Next we caught the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace and took a stroll through Green Park. Let me tell you, Autumn in London is on point. 

For lunch we ate the infamous fish and chips, but if I'm being honest, I don't get the fish and chips thing?? For me, there are just so many other better foods to experience in London. After lunch, we visited Westminster Abbey with their audio guide. The history in this church is truly amazing. We then strolled by the House of Parliment, but unfortunately, Big Ben was under construction when we visited, so that was a little disappointing. We also visited the Churchill War Rooms, which is a museum housed in the secret underground bunker where Churchill ran the war. From there we did some sightseeing as we walked to dinner at this fabulous Indian restaurant called Dishoom. We had tried to go the day before, but there was an hour wait (at 2pm!). This time we were prepared and the wait was well worth it.

Eat: Poppie's, Monmouth CoffeeDishoom

Activities: Notting Hill, Buckingham Palace (changing of the guard at 11am), Westminster Abbey (£20), Churchill War Rooms (£19)

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Day 4: This was our last day in London, and we had an afternoon train to Paris. We decided to stay close by and explore Putney, the neighborhood where we stayed. We took a short walk to Fulham Palace, the former home of the London Bishops. It's surrounded by pretty parks and gardens, so we spent some time wandering the palace and surrounding areas. My favorite part about London was exploring all of the neighborhoods and parks that make up the city. It gave me a good sense of the people, culture, and history.

Activities: Fulham Palace (free)

General Notes About London:

  • Get an Oyster card for public transport. You can add money to it and then cash out when you're done using it.

  • Public transport is the way to go. Underground & buses are beyond easy to navigate (when there's no detours!).

  • October was perfect weather. It averaged around 60 degrees and the changing leaves are stunning.

  • One thing we regret is not seeing a show in the theater. There were many things we didn't have time to do, so I'll guess we will have to return again!

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