Recently, Ellison and I had the chance to travel across the pond to visit London and France. We both went with our families for four days to London, and had a blast! From the food, shopping and site seeing, there was plenty to do and we cannot wait to go back. Did I mention that Ellison saw William and Kate?! #toofancy
Here is a list of the top ten sites/places we visited in London. Enjoy!
1. Verge-Led Tour of Westminster Abbey – We have a close family friend in North Carolina that was roommates with the dean’s verger several years ago. He gave my family and me a private tour of Westminster Abbey. It was an amazing experience because he had so many personal stories and anecdotes to tell. For more information on verge-led tours, click here.
2. Les Miserables – So I have to admit, this was my favorite part of London. I have been a HUGE Les Mis fan since middle school. I’ve seen the show on Broadway more than I can count, own all the movies and soundtracks, and may or may not annoy everyone I know with my singing of the songs. When you go to London, you MUST catch a show. It is the longest running play in London and hands down was the BEST version of the play I’ve ever seen.
3. St. Paul’s Cathedral – St. Paul’s Cathedral was our first stop in London. It is absolutely beautiful inside! I recommend getting a headset guided tour and walking around at your own pace. The Cathedral still holds daily mass which I wish we had stayed for. Warning – there are no elevators so if you decide to go to the second level be prepared to walk up several flights of a spiral staircase.
4. Bateaux London – Before I moved to Atlanta, I lived in Manhattan and worked for Entertainment Cruises that did sightseeing lunch and dinner cruises. One of our vessels was the Bateaux New York which I would absolutely recommend on any trip to New York. It is a great way to see New York and New Jersey and is absolutely gorgeous at night. My family and I decided we wanted to give the Bateaux London a try and were not disappointed. The food was great, the view was amazing, and the service was outstanding. It was also a great way to see lots of London sights including Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral (which was beautiful at night), the Tower of London, the London Bridge, and the Globe Theatre. I would highly recommend it! For more information, click here.
5. Tower of London – If you love jewels and the royal family, you don’t want to miss the Tower of London. The historic castle has beautiful old buildings dating back to 1078, and before it became a public attraction it was a prison for hundreds of years. Now the Tower of London hosts the Crown Jewels.
6. Kensington Palace – While it is a neat attraction by itself, one of the exhibitions at Kensington Palace is Fashion Rules and has dresses from the Queen, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana. Seeing so many dresses that you have seen in pictures is a very cool experience. It is definitely a top choice for anyone that loves the royal family or loves fashion. There are other cool exhibits that you can also view with your entrance to the exhibit, but the Fashion Rules was by far my favorite. For more information, click here.
7. Harrods – Harrods is definitely a top attraction for any London visitor. Of course there is lots of great shopping, but there is also great food. The Food Hall at Harrods is so much fun to wander through to look at all that they have to offer (which is quite a lot). There are also several restaurants inside of Harrods. We ate lunch at the Pizzeria & Canti Prosecco Bar and it was absolutely wonderful. Then we stopped for ice cream at Ice Cream Parlour right across the hall for dessert. I was boring and got a scoop of Nutella ice cream, but my dad got a huge ice cream sandwich. Neither disappointed!
8. The British Museum – A trip to London is not complete without visiting a few museums. The British Museum hosts most of the world’s rare artifacts and sculptures – including The Rosetta Stone! The museum is quite large so make sure you block out at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours to hit all the exhibits.
9. The National Gallery – Again, you can’t go across the pond without checking out a little histroy. My favorite part of the National Gallery was the Rembrandt gallery which is currently being displayed until January 2015. The Gallery also holds several of Claude Monet’s paintings.
10. Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – I know, I know! It sounds super touristy, but I promise it is a great way to see the city. I’ve done it twice now. There are a lot of different companies that do these tours and I am sure they are all just as good. The one that we did had several different loops around the city and included an option for a live tour guide or a recording. I would definitely recommend the live tour guide because it does not cost you any extra money (just a little extra time if you have to wait for the bus) and it is much more entertaining. It is a great way to see all of the major sights in London.
What are your favorite sites in London? Stay tuned for our Paris post next!
– Frances Ellison & Mallory Anne