I have been to London many times on business and when we lived in Reading on the odd family day out.
For the first time we are going to spend the weekend before Christmas in the city of London bordering Whitechapel.
As we like to keep cost minimal and not having to pay extourciate rail prices, we booked a coach in advance and for 3 people return. It cost just £20 with the national express via the train line app. BARGAIN! It was a relaxing ride with not to many people onboard which is always good. The best part when arriving into London was the route the coach driver took, he came through the north part of London which I’ve never saw before. I love looking at London, there’s so much going on.
Stepping off the coach we set foot in London. We are at Victoria station and make our way for the tube, I know a lot of people don’t like the tube but for some reason I like the challenge of making my way to the destination, no where in England is like it. We arrive at London Bridge and it always has great views from the Tower Bridge to the Tower of London.
First things first we head for the hotel to drop off our luggage, the room is a nice size with a spare bed for Lucas. Most hotels for 3 nights in central London are upwards of £200 but we got the trusty travelodge, a cheap and cheerful £86 for 3 nights booked in advanced. Now for sightseeing.
We set off and headed north of our hotel and whist walking, what i really like about London, is how it mixes so well the old London with the new and nothing looks out of place at all. Without knowing we have entered the business capital of London, fancy suits are everywhere and the wind is doing me no wonders for my hair. The only building I can name is the Gerkin owned by Alan Sugar and it’s a site to behold.
We quickly venture back towards the Thames because now Lucas is hungry and when a 5 year old boys belly is rumberling, you have to feed them or else face their rath. With Lucas with us we keep it family friendly, we let him choose and his choice was Zizi. He just loves Italian food and pizza, like most of us this is his favourite food for a treat. Food is always to a decent standard and service was really good providing Lucas with a kids set to keep him occupied. Before we headed back to the hotel we walked down the Thames to see the sites, by the tower of london they have an ice rink, it looked amazing lit up, a lot of fun, the shard the tallest building in the night sky was glowing different colours which looked really cool. London always gives me a good feeling, I do love this place, so much energy. Now we need Lucas to get his rest for big sightseeing day tomorrow.
It’s a beautiful sunny morning, we can’t wait to start the day. We grab some fruit and croissants from Tesco and we are on our way. Samira my professional photographer for the day, takes all the day pictures from the day before, she loves the light. We now head down towards where I’ve had business meetings at the tower hotel and i do remember the views from the board room there. SPECTACULAR!Around the back of the hotel is the st katherine docks marina, full of boats and a great walkway to some restaurants and one of best looking pubs I’ve saw the Dickens inn.
Walking out we now have the view of the Thames and Lucas’ to do list is to go on the Tower Bridge for the first time. We walk across and it’s very busy of course but what a bridge, nothing like it, he was very happy.
We are now on the other side, facing the city hall. We take a nice walk down through the markets, food smells entising at every food store you walk past, we manage to bravely get through that to see the HMS Belfast and for a young boy its a site to behold.
We walked down the Thames for a long while taking in all the sites untill we heard the dreaded calling from Lucas, my legs hurt! It’s time to fall back. So we grabbed some food by London Bridge station and on the street there was like 200 young boys on pedal bikes just chilling, they have big social groups now. When I was young it was 4 of us. But I bet it was cool to cycle round the city as a group. We started to head back to the hotel but on the way we walked over London Bridge and past a building they called the Walkie Talkie building, it was huge!
I enquired whether you could go the top, he said yes, I was like yes, then he said it’s fully booked, I was like dam it because that would have been a cool view. He said come back in the morning in case anyone cancels for the next day. So book in advance for this building it’s meant to be worth it. Now back at the hotel Lucas has a nap, I keep up to date with the football, win win.
We head back out for food and we decided to go to the butlers wharf peer, it has plenty of wonderful resturants, most are not really kid friendly and after talking about it for a while time, we succumbed to pizza express. As always a good affordable place to have food. Day 2 over, match of the day here I come.
The last day in London before we head to Copenhagen. We need to travel to Gatwick airport via Blackfriars station. We set plans to visit new parts of the city of London. On the way we see the Bank of England, Guildhall and the museum of London which we entered.
Fantastic museum, kid friendly so much history to discover about London. We then popped into One New Change shopping centre to get some vitamins for Lucas and some last Xmas presents for family in Denmark. Luckily next to it is St. Paul’s Cathedral from the back it looked ok but as you moved closer to the front it got better and better, so grand. There was huge queues outside, I think it was a Xmas service so you needed advance tickets to go inside, definitely a must for next time. Continuing to walk we saw the building of the Royal Courts of Justice and Somerset House which caught our eye as we walked past as there was a huge ice rink inside, this was one of the best I’ve saw with the backdrop looking really good.
We are heading to Leicester square now because Lucas wants to see Spider-Man into the spider verse. Every step it’s getting more packed with people and cars and we see some cool stuff but it’s hard to stop and take pictures because of our luggage. Now out of nowhere it’s starts raining hard so I cut in from the Strand into Convent Garden to escape the rains blast, it got worse unfortunately but now we’re walking through and it’s full of bright lights, it looks great visually but now we are at a standpoint on a small path, I see a shortcut inbetween the buildings called Brydges Place and we go through it, people free and in no time we are out the other end walking over to Leicester square and into the newly renovated Odeon Luxe. We are greeted like we are at a hotel with a man suited and booted. We are now grateful to get out of the rain. We buy the tickets a bit pricey at £18 each for adults and £12 for minors. We came prepared with popcorn and drinks, the seats are well apart and very comfy. The film was fantastic 10/10, Lucas loved it and he made two friends next to him, both women from japan, was loving his dancing and his reactions to the film, no filter on kids, it’s refreshing sometimes to be that free.
The fun of London is nearly over as we have flight to catch, but we quickly walk around Leicester square, it’s such a happy place with so much going on its unreal. We take a scenic root past Trifaulgar Square and down past Downing street via Big Ben which is under construction and down to the Thames to slingshot our way to the station.
Overall we had a great time but there is so much to do but so little time it always seems. We visited places we have never been before, even Whitechapel was not how I pictured it but we did see Ripper street. So if you live in the UK there’s no excuses of not visiting one of the greatest citys in the world, thats on your door step. I recommend anyone visiting to stay here for at least two weeks to really get a feel of London if not longer. One day we have decided we will live here for at least a year but mind you, its an expensive place with expensive tastes.