Images of London


Room With A View

Compared to our earlier stops, London is one busy joint! It’s taken a bit of mental adjustment. Originally we’d planned to spend our first full day touring via the HOHO (hop-on-hop-off) busses, but yesterday The Queen was opening a session of Parliament which meant that several roads were closed off, so we thought it might not be the best day for that. We picked up our 7-day Tube/bus passes which required taking a booth photo*. I look like Bill The Cat in mine, ackkkk. No, I’m not going to show you!

After that we mostly dashed about, though did stop for a nice pub lunch…

..and checked out possible concerts to attend at St. Martin In The Fields, and browsed a bit in the National Potrait Gallery (really enjoyed the Tudors sections as that’s the era I’m most familiar with). We wandered about in the Trafalgar Square area…

Preparing for the Queen’s procession

I did a bit of shopping at Jigsaw, and we took a ride on the iconic double decker bus. We met up for tea with lovely Josephine of Chic At Any Age, then with a cousin for dinner across town. After dinner, he walked us by St. Paul’s Cathedral so we could see it lit up at night.

Had to dodge traffic to get this snap from the middle of the road!

It was a long and full day, but didn’t seem as if we’d actually seen much of the city. Getting oriented required a lot of focus, so I didn’t take many snaps, but will remedy that today.

Do you have a favorite method of getting yourself oriented in a new city?

*Unlike the Oyster cards, this paper pass also provides 2-for-1 discounts on several major attractions.



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  1. I don’t know London well but my husband has been posted to work in Whitehall for 2 years and has his own flat provided by the MOD so we have started exploring around London. We went to Greenwich on Sunday and saw the observatory and meridian line – worth a visit and easy to get to – we took a boat out there and the train back. We also visited Camden Market and Borough market which were very atmospheric.
    The MP he works for took us for afternoon tea at the Ritz last year and I would highly recommend this as an experience.

  2. On holiday, I just try to remember which metro stop my hotel is near and then group attractions by their respective metro stops and make a plan. Yes, London is busy and crowded. Britain’s urban and suburban areas are all more densely populated than most of the US, something I had to get used to. Great photo of St. Pauls – I remember feeling it was so hemmed in by other buildings that a good photo was tough to get. We’re planning a few days in London the end of this month…will have to get busy making a list of what I want to do! Don’t forget to see St. Pancras Station, and if you’re a Harry Potter fan, be sure to visit Kings Cross next door!

  3. Don’t forget to go to Liberty and Marylebone High St to see Daunt books, the Malene Birger flag shop shop and the White Company. I’ll be there in a bit over a week.

    And check out Waitrose for the world’s cheapest groceries! Much cheaper than anything in Oz!

    The last time I was in London as I walked past St Pauls at night I thought about Diana getting married and felt quite sad.

    I think Londy is a tough place to live unless you’re very rich. xxxx

    1. I agree with that! I lived in London for 7 years partly as a student and partly working. I was not rich. Everytime I sneezed it cost money!! Fun for a visit though.

  4. Wonderful – sounds like you really got the feel and soul of the city. We like to tour pubs (really! not just to drink) and talk to locals. This one would be at the top of our list.

  5. When we visited London, we ate lunch in the crypt at St. Martin in the Fields – loved that they had vegetables and salads & it was a change from the English menus. (beware of pickpockets there)
    Enjoy the rest of your adventures.

  6. Hi Pseu —

    I’ve been enjoying the series, especially the Lake District shots and descriptions. Quite a shock to my system to vicariously enter into city life after those, so I can imagine you all are adjusting amidst all the adventure!

    Echoing suggestions to walk as much as possible around London, making sure to wander through some of the best parks in the world if you’ve time.

  7. Ah, I do so envy you! I love London. I would be very very jealous if I had not just spent the weekend in Mexico City.

    Don’t forget Gordon’s Wine Bar near the Embankment Tube stop.

  8. My Ex is British and I have been to London many times. I can never get enough of this fantastic, lively city.
    My daughter is applying for fashion college in London and I hope that will give me lots of future opportunities to go back there!

    Lady of Style
    now on Facebook

  9. Glad you weren’t hit by a car, but I do love that last image! I love to just walk streets…I know it is time consuming, but it is my favorite way to learn a city. Hopefully, the Queen will cooperate while you are there!!

  10. Walk, walk and walk some more. It is the very best way to absorb London–the neighborhoods, the architecture, the noise, the people. Then, when your feet feel as though they falling off, take the Tube/bus (but avoid rush hour, if you can). Enjoy.

  11. I second FF’s suggestion not to miss Liberty of London.

    Londoners keep you moving along on the streets. Maybe that’s the reason there are so many pub stops.

  12. My friend recommended taking the double decker bus tour when you first get there, to get oriented. Very touristy I know, but useful.

  13. I have just looked back over your UK snaps. I cannot believe that you were in my Stamping Ground!!!

    I live in Carlisle (you would have come through on the train from Glasgow) and you took a photo of the castle in Penrith (opposite the bus/Train station). My Dad works in Penrith!!!

    I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying yourself. Sorry the weather was so poor in the Lakes. It’s not usually warm but this year has been exceptionally cold. We love grumbling about the weather over here. Ha ha.

  14. Our younger son Thaddeus lives in London now, studying for his MBA at a university there. Please wave at him while you are there.

    I agree that Harrods is a must stop. I also recommend the underground bunker where Churchill worked during WWII. It is fascinating. Also–Kensington Palace, The British Museum, Westminster Cathedral, and The Victoria and Albert Museum. If you can, take in a play in the theater district and visit one of the antique markets.

  15. I hope you’re having a fantastic time!
    I’m already exhausted just reading about your activities. You’re gonna need another vacay to recuperate from this trip! I’m envious!

  16. The hop on hop off is a great way of finding your way around, although I prefer to “map” my way through a city on foot, the feet however needs a break afterwards, stopping along the way to have a foot massage does no harm! I hope you enjoy your break, I love blog posts including destinations, and I will never tire of London!

  17. My city. Well the city I live in – I’m from the countryside originally.

    May I recommend the Geffreye Museum of Domestic Architecture. it’s off the beaten track but is wonderful – an old almshouse where the different rooms have all been furnished in the style of living rooms throughout the ages. And there’s a great cafe. Nearest tube stop is Hoxton on the orange overground line. And then you could have a Vietnamese meal down the road and then go and meander down Brick Lane and see the fusion of old London, Bangladeshi immigrants and 21st century hipsters. Some wild fashion.

  18. I get to know a city by walking-just walking, not taking photos. I also slow down and don’t try to cram in all the attractions and “musts”. Put a stage in front of me in London and I’m happy. (IME Harrod’s is a tourist trap.)

  19. Sounds like a fun first day in one of my favorite cities!! To orient myself, I always try to find “ground zero” for that city and then orient myself from there. I’ve been to London a number of times and am always amazed that I find something new to do and explore when I am there – and I have to agree – I love a wander through the Nat’l Portrait Gallery to see the Tudors.
    One thing you might enjoy is the London Walks – they have quite a variety of walks and no reservations are needed – you just show up at the designated meeting place and off you go! Found this to be a great way to see parts of London that I wouldn’t normally find.

  20. Seeing the photo of the Two Chairman brought back memories! I used to work in that area and we often went there after work.

    As a tourist in London, you HAVE to visit Harrods! If you pick up a bus from Victoria, the driver usually announces the stop for all the tourist on board. After visiting Harrods, go for a walk in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and think of me. We used to run there every Saturday morning when we lived in London and it was so lovely to live in a city and yet be able to run through the beautiful parks. Look out for runners in red and yellow tops with Serpentine on them!

    I agree that walking, or running, is the best way to experience a city.

  21. Visit the Tate, British Museum and Kensington Palace. I love Belgravia myself. Elizabeth and Ebury Streets.

  22. London is just too big. Un-orientation-able to. I think the best thing to do is accept that you can’t see a 10th or even a 100th of what’s there, focus on doing some of the key things you’d enjoy and make sure you give yourself plenty of free time.

  23. Oh yes, do go to Columbia Road (it’s only on on Sundays from very early till 2ish) If you do I’ll look out for you in the crowds – planning to head down to pick up some plants for the garden.

  24. Go see The Ambassadors at the National Gallery. I agree: Tate and walk, walk, walk. We always felt quite daunted by London …so big.

  25. I think a lot of people have given you good suggestions – just walk around! I love the Bloomsbury/Holborn area for walking and small squares, Hyde Park is incredible and huge, the Embankment and Tate Britain are great! I always wanted to go to Sir John Soane’s Museum at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (I think), but the day i had planned to go there it was closed!

  26. I went to school just south of London and thought I knew London. But when I went to visit a friend 20 years later, she suggested I do the “hop on, hop off” the first day (she was working that day) to get re-acclimated. It was great advice! I love your photos! Thanks.