My Top 10 Things To Do in London

London has always been in my bucket list since time immemorial. I find so many things fascinating like the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Notting Hill, the Queen and many more. I thought it will only be a dream, but nothing is impossible in life.

I’ve been living in England for a year now and finally the right time has come – to see London! Hubby and I were in the big city for 3D2N. We stayed in Park Grand London Kensington which I think was a really good choice because of the great service from the staff and it’s near the train station.

TIPS: Download CityMapper app (thanks to a friend for recommending!). It was quite useful all throughout our journey as it’s a more comprehensive guide compared to any other map apps I know.

So here is my list of places you MUST see in London:

1. Visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum (221b Baker Street London, NW1 6XE)

This museum is located in Central London. From Kensington, it can easily be accessible via tube. If you have downloaded the CityMapper app, it should be easy enough to find this place.

It was around 11am when we arrived at the museum and the queue was looooong. We waited for, more or less, an hour before we got in.

You will need a ticket and you can buy this from the shop beside the museum. An adult ticket costs £15. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I would recommend visiting the museum and (uhmm maybe) grab some memorabilia from the shop.


These are some of the stuffs in the shop.




2. Have a drink in The View from the Shard (32 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG)
 

The Shard is the tallest building in Central London (at the time of writing this post). The adult ticket costs £30.95. It was a mistake buying the ticket on the day of our visit. We thought to try London Eye but changed our course the last minute. We could’ve saved a few quid if we bought the ticket online in advance.

The experience in The Shard was fantastic! I’m afraid of heights but I loved it. There’s a bar on 72nd floor where you can sip your favourite drink and enjoy the 360 degrees view. There are restaurants halfway down. So if you like a fancy dinner, you don’t have to go out of the building.

Probably not worth that much money, but it’s the experience of getting to the top and enjoy the magnificent view of London.




3. See the Tower Bridge of London (Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP)

When I was a kid, I used to sing the nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ and never imagined that I will see it in person one day. It’s one of the famous bridges in the world. It’s not only a bridge but there are towers where you can have a nice view of London. Not as high as The Shard but still worth checking.
We never went to the towers as there were a lot of people. Maybe next time.



4. Buy a book from the Notting Hill Bookshop (13 Blenheim Cres, W11 2EE)

I’ve watched the movie Notting Hill years ago. I really loved it. Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant looked so good together! That’s why when we decided to visit London, Notting Hill is in my priority list. I need to go there!

So from Earl Court’s station, we took a train and a bus. I’m not so sure if there is a way that you don’t have to change (this is CityMapper app giving me directions by the way). As long as you have the CityMapper app, you will never get lost (atleast for me anyway).

When we found the shop, there were already a lot of people taking photos. At that time, I was like a kid in a candy shop! I love books! It was like any other bookshops. What caught my attention is they sell stuffs related to the movie Notting Hill such as post cards with quotes from the movie, bags and fridge magnets.


I thought that shop was the one in the movie. However, upon my further research, it was a different shop. When we were walking along Portobello road, we saw The Travel Book Shop. It was the right one. But instead of selling books, the shop now sells souvenir items.




5. Pay the Queen a Visit in Buckingham Palace (Westminster, SW1A 1AA)

Having a tea with the queen may sound fascinating but landing an appointment in her diary is another thing. The Buckingham palace is not hard to find. It’s not a castle-type but a massive building (with hundreds of rooms for sure!). The palace is guarded with a big gate and a few guards outside.

Visiting this tourist attraction is free. Your wallet can relax for a bit.




6. Time Check with Big Ben (Westminster, SW1A 0AA)

If you’re going to see the Buckingham Palace, you shouldn’t miss Big Ben. Unfortunately, when we came over, the clock tower was covered in scaffolding. In a different angle, you may still see the clock’s face.

The clock is currently under maintenance. They said it’s going to take a year before it’s completed.


7. Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4 (Kings Cross Station, N1 9AP)

If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, then this attraction should be in your list! When we got to the station, the queues for the trolley and the shop were sooooo long (they are separate).

For the trolley, if you want a professional photographer to take the photo and skip the queue, all you need is pay an extra £15. If you want to go in the shop, you will need to wait for 15-30 minutes before you can get in. You can buy all sorts of Harry Potter stuffs from key chains to shirts.




8. Have a nice afternoon tea (wherever you want!)

It’s a must to experience the British afternoon tea (if you haven’t yet!). It’s a selection of sweets in a fancy tray and a set of teas. There were scones, sandwiches, slices of cake and macaroons. I was full after that! The teas were really nice (not your ordinary tea at home btw!).

We had our afternoon tea in the hotel as it was a surprise from hubby. It was absolutely fantastic!


9. Shopping high street brands in Bond Street (E15 1LT)

It is a major shopping area in West London that you don’t want to miss! I even saw an Inglot shop. If you like to do some nice shopping, don’t skip this area!

One part of the street reminds me of Melaka, Malaysia because of the decorated rickshaws.




10. Take the London underground train (Anywhere in Central London)

London underground is the busiest station I’ve ever been to! It was like a maze and if you don’t read the signs properly, you will really get lost.

One thing I noticed though is the train schedule works on time (bang on!) compared to our trains here in the North part of England. It was excellent!

Just a piece of advice, always stand on the right side of the escalator if you’re not in a rush. The left side is for people who are in a hurry. You don’t want them to run over you! Safety first.

TIP: If you’re on a short tour in London and travelling by public transportation, you have the option to get an Oyster card to pay for the fares. But if you don’t prefer it, you can still use your contactless card.




For Pinoy travellers, I highly recommend Kensington area where you can find a lot of Filipino shops and restaurants. If you’d like a quick shopping for Pinoy foods, it’s really convenient.

Also, a Jollibee fast food chain will be opened in Kensington! Watch out for that.


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