I recently returned from my very first trip to London, which is incredible considering I’m nearly 40 and had never set foot in the city before. Let me tell you, it was a fantastic time!
Dan meticulously planned a weekend getaway to coincide with picking up our eldest daughter from university in Portsmouth. She was coming home for Christmas, and we couldn’t wait to see her! We woke up bright and early, around 4:30 am on Saturday, ready to embark on our adventure.
The journey to London itself was quite a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with excitement and anticipation. We drove into Richmond and left the car in a multi-storey car park for the duration of our stay. Unfortunately, the original plan to take the train into central London hit a little snag due to rail strikes. But hey, no worries! It just meant taking a bus ride and a few tube rides instead, but you know what? It added a touch of adventure to our trip. Reaching central London, I could feel the thrill of being in this vibrant city as soon as we stepped out of the tube station, ready to explore the city.
We spent the entire weekend, from Saturday morning to Sunday evening, exploring. We left early Sunday evening and travelled to Portsmouth for an overnight stay. First thing on Monday, we picked up our daughter and embarked on the long journey back home to Harrogate.
The hotel was stunning, with grand architecture and elegant interior design, leaving me in awe. As I stepped inside, the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee from the delightful Costa coffee shop nestled within greeted me.
The Thistle London Marble Arch: Though a bit pricey for one night, the experience was worth it. The hotel’s luxurious ambience and impeccable service made it memorable. One highlight was the prime location, offering a splendid view of bustling Oxford Street. From my room, I admired the city’s vibrant energy below, with its crowds and twinkling lights.
The hotel’s amenities were top-notch. From plush bedding to meticulous attention to detail, every comfort was provided. Overall, my experience exceeded expectations. It was a haven of luxury, comfort, and convenience that left me feeling pampered. I will cherish the memories and eagerly look forward to my next visit.
Getting to the theatre on time was no easy task. As we headed towards the tube on Oxford Street, unexpected closures and a massive crowd posed challenges.
In the chaos, I briefly lost sight of Dan. But determined to push forward, I navigated the busy street, walking on the road’s edge. With time running out, we daringly walked through Hyde Park in the dark. Despite fatigue and sore feet, we arrived just in the nick of time.
Stepping into the theatre, an energy filled the air, setting the stage for an awe-inspiring performance. The captivating story, enchanting music, and exceptional talent of the actors left an indelible mark on my memory. Truly unforgettable!
Afterwards, we were fortunate to find a black cab waiting outside the theatre’s entrance for our journey back to the hotel.
Our trip to Camden Market was an absolute sensory treat! The atmosphere was buzzing with energy, and I couldn’t resist exploring the diverse range of stalls. From vintage clothing to handcrafted treasures, there was something unique at every turn. And let’s not forget about the food – oh my, the flavours were simply delightful! The traditional fish and chips left a lasting impression on my taste buds. Amidst the beautiful stalls, one stood out with enchanting lights, drawing me in like a moth to a flame. I got lost in the record shop, utterly oblivious to the passing time.
Let’s dive into the London Tube, shall we? As someone who’s not the biggest fan of tight spaces, it posed a challenge. The packed tubes made quite an impression on me, especially during the busy pre-Christmas weekend and amidst the strikes. Being squeezed in with strangers, shuffling in and out as the doors, helped me overcome my fear of confined spaces and crowds. And how could I forget those crazy steep escalators leading down to the tube?! I must admit, though, I did enjoy strolling through the underground tunnels and catching a glimpse of the talented buskers. Watch your step when wet – those floors can be pretty slippery.
A visit to London in December would only be complete with stepping into a Christmas Market, and Leicester Square was our chosen destination. The market was a magical wonderland adorned with twinkling fairy lights, handing mistletoes, and beautifully decorated stalls resembling cute little wooden huts.
It was a festive fiesta that filled the air with the scent of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and sweet treats. We browsed through various stalls selling unique Christmas gifts and handcrafted items – a perfect spot to pick up souvenirs. The crowd made the experience even more delightful.
We patiently waited in line to explore the awe-inspiring Lego shop during our visit. Additionally, we couldn’t resist the temptation to indulge at M&M World, where we spent far more than we had intended on M&M’s.
December in London is a magical time with enchanting Christmas lights you can’t miss. The city transforms into a vibrant canvas of colours as sparkling lights adorn the streets. It’s like entering a fairytale, where every corner fills you with wonder. Remember to marvel at the iconic Oxford Street lights, a breathtaking sight that will awaken you. Stroll along the street, gaze up at the dazzling displays, and immerse yourself in the festive cheer surrounding you.
One of the most memorable parts of my London adventure was our trip to the Natural History Museum. This incredible architectural wonder is home to a diverse collection of specimens from different branches of natural history. The dinosaur exhibit was incredibly captivating, transporting us back to when these magnificent creatures roamed the Earth. But the museum is not just for history enthusiasts; it’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to explore and appreciate the remarkable wonders of the natural world.
My visit to London was genuinely exceptional, surpassing all expectations. The city’s dynamic energy, profound appreciation for arts, history, and cuisine, and the genuine warmth of its people have made an indelible impression on me. Despite our limited time, it only serves as a reminder that I must plan a more extensive visit in the future. London is an awe-inspiring city that beckons me to explore its wonders further and delve deeper into its charm.
Before you go, here are a few other posts you may like: