London, a busy city filled with more people that it should be able to hold. A tube system that runs like clockwork and a giant clock that can’t be seen in the year 2019. Or any time over the next three years.
My time in London was a busy one. I had many cafes to try and appointments to make. After this time in London, I am one step closer to becoming a fully-fledged British citizen.
That’s right, a British Citizen. A couple months prior to departing Australia, my British Passport arrived. Receiving dual citizenship.
In London, I opened my British bank account. Later attended an appointment for my National Insurance Number. Which if you are Australian, is like our tax file number. Therefore, important for the working part of my trip.
London is a wonderful place; much to see and do. West Minster Abbey, London Bridge and the London Eye. The most famous Ferris wheel in all the land. In the event royals are your thing, Buckingham and Kensington Palace are a must. The beautiful green and large Hyde Park and the Princess Diana memorial should be on your list of must-sees along with Trafalgar Square. Some advice, don’t sit on the Lion statues you will get in trouble. Big Ben has always been a must stop; usually spectacular. Keep in mind; Ben isn’t himself at the moment and won’t be for another three years. *Gasp*
If you plan to visit London in the next few years don’t get your hopes up about seeing the big golden clock known as Big Ben; covered in scaffolding and a bit of an eye-sore looking back on previous years.
Like all of my holiday, I find immersing myself into the history makes me feel more connected to the place I am visiting, does anyone else feel like this too?
A trip to the British Museum was great, history at no cost. During this and previous trips to London, I have taken a dip into the dark history of London. If your ever in London and want some education on their past, the London Dungeon is great fun. An interactive walk-through of the plague. Because I am me, I was the unlucky person who was picked on the whole time. As embarrassing as it was it made for a good laugh and added to the experience. This visit I went to the Jack the Ripper museum; a little gory and detailed, certainly intriguing. Three stories high and from the outside does not look like your typical museum. Both are worth a visit.
Different to past visits, my Harry Potter obsession was on the back burner. If you’re like me and love Harry Potter you must go to the studios. There’s a bus available to take you from London to the studios in Watford. This is truly magical, equally for those who are not big fans of the franchise. Sadly, I did not go on this trip and that pains me to say. No giant chocolate frog to eat or want to add to the collection.
Every visit does require a Broadway show. On another of my trips I saw Jersey Boys and another time, Mamma Mia. This trip, 2019 was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. One of the few Harry Potter related activities for this holiday. Undoubtedly part my top five Broadway performances. I advise if you’re putting it on your agenda, get a day that Part One and Two are on the same day. Part One ends with a real cliff hanger, I would have hated to wait a whole day to see the next part. The show is pure magic. Amazing acting and a perfectly written script. Spells are performed and you see the magic actually happening. Flying, wand waving, fast costume and set changes all take place. I cant even explain how wonderful it was without getting exciting and wanting to see it again.
If you have been keeping up with my travels you will know I always end up at markets and London is no exception. My Sunday in London was spent going between Markets. Camden Flower markets are insanely busy. I imagined what it would be. The reality was very different to my imagination. Explaining what I envisioned in my mind would be a good idea for this write up, truthfully I don’t remember what it was I imagined. What I can tell you is flower market is not the right name, a little misleading. Garden Market could be a better choice of name. A warning for short people, I narrowly missed being elbowed in the face a few dozen times.
The markets are on the street and behind the stalls are small restaurants and shops. Moving through the market was like driving the freeway at peak hour. Constant stopping and starting. Close encounters bumping into people because of sudden stops. I ended up walking behind the stalls on the footpath. I went into the stores and looked at the menus for the cafes and restaurants that you wouldn’t know where there. This was a great way to escape the pushing and shoving and a safe was to avoid a possible concussion. The flowers were gorgeous and of amazing quality. I understand why anyone needing flowers or redoing a garden would brave the crowds to make their purchase.
I went to Greenwich Markets and explored a little of Greenwich. These markets delivered the goods for me. The best of gluten free all in one place. I had the best mini pancakes coated in white chocolate, nuts and strawberries. Followed by a baked gluten-free, decent size, not a crazy expensive, matcha doughnut. Anyone who is on a gluten-free diet will understand my excitement. I restrained myself from purchasing more food.
I enjoyed the feel of these markets; these markets were not large comparing to others. The stalls were occupied by artists and photographers. Jewellery makers, essential oil consultants and all sorts of one of a kind item and their owners. All the stall owners were familiar with each other and had great banter. The alcove echoed with chatter and laughter.
On this same Sunday I went by Leadenhall Markets, a grand Victorian style area. Unfortunately, on the day of my visit, not much was happening. There is always a silver lining and for this occasion, I could to take in all its grand features without it being swamped with people. Sundays in London are a great day for markets, I didn’t even get to visit half of them. A great challenge for my next visit I guess.
And like always I paid a visit to Convent Garden. My favourite area in London. The markets are incredible and spread over various areas. Lots of stalls and surrounded by restaurants, cafes and stores. Each time I go the stalls are always different. In Covent garden you can find many hidden gems, Neal’s Yard is one. Tucked in the centre of Covent Garden this is the most colourful place in London. It’s a must for all visitors, it’s an Instagram worthy space and will be the most colourful image on your insta grid.
Convent Garden and Knotting hill are the places that showcase the sophisticated side of London. I could not visit again without seeing Knotting Hill. I did the research, knew the filming locations, the important for me, and mum was the bookstore. Naturally, I stopped by. Took lots of photos for mum and brought something for myself. I wish it was a book, I don’t have a luggage allowance or room for it; a postcard with a quote from the movie.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
If you’re a fan, make sure you stop by. If I were to move to London, this is where I would need to live. I want to live in a beautiful pastel coloured, two storey townhouse that lines the road. The day of my visit the cherry blossoms were just starting to come to life, other trees are beautiful and lush with green leaves. I would love to be near the huge markets that are always happening and eat at the amazing cafes daily. Perfect for my gluten-free lifestyle. If this is going to happen I guess I better start saving.
In London, I thrive. There is never a dull moment and something to do and see. London is a place for exploring. Double-decker buses can get you to all the main attractions, your feet or the bikes available for hire on every corner will help you find its best-kept secrets of London. Countless amounts of restaurants and cafe to eat at and shops to look in. London is one of my favourites. Not only is London simply fabulous it is a train ride from Paris, which is an added bonus. If it is good enough for the Royals, it’s good enough from me.