London Hotels Articles

March 30, 2010

Love London vacations?

Without a doubt, I love London vacations. It’s hard to believe now, but before my first trip to London in 2003, I had never had any desire to visit this fabulous city. I spent a week there this year making it my fifth visit in the past six years.

Each time I am there I come across new experiences and places to see that seem to top the ones from before. My first three trips to London were during group trips where it happened to be the first stop on each tour. We saw the usual sights that one would expect to see on a short two or three day stay such as Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Big Ben, Covent Garden, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey to name a few.

It was during my subsequent two trips to London that I began to explore more of the wonders that this fabulous city has to offer. By not being on an organized tour, I was able to visit some out of the way places which normally would be skipped due to time constraints.

Borough Market in South East London was a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s a large market only open on weekends (Thursday-Saturday) and would have been a wonderful place to buy our lunch if we would have known and hadn’t already eaten. We did end up buying some cheese and freshly baked bread to take back to our hotel and enjoy with some wine later that evening.

Even though it was pouring down rain at the time, we made a trip to Portobello Road for some antique shopping. Thankfully the rain stopped soon after we arrived and we were able to check out the vendors with a little more comfort. One of my friends was even able to purchase some wonderful antique brooches to add to her collection.

With the likes of Harrod’s, Fortnum and Mason and all the shops along Oxford Street, London is the place for people who have shopping on their minds. It is almost a must to visit Harrod’s to be able to say you were there, even if you couldn’t afford to buy anything!

A ride on the London Eye gives you a wonderful bird’s eye view all over the city and is worth the wait. Another way to get an overall look at the city is to ride one of the hop on hop off bus tours. I have used the Original Tour company twice and have been pleased.

An easy day trip from London includes Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath. Each one is worth the trip and you can book this tour as well as other one day bus trips through most hotels.

Some other touristy but fun things to do are to ride the tube and double decker buses. Photo ops abound and you don’t want to forget pictures in the red phone booths and on the lions in Trafalgar Square!

A highlight of this year’s trip included meeting one of Queen Elizabeth’s personal bodyguards. He had us admitted to the grounds of Buckingham Palace for a private viewing of the Changing of the Guard. It was a nice change from being among the thousands outside the gates who have to strain to see what is happening!

I still think back to the days when I had no desire to visit London and can’t believe how much I enjoy it now. I honestly have to say that I do love London vacations!

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