|Enroute via Eurostar|
Prior to leaving for London we pre-ordered a London Pass for both of us. London is jam packed with places to visits and other activities to take part in. Most, not all charge some sort of fee, for example it costs £18 for an adult to visit Westminster Abbey. So quite quickly a trip to London can become very expensive. If you buy a London Pass you get "free" entry into over 60 of London's top attractions. Take a look at their website, you'll find the link under Travel in the Our Favourites section at the side of your screen. Plan what you want to see as well as the time it will take and work out if buying a pass makes sense for you.
|Illuminated South Bank|
We stayed at the Waterloo Premier Inn which is very close to Waterloo station. With great staff and really comfy beds, the location is great for exploring London. The London Eye, situated on the South Bank of the river Thames is just across the road and Westminster Bridge is about 5 minutes away. The South Bank itself is full of activity from street performers, bars, restaurants and independent shops, its a great place to spend some time.
After quickly dumping our cases at the hotel, our next stop was Oxford Street for a visit to Nike World, from there we made our way back through the city via Regent Street, Picadilly Circus, Covent Garden for dinner, down through Whitehall and back across Wesminster Bridge to our hotel. All on foot, the best way to see London.
|The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square|
|Westminster by night|
The following morning fuelled by a great Full English breakfast we were ready for a days sight seeing, first destination Westminster Abbey about 10/15 minutes walk from our hotel. An easy walk back across Westminster Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament.
|Houses of Parliament|
Westminster Abbey is an amazing place, packed with history and you could easily spend two or three hours there. It does get very busy, do get there early if you want to avoid the queues. If you plan to visit London, be sure and visit this historic landmark. Sadly as with many of London's historic attractions it is forbidden to take photos inside.
After leaving the Abbey, Buckingham Palace was next on our itinerary. We walked through St. James's Park, stopping off for a coffee at the Inn in the Park on the way. The coffee was fine but the filthy pigeons outside were a bit of a pain.
|Horse Guard's Parade|
|5 Mins to Buckingham Palace|
As you'd expect there was a crowd of tourists from all over the globe milling around Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial.
After spending some time enjoying the sights and sounds around the Palace we walked back up the Mall to Admiralty Arch.
Our final destination for our days sight seeing was St. Paul's Cathedral in the heart of the City of London. So we hopped on a tube from Charing Cross and where there in no time. As with Westminster you can expect to queue to enter, however if you have a London Pass there is a separate desk for pre-paid tickets and you also get a free audio guide. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral is magnicent and well worth a visit.
|St. Paul's Cathedral|
From there it was back to the hotel for a very quick rest before departing for the Victoria Palace Theatre and the evening performance of Billy Elliot. If you've seen the movie you'll love this inspirational stage musical. It is brilliant so if you are in London, don't hesitate...book some tickets.
The following morning we were up earlish for a run along the South Bank of the Thames, this was like a mini London Tour as we passed many famous landmarks, as you'll see from the following photos.
|Shakespeare's Globe Theatre|
|HMS Belfast & Tower Bridge|
|The Anchor, Bankside with the Shard in the background|
|The Tower of London|
So after a refreshing shower and a "healthy" cooked breakfast, our destination was Greenwich, along the Thames on a City Cruises boat from the London Eye Pier. Another excursion covered by the London Pass. With the Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, two markets and some lovely shops you could easily enjoy a day at Greenwich.
|Arriving at Greenwich|
|The Cutty Sark|
|The fabulous Greenwich arts & crafts market|
|The old (Greenwich) & the new (Canary Wharf)|
From Kensington Palace we popped back into London for some lunch at the Shakespeare's Head on Great Marlbourough St, just before Carnaby Street. The Chip Shop Platter was delicious. After that it was back to the Netherlands via Eurostar to Brussels, the end of a fantastic weekend.