I had a whirlwind adventure in London for the past week including a New Year's celebration. I had 3 full days to spend in the U.K. and did I ever spend it jammed packed with activities. There is so much to do in London that the options seemed overwhelming at first. Where would I stay? What would I do? What do you eat in the U.K.? But the one that I needed to figure out first was where would I stay. The neighborhoods to me were so confusing. Each one has their own breath of life.
Booking a hotel at the last minute for New Year's was becoming too expensive so I ended up using Airbnb.com. This is a website that I have used before and it was a life saver. You get to have rooms or sometimes whole apartments to yourself that people rent out at a price that is way cheaper than a hotel. This means you can vacation like a local and even have a bigger number of guests without breaking the bank. And Airbnb is the middle man like Paypal, so you aren't getting ripped off by a stranger. What I learned this time around is that Airbnb is also a great too for finding rooms in bigger cities. This was especially good for London because it gave me a little bio for each neighborhood and you pick your neighborhood based on what you want to do. Do you want to stay in a touristy, artsy, or wealthy neighborhood? Airbnb can help you figure that out and then you figure out price and location to the city center accordingly. Seriously a lifesaver. I've also used Homeaway.com which is a similar website. A little fun fact: I found out later that the area of our apartment that we stayed in was literally the former kill route of Jack the Ripper...I can see why that wasn't added in the description though I think it adds to the appeal.
On day one I managed to visit Camden Lock Market, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, and Harrods! Let's start with Camden Lock.
So I need to start off by saying that it rained everyday we were in England. The only other time I brought my umbrella and used it on a trip was Amsterdam. It was also pretty windy in England. And due to this factor 50% of my pictures are from my iPhone. But of course we had to push through the bad weather. I've been wanting to visit the Camden Lock Market because I heard it was a cool/different side of London. It's filled with hipster/handmade items, food, and souvenirs.
Head far enough into the market and you'll step right into the Stables which is a market in an old underground stable. It's pretty cool looking and it has the same kind of stuff as the Camden Lock.
And of course we had to try the famous fish and chips!
Next we strolled over to see a cluster of famous sights all in the same general area. Here's Big Ben, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and various other famous buildings.
Walk a little further and you can see the Buckingham Palace.
We also took the tube to the Natural History Museum and the building is beautiful in itself, but there was an hour long wait to get in so we decided against it. I've always wanted to check out Harrods in all it's ridiculously expensive glory, so we headed that way. It's pretty much the most extravagant department store you'll ever see. In the middle of one of the rooms there was a mother feeding her 3 year old son caviar and oysters. I mean really? I made sure not to touch anything for fear of breaking something. We walked around for quite a bit but once we got to the pet spa we knew it was time leave.
Harrods all decked out for the holidays
I rated today's itinerary in London as follows:
Stay tuned for Day 2 of London!
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