MUST TAKE Day Trips from London

MUST TAKE Day Trips from London - Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), Paris, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle and Greenwich Prime Meridian. Find out how to get there and what to do! 

MUST TAKE Day Trips from London - Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), Paris, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle and Greenwich Prime Meridian. Find out how to get there and what to do!

Today I'm telling you all about the day trips that we took on our trip to London. We went to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, PARIS and Greenwich Prime Meridian.

The highlight of the whole trip for me was the trip to Downton Abbey. I LOVED IT! I tell you all about it and how to get there and back from London. The other trips were great. I mean, how could Paris be bad?!?! We did Hampton Court and Windsor Castle in the same day. I give you all the deets on how to do that! We also took the boat to Greenwich to stand on the Prime Meridian. SO fun!

Highclere Castle - Downton Abbey
Right after we checked into our hotel, we started our journey to Highclere Castle. 
You may know Highclere Castle as Downton Abbey. That is certainly how I know it!
We took the train from Paddington Station to Newbury. There was a taxi that came by the station, but you might want to pre-book one. We used John B's Taxi (+44 1635 246486).


I could hear the Downtown Abbey theme song playing when we drove up. I mean, it was my ringtone, but I could hear it nonetheless.
All we were missing were Lord Grantham and Isis walking the grounds.

As with most places on our trip, we couldn't take pictures inside. BOO!!!

I kept waiting on Mr. Carson or Mr. Barrow to come greet me at the entrance.

Inside, we got to go through ALL the rooms from the show.
The Great Hall, the dining room, the drawing room, the library, upstairs to the bedrooms and we even got to walk down the big staircase! It was SO exciting!!


The castle is AMAZING!

The trees on the grounds are incredible. They are over 300 years old.


After I dragged everyone around the castle and the grounds, we called the cab to pick us up.
This was hands-down my favorite thing we did on our whole trip.
I could have gone home after visiting Highclere Castle and been happy as a clam!

We bought our tickets in advance. They sell tickets on site, but I really suggest getting them before you go. It is a bit of a trip and you wouldn't want to get turned away. Get all the information on visiting here - https://www.highclerecastle.co.uk

Hampton Court Palace
We visited Hampton Court and Windsor Castle in the same day.
We took the train from Paddington Station to the Hampton Court Station. You can use your Oyster Card to get here from London.

I bought our tickets in advance, but you could very easily get tickets when you get here.

Building of the Hampton Court palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the King Henry VIII seized the palace for himself and later enlarged it. Iit is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.

Anne Boleyn's Gate
The Tudor gatehouse and astronomical clock, made for Henry VIII in 1540. 



The gardens are the real attraction at Hampton Court Palace.

They are AMAZING!






I probably took 1,000 pictures of just the flowers. I will spare you from having to see them all and just share six of my favorites.

You can check out all that Hampton Court has to offer here - https://hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace


Windsor Castle
After spending the morning at Hampton Court, we grabbed an Uber and headed over to Windsor Castle. It was about a 30 minute ride. If Uber isn't operating, there is a shuttle that you can prebook that takes you between the two attractions. You can book it here - http://surbitoncoaches.com

Windsor Castle is the preferred weekend residence of The Queen.


We were only able to go into two areas of the castle.
The State Apartments and the Queen Mary's Dolls' House.
The State Apartments were nice and very interesting to see.
The doll house was a waste. If there isn't a line you should go, but skip it if there is a long line.



We happened upon the changing of the guards.


We visited Windsor Castle on a Sunday and we were unable to visit the inside of St. George's Chapel.
After we were done visiting, we headed to the train station and got a ticket back to Paddington Station.

We rebooked our tickets in advance, but there wasn't an issue buying them onsite.
Here is where to get all the information about visiting Windsor Castle - https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/windsorcastle

Paris
I was SO excited to take Chicken Legs to Paris for the day.
We got up before sunrise and headed to the train station.
You want to get there early because there is security and passport control. 

As soon as we got off the train, we grabbed a cab to the Eiffel Tower.
I booked tickets for us to go up to the second level. Chicken Legs wouldn't go to the top with me!
I really suggest buying tickets before you go - it is CRAZY! Two spots for security and SO many people. Go to the Eiffel Tower website to get tickets - http://www.toureiffel.paris/en

We got lucky with the weather!

Here is the view from the second platform looking up at the very top.







After we were done admiring the city from the Eiffel Tower, we hopped on the BigBus and rode around the city.

We hopped off at Notre Dame. We grabbed lunch at a nearby cafe and then went inside.


Don't miss the back of the church. I think it is more beautiful than the front!
Chicken Legs was disappointed that we didn't see the Hunchback. LOL!




We took the BigBus all along the red line back to the Eiffel Tower and hopped on a boat to sail down the Seine river. 

It was a great way to see the city!




Before we headed back to the train station, we grabbed a croissant and eclair.
I hope we can go back soon so I can show Chicken Legs more of my favorite city!


Greenwich - Prime Meridian Line
Our last trip was a boat ride to Greenwich to visit the Prime Meridian - Longitude 0°
We caught the boat at the Westminster Pier. 
You can use your Oyster card for the round trip to Greenwich.

The boat ride was really good. 

We saw all the sites of London and our boat crew gave great commentary.

Just an FYI - the water on the Thames is always this yucky brown color.
Chicken Legs asked someone about it and they said it was because the river gets so much traffic.




We hiked up a STEEP hill to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.


I stood on the historic Prime Meridian of the World, (home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)).
I stood on my timezone!

The views are spectacular from the observatory.
Look at the city behind the The Queen's house.

You can get all the information on visiting Greenwich here - http://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/prime-meridian-Greenwich
We just bought tickets when we got here.




I hope you enjoyed reading about our day trips!
Here is my other London post in case you missed it:

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