10 Things You MUST DO in London – Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, the theater, London Eye, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Thames River Boat, Churchill War Room, Pubs, Shopping at Harrods, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben! PLUS the BEST meal I’ve ever eaten! Don’t miss this!
Last month, we took a trip across the pond! We spent a week and a half in London, England. This was my first time in London, and my first time in Europe with Chicken Legs!!! My parent’s even tagged along for the trip! We had a blast!
We hit up all the must-see tourist spots and took some day trips. Today I’m sharing my Top 10 things that you MUST DO on your trip to London!!
One of my least favorite things about the tourist sites in London is that you can’t take pictures inside. If The Queen owns it, you can’t take pictures inside. BOO!!! I did get lots of great photos outside and we did go several places that we could take inside pictures.
You can’t go to London and not go to Buckingham Palace.
You must visit the Queen!
We had tickets to visit the State Rooms. They were very impressive.
You’ll just have to take my word for it since I couldn’t take pictures inside! LOL!
We got to Buckingham Palace early for our State Room tour and got to see the changing of the guards.
You want to be on the ends of the palace to have the best view.
We were on the side – towards the end.
We did get an up close view of some of the guards though!
Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with the whole ceremony.
It wasn’t as polished and pristine as I expected. It is also LONG!
If you miss it, it is fine.
After our tour of the State Rooms, we went to the Royal Mews.
It is where all of the fancy carriages and horses are stored.
This is the Gold State Coach.
It was commissioned by George III in 1760.
This is the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
It is a six-horse-drawn carriage that was made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday but completion was delayed for nearly 8 years. Eventually, it became a commemoration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was first used at the State Opening of Parliament on 4 June 2014.
Go to the Theater
London is like a NYC in that it has lots of incredible plays!
We got tickets to Kinky Boots and it was INCREDIBLE! INCREDIBLE!
It is on tour right now in The States – GO SEE IT!
After the play, we walked around the corner and grabbed a drink at this fun pub.
It is really hidden. You’ll miss it if you aren’t looking for it.
It is TINY inside, but lots of fun! No food, just alcohol.
The London Eye
I was SUPER excited to ride the London Eye!!
It is 443 feet high and has a diameter of 394 feet.
The views are INCREDIBLE!
We got lucky and only had about 15 people in our pod.
The Hungerford Bridge and the Waterloo Bridge in the back.
We were at the top of the wheel when the changing of the guards started.
You can see them marching at the Royal Mews.
You can pre-book your tickets for the London Eye.
If you don’t get tickets in advance, you can buy them onsite.
I suggest getting skip the line tickets!
TIP – go to the right of the wheel base and buy your tickets at the Boat Ticket Sales and Entrance.
The line is super short and they sell the London Eye tickets!
You can also get tickets for a Thames River Boat ride here. (I talk about that later in the post)
The Tower Bridge was my FAVORITE!!!
I could have taken pictures here all day. I just LOVED it.
We took a tour of the bridge. You take an elevator to the top and can get great views of the Thames.
They have a glass floor!!!!!
I was not too keen on this!
It was worth walking on the glass floor to get these views of London!
Thames River Boat
We took a boat ride up and back down the Thames River.
You just buy a boat ticket with a return trip.
We started at the Tower Bridge. You can also get tickets at Big Big or the London Eye.
This is the London Bridge. Not as impressive as the Tower Bridge!
The London Eye
Big Ben & Parliament
Tower of London
Back to the Tower Bridge
We got back just in time to see it open!!!
Churchill War Room
I’m not a big war history buff, but the Churchill War Rooms were FANTASTIC!
The Cabinet War Rooms are located beneath the Treasury building in the Whitehall area of Westminster. They became operational in August 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war in Europe. They remained in operation throughout the Second World War, before being abandoned in August 1945 after the surrender of Japan.
You get to walk through the whole underground complex that housed the British government’s command center during WWII. There is also a museum about Churchill. It was really good!
Tower of London
The Tower of London was surprisingly fun!
My favorite part of the Tower of London was seeing the Crown Jewels.
Guess what? You can’t take pictures inside. But let me tell you, you’ve never seen diamond as big as the ones inside here! SO much gold and so many giant jewels!
This guard is guarding the Queens house.
The Beefeaters were full of information and incredibly funny!
Talk to them. They also give free tours.
Back in the day, the Tower of London had animals that were given as gifts to the Kings and Queens.
Now there are fun wire statues that represent the animals that used to live there.
You also get FANTASTIC views of the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London.
Shopping could take up your whole trip in London!
We spend half a day in Harrods and still didn’t see it all.
My favorite store in Harrods was the ice cream parlor!
We also went by the KitchenAid Experience store.
Look at this mixer!!!!! I WANT ONE!
The KitchenAid store is around the block from Selfridge’s.
I loved Selfridge’s! It was SO much less crowded than Harrods.
Selfridge’s also had tons of great sweets and treats!
You will want to walk down Bond Street.
It isn’t far from Selfridge’s.
It is full of crazy high end shops! It is the best window shopping around.
Covent Garden Market is a fun indoor/outdoor market full of shops and restaurants.
We ate dinner at THE BEST place EVER!
Prima Sapori Italia – it is a block down from Covent Garden Market.
We started with the Prosciutto and Burrata.
Chicken Legs got a Negroni.
We got a couple of pasta dishes to share.
The Carbonara – YUM!
A plate of Bolognese – SO good!
We also got a pizza.
This was hands-down the best meal we ate in London.
I’m still dreaming about it!
Eat & Drink in a Pub
You can’t pass up Fish & Chips when you are in London.
I’m not a big fish person, so I ate lots of hamburgers.
All the pubs are basically the same and have most of the same food.
We stayed right around the corner from the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Hard Rock has a “secret” bar around the corner – The Back Room.
It is TINY and super cool. They have a limited menu and it isn’t the same as the Cafe.
I got a pizza – because I LOVE pizza!
I really liked the meat pies at all the pubs.
This one was stuffed with Guinness Beef. I’m recreating this soon!
All of the pubs had some form of nachos.
Most of them served them with pulled pork.
I found a place with CHICKEN!
One pub deserves a special mention.
The Dickens Inn.
It was SO PRETTY!
The food was great, and they were playing Christmas Music!
They played Christmas in Dixie by Alabama.
We figured we were the only people in there that knew where Dixie was!
On our walk to The Dickens Inn, we passed a marina.
The were getting ready for a boat show and the Queen’s boat was there!
Westminster Abbey & Big Ben
Big Ben is the symbol of London. It is silent right now because it is going through renovations.
I was just glad that the actual clock face didn’t have scaffolding around it!!!
You can take tours of the Abbey, but you can’t take any photos inside.
If you don’t want to take a tour, you can attend an evening service and see the inside.
We had the best time exploring London!!!
We took a few day trips while we were in London. I will be telling you all about them next week. You don’t want to miss it! (Downton Abbey!!!)