London, UK

February 2019.

I took a National Express Coach down to the Capital for a reunion with the Ben and Laura, who I’d met in New Zealand last year. And it was a LONG journey. 7 hours on a hot stuffy bus was not my ideal way of spending a Saturday, but it was a means to an end, and by far the cheapest option.

Now although I was born and bred here in England, I’ve never actually visited London in my whole 22 years of living here. Which is quite ridiculous. But to be honest, I’d never had a reason to go before. Nothing has ever drawn me in. And to quote Billy Elliot’s dad “there’s no mines in London” (if you haven’t seen Billy Elliot, then that will be completely lost on you…).

The travel costs to get there can often be off the scale. In fact it’s often cheaper to fly to another country than it is to get the train to London. But that’s a discussion for another day…

So there I was on a drizzly Saturday morning, travelling South, excited to see my friends again, and to explore a brand new place.

And explore we did.

Here’s what we got up to during our time in the Capital…

So after spending most of the day travelling, Saturday night was all about chilling out and having a long awaited catch up. We went out for the most delicious pizza at a place called Franco Manca, and considering we were in the city, it wasn’t too expensive. And to be honest, that’s all we really did on our first night…not that exciting I know, but we were all pretty tired…

Sunday

The following day we really started our exploration. It was like we’d just slipped back into our New Zealand ways, and got back in to that travelling mindset, which to be honest, I had missed quite a bit! We headed to Battersea Park (which I’d highly recommend visiting!) for a couple of hours and grabbed coffee (as always).

Monday

Monday was a jam packed day. We headed out super early to get to the Natural History Museum before the queues got insanely long. I love the fact that the Museum is free to enter, and you can easily spend a full day here, there’s so much to see. I’m not going to lie, I acted like the biggest kid when we were in there. If there was a button to be pressed, I pressed it. If there was a game to be played, I plated it. If there was something to be spun, I spun it. You get the idea…

After the museum, we headed to Trafalgar Square, which is full of incredible sculptures and water fountains. It’s a place where you can easily sit for a while and take it all in, and just people watch for a while! There’s often buskers and street performers so there’s tonnes to keep you entertained.

Westminster was also on today’s list (yes, we did have a list…). We checked off tonnes of incredible stuff here including Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street, and the guard change at the Royal Horse Parade. So there is a lot to see in such a jam packed area!

Tuesday

This morning we headed to Buckingham Palace (when in London…), hoping to see the Guard Change. But of course, we picked the one day it wasn’t happening didn’t we… Thankfully the weather was gorgeous so we were able to just grab a coffee and take in the sights!

Following this, we headed to Tower Bridge. Honestly, this trip was basically ticking off every single tourist hot-spot London has to offer…

Then it was lunch time (which is the best part of the day, always). If you’re looking for a great place to visit, head to Kaffeine which is inspired by the owner’s travels to Australia and New Zealand, so of course, we had to visit. The coffee was honestly out of this world, and the food was equally delicious.

After lunch we walked to Kings Cross Station to have a nosey at the Harry Potter shop and infamous Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Which was pretty impressive.

Told you today was a jam packed day. I can’t remember the last time I walked so far…

London was a pretty impressive trip, I get why people love it so much. But to be honest, for me it was just too busy. Growing up in the countryside, and in a village where I literally know everyone, it was a definite culture shock. But you never know, one day, I may be pulled back in to its vibrant culture and lifestyle, who knows what the future holds.

But one thing I loved more than anything else was being reunited with Ben and Laura. Honestly missed those guys so much, and all of our New Zealand adventures.

Thanks London. It was a blast.

Charley.

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