A Christmas party may have brought us to London on a Thursday, but the idea to stay until Christmas Eve was allll us! No car this time, because the train system worked in our favor (other than multiple changes coming home).
I'm so thankful we live so close to London now that we can spend an extended weekend exploring -- we've spent some time in London before, but there is always more to see. And some repeat things to see.
The Tower Bridge is one of my favorite places to see -- and at night, it's breathtaking. Our hotel was just steps from the bridge, so we were able to soak it in every night we were there.
Other fun things we explored (to see all photos: https://www.jkennis.com/p817513637)
- All the Christmas lights : Each neighborhood had their own set of lights and we had to see them all!
- City of London Museum
- Tower of London (with the Crown Jewels!) : The crown jewels. No pictures allowed. I've never seen bigger diamonds, nor have I ever been placed on a conveyor belt to ensure that I don't look too long. Jokes on them cause I went through twice..
- Borough Market (ahmahgah...the food!) : This entire market which is under a bypass is intoxicating with all the food aromas. Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese? Yes please!
- Globe Theater : This is a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.
- Roman Wall : We could see the Roman Wall from outside our hotel window which was a nice little surprise.
- Knights Templar - Temple Church : This was closed for Christmas, but we were able to see the outside. It's interesting, because when you are walking up to the Templar block, you truly feel like you are trespassing. You have to walk past a security guard, and from the outside, it looks like you will be stopped by them. But we just walked right on by. It was a bit eery walking through the Templar buildings, because it was so empty.
- Winter Wonderland : Everyone told me that I needed to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It's the best celebration you will ever go to, and you can't miss it. Okay... it was free, so we decided to trek over there and go. While I can appreciate that the US might be the only place that has county fairs with rides and fried food, Winter Wonderland was underwhelming to me. I expected extravagant, and I found rickety rides and fried food. It wasn't very Christmas-y, but more Carnival-y. We did not stay long which was disappointing because it was quite the trek to get there.
- Paddington Bear: A couple of years ago, an artist designed a hundred or so Paddington Bears and displayed them all over London. We found one or two... but our favorite was the one inside Hamley's Toy Store. This toy store is exactly what you picture a toy store looking like in Britain... just like the movies.
- Hagrid: Found Hagrid in Hamley's too!
- The West End presents "Matilda": We knew we wanted to see a show while we were here, and we chose Matilda. It's amazing to me that the majority of the actresses and actors were young children, and the show was phenomenal!
- Princess Diana Memorial Fountain