Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.
Today I could have chosen so many different places, as we have visited lots of L’s, but when it came to the crunch I had to go with the city that we called home for 18 years, and where we never stopped being tourists.
“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life..” (Samuel Johnson, 1777)
I would have to agree with Mr Johnson as London has so much to offer, especially if you’re willing to explore beyond the glitzy parts that tourists generally head to. To share all the must sees would take forever, so I’m just going to share some of our favourites.
You shouldn’t be surprised that food features first, and there are places to eat from all over the world. One of the must dos is afternoon tea, and the prices for these range from reasonable to outlandish – we used to keep an eye on groupon and woucher, and treat ourselves to afternoon tea whenever they came up. The photo on the left is us enjoying a chocolate themed afternoon tea and yes we had to get a doggy bag to take some of it home. The other picture is an ice-cream sundae at the parlour in Harrods – whilst it is probably more than you would normally pay for this dessert, it’s worth sharing one together just for the experience.
The Thames is the river that runs through London, but is actually 215 miles long from source in the Cotswolds to the sea, and there is a walking path beside most of it – we’ve done quite a bit of it both in the Cotswolds and in London. Two of the tourist attractions on the Thames that I would recommend are the London Eye and Tower Bridge. The view from the top of the Eye is incredible, and the history of the bridge is well worth exploring, as well as going up in the towers.
A site to visit if you’re interested in history is Crossbones graveyard which is now a remembrance garden commemorating about 15,000 paupers including women who worked in brothels. Vigils are held every month to remember the souls buried within and people leave tokens on the gates.
When I asked my beloved what I should say to visit in London, he said the Queen’s house? I think he means Buckingham Palace, and yes I would agree that if you go to London for the first time, it’s worth going to get the expected photo of yourself in front of all that grandeur.
(Look how young and fresh faced we were)
London has fabulous markets and three of our favourites were, left to right, Greenwich, Borough, and Covent Garden Markets. We loved going to them, choosing yummy fresh treats, and then sitting somewhere scenic to enjoy them.
London often surprised us as well. I remember one day when we were walking along the Thames Path and came across a lady walking a Shetland pony!! Yes, you read that correctly, a pony in the middle of London. Unbeknown to us, we weren’t far from a city farm. Another day we visited the National Gallery, which is next to Trafalgar Square, and when we’d finished we walked out to discover a Hare Krishna festival had taken over the square. Such a cheerful and colourful celebration.
There are many great buildings of different faiths that are worth visiting, pictured below is St Paul’s Cathedral. If you’re in the city at Christmas time, do take the time to go and see the lights in the evening – everywhere looks magical and there must be millions of fairy lights ablaze, as it’s a known fact that anything looks better with fairy lights on it.
For those of you who love wandering through old graveyards, there is a wealth of Victorian graveyards around the city. The most well known is Highgate where Karl Marx is commemorated, amongst many other famous and infamous people. One side of the cemetery is only accessible on a tour, and includes catacombs which are incredibly atmospheric. I’ve even dragged my poor beloved to an open day in an old graveyard with a market set up amongst the tombs.
There are many great museums and art galleries with our favourites being the Victoria & Albert museum, the Natural History museum, the National Portrait gallery, and Somerset House. I’m going to have to stop now as I could go on and on – what a surprise, I’ve just realised that the first year that I did the A to Z in 2016, my topic for L was London then.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.
Stay safe and have a lovely day.
Previous A to Z posts:
2018 – L is for Love and Laws
2017 – L is for Loch Ness
2016 – L is for London