Day 2: Touristing Hard
From Platform 9 ¾ to Big Ben and the London Eye, our first full day in London was jam packed. When I visit a place for the first time I tend to be a road warrior; ready to pound the pavement at a relentless pace taking in absolutely everything. Our plan for day two was to head to the farthest point on our agenda – King’s Cross Station, home of Platform 9 ¾, then work our way back toward home.
The long, rainy walk to King’s Cross Station was not my smartest idea. While viewing slivers of London streets under the overhang of an umbrella is probably the most authentic way to experience the city, our lives would have been much easier if we had opted to take the tube instead.
Platform 9 ¾ was touristy and cheesy and I have to admit that I loved it. I was easily persuaded to buy the photo I waited in line to pose for.
The photos we took ourselves were a bit blurry – one of the major reasons we decided to spring for the photos taken by the photographer working there. For someone who grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, visting King’s Cross, and London in general, was a dream come true.
From King’s Cross we made our way to The British Museum. I love to visit at least one museum when I’m traveling. With such a rich history and so many to choose from, everyone is bound to find a museum with something that piques their interest.
Of course it would be easy to spend an entire day in The British Museum, but we limited ourselves to just a few hours.
Lunch consisted of sandwiches at a café just off Oxford Street. With all of the incredible restaurants in London we could have sought out something much more impressive, but we opted for quick and casual. I would definitely recommend stopping in a café for a quick snack or lunch on a busy day. You’ll find a Pret a Manger on nearly every corner.
Our plan for the afternoon was to hit as many landmarks as possible. And of course when I say our plan, I really mean my plan. I tend to forget that most people don’t regularly walk upwards of 10 miles a day. Sorry family and friends!
We bounced from Oxford Street to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, St. James Park, Buckingham Palace, The Wellington Museum and Arch, Westminster / Westminster Abbey and Cathedral, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. I had every intention of dragging us to Covent Garden, Somerset House, Jubilee Gardens, and Hungerford as well but sometimes (all the time ?) there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
The highlights of the day for me were the multi-story Primark (I could easily get lost and spend days in the wonderland that is Primark), along with the sight of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from the Westminster Bridge. I’m going to share my unpopular opinion and say I wasn’t too impressed with Buckingham Palace, though I don’t regret taking the time to see it.
Travel Tip: Take public transportation when travelling! Live like a local as much as possible. Your feet will thank you for it.