Hello chaps! Fancy a blog about good ol’ London? Twas proper wicked, mate! Okay, enough British slangs. I know I’m rubbish. Heh. Hmmkay, that’s it. No more.
After weeks of sunny Britain, which is a rarity I must say, London decided to welcome me with a proper England weather. Not good. Started the day at 4 in the morning from Penkridge and took a train to London Euston which lasted for about 3 hours. My aunt (also her first time in London) and I was accompanied by Paul, Martin and Jayne. London is a very developed city with several famous tourist spots that a proper tour would definitely take a couple of days or more. Knowing that, a day in London would certainly be fast-paced.
I was heartbroken learning that the Warner Brother studios housing the wizarding world would take two months to book so one of my goals in London is to see the Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross. When I knew that it wasn’t initially included in the itinerary, I had to ask and beg them to change it. What a diva right? Haha But seriously, a potterhead like me wouldn’t want to miss a chance to visit a part of the wizarding world. It could be my last visit to London for all we know.
Quite overage to go to Hogwarts but I had to complete my studies. This is me before classes started with my Gryffindor scarf.
After our quick detour to King’s Cross, we proceeded to the tower of London and aboard a river cruise along River Thames up to the Westminster Pier. If you’re walking or nearby River Thames then you’ll most likely see several places of interest every few kilometers or so. It actually surprised me that they’re just within reach of each other. Starting from the Tower of London which is just a few steps away from the Tower Bridge to the London Eye, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster, then to Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.
The Tower of London
As seen at the tower of London is 30 St. Mary Axe or the Gherkin, famous for its unique structural design.
The Tower Bridge. It is considered offensive and/or scandalous to call it London Bridge. The actual London Bridge is a few kilometers away from the Tower Bridge.
Under the actual London Bridge
Millennium Bridge. If you’ve seen Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince then you’ll see this get destroyed by death eaters.
This is the scene wherein you can see the Millennium Bridge (yes, a typo in the photo above) is being destroyed by the Death Eaters.
Hungerford Bridge in between the Golden Jubilee Footbridges and the London Eye, Big Ben behind it.
Westminster Bridge, the Big Ben and Palace of Westminster behind it.
Walking on the Westminster Bridge. Raindrops on the camera lens, uhuh.
Used to be “Clock Tower”, it has been changed to Elizabeth Tower honouring the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The bell, Big Ben, is housed within the tower.
The London Eye or the Millennium Wheel was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until 2006, it is just Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, currently.
It also used to be the highest public viewing point in London but has now been surpassed by the Shard’s 72nd floor.
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the two house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Sponsored by Samsung Galaxy.. sike.
Oh, why do you have such rubbish weather England, why?
An obligatory photo with a red telephone booth.
Statue of George V opposite the House of Lords
House of Lords and the House of Commons
Westminster Abbey is located just across the Palace of Westminster.
As you may have seen in my York post, the Elizabeth Tower, Palace of Westminster and the Westminster Abbey have similar structure and design.
A walk away from the abbey is the Parliament Square where you can see different statues of prominent individuals such as Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.
Also, surprisingly, Abraham Lincoln.
A little bit of everything Brit standing from the entrance of the abbey. The London Eye, Elizabeth Tower, part of Palace of Westminster and a double-decker bus.
Several meters ahead the Parliament Square would then be the Downing Street where the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom resides. It has been the official residence of the Prime Minister for over three hundred years.
Heavily guarded but has quite made the appearance in one of the One Direction’s music videos.
Peeking across the Downing Street is the London Eye.
Next stop would then be the Trafalgar Square, which is also a few blocks away from the Downing Street.
On the right is the famous Nelson’s Column in the heart of the Trafalgar Square. It is built for Horatio Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
One of the four lions at the base of Nelson’s column and a blue cock or Hahn which has just been installed over a month before this visit. A lot of sexual innuendos have made headline news but I can’t seem to understand its importance still.
One of the fountains at Trafalgar Square.
The Trafalgar Square mainly consists of a large central area with roadways on three sides, in front of The National Gallery.
The Admiralty Arch which marks the start of The Mall, a road extending southwest from the arch to the Buckingham Palace. The Trafalgar Square is just northeast of the arch. The Admiralty Arch also serves as the ceremonial entrance of processions of significant events such as royal weddings, coronations and the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Mall and its sidewalk leading to the Buckingham Palace.
There are a lot of statues and sculptures at the side of The Mall, mostly previous Kings and Queens. Also, this white horse.
The Queen’s Gardens surrounding the Victoria Memorial across the Buckingham Palace.
The Queen wasn’t home, you’d know since the Union Flag was flown. The Royal Standard is flown whenever the Queen is in residence.
The Queen’s Gardens
The Canada Gate; behind the gate, is a tribute to the 113,663 members of the Canadian Forces killed during the World War I and II.
A 9-minute walk behind the Buckingham Palace is the Wellington Arch to honour the 1st Duke of Wellington.
From here, we took the underground to go to Harrods. Harrods is a famous upmarket department store and because of that, no shopping was done.
A memorial inside the Harrods for Princess Diana and her then-partner who owned Harrods.
After a quick visit to Harrods we then headed to Covent Garden where we had a nice tea to end the day. It was almost 7 in the evening and it just started getting sunny when we’re about to end. London, you cheeky. We also visited the Leicester Square and Piccadilly later that evening before going home back to Penkridge.
I definitely would want to go back and hopefully in a better weather. But next time, I want to experience London and not just see London. A day can quickly pass by when you’re in London given the countless attractions and there are still more that I need to see. I haven’t been to Abbey Road nor the Wembley nor the Harry Potter studios. I also want to experience The Rainforest Cafe and many more.
This is the last of my throwback travel series in the UK and it has been fun and emotional sharing what I’ve seen and experienced last year. It was definitely out of my comfort zone and yet it has been the most memorable trip I’ve ever had in my entire life. I’ve achieved a lot of milestones with this trip and will always have a special place in my memory and heart. Hopefully, I get to experience more of United Kingdom in the future.
Until then, UK!