As with visiting anywhere, one day is absolutely no time at all and never enough but if that’s all you have, pull ya’ socks up and get exploring.
This city has so much to offer, so much the list is endless, where do you even start? If you have a day trip planned, this teeny tiny sample day guide may help give you some ideas. Again, this is just a mere drop in the ocean of stuff to do and things to see… anyway, dip your toe in and enjoy what you find.
1. Awe Arms in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of London’s largest Royal parks and home to the city’s oldest boating lake, The Serpentine. I have to say, rowing old school style is quite a pleasurable arm workout. Directing the boat is an artwork as is mastering manoeuvres such as going straight ahead and turning. Husband’s style was to row facing the direction we were going with the flat sided back of the boat leading the way and rowing his arms in the opposite direction one normally would…don’t ask. Obviously, it’s ice creams after that. We also wanted to take a look at Speakers Corner where anyone is permitted to take the floor and, well, speak (or rant), it was quiet when we went there.
Wandering up the posh end of town – Piccadilly, you are faced with finery at its bestest. I wanted to check out The Ritz as I know their afternoon tea is held in high esteem. I wondered in – it is beautiful in there, to look at the afternoon tea goers but was quickly headed off at the door and told it is formal dress only at that point – apparently ripped jeans and a vest top ain’t suitable. I stated in my best voice that I was enquiring after the afternoon tea and was quickly told it was booking only and one must book at least two months in advance. Cool. I felt like I was doing something really naughty just by being in the place, peeking around the guys shoulders at the next level into the Ritz. It was funny, felt like a right little scamp.
Fortnum & Mason was next on the list – poor husband, it is one of the worlds most luxurious department stores for tea, biscuits and other confectionary treats. It looks like a palace inside. I headed straight for the cakes, obvs, and peered at the cabinet full of rows of delightful treats. I might as well of had my hands and nose pressed up against the glass with a bit of drawl dribbling down. I made a purchase of cupcakes, yep, they were yesterdays cupcakes and at a reduced price and yep, I felt like the little poor girl but hey, they were the ones selling them. BTW the cakes were actually not very good, shame on them.
3. Mighty Monument
As well as being one of the stops on the tube, The Monument is actually tower built to commemorate the great fire of London in 1666 which burnt for thee days. The height of the tower is equal to the distance from the tower to where the fire started – in a bakehouse in Pudding Lane. 311 steps up a seriously narrow spiral staircase offers a workout for the legs and takes you to a balcony at the top where you get a 360 degree vista of the city.
4. Drink stop
We wandered for sometime to find a particular pub called The Counting House on Corn Hill. This is a stunning pub, built in 1893 as a banking hall – hence the name. It remains boasting it’s grandeur, period fixtures, chandeliers and a glass dome set in the ceiling. After some more meandering, tube rides and walking we made our way towards Whitechapel in the East End, stopping off for a pint and pie & chips at historical pub (one that survived the great fire of London) The Hoop & Grapes. There are so many AMAZING historical pubs in London…I’ll save these for another post.
5. East End Charm
Now this may not be for some but I was well excited, we were headed to a Jack The Ripper Tour. I love anything historical and murders fascinate me so walking round the old streets of the East End in the dusk then dark looking at where the Jack The Ripper murders took place sounded awesome! We booked it that day online and it started at 7 pm. Our tour guide – who looked like he was actually from Victorian times, was great, he was really into it and full of knowledge making the whole experience really interesting. I recommend it if it’s your cup of tea. We stopped in The Ten Bells – another historic pub, for a quickie. In this area is Brick Lane, this road has literally any type of curry you desire. It is just a road of places to eat curry and other world foods and is well worth a look and smell! It is a fascinating and historical area, it has its own grubby charm and is full of character, it is missed by many who just visit the more glitzy West End of London.
I hope this is useful to you? I have more London posts on the way.