14
Apr-2013

London

England, City-trips   /  
  • Promenade le long des quais de la Thamise du côté de Waterloo

  • Buckingham Palace

  • Westminster Church

  • Camden Market

  • Le London Eye

  • Vue sur Londres

  • Un des nombreux pubs anglais

  • Londres du côté de Waterloo

  • Londres

  • Le parc Saint-James

  • Piccadily Circus

  • Un des nombreux écureuils dans le parc Saint-James

  • Le magasin M&Ms

  • Abbey Road, connue grâce aux Beatles

  • English breakfast au Garfunckels Restaurant

  • Les délicieux cookies du Ben’s Cookies

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Big Ben, Palace Buckhinham, the telephone booths, the double deck bus, the Queen of England, the legend of Jack the Ripper … these are some of the symbols of the City that we all know and which make London a mythical city. Also famous for its terrible weather, London can be visited in at least 4 days, with an umbrella ;-)

How to get to London for cheap (from Europe) ?

The Eurolines bus goes to the city of London. They have the advantage of being economical (we paid € 45 round trip from Belgium) and arrive directly at Victoria Station in the city center. By cons, it takes seven hours drive from Brussels (which did not seem long at all). The Eurolines bus pass through the Channel Tunnel.

The low-cost aircraft are faster but they land at Gatwick (Easy Jet), 30 minutes from the city, or Luton (Ryanair), 1h from the city or to Stansted (Ryanair) at 45 minutes.

Alternatively, the Eurostar from Brussels is around € 90 for a round trip, arriving at St Pancras.

What you shouldn’t miss in London

  • Take a walk along the docks of the River Thames towards Waterloo (the dock in front of Big Ben). Look at the Parliament and Big Ben at sunset (if you’re lucky), it  gives the whole thing a beautiful golden color.
  • Explore the hidden London and discover the real London of yesteryear with a guided tour in English by the company New London (2:30 for 12 pounds) : the Grim Reaper Tour. You will be told the story of Jack the Ripper and other characters with a tragic destiny, ghosts and bloody executions.
  • Visit Camden Market where you will be surprised by the underground atmosphere. You can eat specialties from all countries while sitting on scooters,  and hunt some vintage bargains. Step into another world through the door of Cyberdog, a store with items from another planet.
  • Enjoy shopping on Oxford Street. You will not necessarily make bargains but you can find different nice brands than the ones you have at home, like Next and TopShop for clothes, Accessorizes for accessories and Whitterd for tea, coffee and hot chocolate. For Hollister fans, there is one in a street near Oxford Street, Regent Street. For bargains, our tip is to go for a ride in TK Maxx store, a shop with brands on sale. There are several ones in London.
  • Then of course you shouldn’t miss the classic Buckingham Palace with the changing of the royal guard (but beware, it takes place in a winter day), the St. James’s Park and squirrels, the Church Westminster, London Eye, Tower Bridge or Covent Garden.
  • Stroll through the neighborhoods of Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square in the evening, there are plenty of entertainment. Try the M&Ms Store, it stays open until very late, and go and see a musical (but you must book in advance).
  • Trafalgar Square fountains are illuminated at night!
  • If you are a Harry Potter fan, you can visit the studios at the Warner Bros Studio Tour. But pay attention that you must book seats at least one month in advance as the demand is very strong! £ 29 a visit. We have not done it yet so we can’t give an opinion so far.
  • And if you’re a Beatles fan, try to Abbey Road and take a picture of the legendary pedestrian crossing. But beware, you have to wait your turn :-)

Where and what to eat / drink in London ?

  • An Indian dish on Bricklane. This is an area a little creepy but full of Indian and Pakistani restaurants. You will be strongly solicited in the street by the waiters because it is their way to attract customers. They will always offer you a free drink and an inexpensive menu. We found the food excellent.
  • Taste the Bulmers cider made of different fruits. You find it in all the pubs in the city, one bottle is more than half a liter.
  • Book in advance an afternoon tea in a large hotel. You will not get it for less than £ 25 but it’s worth to try the little sandwiches and pastries typically from London (scones and marmalade …) and take tea in a sumptuous decor. We tested the Royal Garden Hotel for £ 22, you can book online.
  • Make the queue at Ben’s Cookies to buy their excellent homemade cookies on Covent Garden! They are really awesome.
  • Take a full English breakfast at Garfunckels Restaurant. You will be entitled to a traditional breakfast with bacon, sausage, beans, mushroom, Rostie, eggs and tomatoes for £ 6.
  • Eat Thai at Busaba. We enjoyed sitting at large tables that you share with others, like in a canteen, and you will enjoy a good cocktail with your Thai dishes. There are several Busaba restaurants in London.
  • Dare to take a fish & chips at Pier1, on the canal in Camden. They are excellent!

Transportation in London

Do not hesitate to take the bus instead of the subway, this is a good way to see the city and you will cross famous locations. In addition it’s mythic to  take the red double deck bus and you can make beautiful pictures from above. The bus usually takes longer than the subway but costs less.
With the Oyster card, you can travel for up to 7 pounds per day in the city. It is valid for buses and subways. You can get it at the central station in Victora. Then, every journey, just point the card.

A pub crawl in London

We tested the “Camden Pub Crawl.” It took us the best pubs in London, including KOKO and Proud.
Camden is the place to be for your party. Making a pub crawl in London is very advantageous because it gives the right to one free entry without queuing in four of the best pubs in London and, in addition, you take advantage of special pricing and shots in each pub. All this for £ 12! You can even have a souvenir of the evening by buying a t-shirt for £ 3.

The pubs we preferred:

  • The Proud for its underground atmosphere. This is an old stable with boxes and each box has a certain atmosphere. You can attend live concerts in the first room.
  • Koko, because it’s original and classy. It is an old theater with live music in the early evening. But we were not really fond of the electronic music of that evening. Unfortunately, if you hope to meet locals there, you’ll be disappointed. It’s one of the favorite place of French young people.

Take photos black / white / red in London

If you like taking photos, then look at the color contrast function of your camera, because it allows you to take pictures in black / white and red beautiful ;-)

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  1. Samarth /

    I Admire your Spirit of The”Backpackeuse” ! Thanks for an informative Post, i know what to see when i go to london ! :)

  2. bo /

    A lire et imprimer

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