I’ve been there.
I have spent a single night in London. I have ordered a flat white and just kept going.
Right now, though? Right now I am literally sitting by a pool in November, reading a book, and savoring the last few moments at home before I fly back to Rome on Friday.
I fully believe in making the most of any chance at travel, be that for work or for pleasure. That’s why I am happy to share the following guest post from a fellow road warrior!
Having a hectic job, and spending short stays in bustling cities has its pros and cons. Arriving at a city that is new to me is one of the perks of an altogether very stressful career that helps me unwind and recharge those depleted batteries. So, a recent trip London provided me with the ideal opportunity to get out of my hotel room and revel in some of London’s most prestigious sights.
It was also extremely rewarding to resist the lure of a lazy day in a hotel bed, aiming to bank some much needed sleeping time. Sleep? Who needs sleep? Instead, I spent a full day visiting some of the most famous attractions and landmarks that the city has to offer. Below are just some of the destinations I managed to get to in such a short space of time.
Although the winter is pretty much in full flow in the UK, and the temperature through the day will soon be approaching freezing, Hyde Park is still a wonderful place to walk around. It was also a good way to exercise those weary muscles.
Hyde Park has many bandstands that are active throughout the summer months with live music and other entertainment acts. It’s also the home to Speaker’s Corner, which attracts all manner of people voicing their opinions on politics, economics and religion.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was formerly known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress and opened its doors in 1066. It’s renowned for being a central part of the medieval history of many notable events in England.
The tower is also home to the Crown Jewels, suspected to be the home of a host of ghosts from medieval times, and some wonderful sculptures that date back to the same period. The tower is a fantastic place to explore if you have about three to four hours spare in your schedule.
Along with Piccadilly Circus this is one of the main entertainment hubs situated in London, and it was tough call on which I should visit. It was a great way to finish off the day, taking in the atmosphere of a theatre and live music area full of people looking for a good time.
Garden Square although it was pretty late was still a lovely sight. The statue of William Shakespeare was the main reason for my visit to the Gardens. The statue and fountain was erected in the 19th century and is still a main reason for visitors to the area.
Also, I managed to visit the Odeon Leicester Square, which is one of the oldest and famous cinemas in the whole of the world. It was also the first cinema in Europe to be equipped with a digital projector back in 1999. Now it hosts many of London’s film premiers attracting the world’s best actors and actresses to the cinema.
This mini-trip wasn’t without its troubles, as like many I was new to London so could only seek advice form friends and the concierge of the hotel I was staying at. The traffic in London is as bad as you’re likely to experience anywhere on earth. Follow some of these tips and hopefully you’ll be ok.
Use some of the free shuttles and underground trains that run to London’s major airports such as Heathrow per Parking4Less. This is both cost-effective and time efficient, as you won’t get caught up in traffic going to the airports – especially if you use the latter option.
Don’t use cabs! Even if you have saved up money for your trip to London, the cabs are extremely expensive and you also will have to contend with traffic if you are traveling during rush hour.
Always try and use public transport when you’re traveling around London. Buses are cheap, and so is the underground. You can view prices here.
Although I had a relatively brief stay in London, it was something that I will remember for the rest of my life. In the near future I hope to return to the UK and spend considerably more time venturing to different parts of England and Scotland as well as an extended stay in London.
Guest author, Dean Lowe: Dean has been an avid traveler since he left University in 2000. Now he travels the world with his job in pharmaceutical sales, attempting to grabs pockets of time to explore new exciting cities and imparting his experiences online.