I had our days in London planned out to the hour and it was really nice to be able to get around the city so easily. Walking is certainly the best form of transportation, but we also got tickets for the hop-on, hop-off bus which took us to almost all the sites we wanted to see. In hindsight, we should have bought the “London Pass” because it included the bus and a few of the locations we visited, but you live and learn.
Covent Gardens was one of my favorite spots we stopped at. It reminded me a lot of Quincy Markets in Boston. There were tons of little shops, restaurants, flee market stands, and street performers. It was a little crowded, which felt overwhelming at times, but if you’ve prepared yourself for the fact that you’re in a city, you should be fine.
I had planned an afternoon tour for us at the Beefeater Gin Distillery which was a little way out of the main city areas. However, before we could indulge in a classic G&T, we had to eat a bit. We found a little pub called The White Bear.
There is nothing like a traditional English meal – a cup of mint pea soup and a plate of bangers and mash. While I don’t think I could eat the way we ate on this trip everyday, it was fun to try and taste a bit of everything.
I was really glad we booked a tour at the Beefeater Gin Distillery. It’s a little gem, tucked away from the general tourist areas and we really learned a lot walking through their distillery. Our tour was small and our guide walked us through the entire process of how their gin is created. The distillery also included a museum with a quite extensive history of gin.
While evenings were a bit difficult due to how exhausted we all were, we did spend one night on the hop-on, hop-off bus night tour. It was really neat to see the city lit up and a nice, relaxing activity after a long day.
I have to say, my biggest tip for a trip to London is to prepare yourself for a full on city immersion. Things move fast and you feel like you have to do the same. However, it doesn’t hurt to slow down and take an extra moment to take in the sights, every once in awhile.