London City Break
Let's discover London in February. It was cold and rainy but London is definitely a city I'll visit again (and I'm not a big fan of cities!). You can find my map with all the place we visited here.
play_arrow First evening - Soho
To start, and just so you know, London is big. That's the first thing I saw of the city from the airplane :) Oh and Heathrow is big too, it might take like 20mins to go out by taxi!
To get to the city you can easily take the tube. I would advice you to take an Oyster Card (5£ deposit) and charge it with some money. You'll be able to take the tube, bus, tram, clippers... Just be aware, public transport is expensive in London (mostly like everything else).
So the first evening we arrived to Oxford Circus underground station. And there you are, right in the middle of the red double-deckers, black cabs, shops and people crossing the streets.
From there, if you go down Regent Street you'll see The Liberty, just go in : the shop is as beautiful inside as outside.
If your kid spirit is still there, you should also visit the Hamleys toys shop, it's enormous, I loved it!
Then you'll find Carnaby Street, a pedestrian street full of shops. If you're hungry, look for Kingly Court, a courtyard full of restaurants. We wanted to eat there but it was obviously full on a Friday evening.
So we ended up in Chinatown (another must-see) looking for a place to eat. And if you want to go out, this area between Oxford street and China town, the famous Soho is the place to go.
play_arrow Day 1 - Bankside and Clipper
We went to meet my cousin and her British husband at London Bridge underground. On our way we stopped by the Tower of London (didn't visit) and from there we could see the famous Tower Bridge (often mistakenly called London Bridge).
They took us to Borough market, a really nice food market where you can buy take away food. We had a typical warm pie, perfect on a cold rainy day :)
And if you're a big fan of Bridget Jones, you'll see her flat on Bedale St.
Then we walked from Borough market to London Eye along the Thames (Thames Path). A walk I would recommend : you'll see some nice places of Bankside (Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe) and have a perfect view of the other side of the Thames.
We ended the day with one of my favorite activity of this weekend : taking a clipper by night!
Clippers are "bus boats" going on the Thames. You can take them with your Oyster card, it's a bit more expensive than other transportation, but a good alternative to boat tours.
So we took the clipper at "Embankment station" and we went first to the Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, then passed by London Eye, under the Tower Bridge :) :) and ended our tour in Greenwich where we had dinner. It was really perfect to do that by night.
play_arrow Day 2 - Big Ben, Buckingham, Piccadilly
The second day was a bit better regarding weather, so we decided to walk through the most famous spots starting by Big Ben and Westminster. But regarding how lucky we are with famous buildings... it was obvious Big Ben was covered by scaffoldings! (and it should be like that for 3 more years)
Anyway, we crossed the Westminster bridge to enjoy the view, then went to Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the lovely Piccadilly Circus, only walking. We had actually already been to Piccadilly on the first evening but loved it so much we had to go back by day. The atmosphere there is amazing. Just go there and enjoy for like 20mins.
And that's where our trip ended. We took back the plane at London City Airport, easily reachable from Westminster.
London, we'll come back ! (with a real camera not a bad phone! -sorry for these bad quality pictures...)
play_arrow Good to know
As I said, London is big and expensive but you can totally make it on a budget! Just find a place out of the city center and take the tube or the bus (another perfect way to visit on a rainy day!) and then walk. You can go through many of the main spots only walking.
We didn't have time to go to Camden town but even with only 48h you should be able to go. We didn't do much on Saturday morning and could have gone there. (but it's a good reason to go back :) )
We went to have dinner in Greenwich and I was really surprised by how early the pub closed (23:00 on a Saturday!). I don't know if it's the same in the city center but beware.
We also missed the changing of the guards, so I don't know how nice it is to see but you'll find all the info here.
On a budget people, I highly recommmend you a "clipper tour" and a "double-decker tour" :)