Jake and I went to London for a week in February 2016, about 10 months ago. Mostly, I remember being jet lagged most of the time, grumpy, and dehydrated and constipated on the trip back home. What I do remember is somewhat a blur of museum trips, castles, and bad food. I hope my pictures can fill in the gaps.
Bailin, Jake, and I stayed at a cosy AirBnB on Picadilly St, London. We stayed mostly in London with the exception of a day tour to visit Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral, with a brief stop at the White Cliffs of Dover to stare across the English Channel and see France. The streets in London looked quite iconic.
Random street, interesting chips, Jake posing
Leeds Castle and Dover
In London and the surrounding area, we visited, in no particular order:
- Hampton Court Palace
- Kensington Palace
- Tower of London
- British Museum
- British Natural History Museum
- Science Museum, London
- National Gallery
- National Portrait Gallery
We also attended a London theatre performance of The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie and the musical Wicked. And unfortunately, during our visit, there was a terrorist attack on the London Bridge which prevented us from walking to see Big Ben and Parliament.
All the museums were fantastic. The Natural History Museum reminded me of British exploits (and imperialism) in Egypt because of the exhibits full of mummies and dead, stuffed animals. Jake really enjoyed the train exhibit at the Science Museum; Bailin enjoyed the art in the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery. Near the one of the museums, we finally had afternoon tea. The restaurant/tea room was bit disorganized so things were a bit disappointing, though the amount of food we received was not! We ordered an afternoon tea set for 3 people not realizing that each set was meant to share and so we ended up with lots of cakes.
Kensington Palace, Lego store, St. James Park
The Tower is a huge fortress literally in the middle of London. Impressive and impenetrable stone.
Of course, my personal favorite trip was the tour of Hampton Court Palace. It was an hour train ride outside of London. I have been an avid lover of all things Tudor since Pat introduced them to me when I was a kid, and I finally got to see the Court of King Henry VIII! It was a childhood dream come true. Now I can finally imagine myself as an abused scullery maid living in terrible conditions while serving the king and his nobles.
It was interesting to see how the royals in different eras modified the castle to fit their new tastes, and by the 21st century, the palace complex looks like a poorly stitched/renovated Frankenstein of architecture.
Plus, after our visit, we stopped by the local pub and ordered the most delicious fromage board ever. Who knew how delicious giant capers were??
Speaking of food, the best food in London isn’t traditional food. Rather, it’s British imports such as pizza or Indian curry. Afternoon tea is nice, too.