Ello mates! In case you didn’t know, I’m studying abroad in England for the term at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. Coventry is about an hour outside of London via train and two or so hours via bus. I’m here studying Business Management and so far really like it. England feels super comfortable and I could totally see myself moving here in the future. My first weekend here I went into London with some newly made friends who are also exchange students. We just did a quick overnight trip, but were able to fit in some cool stuff that I'm excited to share!
Once we arrived in London, after feeding ourselves, we jumped on the tube (subway or metro) and headed over to our hostel in Holland Park (whole post coming on picking your hostel soon guys!) to drop our bags before going out to conquer London! Our first stop was Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence for Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. It's a must see in London, especially if you can catch the changing of the guard. (I didn't see it this trip, but have in the past and it's pretty cool.) It's also a big deal if the flag is up because that means the Queen is in residence. But, even when she isn't the building serves as offices for those who support the everyday activities of the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, and their immediate family.
Next, we walked over to Westminster to catch Queen Elizabeth's Tower aka Big Ben, the House of Parliament, and the London Eye. It was a quick walk so instead of ubering, catching a cab, or hopping back on the tube, get some exercise in and take in more of London's sights while you're at it. (I took like 27,000+ steps this day according to my FitBit so yay for healthy travel lol)
From there we went over to an area close to Trafalgar Square to grab lunch at this restaurant called Nando's! (OMG if you're ever in London you have to go. It was so good! Seems to me to be England's equivalent of Chipotle as far as hype around it goes.) After lunch, we went down to the SoHo district to check out a few museums and just the general area. We ended up going to the Victoria and Albert Museum and then grabbing some coffee/hot cocoa from a charming outdoor cafe. (Everything in England is charming and quaint lol).
After hitting up the museum for some culture, we went to down to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping, Ben's cookies (these taste better a day later), and the Rugby match. (Apparently Rugby is a big deal here - who knew!) Before heading back to our hostel to gear up for the next day.
Day two was spent having a charming brunch of banana french toast & bacon before heading to the Imperial War Museum and Camden Market. Both of which I'd recommend you see. The Imperial War Museum is extremely well done - not boring and stodgy like some museums can be. Camden Market is just full of shops - some of which are tourists traps, but if you take your time you can find some really cool, unique stuff for decent prices.
There's my first weekend trip to London! Stay tuned for another post on London tips, tricks, and travel hacks. Cheers!