I recently went on a two-week trip to London, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam. I know what you’re thinking, “Goodness, that’s a lot!” Luckily, I had a ton of help from our amazing WorldStrides International Discovery trip planners so the whole trip went off without a hitch.
I figured because it is quite the itinerary that I would share my travels with you one destination at a time.
The first stop on my European adventure was jolly old London. After a short layover in Iceland, which has the most beautiful airport I’ve ever seen, I landed in London for the first leg of my trip.
My hotel was in the Kensington area of London and I couldn’t have asked for a better location. It was easy to get to the hotel from the airport on the Tube, was surrounded by adorable shops and restaurants on quaint streets, and was a stone’s throw from Hyde Park.
Our sightseeing consisted of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the London Eye. My favorite was Big Ben – I loved the way it gleamed in stark contrast to the overcast skies, I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is on sunny day.
In addition to the must-see sites, I took in several museums. I had heard a lot about the Winston Churchill War Rooms, so that was my first stop. The museum was a mixture of a tour of the actual war rooms and an exhibit about Winston Churchill giving you the context of the situation and a firsthand reference. I also checked out the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. I loved the Monet’s and Van Gogh’s at the National Gallery and the Tate had a ton of intriguing, thoughtful work as well – not to mention both of these museums are free!
We spent the bulk of our trip popping into pubs, trying the local fare, and strolling through the different cute neighborhoods. I loved the shops on Portobello Road in Notting Hill; it was a wonderful combination of store fronts and outdoor booths. My favorite pub was the Toucan in Soho, which boasts the best pour of Guinness in London (and I can’t disagree!). My favorite restaurant was Coco Momo in Kensington and it just happens to be one of our tasty tour restaurants, so get excited if you’re traveling to London with us!
Overall, London was a lovely experience. It may have been a bit drizzly for all four days of my stay but I think that added to its charm.
Next stop, Paris!