Finally! – getting these photos up only after 3 months since I’m back (oops). #readysetlondon, hashtag of the trip on my instagram and also the title that quite clearly suggests this post revolves around my 5 days stint in London. Paris’ post will come at a later time cause I’m still finding time to edit the photographs.
As I’ve just mentioned, I spent a mere 5 days in London and I find it utterly short for this city that has so much more to explore. London is beautiful and generally amicable – I loved the architecture, the cool autumn weather, its heritage, English culture and basically the whole atmosphere, except that food is expensive to us. Prices are priced similarly, but different. The value of pounds are doubled compared to Singapore’s currency, so we tried to be selective with what we choose to eat and where to dine. On another note, I had a rare opportunity to meet up, catch up with 2 of my church friends who are studying in London for a walk around Chinatown.
I haven’t been there long enough to offer any substantial guides or quality tips on travelling around London. But I’d just share a wee bit on my trip – subjected to my personal opinion and experience there.
/ PLACES WORTH VISITING AGAIN
Buckingham Palace. A city where Queen, Princes and Duchesses still exists, I think it only makes sense to visit these landmarks that has some “royalty” in it, though you don’t get to see any of the royals. There’s a “changing of guards” every morning at 1130am (google to find more info). If you’d like to witness it, go at 10am or earlier to get a good view. I was there at 1045am thinking we’re still early to find hundreds of people there already. Having been there, I felt the palace is worth visiting but not the changing of guards procession, there weren’t much to see, so I’d rather go after the procession when the crowd has dispersed to have a better view of the palace.
Tower Bridge. Unfortunately with limited time, I didn’t go to the bridge but I stood from afar to get a view, which is equally beautiful. After the viewing, you can purchase river cruise tickets to get across river thames to get to Westminster or Greenwich.
Camden Market, Camden Lock. I think you can find more and better write ups on Camden on other sites, I’ve been there and I’d say it’s worth visiting again! And try Chin Chin again despite creating a hole in my wallet.
Burger and Lobster. I’ve always wanted to try the Lobster roll, but I guess for the first time (and paying 20 pounds for a set), I wanted to be safe and ordered the grilled lobster. I’m no food critic, all I can say is the sauce is so yummy and fries are done perfectly – not salty and not too oily.
Victoria & Albert museum. I was only there for 3 hours and it is obviously way too short to complete the world’s greatest museum of art and design, but I’m glad at least I completed the fashion exhibitions.
I wasn’t there for shopping so I didn’t do a lot of research on that. Only went to the usual as seen below.
Primark. I’m thankful I did not go crazy in there, but I guess my family did (spending 2-3 hours in there). Everything is relatively affordable with a wide range of mass produced clothing for women, men and kids. A dangerous place where most people shop on impulse and go wild. It is usually crowded all day, and very messy.
Oxford Street and Regent Street. With time constraints, I only visited a huge Nike store and & Other stories, and gave the massive Topshop a miss though.
/ PLACES I WOULD NEXT VISIT & DO
Brick Lane. It was a great pity I left London on Saturday and could not go to brick lane as it’s only open on Sundays. If I knew earlier, I’d have scheduled my travel dates in a way I could visit Brick lane.
Borough Market, Portobello Market + other markets. I’ve heard a lot about it, so I’ll visit them and many other markets in the future.
Hyde Park. I stayed quite near hyde park but yet I did not get a chance to visit it. I’ve always wanted to have a breakfast picnic there and just let the world go by but given such a short trip I had, I can only leave this picnic idea for my future visit to London.
Catch Wimbledon live! After watching the WTA 2014 Finals in Singapore, I’m looking forward to catching Wimbledon in London and/or Roland Garos if I’m Paris.
Prêt a Manger. It is everywhere around the city, like 7 eleven in Singapore but with amazing fresh juices and sandwiches. I think it’s time Singapore brings in Pret a Manger cause it seems the nearest we can get one is in Hong Kong.
Harry Potter Studio Tour. I’m not a Harry Potter fanatic but I’ve watched every movie and I do have an interest to visit it. My parents are totally not into Hogwarts and stuff, so I gave that a miss too.
I would have visited Tate if not for my family who has almost no interest in contemporary art.
And if I had more time, I would head to Edinburgh, Bath, Glasgow, Isle of Skye. But I guess I’ll have to save this for my future trip.
/ I’D GIVE IT A MISS NEXT TIME
Old Spitalfields Market (pretty disappointed going there, there really wasn’t much happening), Covent Garden Market (unless you wanna try shake shack!)
St. Paul’s Cathedral. I did not pay 15 pounds to go in, so I can’t tell whether it’s worth paying. I just find it too expensive so I only walked around on the outside. You should visit it if you haven’t, but now that I did, I would skip it for other places in the future.
Hummingbird Bakery. It’s worth eating to some extent, but I personally found it a tad too sweet and it costs 2.65 pounds for each cupcake, which it really expensive in Singapore’s currency – about $5.50 which is just quite ridiculous.
Hope this might (or might not) be helpful to you if you’re intending to visit London anytime. I can’t wait to visit it again! Till then, I’ll await for it and continue to sort my Paris photos out and share more on that in time to come.