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Travel to London - My Vacation Trip

Updated on August 2, 2017

London - Ready to Go Again

Westminster Abbey, London, England - site of the Royal Wedding of William and Kate!

I've been to Europe twice and I want to go again.

Specifically, London, England. I was there in 2007 for about 10 days, and it wasn't nearly long enough!

Yes, that's Westminster Abbey in the photo, where the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was held in April 2011.

I'd go on the open top, double-decker bus tour again in a heartbeat. This tour lets you get on and off the bus as much as you want for one fare, so if you see something you want to visit, you can hop off, then get back on and ride further along the route.

The tour features a sassy guide who makes the site seeing fun. It was brilliant, as they say.

If you've seen the Harry Potter movies, or Masterpiece Contemporary on television, you'll know some of the different words they use in England. For example, clock time. We say, "Nine thirty." They say, "Half nine."

My list for my future visit includes tea at Harrods, Roman London, the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) and Borough Market, the big farmer market on the south side of the Thames.

There is so much to do in London that even lifelong residents have to work at seeing all the sites.

Photos by kimbesa.

Parliament building from the Thames
Parliament building from the Thames

Highlights of My Trip

An Exciting Adventure Across the Pond

My trip to England was a highlight overall. It's another country. There's the history. And... being a fan of certain television shows set in England (both historical and contemporary) and authors like Jane Austen and JRR Tolkien, it was great to have the opportunity to set foot in this country.

In addition, there were more enjoyable elements to my trip:

  • Taking both the bus and boat tours was a lot of fun, and gave an overview of sights in the city
  • Staying at the home of my sister and brother-in-law was very comfortable, and a chance to see home life in London
  • Shopping - in department stores for new items, and charity shops for vintage goods
  • Eating different foods, like real English fish and chips, and home style dinner in a pub. British food is not as highly regarded as some cuisines, but we found lots of good things to eat

My passport's still good, so I'm ready for another trip!

Street Sign in Central London
Street Sign in Central London

Tips for Travel to London

Balance the Factors and Have a Wonderful Time

I visited in late February, not the best time of year as far as weather, but great for cheap airfare. Here are my tips for travel to England, any time of year:

  • Consider shipping your luggage. It's even more expensive than when I went to take your stuff. Whittle down the list of necessities, and if it works for you, shippers will take your luggage door-to-door
  • Get a body pouch for your valuables. Wear your stash of extra cash, your ID and passport. A crowded big city has its share of pickpockets
  • Learn the ropes regarding money. Plan to use your ATM card in safe locations to get the best exchange rate. And get enough cash in each visit. Especially if you're shopping in small shops, you'll need to use cash. And study the bills and coins so you know which are which
  • Dress for changeable weather. There's a reason the Brits wear a lot of wool. It's warm in cold weather and breathes in warmer weather, which can change several times a day
Even if there isn't an Olympics or a royal wedding when you visit, you will still have a fantastic time, with a little preparation for the basics of travel in a foreign country.

Some Links to Background on London - The More You Know, The More You'll Want to See

London is a city just bristling with history. The bus tour took us around Trafalgar Square, which features fountains and four of these lion statues.

Get a good travel guide, and make some plans for your trip. If you have a list of your highest priority sites, you can visit those first, and add others as time permits.

A good balance of touring and exploring make for a more relaxing trip!

My photo shows statue of Boudica, with Parliament building in the background. Location is the north side of Westminster Bridge.

London maps guidebook
London maps guidebook

I Thought They Spoke English

Oh Yeah, There's The Slang

Besides maps and guidebooks to help you navigate the geography, there is also the lingo!

The link below will take you to an online resource, Dictionary of Slang, which is one of the best sites I've found to help you understand the differences in terminology. I knew some of these, but ran into some others.

If you learn all the words in this dictionary, you'll be well prepared to understand the Brits, even with their accents.

British vs. American Lingo on Video - Via YouTube

Informative and entertaining!

Ever Been to London? - How Was Your Trip?

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    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      I went to England in 1979, arrived unknowingly on a holiday, Easter Monday. I walked around London without a map and accidentally found Westminster Abbey just in time for Evensong service. It was so special to hear the beautiful music of that service.

    • profile image

      Karen1960 5 years ago

      Lived in London for over 20 years. Hope you caught Westminster Abbey on a quiet day! If you've not been on a DUCK tour (the amphibious vehicles that tour both the streets and the river) I'd recommend it - driving into the river from Vauxhall embankment is great fun :-)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I am pleased you enjoyed your trip. Yes there are so many things to see in London, I lived there for 15 years, and saw maybe 1/2 of them! I highly recommend an open top tour bus for anyone visiting a city. You see and learn a lot, plus you get to find your way around. There are a lot of good street markets, museums, old buildings and other places of interest. Just walking through Gerrard St. in Soho (Chinatown) is like being in another world. Nicely done, I hope you get to go back to England.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      You have a lot of good tips here. blessings.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      I have been to London a few times. I enjoyed it very much and will return again sometime.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      I have.. but only passing through.. not enough time to explore!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've returned to leave a dusting of ~ Angel Blessings ~

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I loved London too, except for most of the food. Yuk - next time I'll stick to fruit. Nice lens.

    • dezwards profile image

      dezwards 6 years ago

      Am from the UK and love visiting London. Great lens and you're right about the weather!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Thanks for the memories...reading about your trip makes me want to visit London again. It's been about 10 years since I was last there. Blessed.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      I enjoyed my time in London many years ago. Would love to visit again. Congratulations on being featured in The Best Standout RocketMoms.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on being featured by the SquidTeam's Best of Standout RocketMoms

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Yes, I am ready to go again to London, also Paris and Rome...

      Regards, beautiful lens

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Well, I went THROUGH London. My parents and I were on our way from the airport to the coast to get on a cruise ship, so what I saw of the city was from a bus window. So that really doesn't count. It's definitely a destination that's on my list, though.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Unfortunately, I have never been to London, my husband did a couple of times and absolutely loved it.

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 6 years ago

      I studied abroad for a semester in London when I was in college and I loved it. It was great to actually live there for a few months so I could do everything I wanted.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      I have been once and didn't get to stay nearly long enough. Hope to make it back.

    • JulietJohnson profile image

      JulietJohnson 6 years ago

      What a lovely look at London! Your comments about wool -- my mother always used to say (I was born in London and grew up in the UK) the weight of your wardrobe remains the same. You just wear the lighter colors in the summer and the darker in winter!

      Thank you, btw, for your gracious blessing!

    • kimbesa2 profile image
      Author

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      @squid-janices7: Thanks! I appreciate that!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Love London....it is one of my favorite cities to visit. And I too love the hop on/off bus for the first (or second time) visitor. It is a great way to get the lay of the land. I've lensrolled this great lens to my Top 10 Things to do in London lens.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      I am been to London several times myself. It is my son's favorite destination. I happen to agree with you btw. I love the hop on hop bus! Some day I hope to go for a long enough visit that I feel like I can just walk around :)

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 6 years ago

      Can I go with you? I have always wanted to visit the UK and especially London. Thanks for the tour!

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us. I enjoyed reading this!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      I spent a month in England when I was in college--mostly in London. I loved it and would love to go back. I enjoyed the trip virtually through your pictures.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      Someday maybe we'll get there. In the meantime I have to enjoy it through your experience. Enjoyed this!

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Can you take me with you? It's fun to read about London via your experience but I really want one of my own. :-)

    • profile image

      EpiphanyLondon 6 years ago

      Great lens and great video clip about the different word usage - they didn't mention however what the British mean when they say "pants" lol - I suppose that's because it's underwear! Hope you get to visit again this year! :-D

    • kimbesa2 profile image
      Author

      kimbesa 6 years ago from USA

      @pkmcruk: Thanks!

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 6 years ago from Cheshire UK

      I go on a fairly regular basis as it is our capital city and I have to go on business and I lived there when I was younger for about three years. Great information here and lensrolled to my London Attractions and Royal Wedding Souvenirs lenses

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      I lived there for three years and loved it. Hope you get to back

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      I love London - been there a few times myself