My family just returned from an epic vacation in London, England. We had so much fun exploring the city. So much energy and hustle and bustle, different languages being spoken and diverse faces in the crowds. I loved seeing the historic buildings like Big Ben, Tower of London alongside the modern sites like the London Eye. I loved the narrow cobblestone streets and the interesting architecture, plazas, fountains. We even took a day trip out to Stratford Upon Avon (home of Shakespeare) and the countryside. So much to see and capture with my camera! My creative spirit was in heaven.
Enjoy my photo diary of our LONDON trip and make sure to scroll to the bottom TO READ my recommendations on sights to see and places to eat.
Accommodations: We used Airbnb to find our "flat". We rented a 3 bedroom apartment in Covent Garden. The location was perfect because we were walking distance from several attractions (like London Eye, theatre district, Chinatown) and there were numerous restaurants, cafes and shops at our fingertips.
London Eye - Book beforehand to avoid the lines and reserve an early morning ride. Make sure you have your camera and smart phones ready for picture taking.
Tower Bridge - Arrange for a personal guided tour to get the most out of the experience.
Churchill War Rooms - Great for older kids and teens. Don't skip the audio tour.
London Theatre - West End has so many plays and productions to choose from. We saw Hamlet which was intense and not the best choice for the kiddos. Next time, I would see Matilda (again) or Harry Potter.
Day Trip to Stratford upon Avon - Cotswalds - Oxford - It was nice to get out of the city for one day and explore outside of London. We chose The English Bus Tour which are small group guided tours led by a knowledgeable tour guide. There were about 15 of us on the bus and we traveled to three towns. We visited Stratford by Avon - a charming little town and home of Shakespeare. Then, we drove to the Cotswolds which is the English countryside and full of amazing flower gardens. It was like being on the set of Downton Abbey. We ended our trip to Oxford - famous for its university and historic architecture. I highly recommend this bus tour!
Portobello Road - London's largest antiques market. If you are tired of traditional sight seeing, this is a great neighborhood to visit and enjoy London's best loved landmark. So many interesting things to see!
Good Eats: We ate a lot in London! This is one our favorite things to do as a family. Here are a few of our favs.
Dishoom - Indian street food becomes chic. Seems to be all the rage because every day we passed the restaurant, there was a super long line. Book your reservation early.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - Fancy shmancy and for serious foodies. The menu is all old world dishes cooked in a modern manner. Price is steep but the experience is worth it.
Brindisa Kitchen- Authentic Spanish and delightful tapas. Small plates mean you can try everything!
Essenza - A wonderful, tiny find in Notting Hill. Italian food that is scrape-your-plate-clean delicious served by attentive, charming staff.
Udderlicious - Creamy, delicious home made ice cream in the most creative flavors including whiskey caramel, malt and bread pudding.
Monmouth Coffee - There was a coffee shop on every corner in London so my caffeine addiction was well served. But Monmouth's coffee was the best - strong, bold and flavorful. And don't forget to add an almond or chocolate croissant!
So there you have it folks....my recap of our amazing trip to London. If you have any questions or have a trip planned yourself, feel free to contact me. Or if you fell in love with any of the travel photography above, send me a message. I am starting to create a library of all my travel photos. Until then - happy travels! Happy summer!