Saturday, January 18, 2014


Before flying home for Christmas Break, I decided to stop in London for a four days. Since my layover was already going to be in London, it didn't add too much cost to the flight. One of the girls from my school decided to do the same thing, so we were able to explore London together. After hearing about how expensive London is, I nervously began looking up places to stay. I looked at hotels and hostels but was having trouble finding anything for a decent price near the downtown area. At this point, I used a site called that allows you to rent a room from someone or their entire place (depending on their options and availability). I found a great room with a young woman from Scotland that was about a 10 minute subway ride away from the main sightseeing part of London. It was way cheaper than a hotel and pretty comparable price to a hostel, but I would get my own room so it was definitely worth it.

There was so much to do and see in just four days! One of the things I was most looking forward to was going to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. Basically they turned a section of the park into a giant winter fair with tons of food, drinks, and Christmas markets. There were also fun rides, which I love. We spent almost the whole day walking around, eating and drinking, and riding rides. Some of the highlights were:

Bratwursts and beer - yum!
Christmas and winter... everywhere! 
Christmas markets with lots of homemade crafts
Amusement rides

We also scheduled a bike tour of London with a company that I used in Barcelona and Paris. Fat Tire Bike Tours is an amazing tour company with great guides and excellent routes around the city. We chose the Royal London Bike tour, which took us to Kensington Gardens and Palace, Buckingham Palace (right in time for the changing of the guards!), Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben. We also got to stop at a pub for lunch and get some food and drinks during the middle of the tour. Fat Tire Bike Tours are always one of the highlights of my trip - getting to bike around and learn about a city... what could be better?!

The last day of the trip was saved for the Harry Potter Studio Tour. After some confusion about where to meet the bus, we finally made it to the Warner Bros Studio, which was about an hour outside of London. The tour was AMAZING! It was self-guided so we just got to walk through all the sets and see the costumes, props, and special effects that were used in the Harry Potter movies. It was so cool to see all this stuff for every single movie! I'm a huge Harry Potter fan (books and movies), so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We also got to taste butterbeer... yum!!

I loved London and hope to go back again someday. There are many things that we couldn't squeeze into our schedule, like the London Eye, that I look forward to doing next time. 


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