One of my favorite things we’ve done since moving here was to take a double-decker bus tour around London. It was such a great way to see the city!
We did it on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Fall. The tour was hop-on, hop-off, so we did: we were able to see tons of sites in a short time and in between stops, we listened to a guided audio tour via headphones provided on the bus. It was really relaxing to sit in the sunshine on the top deck and listen along as we drove through the city.
Way back in August when Bridget turned eleven, we got her tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour as a birthday gift.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you should really go on this tour. If you’re a Harry Potter FANATIC, like we are, this tour is practically life-changing. I couldn’t even pretend for one millisecond of this tour to be cool; all of us just let our Nerd Flags fly and fully geeked out over the whole thing. Proudly.
For our second day in London, we wanted to hit some of the big highlights of the city–the things we’d talked about with the kids for months on end and they were really excited to see. We got late morning tickets for a tour of the Tower of London, and we got twilight tickets for the London Eye.
It’s always easier to buy tickets for this kind of thing online in advance, in my opinion. You may still have to wait in line to actually get in to the place, but at least you don’t have to wait in line twice — once to buy tickets, and then again to get in. Also, I feel like you’re more likely to find discounts and deals if you go the online route. When you’re standing in line with 30+ people waiting behind you, you don’t always have time to figure out the best deals.
We woke up pretty late that day, which we planned for, but it was 10AM when we all rolled out of bed — by far the latest our family has ever slept in anytime, anywhere! By the time we got up and dressed, breakfast at our little hotel was over. So we walked down the street and got breakfast in a patisserie. Matt got the full English breakfast, which was HUGE. It’s not my favorite combo of foods, though, so I stuck with eggs. The kids were all excited because they each got hot chocolate or decaf cappucinos and felt very grown up.
When we first arrived in England (over a month ago, I can’t believe it!), we spent the weekend in London as the kick-off to our grand adventure.
Our hotel was located very close to Paddington Station, and not unintentionally. We have quite a few Paddington Bear fans here. The park across the street from where we stayed had a Paddington statue that Quinn hugged for a solid minute he was so excited to see it.
As I mentioned before, when we arrived in London, we were seriously exhausted after an uncomfortable overnight flight and an emotionally draining airport experience. When we got to our hotel, we just crashed, and everyone slept for several hours. When we finally woke up, it was about 3PM, so we showered, got dressed, and headed out to explore.