After settling into our hotel, we hit the ground running, since it was already the afternoon by the time we arrived and got settled. First on the agenda were Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Of course, Big Ben never disappoints. I am pretty sure it is the image everyone envisions when they think of London. We were especially lucky to have a bit of blue sky, which can be something of a rarity in London this time of year.
I think the best place to capture Big Ben in a picture is across the river on the west side of the bridge. This spot give the best view the tower and adjoining parliament building. Of course the London Eye also gives great views of the city, but I have never been a fan. The wait times are ridiculous and it’s incredibly over priced.
Following a photo session with Ben, we headed west to Westminster. I love Westminster Abbey; it is a beautiful church with so much history. For almost a thousand years, this church has served as the coronation and burial site (and more recently the marriage venue) for English and, later, British monarchs.
As the sunlight started to fade, we made our way to Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street. Piccadilly Circus is a circus (ha!) but it is like Times Square, you have to see it. We also indulged in a little retail therapy along Regent Street. I finally got my J.Crew fix (there are now 5 in London)! Unlike Paris, however, the J.Crew in London has the same price point (although it’s pounds not dollars, so you are still paying more). While I wanted to buy the store, I behaved myself and just purchased a dress.
After a bit of shopping we found a nearby pub, the White Lion (very good), and downed a pint. Well, Nicole downed a pint, I sipped prosecco. That evening we stayed in at the pub attached to our hotel (The Mad Hatter, another great hotel find) and chatted with some locals and tourists. Apparently Swiss people think most Americans are not very intelligent, but that could have been the beer talking lol.
All in all, it was a great first day in London. Cheers!