The First-Time-Traveller’s Guide to: London

London

London is preeeetttyyyy spectacular. The week we spent there the weather was unseasonably warm AND it didn’t rain once! Safe to say, I’m already planning my next trip there.

Here are some things I learnt in The Big Smoke:

Where to Stay:

Other than when we were with my family, the Astor Hyde Park Hostel was hands down the best place we stayed. It was clean, the rooms were spacious, safe and secure, and it was in Hyde Park, right up the road from the Natural History Museum. The tube station was close by as were the lines we needed to get around the city. Just a few of the reasons why Astor Hostels win awards for Best Small Hostel chain! The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and I would absolutely stay there when I’m in London again.

Get your walking shoes on:

The guard telling my friend that her shoes are shinier than his!
The guard telling my friend that her shoes are shinier than his!

The best way to see any city is to just get around on your own two feet! Of course the tube/ buses are always there for  when you’re completely exhausted, but a little walking never did any harm. You never know what you may stumble upon, that you would’ve missed by taking the train/bus! There are loads of free walking tours to choose from so on our first day in London, we headed over to Green Park to meet Owen from the ‘Undiscovered London‘ tour company. Owen was so knowledgeable and funny, and the tour was really helpful in letting us get our bearings of the city. That weekend we did an East End tour with the same company, which cost £10 pounds, which was totally worth it. Again, our guide was fantastic, we got to see all the cool street art, and also learnt a lot about history of the East End.

Street Art

A Few More Tips:

underground

// One of the highlights of our trip was seeing Wicked! There are loads of websites to book cheap tickets on the day of the show – and students (or people under 26) are often given further discounts.

// It’s definitely worth it to pay a bit more for accommodation closer to the city – travelling by tube can get expensive the further out you stay!

// Speaking of the tube – if you’re in London for a week or more, I’d highly recommend getting an Oyster Card. Not only can you use your card on the underground, but also for buses (including the iconic red double-deckers!) and even regional trains. Oyster cards have a daily maximum of £8.50 which means you can visit all the sites in one day for a pretty good price.

// London is home to some of the best museums in the world – and most of them have no entry charge! Our hostel was right down the road from the Natural History Museum which is definitely worth a visit.

LONDON
Chillin’ with bae // WICKED!
Harrods
Three Words: Harrods. Ice-cream. Parlour.

I spent the majority of my time in London trying to get the Mary Poppins soundtrack out of my head. Also, some bad news: There’s no such thing as 17 Cherry Tree Lane 😦

But there are views like this, so I guess things aren’t so bad:

photo 1 (3)
*insert heart-eyed emoji here*

London, you sure know how to steal a gal’s heart. I can’t wait to go back.

Love, Maeve4

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