22 June 2015

Visiting London - Nine Tips

D and Blondie Son were booked to go and see the Foo Fighters at Wembley (or the Kung-Fu Fighters as my Mother In Law calls them) as a post-GCSEs treat, but the event was cancelled so the four of us decided to go to London for the weekend, for a spot of sight-seeing.

It's a funny thing but I seem to revert to being a small child when visiting London.  Half of me is wild-eyed with awe and excitement and the other half is frightened to death that I'll get lost/fall in the Thames/slip under a Tube train.  There are soooooo many people.  It's exactly 100 miles to the centre of London from our front door but it's like another world.

With the benefit of my very recent hindsight, I'd like to offer some tips to anyone considering visiting our capital ...

1.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Pavement-pounding in heeled boots, particularly if you're not terribly used to them, will crucify your calf muscles and render you completely unable to walk the following day.

2.  Take a small bottle of hand sanitiser because, blimey, the place is filthy.

3.  Ensure that there aren't any Anti-Austerity marches planned for the day unless you want to be swept into oblivion by a sea of placard-carrying shouty types.

4.  Don't be tempted to toss a single crust to a single pigeon.  In a matter of seconds, you will be surrounded by a hundred of them.

5.  Forget about your personal space, especially on the Underground.  You WILL be up close and personal with complete strangers and, occasionally, they will not be very fragrant.

6.  There are two walking speeds, breakneck and stop-to-take-a-photo-every-three-seconds.  A leisurely amble will not be accommodated.

7.  Don't always heed the directions of the British Transport Police, they could be new to the job.

8.  Take plenty of money.  Think how much things normally cost and then multiply by ten.

9.  It's the Royal Standard flying over Buckingham Palace that indicates the Queen is in residence and not the Union Jack.  Knowing this will prevent you wasting twenty precious minutes trying to catch a glimpse of her peering through a window.




  1. Excellent top tips Heather ! And your photo's are perfect enough for any guide book :)
    I'm a bit like you in that I love to dip my toe in every now and again but I'm always very glad to get home !
    Kate xx

  2. I love Londo Heather and your tips are spot on...I am a quick train ride away and often nip into London Bridge, buy lunch at Borough Market and then amble down the river to Tate Modern......much less busy than the 'sights' and a great cafe Nero selling a smashing filter coffee for just 99p!! ;) x

    1. I loved Borough Market when I lived in London. It is one of the places I definitely do miss.

  3. Having been born and raised on the outskirts of the capital I am often asked whether I would venture back to live. Not blinking lightly is always my reply (or something similar) I like to visit occasionally and can still manage to find my way around the tube and find the odd eatery that doesn't require a second mortgage. But like Kate I don't mind visiting but then I like to retreat back to my little cottage to regain my sanity. Your 9 tips for surviving London are definitely of benefit to anyone planning on venturing there any time soon.

  4. As a Londoner ( now in the North East Brrrr!) this really made me chuckle. When I first moved north I i) wanted to get on the first train back ii) couldn't understand why everyone kept asking me if I have been to Buck House( duh nope you don't sight see on your own doorstep right ?) iii) felt a little strange that everyone made eye contact and wanted to stop for a chat. Now I wouldn't move back for all the water in the Thames and I love taking my kids to sightsee because I am a tourist now in my home town. Tip number 10 always have a bottle of water on the tube, boy it gets hot there.

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  6. Brilliant tips! It's a great place but I really can't imagine living there. Also, the contents of your tissue after a nose blow the day after a visit are pretty startling too! Assuming you're the kind who looks! ;)

    S x

  7. A great post, brilliant tips, made me smile ;-) You have got some fantastic pics too, I presume you were on of the photo every 2 or 3 second walkers!

  8. Had to laugh,you are spot on with those tips they should be published .Super pics looks like you all had a good trip.xx

  9. It sounds like you made the most of it :)

  10. I was going to pass on the comment that Sandra made.... utterly yukky. But it was one thing that I really remember from when I used to visit London on a regular basis.
    I like the last tip. She must look out of the window sometimes at the crowds surely?

  11. I was going to pass on the comment that Sandra made.... utterly yukky. But it was one thing that I really remember from when I used to visit London on a regular basis.
    I like the last tip. She must look out of the window sometimes at the crowds surely?

  12. I worked in St. James's Street (by the palace) in London for 16 years and loved every minute of it (oh, except rush-hour tube - eeewww!). The two walking speeds really made me laugh! :o) Great photos. Enjoy the rest of your week. Jane xx

  13. OOh! I love that city! I've been 5 times, and I never get sick of visiting. Planning to go back in 2018 because I LOVED my most recent trip in March of 2015. Thanks for the travel tips! These apply in any European city!

  14. Loving your blog. I have literally just finished reading it from the very start. The funny thing is that from the start I had an affinity with your thoughts. interestingly we are the same age and my children are the exact same ages as yours (also a boy and girl).
    My journey with crochet started a few years before yours but I have to say you have far surpassed my efforts. I feel my enthusiasm comes before my actual talent - but that is only a problem for those people who get my interestingly designed gifts!
    You will be followed regularly from now on.
    BTW I always think I am going to love London then come home from a weekend there wishing I had chosen another destination. Too busy for me - yes, that really sounds sad at my age...


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