Back in October we took a trip to London. This was my first trip out of the country and what a perfect place to start- the city that I have always imagined would be my favorite. It did not disappoint. Since I had been so sick this pregnancy I really didn’t have anything specific planned for our time there. I of course had a list of places I wanted to see but that was about it (what a change from my usual way of planning… it was a struggle). But for not having a plan and only having one full day in the city we saw quite a bit.
Our time in London was split up by 3 days in Scotland but I’ve decided to share our time in London in one post so this will be a lengthy one, but filled with lots of highlights 🙂
Day OneOur first morning in London we immediately set out for a walk around the neighborhood of our hotel (The Conrad St. James) and what a great location it was. Within minutes we were walking through St James’s Park. Of course right across from the park is Buckingham Palace.After a quick peak of the palace we headed back to the park to enjoy such a peaceful fall morning. As we were walking we began to hear music coming from The Mall (the tree-lined road that leads to the palace) we walked up to the edge of the park and caught a glimpse of this(see below)… it was the beginning of the Changing of the Guards. We now understood why so many people were lined up along the roads and in front of the palace. While I definitely wouldn’t have planned on standing around to witness the tradition it was fun to stumble upon it.We continued our walk through the park and came across more beautiful views of St. James Palace & the London Eye.After enjoying such a beautiful fall morning we made our way to The Ritz for afternoon tea. Such a fun treat and a great way to kick off our time in England & Scotland. Everything was of course wonderful!
After tea we set out for Hyde Park. We spent the afternoon walking through Kensington Gardens and exploring the park. The gardens were relatively empty and peaceful. I could have spent a few hours here with a cozy drink just enjoying the setting.
It was such a beautiful day and I loved spending it outside just exploring the city. We really didn’t have much of a plan for the afternoon and weren’t mapping out our route so it was a lovely surprise when we stumbled upon such beautiful views around Hyde Park.After such a lovely afternoon spent wandering the park we walked over to Harrods. My husband is not a shopper at all but even he told me that I would be amazed by Harrods and honestly I was. There is SO much to see and not only that but several tasty spots for treats and snacks.
After returning from Scotland in the afternoon we checked into the ME Hotel and set out for Harrods to pick up a few things we spotted during our last visit. After shopping we picked up a slice of cheesecake as an afternoon treat and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.That night we had planned a dinner for our group at Harwood Arms. I had spent a ton of time researching a great spot to take everyone and I am so glad we found Harwood Arms. I can’t speak for everyone but Andrew and I were both very impressed with our meals. It is a Michelin starred pub, so think great food and a very laid back atmosphere. Such a great combination for our last night in London.The food was wonderful- a few favorites being the crab cake, onion & gruyere tart, and the sweetbreads. If you are looking for a fun and unique dining experience in London I absolutely recommend Harwood Arms!
This was our last morning in London (we were leaving for the airport at noon) and I was determined to see as much as possible. Luckily our hotel on our last night was in the perfect location to check off the last few things on my list. We left the hotel around 8am with plans to wander around seeing a few locations and find a spot for breakfast along the way.Our first stop was Trafalgar Square. One plus of venturing out so early on a Wednesday morning was how empty most of these popular spots were. Even the streets were relatively empty and it felt like we had part of London all to ourselves.After taking in the square we walked a few blocks to Parliament Street to see Parliament & Westminster Abbey.After our long morning walk we were ready for breakfast so we decided to see what we came across as we headed back towards the hotel. We stumbled upon a pub called the Red Lion. We settled in for coffee and breakfast and reflected on our trip.
Before heading back to the hotel we still had a little time to kill so we made our way over to Covent Garden for some shopping and a small treat before heading to the airport. It was such a charming area. I was so struck by how lovely it was that I didn’t even snap many pictures. The next time we are in London we will definitely spend a bit more time here.
This trip was much more laid back than most trips we plan so a lot of our exploring was on a whim but we were able to see a lot of what was on our list and it was so nice to just wander around the city and see what we might stumble upon.
I’ll be sharing highlights of our time in Scotland next!