Sorry it’s been a few days since my last post, friends! We spent the last two days in Stratford and Oxford, so I’ve been off the grid, so to speak–and exhausted–we’ve been walking a lot!
We spent Monday in the London region of Westminster. This is the area of London that is home to the most iconic London sights, like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square.
We started out the day by leaving the hotel and walking to Buckingham Palace. We left early enough to to beat most of the other tourists, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We snapped a few pictures and headed to Westminster Abbey for our first official stop of the day.
Westminster Abbey is a really interesting place, with lots of memorials to kings, queens, and all types of important people. It’s amazing that the UK is old enough to to have 1,000 years of history in one place. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside, so I don’t have much to offer in the way of pictures.
After the Abbey, we visited Churchill’s War Rooms, which were the sight of Churchill’s headquarters during WWII. The bunker was fascinating, and it was so neat to hear about how the government and military operated during that crucial time. The rooms were dark and small; it was crazy to think about how those people lived in such close quarters for such a long period of time. I was also really impressed with Churchill himself. I always knew he was a great leader, but he really was completely devoted to bringing the UK out of WWII to victory.
After the War Rooms, we decided to walk around a bit. We first tried to see the prime minister’s house at 10 Downing Street, but it was completely blocked off for security reasons.
On our way to Downing Street, we walked past the Horse Guards Parade, and saw–you guessed it–horses!
From there, we headed down to Trafalgar Square, which is the geographical center of London. It’s a huge square with statues, a lovely fountain, and museums.
At this point in the day, it was gray and chilly. We decided to hop on the Tube and cross under the river to ride on the London Eye.
When we walked up it started raining, so we went inside to watch the introductory film. When we came out, the sun was shining. It’s true what they say about weather in the UK–four seasons in a day! Our ride on the Eye was bright and beautiful. London is absolutely enormous and so stunning!
After that, we headed back through Westminster to the Tube station. With the sun out, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament were shining!
After a lot of walking and a sightseeing, it was good to get on the Tube back to the hotel. To our great surprise, we discovered a Ben’s Cookies near our stop. I’ve been waiting five years for a cookie from Ben’s, and even though I knew there was a location somewhere in London, I figured I’d have to wait until our day trip to Oxford to get one. This was a great ending to a great day.