LONDON BABY!!!! The perfect destination for every Nerd!!
Every fan of the American sitcom Friends remembers Joe’s enthusiasm when he learned that Ross was going to get married in London. I think that was the best episode in the whole series. I had also my LONDON BABY trip this summer (2018) with my boyfriend for his birthday.
We decided to flight from Stockholm to London Gatwick with Norwegian Airlines. That is not the cheapest way to go there, because you can also flight to London Stansted from Stockholm Skavsta or Västerås Airport. However, we chose a more expensive option, because Gatwick Airport is closer to our friends place where we were going to stay. It was also a better option for us because, here in Stockholm it is quicker to go to Arlanda (30 min by bus from home), than to other airports where we need go by bus from Central Station (around 1.5 hour plus after 40 min from home to Central Station).
The way we traveled
The flight was delayed in Stockholm, but in the end, we were not too late in London. I think that Norwegian, has comfortable planes and good pilots for a low-cost airline. I have used this airline several times, and always has everything been OK. The flight took around 2.5 hours and the round-trip tickets cost us almost 1600 SEK (around 145€) per person. We traveled in high season and we bought the tickets 3 weeks before our the trip, so it was not a good deal, but you can find this trip for as low as 900 SEK (82€) (round trip). We decided to go with a more expensive and comfortable option because we did not need to pay for accommodation ;). Huge thanks to our great hosts! 🙂
Staying with our friends in Richmond
As mentioned before, we stayed for the weekend with our friends in their apartment in Richmond. This is a beautiful town located at, approximately 15 km from London. I think that is a perfect place to see old English architecture, as well as to find everything that needs to be in a town to enjoy living there like pubs, cinema, shopping centers etc. The town is also well connected with London, where you can go by commuting train. The journey takes around 30 min. I love Richmond and I would love to go back there to explore more.
In this trip we spent a lot of time with our friends walking around London. Every day after breakfast we were taking the train to the city and staying there until late. My boyfriend and I have been before in London, so we decided to not make the typical touristic visits to Buckingham Palace, London Eye or Big Ben (which is still being renovated, and you cannot see it).
Oyster Card and attractions in London
I think the best way to go around London is to buy an Oyster Card, charge it with the needed amount of money (I would recommend 20£ for a weekend), and pay as you go. You can pre-order it before your trip or you can buy it on the airport. All the information about Oyster Cards and prices available at TFL website . We spent around 50£ each fir the 4 days, but only because we were traveling a lot and the trips from the Richmond cost more, because it is placed in a different price zone.
One of the days we made sightseeing. As I have said before, we skipped the typical TOP 10 attraction in London and decided to go to Greenwich to see the imaginary line that indicates 0° longitude. There is a nice area to walk around, so if you like green areas and places where there are no so many people, I can highly recommend it. I need to be honest with you. I do not have picture of the line because we were lazy to go up to the hill ;). We also had lunch there in one sushi restaurant recommended by one of our friends’ colleague.
After Greenwich we took the Emirates Air cable car, which is going above the Thames River. I did like it to much. The view was not breathtaking due to several construction going on in London and the cable car did not air-conditioning. This day was 35°C in London, so believe me, it was hot there. We decided to buy a combo ticket, line car + boat cruise, so after ¨flying¨ over the river we went down and took a boat. The boat was comfortable with a bar, so we grabbed a beer and enjoyed beautiful views and air- conditioning. The combo ticket cost us 10£ per person.
Harry Potter Tour by Strawberry Tours
As a huge fan of Harry Potter, I had plans for some Harry Potter Must Do attractions in London for our weekend. I did not want to push our friends and Carlos to have a whole Harry Potter weekend, so I decided to choose one of the days to take a Harry Potter Tour (everything in one). Before we went there, I had made some research about available tours in the capital of England, and I had found Strawberry Tours. They have pretty good reviews in TripAdvisor and their tours are for free. You can tip your guide after the trip as much as you think the tour was worth.
Nathan, our guide, took us through places in London where they filmed the movies and which we were inspiration for J.K. Rowling while she was writing series of The Boy Who Survived. We visited The Ministry of Magic, The Diagon Alley, and The Knockturn Alley. Nathan was friendly, and he knew his stuff so that each Harry Potter fan will approve. I was surprised that they had to close the whole Oxford Street, one of the busiest streets in the city, to record one scene from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. We could also see the street where the entry to the Ministry of Magic was (the sign of the public toilet entrance in the sixth movie 🙂 ).
I loved the tour and I can highly recommend it. It does not include visiting King’s Cross Station, but we have went there as well after lunch. The station looks like any other station, but you can have pictures with the luggage cart on platform 9 ¾. The best part for me in King’s Cross was the Harry Potter store, where you can find everything that you can imagine from the Harry Potter world. Keep your wallet safe 🙂 .
Our weekend in London is over and I am sure that I will come back there again. I would highly recommend it as a destination for everyone, but maybe for longer time that only few days. There is so much to see. I think it is not possible to see all of it in one week. In my opinion, London is a perfect place for everyone. Mostly for people who like movies, books, games, musicals or history. Everyone can find there something for their taste.
I hope that you enjoyed my story, and that you have found the information you were looking for in my blog. Come back soon to read more – the next post will cover a review about the Holiday Inn Express hotel in Essen/ Germany.
See you on the road,