My journey began in London, a place I’ve been dreaming of getting back to for years. I love a bit of history, so England is a bit of nerdy heaven for me. I love the architecture both in the city and further out into the countryside. Regardless of where you go, there is always an interesting story from the past. I can confidently say I still want to see more and I will be back.
There is something special about London that keeps drawing me back, and every time I venture further out of the city, I find even more that I love. I saw all the ‘tourist’ sites this visit with the addition of a few places I had found on Instagram, seen on TV or read about in one of my many books.
I stayed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire, which was on Oxford Street, right across the road from Bond Street Station and above the Disney store. It was the perfect location and made getting around super easy. The staff were very helpful, and since our room was at the back of the hotel, there was very little noise.
I found the best way to get around and see all the touristy sties was via the Hop-on Hop-off double-decker bus tours. I love seeing the city this way because you can listen to commentary about the sites as you drive past them. This is great for me as I like to take photos of things or scenery especially if I know the history, I have a cool story or I felt a connection to it when I saw it. Otherwise, when I go back and look at my photo album they’re just photos, I enjoy looking at the old photos and evoking an old memory and emotion. I saw a good portion of the sites on the bus, and for the other days, I travelled on the Tube and a few buses. London transport is pretty easy to navigate around, I only took a cab once and that was at the end of my stay in London because my bags were annoying and heavy.
Portobello Road was also high on my list, ever since I watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971 film) as a child I wanted to visit this fantastic road and then when I saw Notting Hill (1999 film) it was a visual reminder that I had to see in person. So when Saturday came around to Portobello Market, I went. There were so many stalls and shops selling everything from food, fashion, vintage homes, wares, toys and so much more. I could have easily spent the day here! I purchased souvenirs I had seen nowhere else, but I could have easily bought so much more. I would have loved to purchase some beautiful dresses from the stalls, but I was still unsure about the sizing conversions so I would definitely suggest knowing before you go to avoid disappointment.
My favourite store is Accessorize. I found this store on my first visit when it began raining and I ran in to buy an umbrella, six years on, that same umbrella joined me on this trip in case of rain. Since that day every time I see a store, I go in and I always walk out with a new purchase. The store is full of beautiful bags, jewellery, hats, scarves and handy and unique little gifts.
I would also suggest checking out Choccywoccydoodah, a cafe/shop you must see. I originally found out about this place after seeing their TV series, which follows the staff as they prepare amazing cakes for various clients. The shop in Carnaby is surrounded by beautiful streets and cafes. They fill the store with various chocolate sculptures and blocks of chocolate, which are all available for purchase. I restrained myself and only purchase a couple of blocks as I know myself well enough that had I bought the Chocolate Westie puppy, it would sit on my shelf for years. It was way too cute to eat! The blocks of chocolate I purchased were deliciously smooth and creamy, so I wish I had purchased more. The staff were so lovely and helpful I would go back again.
As you can see, there is so much I love about London. I will cover my favourite historical locations and restaurants in more detail soon. I will be back again, probably for longer, so I can calm my excitement and take my time in my favourite places.
If you want to know more, let me know but for now happy travels