We stayed in a Premier Inn in the Bank and Tower Hill while visiting London this time. For us, it is not staying in fancy hotels but about having a base from which one can explore the glorious city of London. We also stuck to economical travelling, e.g., we took a National Express Coach to Victoria Coach Station in an instance.

An Overcrowded London

We assumed that the city would be quiet and it turned out to be true during the daytime. But as the sun set, the number of people surged exponentially. The quieter daytime allowed us to explore the city and its attractions from a closer view. The area around Westminster is known to be filled with people on weekends but to our surprise, it wasn’t the scenario.

Saying that it would be wrong to tell that London had lost its charm for the buzz was still around in the city. In one instance, our walking guide told us that it was the first time since the lockdown that she has seen a bagpiper playing in Parliament Square.

During the evenings, London would look more populated than China Town- rammed and busy. The streets would be so filled that the prospects of exploring the city peacefully would look bleak.


Walking On 32,000 Steps

Exploring London on foot has always been one of our favourite things to do and this time, we did not one but two walks in a day. We took around 32,000 steps in these walks. Our first walk was to Old Westminster which Karen, also crowned “the world’s greatest guide” by Travel and Leisure, guided us through. From there, we traversed across London to join Judy, our second guide for The Heart of the City. Here, we witnessed the tall skyscrapers, stone pillars, and church spires.

Waiting in Line for Food

To eat in London, you’d have to wait in queues for the longest time you can imagine. We joined one of these queues in China Town and after a quick calculation, we found out that we would have to wait at least 1.5 hours before we could get a table. And this is not just prevalent in one or two restaurants but almost, in all of them.

Hence, we went off on our search for less crowded places to eat. That brought us to the back streets of Covent Garden which were less congested. We went to Byron Burgers to have some food. Seven Dials was less packed as well and the waiting line for Udderlicious on Earlham Street was bearable to wait for a table. Another place that is great for breakfast is Caravan City on Cannon Street near Mansion House station. Their potato hash and chorizo are delicious. Stax Diner, located in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street is also a nice spot to have a hearty meal. If you ever plan to visit this restaurant, make sure to get reservations in advance like we did to save yourself from the tenacious queues. And don’t miss out on the savoury fish tacos and churros from DF Tacos at Market Halls Victoria.

Indulging in Other Interests

Although I am all for exploring and spending time outdoors, I think that this time of the year is also great for grabbing a book. I love reading travel books and guidebooks. Some books that I recently found in my mail and are a good read are-

England and Wales Island bagging, Lisa Drewe- This book is an exclusive guide on the islands of England and Wales. Lisa has written about the islands of Isle of Man, Jersey, Lundy, and Lindisfarne and the activities that one can do- from walks to swims, camping, etc.

Let’s Get Lost, Finn Beales- This book is a pictographic collection of landscapes from some of the remotest locations around the globe. The book has been compiled by travel and lifestyle photographer Finn Beales and features works of other landscape photographers as well. One will find mountains, coastal views, forests, etc. in this spectacular book.