Recently we decided on a spontaneous trip to London and of course no adventure is complete without Moose. It was his first time travelling on a train, along with it being his first time experiencing life as a city boy.
London I feel, is a little like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. Personally, both Farley and I are not city people. We much prefer the comforts of the countryside and being surrounded by nothing but nature. That being said, we do enjoy the city in small doses and I can totally understand why people adore London. I imagined we’d experience the hustle and bustle that the city is renowned for on our visit, but even I was charmed by its peace and quiet. It was a side of London I had never seen before, a side that I was so grateful to see.
As the organised one in our relationship, I’d planned out our own walking tour around central London with a list of sights to see. There was no purpose as such for our visit, we just wanted to walk around and take in some of London’s infamous architecture. You could easily speed the route we took up by taking advantage of a travel card and accessing London via the underground or its double decker buses. As it was all new to Moose, we didn’t want to overwhelm him with all this, so stuck with a single train journey into London Waterloo. We caught an early train and arrived just before 9am where our very own inspired walking tour began…
1. Leake Street Tunnel aka Graffiti Tunnel
Tucked underneath Waterloo Station is our first spot of the day and the city’s largest legal wall thanks to the work of Banksy – heard of him by chance? In 2008, Banksy invited some of the biggest names on the international street art scene to come down and stamp their mark on the tunnel.
Since then, it has been a popular place where artists can work in peace and due to the sheer number of work that goes up, no two visits are the same. Moose was chuffed to find a friend.. what do you think?
2. Westminster Bridge
Our second spot was a walk across Westminster Bridge. From here you can see panoramic views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and South Bank. My only question is.. how long until Big Ben is no longer covered in scaffolding? Renovations began back in 2017!
3. London Eye from Victoria Embankment
When you’re directly underneath the London Eye, it’s almost impossible to fit everything in one photo. Therefore, as you’re heading over Westminster Bridge, take a right and walk along Victoria Embankment until you’re opposite the wheel and you’ll find not only spot number three, but also the perfect photo opportunity. We’d picked up a fresh coffee and hot chocolate to enjoy on the bench and enjoy this view a little while.
As we headed for spot number five, we found ourselves just walking around the City of Westminster in awe of its architecture and public gardens. One minute you’re walking past the Ministry of Defence (which for some reason always reminds me of Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic), the next your watching the Pelicans in St James’s Park. I must also add that Westminster is the best spot in London for a picture with the iconic red telephone boxes.
5. Buckingham Palace
We took Moose to see the queen and it almost felt like we had a private invitation! Buckingham Palace just like the rest of London was strangely quiet but really quite incredible.
Something that didn’t happen whilst we were visiting but is something I would recommend seeing if it’s your first time in London is watching the Changing of the Guards at the palace which takes place on certain days and at certain times of the day.
6. St Paul’s Cathedral
From Buckingham Palace we headed for spot number 6, St Paul’s Cathedral. Another piece of London’s architecture that’s bound to leave you speechless. It took us around 40 minutes to walk to the Cathedral so if you’re keen to give your feet a break, here’s where I’d recommend taking a tube or bus. We stopped half way along the river bank for a picnic lunch that we’d picked up from a local Tesco’s in Trafalgar Square and don’t worry we’d packed some bits for Moose too!
7. St Dunstan in the East
15 minutes walk from St Paul’s you’ll find an oasis in the city. This is St Dunstan in the East, hidden within the city streets and a spot I’d recommend to anyone visiting London. It used to be a church but was first damaged by the Great Fire of London, and then again by the Blitz of 1941. Now St Dunstan in the East sits as a public garden open to everyone to enjoy for free.
8. Tower Bridge
Spot number 8 and our final stop before catching the train home was the iconic Tower Bridge. I find every angle of this bridge truly incredible. How could you not stop to take a photo here?
We were ready to put our feet up once we’d walked over Tower Bridge and I think Moose was ready to put his paws up too. Since we were 40 odd minutes away from where we needed to be, we hailed a London black taxi to take us back to London Waterloo to start the journey home. Moose slept the entire journey back.
As I said at the beginning of this blog post, I saw a side of London I’d never seen before. It was magical and I can’t wait to head back and explore more of London soon. I’ve already started compiling a list of destinations that I plan to visit. If you have any recommendations… please let me know!