Today I set out on my tourist-y adventure of the city. And it was quite the journey. Google Maps said I walked about 8 miles. Oh boy. And the weather was not prime touring weather either – it stayed around 40 degrees and misted all morning (thanks for not raining on me London.) Down by the river, the wind was very strong and VERY cold.
My first stop was the Changing of the Guards. I took the tube to Westminster, then headed up to watch the Royal Horse Guards and followed them to Buckingham. I tried to get up close to the gate, but that was quite a disaster. It was so crowded that I couldn’t see anything! I’ll have to try again later and get to Buckingham earlier (or stay further back).
Then I headed back toward Westminster to see Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. I missed the touring times for the Abbey by a couple minutes, so I’ll have to make a trip back to Westminster for that (if I find £20 to spare on a tour that is.)
From there, I crossed Westminster Bridge and took off down Southbank, a pedestrian walkway that follows the Thames. It had a lot of famous sights along the way -the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, Blackfriar’s Bridge, London Bridge Station, the HMS Belfast, the Shard, etc. It also had a lot of restaurants and shops and plenty of street performers! Even though it was cold and a long way to go, I’ll have to take the walk again, as it was a good way to spend a little quality time with myself and take in the city.
I crossed back onto the north side of the Thames over the Tower Bridge, past the Tower of London (since that tour takes 3 hours, I’m going to spend Sunday morning exploring the Tower), and back toward St. Paul’s Cathedral. They had just opened the doors for their nightly service, so I got to step inside for a bit without doing the whole tour (and paying for it). That’s another thing I’ll have to come back to and do the tour or stay for the service – it was breathtaking on the inside!
My very tired feet trudged their way up Fleet Street (because I wasn’t really sure where I was going) and back onto the Strand, which is near Trafalgar Square, where I got back on the tube near Charing Cross and headed back home. I walked around the city for hours today and there is still so much more that I need to see!