London For A Day
When coming back to Paris from Hamburg, I got the chance that a surprise was waiting for me: a day-trip to London! At that time, it has been a while since I haven’t gone to London, and it is only a 2h30 to 3h journey.
As I went with my godmother and a friend of hers, we all already had seen most of the touristic parts of London. So we thought we would go around town, like Londoners would.
1st stop: Marble Arch
Jumping on the tube, we took the direction to Marble Arch. From there, we walk through Oxford Street, and stopped at Primark, a very famous fashion retail shop, known for its low prices. On our way, I could avoid noticing the fancy-looking taxis and amazing buildings’ facades, such as the Selfridges one.
Picture 1: Marble Arch; Picture 2: Oxford Street
Picture 1: a taxi cab; Picture 2: Facade of Selfridges
2nd stop: Piccadilly circus
From Tottenham Cour Road where Primark is, we went to Piccadilly Circus. That’s something I never did when previously going to London.
Piccadilly Circus is a pedestrian traffic circle, and was once the Time Square of London as there were many huge advertising billboards all around. Now, there is only one building left with such electronic billboards advertisement. At the center of the place, there is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, which has been erected in 1893 to honor Lord Shaftesbury’s memory, a philanthropist known for his actions of help to the poorest.
From Piccadilly circus, we went to parallel streets to find a fish&chips. The one we went to was affordable, and really good! You should definitely have a fish&chips when in London!
It is a pretty central place, as you can go to Soho, Chinatown, or Leicester Square in a few minutes.
Picture: Piccadilly Circus
3rd stop: Leicester Square
This square is the center of London’s cinema land. Many film premieres happen there. There are also many hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as casinos. You will certainly not miss the big M&M’s World store, which is worth having a look to, just like the one on Times Square.
When came across the Swiss glockenspiel, located on the outside of the Swiss Centre, which has been demolished to allow the construction of the M&M’s World and the W London Hotel. This Swiss glockenspiel used to play music, ring bells, and have moving figures dressed in Swiss clothes. It was designed to showcase Swiss culture and encourage tourism.
Picture: Swiss Glockenspiel, Leicester Square
4th stop: Trafalgar Square
There, you will see the National Gallery Bookshop, the Nelson’s Column, the Fourth Plinth, the iconic stone lions, and now the Blue Cock (on the Fourth Plinth). The Blue Cock is supposed to represent the British triumph in the Tour de France. As cock is the emblem of France, the creator said that it also represents French sporting pride. This Square is also known for the many pigeons there.
We went there during the musical festival period, which is on June 21st in France and on June 23rd in England. So as Trafalgar Square is well known for all the culture events, performances, and shows taking place there, there was a concert of the New Generation Beatles. And it was awesome! Great music, we had a good time listening to them!
5th stop: Big Been
From Trafalgar Square, we took the Whitehall street, known as the center of Her Majesty’s Government as the street is lined with government departments and ministries. Along the road, you will see the Victoria Tower. At the end of the street, here was Big Ben! This famous big clock, the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world, is at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. The clock is actually on the tower called the Elizabeth Tower.
6th stop: River Thames
Taking the Westminster Bridge, we then decided to walk aside the River Thames, as the summer weather was delightful. From there, you could see touristic boats going around and the Big Wheel. We came across the “Festival of Love” and its artsy entrance. A bit farther, there was a skateboarding place, covered in graffitis, where you could stop and watch skateboarders traine. At a certain point, we stopped and looked down, to the river, and saw a man in his deckchair, on the sand, and with his guitar. The guy was singing, humorously, and had a huge target on which people could throw coins. And I think that was great! Really funny.
View on the River Thames, from the Westminster Bridge; “Festival of Love” entrance; Skateboard place; Man singing on sand
Last stop: London Bridge
So we walked all the way up to the London Bridge, and from there, we admired the Tower Bridge.
So that was our day trip to London! I hope you get to see all of those things as well, and don’t forget: touristic sites are great, but try to see something else as well! There are numerous gorgeous place to be seen, where the crowd is not necessarily!
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