Monday, July 6, 2015

Planning for London!

So I am going to London in August and I am starting to get super excited! With the trip getting closer and closer I have been doing some research on things I want to do during my stay!

This will actually be my second time visiting London. I went during my senior year of high school on a school trip. I was in the marching band in high school and we were invited to march in the London New Years Day Parade (see here). While that trip was a blast, when you are in a foreign country on a trip with 120 other people you kind of have to stick to the itinerary and you don't have much of a choice in your activities.

Places I am excited to not have to go back to:

Tower of London
So the Tower of London is a cool place and you should definitely go if you have never been. But, I'm kind of taking the been there done that approach. I don't really have a need to see the crown jewels again. I also found the White Tower kind of underwhelming, I mean was just a bunch of armoury.

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is another place that is cool, I mean the building is 500 years old and King Henry VIII lived here. But I was also just kind of underwhelmed by it, but I'm not super interested in the whole Tudor Era either.

Globe Theatre
This is the place I am super excited to not revisit. I only recommend Globe Theatre if you are super into Shakespeare. Otherwise I would say pass. I mean it's not even the original theatre, it's just a replica.

As far as the places I am excited to visit, the list could go on. But to just list off a few: Westminster Abbey, Liberty of London, Chruchill War Rooms, V&A Museum, etc. For now I thought I would share what I have been using to do research on things to do. So my dad has just about every travel book on London out there and I have tried reading them, but I just find them to be bland and unorganized. 

So I have turned to the wonderful world of the internet. I recently found this list of the Top 10 Best Travel Websites. So far I have really enjoyed Afar, GoopTravel + Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveler. These places offer a good range of places to visit, as well as recommending more off the beaten path kind of places. Quick note for some reason several of these websites have lists of bookstores to visit while in London, which I am a sucker for, and currently I have like at least 5 bookstores I want to go to...... Oops.

I also really like reading blogs to get recommendations on places to visit while traveling. I like using blogs to research because there is a more personal aspect to it, as opposed to reading some travel book written by whomever. It's nice knowing there are real people who have gone to these places and enjoyed them.

Blogs I have been enjoying:

Rosie is a blogger who actually is currently living in London. While it seems like she is constantly traveling, she also consistently posts about cool places to see/eat at in London.

Lauren is an American blogger who also currently resides in London. She actually has travel guides that are really helpful and cool posts like what British souvenirs to buy!

Brooke is a travel blogger, so she has a ton of travel tips and tons of posts on the best things to do in various places.

I also ordered this city guide to London by Cereal Magazine. This guide recommends, again, a lot of lesser known/less touristy places. Also the aesthetic of this guide, I die (see below).

*insert heart eye emoji*

I realize this post was all over the place, but I just had a lot of stuff I wanted to talk about!

Thanks for reading!!

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