London tour in 7 seven days. Advice on what to do, what to see, where to eat and how to organize a DIY trip.
- DIY holidays in London: tips and tricks
- Where to stay cheap in London
- Eat well and cheaply in London
- London places of interest and attractions
- London pictures and photos
DIY holidays in London: tips and tricks
We assume that organize do-it-yourself holidays is one of those very few ways to be able to save a little, then if we talk about a destination like London it gets slightly more complicated.
Since the world began, London it has always been a very expensive city and one of the first tips to be able to save something is the choice of the airline and, consequently, the airport in which to land.
We left Turin on May 3, 2021 with a Ryanair flight and we paid € 123 (2 pers. A / r), we landed atStansend-London Airport where we immediately bought the ticket for the National Express Lento (22 pounds per person round trip) and the free circulation card for transport there London Oyster/Travelcard (7 days £ 25 each; essential).
It is important to point out that theStansed Airport "Sorts" the traffic of the major ones low-cost airlines.London work experience and study holiday
Oh I forgot most of the London museums that we visited were almost all free while the churches almost all were paid.
Where to stay cheap in London
From the Spain we booked the Reem Hotel 3 stelle which is located in the area of Bayswater where there are numerous cheap hotels and we paid 403 pounds for 6 nights in two, not bad since we are very close to the center of London.
We obviously got a double room with bathroom and honestly the room was really very clean and the location was really satisfying as it was so close to the subway and at the bus stop bus.
Eat well and cheaply in London
Let's say that in seven days we ate, more than anything else in typical London pubs, Mc Donald's e Burger King Delivery but we also “tested” some cheap restaurants.
Nice Spain on Queensway (good, affordable around £ 15), Bridges in Covent Garden, no comment, Crypt restaurants of St. Martin in the field, St. Paul, Southwark, very atmospheric, open only for lunch, menus simple, good prices (around £ 12).
Tate Modern, very scenic, average prices, and finally the Strada restaurant near the London Eye on the Thames, good, average prices 17-20 pounds.
For more information I recommend consulting London where to eat and where to shop.
London places of interest and attractions
After giving you some advice, suggestions e straight on where to eat and stay cheap and so on, now I want to tell you about my travel experience illustrating all the London attractions which we visited in 7 days.The 10 tallest skyscrapers in London
from Victoria coach Station, we go to the hotel, located in a beautiful area with typical white buildings, we rest, we begin our wandering, we take bus 23, we settle upstairs and, so to speak, we go to the center, slow path, always in the queue, we see Piccadilly, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, given the slowness you can see everything well, many buildings are not only elegant but also interesting from an architectural point of view, we see the rich windows of the major fashion brands, we notice how many men are dressed in iron gray or black suits and shirts and ties , they look almost the same, we will also meet many on the metro.
We have been on the bus for almost an hour and a half now, we get off atSt Paul's Abbey that we see only from the outside, the church is surrounded by many buildings, the dome, the two bell towers, the façade is baroque with columns like a Greek temple.
We cross the Thames, passing on Southwark bridge, stopping to observe the magnificent panorama at sunset, we walk a long stretch of the southbank between tall buildings, often with pleasant design, alternating with green spaces, the road on the riverside is very pleasant, it is now 22 pm we stop for dinner in a pub near the Hays Gallery, nice atmosphere, inedible dishes, on our return we can enjoy the view of the illuminated bridges over the Thames and the various skyscrapers.
The second day we reach the Trafalgar Square, large and historic square on either side of the National Gallery and the Chiesa di St. Martin in The Fields, in the center the high column that supports the statue of Nelson, at the base four bronze lions, we stop for a stop on the staircase of the Gallery, both the staircase of the gallery and the Nelson monument are full of people sitting in particular on the lions , we visit the St. Martin's Church, the exterior with its columns make it look like a Greek-Roman temple, the interior appears rather sober, the church is known for being the seat of the musical academy, everything appears very modern, but the original construction dates back to 1200, but as with many churches and buildings it has been rebuilt several times.
So let's go toWestminster Abbey, it is the royal abbey, where the English kings are crowned and buried, the original building dates back to the XNUMXth century, very beautiful, of English Gothic style, long queue to enter, they tell us that it is useless to wait, so we limit ourselves to examining the outside, we then visit the St. Margareth's Church located next to Westminster, it was the parish of the House of Commons, both the interior and the exterior seemed to me rather sober, despite having been born as a Benedictine monastery between 1000 and 1100, rebuilt several times.
Visit to Parliament (Westminster), we had already seen it externally while walking on the Thames, the area is quiet, I do not see a particular security, no sirens or blue cars and yet we have been around for more than two hours, I only see a guard at the entrance to the parking lot.
The building is very beautiful, even if it has no particular architectural merits, it is an 1800 imitation of the Gothic style, in particular I liked the Clock Tower (Big Ben) and Victoria Tower.
We head to the Westminster Cathedral, the most important Catholic church in England, the construction is relatively recent, in a style that copies the Byzantine with a bell tower built with red and white striped stone, the interior is decorated with beautiful marble, the church is quite large, but it is hardly noticeable as it is closed by the nearby buildings that surround it, and it seems to us little frequented.
From Covent Garden where we take the RV1 bus, up to Southwark to get an idea of those areas, and rest a bit, the bus takes us to the Towers of London, passing through areas across the river, allowing us to see areas that are not always interesting.
On the third day we decide undeterred that we want to visit theWestminster Abbey, long line already at 9.30 in the morning, we enter (11 euros pp) following the long snake in the line, it seems to be on a crowded bus, the abbey is very large, the central nave is tall and narrow, the sides are dotted with tombstones and funeral monuments (not always of artistic value) of many illustrious personalities from every field (kings, generals, admirals, poets, musicians, etc.), it is a mixture of pantheon and necropolis, walking through the church the history of this country is reconstructed , I liked the central nave with its arches supported by columns, even the tomb monuments are often by well-known sculptors, even modern ones, I saw one by Henry Moore, too bad you can't take pictures, the medieval floor and the central nave, going to London without seeing the cathedral is like going to Rome without going to St. Peter's.
So let's go to National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, one of the richest galleries in the world, I notice that the exhibition rooms are large, first we visit the large temporary exhibition of Picasso, which I find magnificent, the works are divided by periods and placed in large exhibition rooms, then we continue visiting some rooms of the immense Gallery, in particular, those of the Impressionists, at 18 pm in the Saint Laurent room we listen to a classical music concert for violins and cello.
On the fourth day visit to the St. Paul's Cathedral, we had visited the outside in the previous days, we enter, there are no queues, no photos, redone after the fire of 1666, the interior is very large, classical, a little baroque, here too you will find tombs of important characters Of particular interest is the 110 m high dome, which can be reached by climbing a spiral stone staircase.
I stopped at the whispering (it is very funny to see people talking to the wall, whose voice should be heard in the gallery, not surprisingly it is called the whispering gallery.
Then we go around the church, visiting the various chapels.
We note the great monument of the Duke of Wellington, also noteworthy the altar, the Choir and the mosaics depicting the creation, it will be because there was not the incredible crowd of Westminster, but I liked St Paul very much also because I was able to visit it in complete tranquility.
We go out and arrive at the Tate Modern, through a pedestrianized street and the Millenium Bridge.
We take a panoramic tour, then we decide to go for a snack at the 5th floor restaurant, which offers a magnificent view.
We then begin the visit of the Tate, with many interesting works that offer a complete panorama of modern painting, in particular works Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Mirò and other masterpieces of even more modern art.
We then head towards the elegant streets of Shopping which Piccadilly, Regent, Street, we also pass in the nearby and historic Carnaby street, a pedestrianized street, which appears a little anonymous, even if quite crowded.
Night ride to Piccadilly, crowded and full of lights, not to be missed on a Saturday night.
The fifth day Bath-Salisbury-Stonehenge.
Visit to the ancient Roman Baths of Bath, are still well preserved, the site is in a beautiful square, which also overlooks an Abbey of the 1400s, with a very beautiful facade, known for the angels depicted as they go up and down the stone stairs, a part is currently subject of jobs.
The interior is divided into three naves, on the window above the altar scenes from the life of Christ are depicted.
Le spa they were built by the Romans, to enjoy life, exploiting thermal springs, also known in previous eras.
They are very large, inside there is also a Roman temple and a museum with the artifacts found during the excavations, the visit is very interesting, the central part consists of a large pool, surrounded by a portico, similar to a cloister, there are also other rooms, some with hot thermal water, others with cold water, some pools were reserved for women, even the museum has interesting finds.
We leave towards Salisbury, where we visit the imposing cathedral of the thirteenth century, English Gothic style, surrounded by a large green space and inside which, in the Chapter House, is kept one of the four copies of the historic and famous Magna Carta, also interesting the ancient cloister, very big.
We leave Salisbury for Stonehenge, for years I had seen on TV and in magazines dozens of descriptions and legends of this archaeological site, whose origin dates back to 3000-5000 BC, I would never have thought of seeing it in person, even if I have already visited a site similar to Carnac in France.
The visit takes place along an ellipse-shaped dirt road that runs outside.
It is difficult to describe it, better look at the photos, the site seems smaller than I thought, the reason for its construction is still uncertain today, cemetery ... altar ..., of course, compared to Carnac the stones are not vertical, but also horizontal bridge, even now it is not known with certainty how they managed to arrange them above those tall vertical stones, even if there is a video on You Tube, the visit is impressive, also taking into account that what you see is only a third of the original site, not to be missed for those who stay a London some day.
On the sixth day we head towards Buckingham Palace hoping to see the changing of the guard.
We arrive on the square, needless to say it is full of crowds, however we manage to place ourselves not badly, for me it was a bit disappointing.
After lunch at St Paul's crypt, we go to visit the British Museum, it is one of the richest museums in the world, it is very large, and, despite the crowd, it is possible to visit very well, as it is dispersed among the numerous and large rooms, never seen anything like it.
In the museum we pass from the Babylonian Assyrians to the battle of Adua with a painting by an Ethiopian painter of the time (by the way, you can take pictures).
It is the only museum that we have visited almost in its entirety.
After this full immersion in ancient art, let's go to Covent Garden, is a nice square, rectangular, known since the seventeenth century, currently it is a square with a covered market, with shops on the side, frequented, I think, mainly by tourists, in the square we visit the St. Paul Church, the London Transport Museum, but it was late to visit it, we take a tour in the surroundings, full of pub e restaurants, but also of historic buildings.
We stop for dinner at Ponti, then walk around the Strand.
The seventh and last day of ours London holidays we decide to visit the Southwark Cathedral, near the Tower of London, hidden by the buildings that surround it, you can hardly see it, the church is almost deserted, it is free but to take pictures you pay 2 pounds, the facade seems to me of Gothic style, of the original building (XNUMXth century) there is not much left, then visit the very crowded Tower of London, a medieval style fortress palace, where the crown jewels are kept, but there are too many people in line, we prefer to do something else.
Lunch in the self service of Southwark Cathedral.
Then we resume wandering arriving at Boarding where we take a ride on the Thames on comfortable boats, we try again to get on London Eye, but the queue is too long, and it's about 18.30 pm, the day is sunny but there is a strong wind.
Then departure for Stansend with overnight at the airport.
I recommend that you consult these guides which have not been very interesting: London cheap holiday and Practical tips for visiting London.
London pictures and photos