United Kingdom

We arrived at London Heathrow Airport and used this amazing app to avoid expensive Ubers and taxis, called City Mapper. It had step by step directions to get you exactly where you need to be. One of my traveling companions told us about this app and it sounded easy before ever using it, and I am not great at understanding the subways. So we shuffled to the underground, bought our Oyster cards and made it to the Airbnb for about £5.

We arrived at the White Hart hotel very late and our host was up waiting for us. We had a cute room, just enough space for the three of us. No A/C, but since it is London, the weather was somewhat cool, even in mid summer July. We also got a 10% discount at the White Hart bar downstairs. Over the next few days we visited Secret bars, took a ride on the London Eye, and went on a Harry Potter tour. Our London trip was just packed enough to keep us busy without tiring us out too bad.

Our first day in London was the day that we planned to take a harry potter tour, which was awesome because most of my friends are fans. We got a bit turned around when looking for the address, which happened to be where Harry Potter and the cursed child was, but we knew we weren’t looking for that so we continued on down the wrong street and found a nerd haven store called House of Spells.

It was mostly HP but there was something in there for every nerd. I’m a huge GOT fan so seeing the iron throne was pretty cool.

When we finally found our group, (on time, thankfully) we were all sorted into our houses by reaching into a bag to pull out a card. I was very happy to find that I had pulled my house, Ravenclaw, out of the bag.

We saw St, Paul’s cathedral which could be seen from the “wobbly bridge” or Millenium bridge that was destroyed by the Death Eaters in the movie.  The Millenium bridge, nicknamed the “wobbly bridge” got its name because it actually used to wobble back and forth when anyone would try to walk on it.  Apparently the architect said that people just weren’t walking across it properly. (??) Kind of funny because then our guide said that we would all now be cartwheeling across the bridge in unison. The bridge also happened to be right next to The City of London school where Daniel Radcliffe attended.

We spent a little bit of time in the Borough Market. We saw all kinds of things being sold from knickknacks to fresh fish, clothing stands to delicious street food made fresh in front of you.

 

Across the street from the market was the room that harry stayed in before the school year in the Prisoner of Azkaban. The train that runs through the market, is the train that can be heard from Harry’s room. We saw the actual filming location for what served as the entrance to Diagon Alley, as well as Kings Cross Station. We learned that the filming for platform 9 3/4 was actually filmed between platforms 4 and 5 instead of between platforms 9 and 10.

The day after, we decided to do a secret bars tour of London where we found amazing drinks in hidden and very cozy areas. You could walk into a regular restaurant or little cafe and the entrance would be cleverly hidden in plain sight. One of the bars that we visited, described their drinks by their taste rather than with what they are made of.

The bar keep came over with the most amazing looking and tasting drinks. And each came with a story. The “drink” that I got was actually a scoop of alcoholic gummy bears which was great for me  because I love gummy anything and they gave me a nice buzz. At the next bar I ordered a fizzy, lavender drink. Pretty purple and was very refreshing with a citrus taste to it.

The next day we decided on a shopping trip to Primark in a quieter part of town. I found some amazing clothes for prices that I never would have found in the U.S. We spent a few hours just hanging out before heading over to the London Eye. It was bigger than I expected which naturally got me some great views of London. We went up at sunset and the sky looked calm and beautiful.

I spent a little bit of time in Picadilly Circus where lots of people go for some great photo shoots.

We wrapped up our time in London with a somewhat authentic English breakfast of beans, sausage, tomatoes and black pudding at Jenny’s breakfast cafe. So good, that when I came home i tried to recreate my plate from the cafe and did an okay job.