Travel Diary : London, UK

By Katrina - July 29, 2018

My family has become the "just go see the beauty in the world" family, and we have been making it a goal of ours to get out there and create memories together. This summer we decided to explore London, England on the first wave of our family vacation. This trip was booked through my favorite travel site which I have blogged about in the past. If you're interested in learning how you could get out there at an affordable price, click on the travel tab in my menu bar and check out my post about titled - Travel the World For Less! Or you could click here for the post!

I had been preparing for this trip for a little while by getting some outfits and bags to use. One bag that I had wished to have was a tote with an attachment on it that would allow me to hang my bag only luggage. I knew that would come in handy because usually we travel by metro when we arrive in Europe, and that includes our trip from the airport to our hotel. So a tote that can attach to my luggage would be essential for my comfort. TUMI has created the perfect tote for this and it came in so handy and was such a convenience. The TUMI Voyageur collection has plenty of options for avid travelers to make your trip convenient and comfortable.

Another bag that I used everyday during our outings was my favorite little mini-backpack, my Louis Vuitton Sperone BB. I finally managed to figure out a way to tie the straps in a way that shortens them substantially and does not require any cutting or damage to the straps. Every Sperone BB ownder knows how unnecessarily long the straps are and the adjustment options are not many.

We began our trip in London by experiencing Wimbledon! The oldest and most prestigious professional tennis tournament in history. My son being an aspiring tennis player and me being a former tennis player, Wimbledon is a must-do while in London. We had the misconception that Wimbledon would be mission impossible to attend, since ticket sales online are pretty much non-existent and ballot tickets are sold years and months in advance. We decided that our only shot would be to show up on the grounds and hope for a grounds pass, and that is exactly what we did!

We took the metro to Wimbledon and had a short scenic walk through a small village-like town outside of the championship grounds. The street is lined with banners directing guests where to go whether they have a ticket or not. We followed the "non-ticket holder" banners and ended up at the entrance to the "queue". We were ready to wait for hours and were glad that the weather was pleasant and cool. Little did we know, within 30 to 40 minutes of waiting in line, which is actually quite a pleasant experience, we were getting our tickets and going through security.

If you ever have intentions of attending Wimbledon and don't mind getting grounds passes and enjoying the site and surrounding court matches outside of Center Court or Court 1 seating, just show up, wait in the queue and before you know it, you'll be enjoying a Pimm's and strawberries & cream on site at the most historical tennis tournament in the history of the sport! Grounds passes cost us 25 pounds per person which is $32 US dollars. Not bad for fancy shmancy Wimbledon!

Day two was an exploration day! We walked over 10 miles and got ourselves "lost in London". I am so proud of my son for being such a trooper on our trips because he walks with us and never complains about being tired. We take breaks while on the metro and we will grab something to eat, but typically we are on our feet and finding new things to "take in" from sun up to sun down.

We visited the beautiful Tower Bridge, which is an iconic symbol in London and holds a lot of history. What we did not know about the Tower Bridge is that it is located directly next to the Tower of London which is a castle, prison, and fortress that had a huge role in a lot of England's incredible medieval history. We had to explore the Tower of London and we were so glad that we did. Tickets were on sale nearby the entrance and luckily, even with 2 hours left before closing, we were able to get inside and see King Edward's chambers, King Henry's chambers, the famous Blood Tower and torture rooms, and the incredible Crown Jewels!

We had such a great time exploring and learning about the medieval history of London. My son absolutely loved it and had a blast! If you're in London, we highly recommend visiting the Tower of London and entrance was not expensive. I think if I remember correctly, we paid 75 pounds ($98.00) for a family pass.

This day also consisted of walking down to Buckingham Palace, which was a very short walk from our hotel. We didn't stop there. We continued to walk down the Mall until we reached Picadilly Circus, Trafalga r Square, where we found The National Gallery museum. This museum is a donation based museum that holds some of the most valuable pieces of art in the world. We got to see some of Vincent Van Gogh's masterpieces up close and it was surreal! He is my favorite painter and his story of being the misunderstood, tortured painter that finally reached fame and appreciation for his genius posthumously really touches me. We also saw masterpieces brought to life by Rembrandt and Monet.

What I'm wearing : White Linen Button Down dress from 
My Bag - Louis Vuitton Sperone BB (my go-to bag this whole trip!)

Our next day in London was spent visiting Kensington Palace and enjoying the life of the royals. Kensington Palace was beautiful, filled with priceless antiques, Princess Diana's famous pieces of clothing on display, and Queen Victoria's precious jewels and other artifacts also on display for guests. Entrance to the museum part of the palace is about 35 pounds per family, which is about $45.00. The rest of the palace is the current residence of many of the members of the royal family, including HRH Kate Middleton, and HRH Meghan Markle!

What I wore : Beige Linen Romper from Forever 21
My Bag - Louis Vuitton Sperone BB
Shoes - Tan strappy sandals from Target

We also enjoyed our time at the British Museum, which is home to the Rosetta Stone. The British Museum has a rich history as it was attacked in an air raid during World Was 2, suffering damage that can still be seen today. If you look closely you can see shrapnel damage to the inside of the railing that lines the front entrance. Entrance to the museum is free and depending on when you come during the day, you may have to wait in a line, but regardless of line or not, you do have to go through a security checkpoint and have your bags and belongings inspected. Photography is allowed inside and encouraged.

Here are some more photos from walking around London.

We loved London. 

Have you ever been there?


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