While I was living in Scotland during 2012 (I apologize now for the blurry photos from my point and shoot), something I knew I wanted to do was visit London. It wasn't at the top of my list, but I really ended up loving all it had to offer. However, I would not recommend visiting in November like I did. It was FREEZING! The following is a list of the 14 things you definitely shouldn't miss while visiting London. The good news is, they're also fairly affordable! I was on a budget, after all...
1. TOWER BRIDGE. This suspension bridge was one of the London icons I could not wait to see. It's definitely worth taking the time to walk across it.
2. QUEEN'S WALK. Near Tower Bridge is the Queen's Walk which is a promenade along the River Thames. It's a few miles long and takes you past a number of the main attractions in London.
3. THE LONDON EYE. I'll admit, I was a skeptic of the London Eye. It was expensive and the line was incredibly long, but let me say it was SO WORTH THE WAIT. I highly recommend it.
4. WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Another big icon in the city that's worth visiting. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. You can easily loose a number of hours there.
5. TATE MODERN. I'm picky about museums, but Tate Modern blew me away. The admission is free and it hosts a number of exhibits at any given time. You could spend a whole day here.
6. HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR. NEED I SAY MORE?! This one is a bit of a trip out of London (about 2 hours by train or bus if I remember correctly), but it's absolutely worth the trip. I will admit, however, that it took some of the magic out of the movies.
7. TRAFALGAR SQUARE. The architecture, sculptures, and statues in this area will absolutely blow you away. There's always something fun going on in the square. When I visited, they had the National NFL game going on, bringing tons of fans from all over the world to celebrate in the square. It was definitely an experience.
8. 10 DOWNING STREET. This is the the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.We visited the backside as the public is no longer allowed access to Downing Street since the bombing. I'd suggest going on the free walking tour (#11) where you will learn more about the history of this location. The Churchill War Rooms are also nearby.
9. ST. JAMES PARK. This is where the Queen keeps her bird collection. There are a HUGE range of birds here, including pelicans that eat pigeons and black swans. I was shocked to see people petting these massive pelicans, and them actually seeming to enjoy it! Quite a sight, and an overall beautiful park with a great view of Buckingham Palace.
10. THE CHANGING OF THE GUARDS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE. This was also a MUST. Brace yourself for hundreds of pushy people all trying to see the same thing as you, though. Regardless, it was very cool and totally worth fighting the crowds. Be prepared for underwhelming photos, however.
11. FREE NEW LONDON SANDEMAN'S WALKING TOUR. I love free walking tours because 1) they're free (DUH!), 2) you learn fun, quirky stories about the city that only the locals know and 3) you visit locations you might not have otherwise seen.
12. EAT AT PIEMINISTER IN BOROUGH MARKET. Do yourself a favor and just trust me on this one.
13. CLOCK TOWER (BIG BEN). One word: breathtaking. You also get amazing views from the London Eye!
14. TOWER OF LONDON CASTLE. I wasn't initially interested in doing this, but I'm so glad I did. You can see the crown jewels and visit some of the historic chapels on property.
Have you ever visited London? What's on your must-see list?