Date of Trip: September 2010
London; Spent three fun filled days taking in most of the sights in whirlwind fashion. London is a city with a treat at almost every corner and is a relatively easy city to navigate, booked my hotel stay at the reasonably priced “Premier Inn”-County Hall (perhaps the BEST location for seeing many of the London sights, hotel is directly across from the House of Parliament, Westminster Abby and next to the “Eye”.).
Arriving at Gatwick airport my wife and I made our way to the train terminal (located in the south terminal) bought tickets on the First Capital Connect (FCC) to London Waterloo, by taking the FCC you can save a whopping 50% over the expensive Gatwick express, travel time to London on the FCC is almost identical to the express and the FCC tickets gave us a bonus- unlimited use of the “tube” for that entire day. To shake off jetlag, our London discovery started with a four hour afternoon bike ride with “Fat Tires”, this was an easy way to see many of the significant London sights enjoy the fresh air while saving your legs and feet for later, the biking on the tour is not strenuous and you peddle through many parks, simply put this tour is a MUST for any visitor that wants to see a lot of London in a short time. The downside is that you do not get a chance to enter each site, but you can always return and with limited time we had to pick and choose our events.
The next day I submitted to the standard tourist bus and booked a tour with Premier tours to see; Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and the Roman Baths. I am not a fan of organized bus tours but I will admit that Premier did a nice job of trying to keep the tour personal and the tour price was very reasonable. The tour is a full day and defiantly worth it, traveling and visiting each site with a lunch stop at a local country pub you return to London at about 8:30pm.
For our final day, we took the river boat (a type of HOHO) up the Thames River to the town of Greenwich. Traveling up the Thames was lovely you get to see many of the famous landmarks from the river. Greenwich is a quant and interesting little town with many exhibits, visiting the “prime meridian” was the highlight of the visit, this was followed by a lunch stop at wonderful open air farmers type food market in Greenwich. The aroma of the many international foods being cooked at the farmers market would make anyone’s mouth water, so do your self a favor and stop there for a bite. Boarding the tube at Greenwich we got off at the last stop, making our way past the Tower of London (which is very close to the tube station), crossed London Bridge admiring Tower Bridge which is especially majestic we followed the Thames river bank we passing many of the sights we had seen from the river, got up close to the “Globe” and the rode up the “free” ONXX tower to the observation deck which gives you a lovely vantage view of the entire city (doing this saved us the hassle of standing in line and paying a lot of money to ride the “London Eye”). From the Onxx tower it is a short jaunt to County Hall a great ending to a fun filled day. By following my itinerary you can easily see a lot of London and save a little cash as prices in London are high.
Overall a great city and I look forward to a return.