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A Day in London




Last Thursday, I woke at 8am and caught a train at 11am to spend the day in London - and this time I accumulated more than enough (v. instagramable) photos to make a blog post out of it!
If you're planning a day in London, or are stuck for where to go, then hopefully this will give you some ideas!


 I love London. Where I live is already so culturally diverse, it's weird in all honesty to not hear other languages or see other traditional dress when going grocery shopping. When I was living in France, because I was living in a small village, there wasn't really any diversity in that sense, which was really strange at first, I missed hearing different languages and accents! London, being the capital, is just on another level, not only is it already culturally diverse in who lives there, but, of course, it gets something like over 16 million tourists visiting each day!
My friend, who speaks Spanish and I, a French speaker, like to sneak up behind people speaking those languages to, um, eavesdrop a little...half the time they're speaking too fast to actually understand anything though!

So I'm so glad I live only a 30 minute train ride away from the capital, it's probably second best to actually living there. It actually takes the same time to walk from my house to the station as it does for the train to get to London.

I met my friends there, as one had gotten there early for an interview, one had to catch the train from a different station and the other was going to come a bit later. We met at 12 noon, and we had an afternoon tea booked in about an hour or so in St Pauls so we decided to head there first.




 

St Pauls


From Kings Cross Station, you can catch the tube on the Piccadilly line to Holborn then switch onto the central line to St Pauls, barely ten minutes.

This is the first time I've been to St Pauls, and oh my goodness, it was beautiful! It's now definitely one of my favourite places in London.




There were quite a lot of people about, tourists visiting the cathedral as well as businessey-looking people on their lunch break.






Photo credit: Ziggy

 



  




The Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral which has held many important services, like the funeral of Winston Churchill, the Jubilee for Queen Victoria, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana as well as the marking of the first and second world wars. The old St Paul's was actually destroyed in the Great fire of London and so the modern one (the present one) was built in replacement. Though that also had to be restored after war damage.










I didn't realise beforehand but there is an entry fee for the Cathedral, £18 for Adults (18+), £16 for Students&Seniors, £8 for Children (6-17yrs) and a £44 Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children). If you are a group of more than 10 people then for Adults it's £15.50, Students&Seniors pay £13.50 and for Children it's £7. A group ticket for families is only available online.
It is open from 8.30am and the last tickets are issued by 4pm.





Time for Afternoon Tea!





The one I always fall on when the train moves.



Covent Garden


After the afternoon tea, which was SO yummy might I add, we strolled around the Cathedral gardens before deciding to head to Covent Garden, my absolute favourite place in London. It has lots of different markets, including Jubilee Hall Market and Apple Market, which are usually open from 9.30am till 6pm.




My aunt took my mum and I there for the first time around Christmas three years ago. It's definitely the perfect place to find gifts, which is why I've returned each year since. I mainly go to the Apple market, there is a wide variety of stalls, all handmade items from individual artists - vintage cameras to paintings and scarves - as well as lots of different shops from more well-known retailers - anything from Accessorize and l'Occitane to Chanel and Kurt Geiger and my favourite, Ladurée - alongside the market. Street entertainers entertain in the square and there's also the London Transport Museum, St Paul's Church and Linbury Studio Theatre nearby.

I remember my aunt asking one of the artists on his stall where he gets his ideas from. He said that he believes all the ideas are already out there, in the universe, and people and artists just tune into them, and pick them out. So beautiful.

Covent Garden is on the Piccadilly Line. To get to the street you can either take the lift, OR you can climb the stairs - 193 steps/15 floors I suppose they just want to be extra safe as there is a warning not to do this if you have any heart conditions. The last time we did this, we had to stop half way up, but this time, though I did have to stop to change my shoes, it wasn't that bad at all! We were no where near as out of breath as the last time and if I hadn't of stopped to change my shoes it would've taken more around five minutes, I should think.




We had wandered around a while (I guess I forgot to take any photos), watching the entertainers, browsing the markets and trying free samples before deciding to head somewhere else. My friend wanted to stop at Mcdonalds first though, just for some fries. It seems the further you get from the main squares and markets of Covent Garden, the cheaper the shops seem to become. It was on the way to the Leicester Square tube station anyway, which is where we had to get the tube from (as opposed to the Covent Garden station which is open for exit only till early November; there is no entry from street level at the moment due to lift maintenance).





Hyde Park


Hyde Park Corner is on the same line as Covent Garden (the Piccadilly).  

Hyde Park is probably the most famous of London's parks. It takes just over ten minutes to walk from there to Buckingham Palace. There's so much to do, you will always see roller-bladers trying their skills, joggers and lots of people making use of the Boris Bikes (or Santander Cycles) in the docking station opposite the park. It's common to see horses too! There are two lakes in the park, the biggest being the Serpentine which was actually the venue for outdoor swimming events during the 2012 London Olympics. There is a swimming area open to the public on the southern bank of the lake called 'Lansbury's Lido'. Also on the south bank is the Serpentine Gallery, free admission, showing modern and contemporary art. Quite a few memorials are situated around the lake, including a fountain in memory of Lady Diana and London's Holocaust memorial. You can also hire boats, hire deck chairs, play on the many football pitches or pay a visit to the Tennis and Sports Centre for a bit of tennis, lawn bowls or to try out the putting green.


A variety of food options are also available at the park, there are many refreshment points, offering coffee, ice cream and other freshly made snacks plus two restaurants on the Serpentine which, in addition, serve hot meals, puddings and offer alfresco dining, absolutely beautiful at sunset.


  




It was quite late when we got there (after 7pm) and, er, instead of doing all that normal stuff, we decided to find the plastic tree, and attempt to climb it. After a bit, so many other people came along and were attempting to climb it too - genuinely surprising considering the time it was. We came here last summer and saw so many kids sitting at the top of the tree, but we've no idea how because we barely got both feet off the ground!

What I love about this park is that there are so many different people about, families, groups of friends, couples, individuals, people jogging, skateboarders, people cycling, rollerblading, playing music out of relatively big speakers connected to their laptop... Maybe it was the time of day, but everyone there - and there were still quite a few people, seemed so chilled. 

 
Photo credit: Ziggy
 

 
Our feet aching (the sign of a successful London day trip), at about 9pm we got back to Kings Cross and St Pancras International to get the train home.


 

 Maybe because I don't live in one but I find cities so magical. There always seems to be some other place you haven't seen before, a different shortcut, a lesser known attraction, new places to shop or even places you've been on numerous occasions but you 'didn't notice that bit before'.
In a way, cities are a huge representation of life, always evolving, growing or being revitalised... love you Landan.



 


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12 comments:

  1. Such a breath taking photos! This place looks amazing! it seems like you had a wonderful time! thanks for sharing :)

    xx Jamie| Love Peace and Shimmer

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  2. Can't wait to visit London again one day! It's been too long... Gotta love the culture diversity of this metropolis. Sounds like you've had a blast, Vanisha! Have a wonderful weeken, sweetheart!! <3

    xoxo Ira
    JOURNAL OF STYLE / BLOGLOVIN

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    Replies
    1. Yes you must come again! It's so refreshing seeing such cultural diversity, thank you, Ira! X

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    2. My pleasure, lovely! Hopefully one day... It's still a bit tricky with the baby! :)

      xoxo Ira
      JOURNAL OF STYLE / BLOGLOVIN

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    3. Ahh of course, well maybe when he's a bit older :)x

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  3. It looks like you had a wonderful time! I've visited London once and have been meaning to return :)

    P.S. You have great pictures here...

    xoxo
    Chic Dream Jar

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    Replies
    1. You definitely have to come again! I'm still yet to see all of it, thank you, Jackie! :)

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  4. Love all your photos, Vanisha :) I don't think I've actually been to St Paul's but I will definitely make a point of doing so ASAP!! My favourite places are Camden, Covent Garden, China Town, and all the art galleries :) x

    ♥.•*¨ Amanda Says ¨*•.♥

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    1. I don't know why but I still haven't seen any art galleries! This is not okay, I need to change this! Camden is so awesome, definitely up there with my favourite places too :) Thank youu, Amanda X

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  5. Oh, you NEED to visit the art galleries!! I can't even explain the experience. All that art and history in one place can be slightly overwhelming lol. But if there's just two that you go to, make sure you visit Tate and the National Gallery :) x

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    Replies
    1. Right, next time I've got a whole day in London, I have to visit them! It sounds like the perfect, lazy summer's day, walking around an art gallery :)x

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