This is a story about my trip to London. It was around Christmas time, I decided to go on a seven days long trip to London. I was really excited, and I had planned to visit a lot of places.
When I arrived at the airport, the sun was shining and the landscape around me was covered with snow. The first thing I was going to do was to take a bus to my hotel. A few weeks before I went on my trip, I had found a London Pass on the internet that cost about £42 pounds for seven days. It was necessary to have if I was going to travel by bus or underground. It also made some of the sightseeing and attractions I was going to visit a little less expensive. With the pass I was also given a guidebook where I could find out how to get to each attraction, open hours, and location on the map. After I had picked up my luggage I got on the bus that would take me to the hotel. I had found a really nice hotel called “The Sumner Hotel” which was located in the middle of London on 54 Upper Berkeley Street. It was only a two minutes walk from the hotel to the tube station, Marble Arch. The Sumner Hotel is a historic building, recently renovated with facilities like: credit card accepting, safety deposit box available 24 hours, tourist information, mini fridge, wireless internet connection, hairdryer in room, air condition, heating and also a lounge bar for relaxing with a drink after a long day’s walking. Each night stay at the hotel cost about £145. It is quite expensive, but most of the hotels in this area cost about that much.
I unpacked my luggage and decided to start my week in London with one of the most famous tourist attractions, Madame Tussauds! It was only a ten minutes walk away from the hotel. I had pre-booked a ticket at home so I didn’t have to wait in long lines to get in. The cabinet has about four hundred dolls today, and it was very fun to see the new music zone with artists like: Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. I also enjoyed the amazing figures of the Pirates of the Caribbean actors like Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. I had a wonderful time.
After Madame Tussauds I had a quick lunch, and then I felt like doing an outdoor activity, so I took a walk in Hyde Park. It’s a huge park which has been open to the public since 1637. Before that it was owned by kings for deer hunting and so on. From the very beginning it was owned by the monks of Westminster Abbey, but it was given to Henry VIII in 1536. Anyway, as I was walking around in Hyde Park, I got to Speakers Corner. It’s a place where people are allowed to do public speaking, and you can almost say whatever you like without getting caught. The only things you’re not aloud to speak about are the British Government and the Royal Family.
I left Hyde Park after a lovely couple of hours in the beautiful area and the well-spoken Speakers Corner. I was going to finish the day with a nice dinner and then visit the famous musical, Phantom of the Opera. The musical is played at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Westminster and is a musical based on the novel written by Gaston Leroux, who was a French novelist. Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of the music.
Opera ghost musical
The musical is about an opera ghost (the Phantom) with a deformed face. He is unlucky and very much in love with one of the chorus girls whom he taught to sing. He even kidnaps her at one time to hide and marry her.
It was a very thrilling and exciting story when the phantom terrorised the actors and workers at the opera house in Paris (that’s where the story took place). I enjoyed it very much and the music was absolutely fantastic. It was a perfect end of my first day in London.
The next morning after a very delicious breakfast buffet, I was heading towards Piccadilly Circus, which is situated approximately fifteen minutes walk away from the hotel. Piccadilly Circus is a big square located in the centre of London. It used to be an attractive place for companies to advertise, often in neon lights. Today it’s only one of the many buildings that are available for advertising. In the south western part of the square there is fountain called “The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain” It was built in 1893. I went into the Lilywhites, a five floors big building, and it’s one of the biggest sport stores in England. It was incredibly big!
After a lunch at one of the restaurants at Piccadilly Circus, I went to visit the Buckingham Palace. I placed myself at the forecourt to watch the changing of the guards. Then I took a guided tour through the “Queens Galley” where I could see the art and jewellery collections.
Theatre of St Martin
Since I had been walking all day long, I looked forward to sit down and watch the famous play, The Mousetrap. I took the tube to West end where the theatre of St Martin’s is situated. I have heard that it is the longest running show of any kind in the whole world; it has been played for the past 52 years. It is written by Agatha Christie, who was one of the greatest crime writers. So I just had to see it. I finished the evening with a great dinner back at the hotel and then I went straight to bed.
Tower of London
The morning after I woke up early and had a quick breakfast, then I went to the underground station. I was on my way to the Tower of London. I was in a little bit of a hurry to get there in time for my guided tour through the tower. I had heard that the guides were beefeaters and that they told the nine hundred years old story about the castle. I jumped of the tube at Tower Hill station, where the tower is closely situated.
It was going to be very exciting to listen to the horror stories about executions at the castle with the nickname “The Bloody Tower”. Close to the Tower of London, is the Tower Bridge, and for all people who had a London pass, the Tower Bridge exhibition was free of charge. The exhibition took place in one of the two towers, and there was also a museum. The view from the bridge was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen. I could almost see the whole city of London. In the afternoon I visited the big department store Harrods, which is situated in Knightsbridge. This famous department store was built in 1849 and it is over 160 years old. It started out as a grocery store. Today there are more than five thousand people working at Harrods. It is a very expensive store, so I didn’t buy anything, even though you could find everything here. After a couple of hours wandering around in the huge store, I took the tube back to the hotel. I was very exhausted and my legs were tired so I fell asleep quite soon.
The old gothic church
The following morning I woke up, had my breakfast, and then I got to the tube station. I was going to visit Westminster Abbey, which is a nine hundred years old gothic church in London. Its proper name is The Collegiate Church of St. Peter, but it’s more often called Westminster Abbey. It s situated in the heart of London, next to Parliament Square and opposite the House of Parliament. At eleven o’clock, I went on a tour through the church. The guide was informing about the history of Westminster Abbey while he showed us around. We went to the Library and Muniment Room houses and saw all of the very important collections that belonged to Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
After a couple of very nice and interesting hours I went to eat lunch at a restaurant located not so far from the church. During the afternoon, I went on the Jubilee line to see the Millennium Dome. It is an arena in London which opened in December 1999, and after that it has been open to the general public during the whole of the year 2000. The Dome has the largest coherent roof in the world and it is among other things connected by twelve supporting towers that represents the twelve months of the year. It really is a huge arena, and it is nice to have seen it.
Millennium Dome and the Oxford Street
Later in the evening after visiting the Millennium Dome, I took the tube to Oxford Street. Oxford Street is a one and a half mile long shopping street, and it claims to be the busiest street in Europe. It has got hundreds of shops and big department stores. Some of the best-known are: Selfridges, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. The biggest department stores are about seven floors high. The street begins at Marble Arch and ends at Tottenham Court Road. At Oxford Street you can find all kinds of shops. It’s the major shopping street in central London, but it’s not the most expensive or fashionable. I bought a lot of presents to bring home to my family.
Fish and Chips
It was amazing to walk down the street that I had heard and read so much about. I finished the day with a famous fast-food dinner, Fish and Chips. Then I walked home to the hotel (which was only two minutes away) and went to bed. I looked forward to a new and exciting day tomorrow!
I woke up after a good night’s sleep, prepared for new adventures. I was going to start the day by visiting the famous London Eye which is a huge Ferris wheel located next to London aquarium and Big Ben. It is the largest Ferris wheel in the world. It’s about one hundred meters high and weighs approximately 1600 tons. It has got thirtytwo cabins and the ride goes on for about 30-40 minutes. The view from the top of the wheel was fantastic. I could see some of London’s other sightseeing spots like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Depending on the ticket you had bought, you could get a binocular and a guide who showed and featured most of the sights you could see from the London Eye.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
After the ride, I went to the Waterloo mainline station which is situated within five minutes walking distance. From there I took the tube towards St. Paul’s Cathedral, a big church in London, built in the 16th century. It is the biggest cathedral in north Europe and the most classicists one in England. It also has the heaviest church clock in the United Kingdom, it weighs 16 tons. I took a tour through this big and beautiful cathedral which took about two hours. It was very interesting.
Not far from the church you could see the river Thames. I went there on a boat trip later in the day. It was called The Route. The trip began at Westminster Abbey. During the boat ride we passed by a lot of old famous historical places like The London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral (where I just had been) and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Finally when we came through London Bridge we saw the Tower of London and the Battle-Cruiser HMS Belfast. After the boat trip I had dinner at a very nice restaurant close to the pier. Another great day was finished and later in the evening I went back to the hotel and had a relaxing end of the day.
National Portrait Gallery
The following day, I had decided to visit the National Portrait Gallery, because they had a Pop art exhibition going on. The Gallery is situated in the centre of London, at St. Martins Place. Some of the painted portraits I could see at the exhibition was; Marilyn Monroe, painted by Andy Warhol, and Elvis Presley, painted by Allen Jones. The exhibition was divided into six sections but I thought that it was most fun to look at the drawings of the famous Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.
When I had walked around in there for a couple of hours I went out to get some lunch. Then I moved on to the famous Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is a very big square with a lot of history in central London and is one of Britain’s great tourist attractions. In the middle of the square there is a big column, called Nelson’s Column, surrounded by different kinds of fountains and big bronze lions designed and sculpted by sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Edwin Landseer in 1939.
On the east side of the square is the St. Martin’s in-the-Fields church and on the north side is the National Gallery. After a lot of walking it was very nice to finish the day by going to the cinema and watch a movie. I went to the Cranbourn Cinema, at Leicester Square and saw a movie called Ratatouille. It was a lovely Disney movie about a rat and a boy that together made a perfect couple in a restaurant kitchen. A lot of complications occurred, but of course a happy ending as always in Disney movies. I was in a good mood when I went back home to the hotel and got to bed.
Shakespeare’s famous theatre
The last day, I hadn’t made up any plans, but the previous day I had found a brochure about Shakespeare’s famous theatre, The Globe, so I decided to go there. But first I had to shop the last things that I needed to bring home, and then do some packing. I didn’t have to leave the hotel before six o’clock, so I had plenty of time. About twelve o’clock I arrived with the tube at Waterloo Mainline station, and from there it was excellent footpaths along the river that took me to The Globe. I had read the story about The Globe and how it was dismantled and moved on a boat over the river Thames during a single night. The Globe is open for the general public seven days a week. I spent almost an hour walking around, exploring the Elizabethan theatre which was from the beginning an open amphitheatre. It is today recreated to fit the modern London It would have been great to see one of the famous plays like Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet, but at this time of the year it was only different lectures and classes going on in the building. So that had to wait.
House of Parliament
After a lunch at the restaurant near The Globe; I headed off, towards the House of Parliament. The House of Parliament is situated at the north shore of the river Thames and along with the Big Ben clock tower. This house is the ultimate symbol in London. I took a seventy-five minute long tour through the Parliament, at a price of £3.50, which was quite a good price. I got to see treasures like; King Charles’s death warrant, the throne and the robing rooms etc. It was really exciting. The tour was certainly worth the time and the money.
The end of the tour
When the tour was over I went back to the hotel and packed the rest of my stuff. I had a couple of hours left before I had to leave the hotel and get to the airport (I had booked a late flight that didn’t leave until nine o’clock). Now I didn’t really know what to do. Then I got a brilliant idea. I could go and see a football game! I looked it up on the internet at the hotel, and booked a last-minute ticket to a match between Fulham v Blackburn River. I didn’t recognize the teams, but that didn’t matter. The game was held at Craven Cottage stadium which was the home arena of Fulham Football Club. I had read that the site of the ground had been built in the late 1700th century, and that it had a historical background. The ticket cost about £20 and the game started at 4 o’clock.
Afterwards, when I got back to the hotel, picked up my luggage and sat down in the bus, I looked back at my trip. Time had flown very quickly, but it had been a very fun and interesting week. I learned a lot of things. I would love to go to London some time again!