I have been to London quiet a few times over the year as I have family up there but also because of day trips or gigs. I have never actually spent four full days there and there are so many things up in London that I have wanted to do, but have never had the chance. so when the other half said about going for my birthday, I instantly rattled off a list of things I wanted to do. Three of those things were settled no problem, the fourth, however, was a total accident. Here is what I got up to (my London Vlog will be up in a few days).
We stayed at the Belgrave House Hotel and up one arrival it seems like a very smart boutique hotel, although it is no good for anyone who is disabled or has trouble walking up the stairs as there is no lift. Anyway, we got to our room and what a shock it was. It was so tiny, we could barely move around, then I went to look out the window and see they are rotting wood framed, with piles of grime around them. Our biggest shock was the bathroom. It is the size of a toilet on the Megabus, no actually that is much bigger than this hotel room’s bathroom. There are also no tea and coffee making facilities, except for in the dining room, and you have to pay a refundable £5 for the TV remote. While it was a reasonable price for London, it could have been slightly more accommodating. The staff were friendly mind and the continental breakfast (which we did not have) was a small £4.50, there was also free wifi.
The hotel is situated just off Eccelston Square Gardens. It is quiet and there are a few shops and places to eat a street over, it is also a 5 minute walk to Victoria Underground, Coach Station and the shopping centre, Victoria Place.
I have heard so much about this place. it is one of the main tourist attractions in London, it is also close to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. I bought the tickets prior to my trip and I am so glad I did, not only did I save money, I also got through the doors much quicker. As soon as you enter Madame Tussaud’s, you are welcomed with grand gestures.
After the short lift ride, we entered the Red Carpet’ area. We also entered the chaos of the attraction. There really was not much room to move around. It did feel as though we were packed in. This was a feeling that was felt only at the beginning and the Skull Island section. The least packed seemed to be the ‘World Leaders’ room.
I personally found that some of the wax works looked nothing like the celebrity they were modelled on for example, Lady Gaga. Some wax works were also rather outdated or on the small side, for example, Michael Jackson was a lot smaller than I had imagined. Madame Tussaud’s is a place where you need to take your time and be patient as this is also the place where manners seem to go out the window. The only issue a few people had was that you could not take your own photos with the Royal Family or Yoda, you had to have a friendly staff member take the picture on a professional camera and then pay £16 when you gave the tokens to the counter.
My personal favourite was the ‘Star Wars’ floor. from the moment you enter the tunnel with the Star Wars music to the moment you walk pass Ray, you are truly transported to another world. There are classic scenes and classic characters. It really is a must see for any Star Wars fans.
Also, at times Madame Tussaud’s is very interactive, for example the ‘Marvel 4D’ and the ‘Spirit of London ride’ (which was a persona favourite). They also have a ‘Sherlock Holmes Experience’ for an extra £5. Another interactive moment was the ‘Fashion Week’ runway. It is fantastic to see many well known characters come to life as such. There were smiles all round. Despite the few flaws, Madame Tussaud’s is a wonderful attraction for everyone.
About a 30 minute walk away from Madame Tussaud’s is London Zoo. To get there you can walk through the ever so beautiful ‘Regent’s Park’. Again, it is advised to purchase tickets prior to your visit, entry goes so much quicker.
I have not been to a zoo since I was really little and the only reason I wanted to go to London Zoo, was because they two Sloths, Leander and Marilyn. Although, this was not the first part we hit, we started off with the penguins. It was so amazing to see the little guys swim under the water.
There are so many things to discover there, including the Children’s area, ‘An Animal Adventure’, this is the only place where you can freely stroke the animals that included, donkeys, pigs, , goats and a rather fluffy chicken.
There is also the ‘Rainforest Life’. This is where you can view the Sloths and various monkeys, including a one armed monkey who likes to come out into the crowd, but there are keepers keeping an eye on her. Another fantastic area was the ‘Nightlife’, be warned though, it is so dark you will have trouble seeing where you are going. A lot of the animals were asleep but the Bats were rather active.
The only disappointing bit was the ‘Outback’ area. There were a few birds and two Kangaroos, that was it but the way they have built it was fascinating.
London Zoo is a fantastic day out but be warned that the food there is rather pricey, well made and tasty but pricey. The zoo shop has a wonderful array of soft toys and clothing, amongst other bits and pieces.
Star Wars Identities Exhibition
This is something that we did on day two of our trip to London. It is only at The 02 until September 2017. Again, it truly is a must see for any Star Wars fans.
The escalaters take you a few floors up to an exhibit room were you are given a ear piece and a wristband. The wristband is key to the exhibition as it helps to design your very own character based on the questions you answer throughout the rooms. The ear piece is to feed you information about certain characters and concepts that were done during the making of the characters. You get to be up close with the costumes and characters such as BB8 and have fun at the end finding out your character.
The exhibit it self is around an hour long and then they have a really cute gift shop at the end where you can purchase a number of reasonably priced items.
This was the last item to do on our list, and it was part of the two attractions ticket I had bought for Madame Tussaud’s. This is the second time I have been on there and the first for my boyfriend. It is recommended to get the fast track ticket as the queue for this is smaller than the normal.
I am terrible when it comes to heights, I get really bad vertigo and despite being in a glass pod, I still get it when I reach the very top. However, I tried to not let this spoil the magnificent view of London. Obviously, you need a nice sunny day to fully appreciate it.
In the pods you can sit down and still have a fantastic view, there is plenty of room to move about to take photographs, so it also does not feel claustrophobic. The London Eye is one of those attractions where you have to go on it at least once. It is another must do attraction.
I say sightseeing, I mean more like getting lost in London. So, on the map it said out hotel was a short walk from ‘Buckingham Palace’, I suggested we took a wander there as I also wanted to walk across ‘Westminster Bridge’ and see the ‘Houses of Parlimant’. We did this with no problem. We also found ‘Buckingham Palace’ no problem, it is basically around the corner from Victoria, However, I discovered two parks, ‘Green Park’ and ‘St James’s Park’.
It was when we were walking around the latter we got lost and ended up at the ‘Horse Guards Parade’. it is so breath taking. Anyway, we walked through this tunnel to be met with soldiers and then further through the gate we were met with two soldiers on their huge horses. After taking a few pictures we decided to try and find our way back, but we ended up outside ‘Downing Street’, which to no surprise was busy. This is one of the places, everyone talks about but there really is not much to see except for black gates and armed police.
After this we ended up back at the ‘Houses of Parliamant’, and so we continued to ‘Westminster Abbey’. It is such a beautiful place, the architecture is exquisite. We did not go inside as it would have cost around £22 each so maybe we will go there next time. Anyway, after walking around in circles for a few hours, we finally made it back to our hotel.
So that was my London Adventure. You can check out some photos below. I will be uploading my vlog next Wednesday.