Two Days in London is it enough? NO, it’s not but it was all we had after a river cruise we were on. We finished the cruise in Switzerland and took a cheap flight over to London. So we had two days to see as much as we could in that time frame. Did we do it? YES. I would have definitely stayed longer as London is a great city and we had a blast on our whirlwind tour of the city. Stay longer if you can there is so much to see and do in London.
So after our crazy, cramped, awful, but cheap flight to London we pretty much hit the ground running. It was early December so a bit of a chill in the air but Christmas decorations were up and the city was buzzing. I tend to enjoy off season for travel less people and slightly cooler.
We stayed city center at St. Ermins which I wrote about in my review of the hotel. It’s a great boutique style or independent style in the Marriott portfolio. It’s in a perfect location as you can walk to places like Parliament, Big Ben, the Thames River for catching a cruise or water taxi. It’s close to the train station to get you anywhere else you might want to travel too in your time frame.
The Iconic Big Ben is attached to Parliament and a great site to see and visit. The House of Parliament has become almost synonymous to London and has captured the eye of many photographers. The day tours are a fantastic glimpse into the life and history of this great meeting point for British Politicians. If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day, you could possibly sit in a meeting of the House of Commons. (Free) Keep an umbrella with you and try to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your tour. You can also see the statue of Abraham Lincoln erected in 1920.
Buckingham Palace of course you have to see the home of the Queen. The somewhat dreary outside does nothing to expose the grandeur of the inside. Unfortunately for this trip we were unable to make the tour or get tickets to experience the Palace itself. Our brief encounter was a momentary stop on the outside gates and a brief, very brief encounter for the changing of the guard. So much to see and do next visit we want to experience the whole ceremony.
The Albert Pub in the heart of the district looks paltry in the shadow of the skyscrapers but is a very cool pub. It was built in 1862 and just seeing it in the area is a sight in itself. It’s named after queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. It’s amazing it survived the Blitz in WW2 and its façade and features are still the same today as they were in the 1800’s. The Albert is a great little place to stop and soak up some atmosphere and have a quick bite if you like as you prepare for your next British experience. Westminster Abby is about a quarter mile from it and Big Ben are all within walking distance.
“The Clink” A little bit of corniness and truly terrible truth about the horrific conditions of incarceration in the 12th to 17th centuries. They do a pretty good job of recreating the atmosphere of the prison during that time period. It’s an eye opening experience and makes you grateful for the time period you live in. It’s fun because of the craziness of the time but also sad if you think about it. If the chains and sewer conditions are not bad enough you are lucky if you even eat. If your family brought you something to eat you might get fed. If not sadly you perhaps might just have to eat that rat in your cell. YIKES!!!
The Tower of London a must see even with only two days in London. This fantastic piece of history is nestled around a little artsy type enclave and the famous White Chapel district known for yes the grisly Jack the Ripper murders. Planted in this area it’s appears to be a little out of place not unlike the Albert Pub. Step inside though and enjoy the stories of tales of imprisonment, torture, execution, murder, and of course with some scandal thrown in. Definite must see even with only two days in London.
Finally we had the opportunity to visit HMS Belfast, one of only 3 surviving D-Day bombardment vessels. The other’s are in South Carolina the USS Laffey, and the USS Texas in San Jacinto Texas. We are a military family and this was an amazing journey through Naval history. Even if you are not military the history and experience of being on the Belfast was truly unique.
On the way back to our Hotel we walked the waterfront of River Thames as it was Christmas season and we were able to see some of London’s Christmas markets. We then caught a water taxi back to our hotel and had a nice cruise along the river. We were able to see other sites like the London Eye while cruising.
I would have definitely stayed longer as London is a great city and we had a blast on our whirlwind tour of the city. So is “Two Days in London” enough time yes but if you have time spend a little longer there as there is so much to see and do. We didn’t even scratch the surface.
As always if you would like me to help you book something like this in London or anywhere else please contact me and I would love to help you. Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on our newest blog post.