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We had a quick getaway to London in May, thanks to Norwegian Air, who started offering low-cost non-stop flights from Tampa, Florida to Gatwick, London. We tried to fit in as much as possible during the 3 days we were there and here are some of our favorite spots we enjoyed in London.
1. ABQ LONDON
We always like to do at least one quirky thing on our trips and when we stumbled upon ABQ London, we were immediately in! ABQ is the world's first immersive molecular cocktail bar and if you are a Breaking Bad fan (which we both are), this is a must-visit as there are only two locations in the world. ABQ is based on the show where you can make your own cocktails in a more scientific way using dry ice, flasks and syringes . It’s also located in Hackney which has a multicultural and young arty vibe going on.
We both love learning about London’s history and were especially fascinated by King Henry VIII’s reign and his six wives. So the one thing we had to do in London was visit the Tower of London where so much history passed through this castle including the beheading of King Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. The Tower of London is now home to all the Crown Jewels of England that is estimated to be worth between three and five billion pounds. Ravens and Beefeaters also reside at this castle and they are both very friendly.
3. NEW QUEBEC STREET
We stumbled upon this street when were looking for a place to eat some traditional shepherd's pie. We found an amazing restaurant called The Grazing Goat, which was tucked away from the bustling streets nearby. Not only was the food and service outstanding, but the area was situated on a charming street with beautiful boutiques and shops and traditional pubs. It definitely felt like an area where the locals liked to hang out for happy hour.
4. COVENT GARDEN
Covent Garden is a cute and colorful area with lots of pubs, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping. Our favorite stop was Neal’s Yard tucked away in a corner by Short's Gardens and Monmouth Street. As soon as we arrived, our eye perked up from the adorable colorful buildings nestled in a tiny courtyard. Hidden away in plain sight, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets.
5. SKY GARDEN
The Sky Garden is absolutely beautiful and a must-stop when visiting London. It’s located 155m up on the Walkie Talkie building and it offers you spectacular views of London. Housed in a glass dome, the space is impressive with an indoor garden, a bar, restaurant and plenty of seating. You can also step outside on the terrace to get an incredible view of some of London’s icons like the London Bridge. The best part is that it’s free! Just make sure to book online in advance.
We just had to visit this adorable Instagram hotspot while in London. We see a lot of pictures of the building but not the actual desserts served inside the cute cafe, so we made it a point to try out Peggy Porschen’s famous cupcakes. It’s one of the most girliest cafes out there and their cupcakes were beautifully decorated with flowers and fruits.
7. SOUTH KENSINGTON
We did a couple of things while we were in this area that is famous for museums. We had a fancy science themed afternoon tea at The Drawing Room and had a private tour with Hi, hi Guide where we walked around outside the area admiring the mews. Both activities have nothing to do with museums, but it was a beautiful sunny day and we wanted to walk around outdoors. We had no idea what mews were until we went on this private tour and it’s definitely not a typical tourist thing to do in London. Some of the most picturesque mews are in this area and our favorite was Stanhope Mews. One of the mews here was used on a film set for Kingsman. The best part was that there was never anyone around but us exploring these areas.
8. RUSSELL SQUARE
The hotel we stayed at, The Kimpton Fitzroy London, was located in Russell Square and we couldn’t have picked a better location. We were steps away from Russell Square Station and there were plenty of dining options from pizza to even sushi-on-the-go. Directly across the street was Russell Square Garden which is a nice little park to walk around or enjoy some greenery. It’s a great place to rest, relax and just enjoy the outdoors in the middle of the city.
9. KING’S CROSS LED LIGHT TUNNEL
We happened to pass by this cool tunnel while making a transfer at King’s Cross. We were still traveling with all of our luggage but had to stop by and take in the mesmerizing light show. It’s a 90-metre long tunnel and definitely worth a visit.
10. LONDON BRIDGE
Most likely, you’ll see the London Bridge while you are in transit to one of London’s many iconic locations. We recommend walking the bridge as you’ll get some great views of the River Thames and the Tower of London along with London’s more modern city with tall skyscrapers.
Of course, there are also the iconic London spots like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace but at the time we went, most of these places were under construction. We were about to stop by Buckingham Palace to see the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony but learned online that they performed earlier than their regular hours because of a holiday. That was definitely a hard lesson learned. To read up on more things we learned while in London, check out our Do’s and Don'ts for First-timers in London post.
Want some more ideas of things to do in London? “All the Best Things to do In East London-London’s Hippest Area”.