My friend and I decided to go on a little trip to London, which we had been planning for a while.
We travelled in the morning from Manchester and were at Euston Station for midday. By this point, the weather was amazing with the sun shining down on us as we arrived in London to the sweltering heat, a rarity in Manchester, the rainiest and dullest city in the UK.
As soon as we arrived to the hotel, we changed, got ready to set off to Knightsbridge to Harrods and then onto Leicester Square for a night at the theatre. You can’t go to London and not see a show in the West End! Originally, we had intended on seeing something a little bit more intellectual like Macbeth. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a showing on the night we were going, so we ended up choosing to buy tickets for The Bodyguard, the musical based off the 1992 movie of the same name. Admittedly I was slightly dreading it, worried it would be far too cheesy. Although the acting wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen, the production was surprisingly sophisticated and the singing outstanding as the actors belted out Whitney Houston’s greatest hits such as “Saving All My Love For You”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and of course the cult classic, “I Will Always Love You”. (Click on the images to see them full size)
As the show ended, it was 10pm, we decided to wander around Leicester Square, and soon enough we found ourselves accidently in Trafalgar Square. It looked amazing as the fountains poured water, illuminated by blue and purple lights, making it seem tropical. After enjoying the soothing murmuring of the water as it fell from the fountains, we decided to walk further down, strolling across London Bridge and the London Eye, both illuminated in the night sky, as was Big Ben. Even the pavement shimmered in the night light. The view at night was just breath taking. I assumed that London at night would be just as bustling and busy during the day, but I found myself the most relaxed I have been in a long time.
We hastily made our way back to the hotel as our tube ticket would run out at midnight.
Even though we had already seen Trafalgar Square and London Eye etc. during the night, we also wanted to experience it during the day and woke up as early as possible. Thanks to our midnight walk the previous night, we managed to locate these sights quickly.
Trafalgar Square was just as beautiful during the day and the same goes for Big Ben which towered over us. The grandeur of all these monuments were just overwhelming. This splendour combined with the glorious sun emphasised our awe.
As the day progressed, we walked even further and came across Westminster along with Westminster Abbey.
Walking even further, following a few street signs, we found Buckingham Palace. The flag was at full mast meaning The Queen was home! Woo! Unfortunately, that meant we could not enter the palace. Again, its so incredible, photographs and films can never do the grandeur and the size of it any justice.
Apart from a couple of vans and blacked out windowed cars going in, there was nothing remotely exciting going on. We then decided to move onto or next mission; capture a picture with a surly looking Welsh guard. This was much more difficult than we had anticipated and thought it would be easy to gain access to one of the coveted guards. It was no easy feat, but this was the closest we could manage.
After Buckingham Palace, we ventured to Camden market, a vibrant and colourful outdoor market, littered with a variety of stalls including clothing stalls, tourist merchandise, hand crafted items and even cultural food. It was interesting and the atmosphere was just buzzing.
After that, we headed to Oxford Street to do some extra shopping and then stuffed our faces with food.
On our way back to the hotel for our final night before we got the train back to Manchester the next day, we stopped over at Kings Cross Station, simply to see Platform 9 and 3/4, Honestly, this was such an amazing way to end such a great trip. As we walked towards the little site my stomach jittered unreasonably. The fictional platform was merely a plaque on a wall, but for me that was enough and was truly the cherry on the cake on such an amazing two days in the capital.
We had planned on getting into our best heels and outfit and going out, but exhausted, we just slept.
When I was first planning and organising London, I was slightly anxious, worried that it would be too big, the tube system too complex, and anxious that I was going to be completely out of my depth. I unreasonably associated this with the feeling that this would be a taster of how things are going to be this time next year when I have graduated from university and falling into the open arms of the big, bad world, a thought which terrifies me to the core. However, even though I only saw a small snapshot of such a massive picture, there was in reality nothing to be afraid of and left me with the hope the the world isn’t nearly as big and bad as I thought it would be.