Insanely busy, incredibly crowded, but what history! What sights!
My personal favorite place to go in London is Tower Bridge area. Tower Bridge is what most of us not from the UK think of as the London Bridge, which is actually just down the river from Tower. Tower Bridge is right next to the Tower of London, alternately home or prison for British royalty, depending on what century you’re looking at.
I first walked through London in lat November, hence the lovely sky you can see here. This district was chosen randomly by the simple reason that it was only a single train ride from where I was living.
Even on a gray day, you can appreciate the architecture, and wandering through the streets led pretty quickly to Borough Market.
Borough Market is amazing! You can walk in there not intending to buy anything, just to look, and within five minutes you’ve bought a pastry, a round of cheese, a bottle of wine, some mulled wine to tide you through the day and you’re left wondering how, exactly, that happened. It’s a short walk from the London Bridge train station, so you can start and end your walk here.
About fifteen minutes walk up river (occasionally detouring because buildings) you have a recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
You can watch a play or simply take a tour. I stood outside fangirling because history. I squealed and stared and had to try very hard not to be giddy when I turned around and saw the Millennium Bridge, which featured in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I walked across the bridge just so I could say I did. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of it.
A ten to fifteen minute walk from the northern end of the Bridge will take you to Leadenhall Market, also used for filming Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies.
You can find a map of Harry Potter film locations and important sites at many touristy type shops. I stumbled across mine by accident and held onto it for over a year before I finally had the opportunity to take it on a walk around London.
If you look closely, you’ll see memorials to those who died in the World Wars. Growing up in the States, where the fighting took place on someone else’s shores, the Great Wars are just…history. In countries like England, which saw very real effects, it hits you – that it happened, and very recently, too. This plaque was dedicated to shopkeepers and their assistants who lost their lives during the Blitz.
All this, and it doesn’t even scratch the surface! If you’ve never been, you simply must go to London at least once! (And while you’re there, why not see the rest of Britain while you’re at it?)
Edited: Facebook reminded me I was in London in late November, not December