Friday, February 28, 2020

Tips For Planning A City Break In London ♥

Having a mini break is something that can give you some much-needed time away from the daily grind and stress of work, the school run and all the early mornings and trying keeping the house clean and tidy so it’s a pleasure to live in (impossible with small children let me tell you!). Of course, we wouldn’t be without any of these things, but it can get really tiresome after a while, and that’s where the idea of booking a city break comes to me.

I've been to London many times, but my last visit, where I shared all the pretty Instagrammable places in London that I stumbled upon, was such a great one and really has me longing to return to the U.K. capital this summer.

London is a city with a lot to offer for all types of people, no matter what their interests. On one of our trips to London, Jacek and I spent a few hours wandering around the city and ended up in St. James' Park opposite Buckingham Palace, which really was a delight for us nature lovers. We actually couldn't believe that we found a whole host of beautiful flowers and wildlife to photograph in the heart of the city, so London really does have it all! 

Here’s a couple of tips on planning the perfect weekend away in London, whether it's as a solo traveller, a couple or as a family.

Make a List of all the Sights
There’s so much to see and do in London. Mixtures of history, culture, and modernity are available in a whole host of experiences and activities, so make sure you have a good variety of all it has to offer on your  travel bucket list.

Visit classic 'must-see' sights such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London or Hyde Park, or even just sit down in Trafalgar Square, taking photos of the statues that can be found all around. Head to the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre for some theatrical entertainment, or the London Dungeon to give the kids an experience to remember.

It's a good idea to pre-book tickets for attractions before you go to London, especially if you're travelling with kids as it saves queuing and means you can compare and get the best prices possible - why pay more when you don't have to? You can find the best tickets for a wide range or activities and experiences within London here.

Remember that in-between all the sights and experiences you'll see lots of interesting and beautiful things while making your way around the city, like the pretty house pictured above, so make sure to keep an eye on time while making your way around the city - especially if you're like me and love taking pictures.

Book Yourself a Hotel
When you’re in London, a day trip isn’t going to cover it, unless you’re only headed to a handful of places - Jacek and I spent a whole day during our last trip to London walking around the borough of Kensington and Chelsea as there was just so much to see! Believe me, after walking around the streets of London and catching tubes throughout the day, you'll be dying for a rest in a hotel!

The best places to try and find a room is the centre of London, as everything will only be a short walk away and close to the main tube stations which will connect you with the rest of the city.  These prices can skyrocket though, especially during the summer and at Christmas, so finding one a little way out of the centre of London should work well too as long as you have a tube station nearby.

Pack your trainers and lace them up in the morning and set off early to get a good seat or queue space for everything you want to see, knowing you’ve got a comfy bed just down the road to come back to. Considering the fact that London is so versatile, there’s plenty of hotels in London City and also some great alternative accommodation in London for people to snatch up. Hostels that can fit four to a room or luxury suites that have their own minibar for when the kids have settled down, look out for a deal!

Prioritise want you want to see
Honestly, even though London is a city with great connections, it can take a long time to get around and you may not get to see everything you want to in one visit, so prioritising what you want to see is essential. If you can plan to see things you want to that are close by each other, even better because it'll reduce the time you'll waste travelling around the city.

If you're travelling with kids, it's important to take some time out to give them a break from sight-seeing and hopping on and off the tube. When my partner took our eldest son to London in October he took him to the LEGO store - a must for a six year old, and then let him eat him lunch and build his new sets in St. James' Park so that he could blow off some steam and get some fresh air.

If you're wanting to travel outside of central London, it's important to look up train and bus times and how long it'll take to get to your destination. When we visited Mayfield Lavender Farm, which is in Sussex, we stupidly thought we'd get there in no time - we didn't take London traffic into account at all and this was a real fail on our part because for all the travel we did we only ended up with an hour and a half to spend there before we had to make our way to the airport.

I highly recommend a trip to London if you're looking for a city break that has a lot to offer, no matter who you're travelling with. It’s tailor made for family outings, couples breaks or for lone travellers too and it's a great city with a lot of interesting and beautiful places to experience too.

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