Our next extended weekend was reserved for London.
Table of contents
Explore London on your own
At the Hotel Park Plaza County Hall London we booked a superior room for three nights. We did the city exploration with one of the red double-decker buses from Big Bus Tours. Two different routes can be taken here. Although it rained a lot during our stay, we looked at a lot.
Probably London’s most famous bridge, Tower Bridge, connects Tower Hamlets on the north side (Tower of London) with the Southwark borough on the south side (City Hall). At a height of 43 metres, there is a walk-in pedestrian bridge with a new glass floor. The upper part of the bridge is also home to a museum where you can find out about the history of the bridge. On Westminster Bridge is the Houses of Parliament (or Palace of Westminster) with the Elizabeth Tower. The clock tower is also often called Big Ben, although Big Ben is actually only the heaviest of the tower’s five bells. Behind the British Parliament stands Westminster Abbey, a church where the kings of England are traditionally crowned and buried.
On the other side of Westminster Bridge is the London Eye Ferris Wheel, which at 135 metres is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. A lap with the Ferris wheel costs a proud 32 euros. Right next to it is the Sea Life London Aquarium, which is located in the London County Hall. On a rainy afternoon we spent two to three hours here and looked at the underwater world with its different species.
A week before we arrived in London, the cloud crater The Shard had reopened. The high-rise houses offices, luxury restaurants, luxury apartments and a five-star hotel. At the top there is a viewing platform “The View”, which we did not want to miss. The view from up there on London had to be fantastic. Since all tickets sold out quickly during the first few weeks, we had to buy tickets online in advance to be sure that we would also get seats. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take that into account for the weather. And of course it rained on the day we had maps and there was a thick fog over London. And accordingly, the view from 244 meters height was… we have not seen anything. Nothing at all 🙁 This was really annoying, especially since the tickets cost 36 euros per person. But we were very lucky: After explaining to the staff at the ticket office afterwards that we couldn’t see anything on the viewing platform, we got all the money back without any ifs and buts. That was really great and very nice.
A visit to Buckingham Palace is also a must of course not be missed when sightseeing in London. Another stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most famous churches in the British capital. To the south is the Millennium Bridge, a suspension bridge from whose southern shore you can enjoy unrestricted views of St Paul’s Cathedral. The area around Piccadilly Circus is a large shopping and entertainment area. Oxford Street, Regent Street, China Town and Trafalgar Square are in the immediate vicinity and are always worth a visit.
Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of LondonWe are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series
London has several Starbucks stores and also its own cup 🙂