travel,  UK

Weekend Trip to London

London, the city of the Royal Family, home to Big Ben and Jack the Ripper – I had the great opportunity to host a networking event of my company in London, which is why it was necessary for me to travel to the U.K. I had to make sure everything went as planned and ya know me I won’t take a travelling opportunity for granted! I decided to book my time in London from Thursday (the actual event day) to Sunday.
I have barely experience in business travels, but I got to say, I am loving it!
Many perks I could usually not even afford on my own travels  were taken care off by the company. I felt so lucky to not take a 1 hour ride at 4am in the morning and instead actually have an Uber/Cabify waiting for me to bring me to the Airport.
 
 
I arrived pretty early at the London Luton Airport which meant I had to take around 1 ½ hours to get to the heart of London. My first step was to get all these rollup banner, marketing articles and my huge ass luggage to the Hotel. Since I was too early for check in, I was able to drop off my luggage and first look for some breakfast.
I stayed at Whitechapel which is not too far from the center of London (but honestly not a really pleasant area). After my “real” British breakfast at a weird cafe close to the Hotel, I decided to use the time before the check in to explore the shopping area.
One thing I was immensely excited: A real Victoria Secret! (That place is toxic for my wallet)
Once I took care of my shopping addiction, I decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for the event that evening.
The rest of the day I was busy working and after the event, my colleagues and I all went to a fancy Restaurant for a couple of drinks and some yummy Indian food.
 
 
On Friday I moved from the Hotel into a nearby Airbnb with a super cozy bedroom!
After I dropped all my stuff off, I decided to do some major sightseeing.
I walked my way to the Tower Bridge (Traveltip #1: Walking when doing a city trip is the best way to explore the city) and from there on explored all the areas around it.
 
 
Afterwards I decided to get some good food at the Borough market. And while I enjoyed my delicious portion of Mac N Cheese, I tried to map out the places I wanted to see for the rest of the afternoon. I went on an explored the Westminster area, and with my luck, the famous Big Ben picture was nooot happening (The Big Ben in under constructions for the next years!).

 

 
As my day went on I decided to join one of the free Harry Potter Walking Tours. I won’t be lying to you guys, it wasn’t good. The weather was way too cold and we waited way too long on one spot to actually enjoy it. There was not one thing on the tour I was actually interested in hearing, which was a bummer. But on a positive note, these tours are the best ways to get to know other solo traveler. A German girl and I decided to do some shopping around the Oxford street the next day, as she had to leave the tour earlier.
The rest of the night I enjoyed the Christmas lights of London, ate some bomb Chipotle and tugged myself into bed with a good glas of wine. #Grandmastyle
 

The next day I already signed up for a historic sightseeing and walking tour by another tour operator called Sandeman. The tour was amazing and I learned so much about London! After the tour, we all decided to head over to one of the pubs to grab some lunch and enjoy some beer.
I talked to a bunch of solo travelers from Australia, Canada and China, which reminded me of my solo trips around the US. I loved it!
Afterwards I headed over to the Oxford street with the girl I met on the tour, we strolled around the streets, ended up at Victoria’s Secret (again) and enjoyed some drinks and sweet potato fries at Jamie Olivers Diner.
 
 
Once she had to make her way back to the hostel, I decided to look a bit more around the Oxford Street and oh boy I regretted it fast. Not only was it impossible to walk around there, the amount of people made my phone go crazy and in the end, I was unable to navigate myself.
Funny enough, one of my friends from college was in London as well to meet his buddy ( we always end up meeting at random travel destinations!) so we decided to meet up and grab a drink or two.
Thanks to Oxfords insane amount of Christmas shoppers, I wasn’t able to locate them at all, which resulted into me trying to find them for over an hour walking down the streets through the crowds. I always threw shade on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, but damn, Oxford Street at Christmas time was another level of craziness.
 
Anyways, at some point we could find each other, and after hunting down any pub possible, we grabbed some beer and gin tonic and caught up.
As the evening was still young, and after walking the entire day, my crazy self decided to join another Walking tour – this time, a Walking Ghost tour. (Shoutout to my friends, when we paid 15€ for a ghost tour in Edinburgh, that sucked balls)
Since this tour was for free, I decided to go for it and to see if this actually could get scary. In the end, it wasn’t really scary, but super interesting and a great way to learn more about the “dark” history of London.
After walking more than 20 km through London; I decided to head back to my Airbnb and get some good rest.
 
On Sunday, my last day in London approached. I slept in, packed and decided to store my luggage and marketing articles in one of the train station.
One of my friends from primary school has been living in London for years and we decided to meet up that day so she can show me the sweet spots around town.
My idea was to store my luggage at Kings Cross and take the famous Harry Potter picture. Well who would have known that a two hour lane would wait for me!
It took me more than 45 minutes to store my luggage, and once I saw the lane for the picture, I decided it wasn’t worth my time! This will not be my last visit in London, so I promised myself to plan a whole Harry Potter geek trip the next time I am in the UK:
 
My friend and I met up at St. Pauls Cathedral, walked around the area and showed me amazing views around town. We explored Londons “Winter Wonderland” which is just a huge Christmas market and made our way around the park to enjoy the Sushi we grabed beforehand.
Whilst I only had an hour left before heading to Kings Cross, we decided to walk to Harrods. Oh boy, last time I remember seeing Harrods I didn’t dare to walk in! I was young and didn’t feel fancy enough – now I am old and still not fancy enough.
 
 
Anyway, after the strolled around Harrods it was time for me to head back to Kings Cross and take the train towards Luton Airport – time to go home and end my cardio loaded trip.
I hope you guys enjoyed the post, it is a little bit different from what I usually do – but I think its nice to remember the trip as it was written down. The next post I will update you guys about my preparations for Bali!
XO Karoline

Dog-momma of two, (almost) graduate, passionate about content creation, coffee, organizing and traveling. Sharing my personal experiences in traveling on a budget, living among other cultures and exploring the world. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" - Neale Donald Walsch

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