A week being British!

Windsor, England
London, England
Wimbledon, England
I just got back from an amazing week in England! I stayed with family during the week and had a wonderful time getting spoiled from all the delicious homemade food and nurturing my newfound love of tea. I spent two days exploring London on my own and saw so many fascinating sites. I even got to do a Harry Potter tour and saw Platform 9 3/4, which were the highlights of my touring! I have to admit I fell in love with London and didn’t want to leave! I even got to explore some of the sites outside of London, like Windsor, Wimbledon and Hampton Court. As usual, the pictures will tell the story 🙂

At Windsor Palace!

Walking into Windsor

I heard him burp.

My very first shepherd’s pie – why don’t I eat this more often??

Wellington Arch

Marble Arch

Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament

Trafalgar Square

Some guy trying to fit through a tennis racquet for money.

A site in the HP tour – Harry, Ron and Hermione walked down this alley way in the first part of the 7th movie after apparating into London 🙂 They still haven’t fixed the sign!

The entrance gate to find Diagon Alley in one of the movies.

A candy shop similar to Honeydukes – I bought a chocolate frog and Bertie Bott’s, and tried Dumbledore’s favorite sherbert lemon candy 🙂

JKR’s inspiration for Diagon Alley.

Our guide, Kevin, is standing right where they put the phone box to get into the Ministry of Magic Visitors Entrance, outside Great Scotland Yard.
Where Ron stands while waiting to get people for the Polyjuice Potion!

Where the crew installed the toilets to get into the Ministry of Magic. The building on the right, more interestingly,  is a spot where Henry VIII used to live!

The London Eye!

So pretty during sunset!

Queen Boadicea, was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Roman Empire, and is believed to be buried under platforms 9 and 10 at King’s Cross station. JKR based Bellatrix’s character on her.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

I can officially die happy!

Having dinner with family at the Ostrich – the third oldest pub in the UK, dating back to the 1300’s I think.

Fish and chips!

The original fireplace at the Ostrich.

Houses of Parliament.

Millenium Bridge, the one that the dementors destroyed!

Tower Bridge!

One of the torture devices used at the Tower of London – pulls the limbs off!

Armor made specifically for Henry VIII

Uniforms worn by William and Harry!

Yay!

The Tower of London! Best part was the crown jewels, which were stunning!  Couldn’t take pictures, though 🙁

At the British Museum, one of the coolest things I saw was the actual Rosetta Stone!
Buckingham Palace!
The top of the fountain in front of Buckingham Palace, with Queen Victoria in the middle.

Excited for a day out with Sandeep, Sunita, and Sunayana!
Wimbledon!!!

In the actual pressroom – and chairs!! – that the top world players sit in after a match to talk to the media! Serena has sat there!

Centre Court! Where Serena and all the big tennis pros play during Wimbledon! Only used for those two weeks every year yet the grass needs to be kept perfect all the time.

The actual trophies given to the winners!! They don’t get to keep them, though!

Yay!

Serena wore these clothes during Wimbledon!!!!

At Hampton Court Palace, beautiful decoration!

Outside the Palace! This was the living area for the reigning king or queen until after Henry VIII died – then they moved to Buckingham.

Amazing ceiling art leading up to Henry VIII’s apartments.

On guard!

His Majesty King Henry VIII! And a wife. I assume.

London is so rich in royal history and had me wanting more at each turn. Everything was so interesting – it’s impossible to be bored. I feel like it’s the perfect vacation spot for anyone – couples, families, old, young…. With the shopping at Piccadilly, walkability of the city (if you’re able-bodied, I suppose), museums, aquarium, and fascinating royal history, there’s definitely something for everyone. My number one suggestion is to watch your wallet – not because of pickpockets, but because of spending. Do your research first, find what you’re interested in seeing, and focus on those sites because nearly everything requires a ticket, and the pound is worth almost twice the dollar now. Just realize that although that coffee you’re buying costs 4 pounds, it actually is worth almost 8 dollars to you. Might just pack a lunch beforehand, hmmm?

Anywho, I loved London so much I already have tickets to go back in the beginning of May. It was one of the most culturally-diverse cities I have ever been in – I heard so many different languages and saw so many different races. And guess what – it WORKED. People of different accents, shapes, sizes, color, or even languages seemed perfectly happy to walk side by side or help someone out. Why can’t all societies be like London?

GO TO LONDON.

LONDON MUST-DOs:

  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Fish and chips
  • The Big Bus Tour (free Harry Potter walking tour, which you also need to do). This tour company seemed to have the best line and most frequent buses. Their maps are also very handy.
  • Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross. It’s actually just a little area marked off from the crowds who are entering the platform area. You’ll need to stand in a line but you’ll get a free picture if you can find someone nice to take it for you. There’s also a gift shop around the corner where you can buy a professional picture and all other necessary HP merchandise.
  • Trafalgar Square – nothing was more relaxing than sitting by one of the fountains and eating lunch.

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