On the Friday of our trip, we enjoyed a wonderfully perfect day in London. The weather was brisk in the morning, so we dressed in layers. Thankfully, as the sun did peek out later in the day!
Prior to our trip I contacted British Tours to see if they had any private tour guides who could give us a spectacular day. With a 7 yo and a big wish-list of things to see, we wanted to make the most of it. Boy, was that worth every penny! Sam met us in the lobby of our hotel at 8:59am (start time of 9:00am). We had the next 5 hours with him and we were able to tackle a guided drive around the city – learning many interesting points and seeing historic landmarks, a walk from Buckingham Palace area, to 10 Downing Street, to Big Ben (which actually is just the name of the bell inside of the clock tower), to Westminster Abbey (they were having a 100 year memorial service for Ernest Shackleton – hence we didn’t get to go inside), to a nice view of the Thames and the London Eye.
We then made our way back to Buckingham Palace to get some good photos! One neat things about the day we were there, is they were practicing for the Trooping of the Colour. This is an annual parade/celebration that happens in June, as part of the Queen’s birthday celebration. It was amazing – so many guards from all six regiments, marching in full uniform and practicing their show for the Queen. We were blessed to witness it with no lines and no people! We also were able to see them marching back to the Palace! In addition, as we were walking past where Prince Charles lives, a policeman asked us to wait and not cross a driveway. Sam knew that meant someone royal was coming – and within minutes we saw Princess Anne (on her way to Shackleton’s memorial!) drive by. What a fun experience to wave to a real Princess, for Addy!
After this, we headed through Central London, continued learning, and arrived at the Tower of London. This massive structure is worth the visit! We proceeded to get a good picture of the Tower Bridge, and then headed over to Kensington Palace where Sam dropped us off. This day ended up being 6 hours, and was absolutely fantastic. I would highly recommend British Tours and Sam, specifically, if you want a great day exploring London.
Addy loved exploring Kensington – the grounds are beautiful as well as the castle. We didn’t have any royal sightings, but it was still what Addy would tell you was her favorite part of the trip.
One big thing that made visiting all of these locations great, was our London Pass. We bought a 2 day London Pass, which gives free entry into so many locations – as well as ‘skip the line’ on many of them, and discounted theater tickets, discounted dining, etc. There are a ton of benefits of the London Pass that we never even got to check out, as well!
Stay tuned to our final blog to be posted on Wednesday, about this fantastic trip.