Category Archives: London

London Itinerary: 6 Days in London

Tower Bridge 6 days in London itinerary

London is one of the world’s most famous capital cities and England’s largest city, offering an endless number of attractions, museums, historical buildings, and entertainment options. London can be an overwhelming city for many travelers, especially those visiting for the first time. We’ve put together a recommended 6 day London itinerary that will help you see the highlights if you have at least 6 days in London. It includes all the major attractions (e.g., Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and the National Gallery), but also includes several lesser known sites and encourages you to explore several of London’s diverse neighborhoods including Westminster, Greenwich, Kensington, and Camden. We suggest using this itinerary as a starting point for planning your 6 days in London, not as a definitive itinerary, and you can edit it to put together your own personal itinerary that reflects your own needs and interests. In addition to the 6 Read the Rest…

The Belmond British Pullman Train: Info, Tips, & Lots of Photos

British Pullman train Vera carriage car

The Belmond British Pullman is the sister train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and is made up of a collection of historic Pullman carriages. Based at Victoria Station in London, the train makes regular luxury day trips and short journeys within England. A journey aboard the gleaming umber and cream carriages of the British Pullman is designed to take you back in time to the glamorous age of luxury train travel. The historical carriages date from the 1920’s to 1950’s and include wonderful art deco marquetry, art nouveau lamps, polished brass fittings, mosaic floors, and plush upholstery. Journeys aboard the train may include brunch, afternoon tea, a murder mystery lunch, and/or musical entertainment. Guests enjoy a meal while they watch the scenery pass by and some journeys include stops at historic cities such as Bath or Canterbury. Although many of the guests are British people celebrating a special day out, it is Read the Rest…

Tips for Buying and Using the Oyster Card in London

London Oyster Card

London is one of the top travel destinations in the world, but navigating this large city can be overwhelming for a first time visitor. Using an Oyster card, a credit card sized transport smartcard, is an easy way to save time and money if you are planning to use public transportation in London. An Oyster card can be used on just about every form of transport within London including public bus, tram, and rail services within the city. Our goal is help you decide if an Oyster card is a good fit for you and to help you effectively use your card on public transportation in London. First we’ll cover the main types of Oyster cards that are available, how to choose the best one, and how to buy an Oyster card. Then we’ll talk about where you can use them, how to use them for travel, how to recharge Read the Rest…

London Day Trip: Visiting Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds with Zestrip

Zestrip day trip from London Blenheim Palace Cotswolds Lacock Abbey

Recently Laurence and I were invited to go on a London day trip to Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds with ZesTrip. London is one of those cities in which you can keep returning and still find plenty of new things to do, but it is also a city that makes a great base for some really interesting day trips. We prefer to actually overnight in the places we visit; however, sometimes we are short on time and a day trip is a very convenient way to see places that you would not otherwise have time to visit. ZesTrip is a marketplace for tours in several locations that are designed and led by local experts, with activities ranging from city walks to hot air balloon rides to sit-down dinners. We were very excited to visit Blenheim Palace and a few of the Cotswolds villages on our private tour by car with Read the Rest…

Tips on Using & Buying the London Pass: Is it Worth It?

buying The London Pass tips advice

If you are planning a trip to London and want to spend some time admiring great artwork and visiting grand royal palaces, you’ll likely save money and time by purchasing the London Pass. The London Pass not only allows for free admission to over 60 of the top-visited attractions in London (i.e., Windsor Castle, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey), but it also allows you to skip the long entrance lines at several of these attractions and includes a 1-day free Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour ticket. In many cases, the London Pass is a good value and will save you money; however, in some cases, the London Pass may not be a good deal for you, especially if this is not your first visit to London or you have very limited time in the city. We’ll help provide all the information you need to know to decide if the Read the Rest…

Planning an Oxford Day Trip: A Perfect Day Trip from London

Exeter College chapel Oxford day trip from London England UK

Oxford is a university city situated about 60 miles from London, making a Oxford day trip an ideal way to get out of the bustling capital for a day or weekend to explore this compact historical city. Nicknamed the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford is best known as the home of England’s oldest university, the University of Oxford, which is still one of the most respected in the country. However, while a trip to Oxford wouldn’t be complete without touring a couple of university buildings, Oxford has much else to offer. A visitor might go on a walking tour of the downtown, browse for souvenirs at the Covered Market, go punting on the River Cherwell, take a tour of a medieval castle, stroll in a pretty garden, enjoy a drink in a historical tavern, or even take a short drive to visit one of England’s most beautiful and famous country Read the Rest…

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Train: A Luxury Train Journey from London to Venice

Belmond Venice Simplon Orient Express

This past October we had the pleasure of riding the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train from London to Venice where we held our wedding ceremony. The original Orient Express train service ran from 1883 to 2009, and its name became associated with glamour, luxury, intrigue, and even murder! In its heyday, it was the most luxurious train in Europe and today this tradition lives on with Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE). The VSOE makes regular luxury train journeys across Europe, offering gourmet meals, private overnight cabins, and attentive staff within its wonderfully restored historical train carriages. The signature trip is the 36-hour luxury train journey from London to Venice which has to be one of the most elegant ways to arrive in Venice! We’ll share all you need to know to decide if this trip is a good fit for you, from the historical background of the Orient Express to how to book Read the Rest…

The Most Fashionable Afternoon Tea in London: Prêt-à-Portea Tea at The Berkeley

Prêt-à-Portea Tea at The Berkeley London

Afternoon tea in London is one of those quintessential travel experiences and I was very excited to try the Prêt-à-Portea tea at The Berkeley. The name for this fashion-inspired tea is a clever play on the phrase prêt-à-porter which refers to ready-to-wear clothing (a.k.a. off-the-rack) within the fashion industry. There are of course hundreds of places serving afternoon tea in London, from the traditional to the quirky, but for fashionistas looking for something different, I’d suggest booking an afternoon tea at The Berkeley. First served in 2005, Prêt-à-Portea brings a creative twist to the traditional English afternoon tea with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs from the collections of the world’s top fashion houses and designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, and Chanel. Feel like eating a Oscar de la Renta princess gown sponge cake, a Alexander McQueen hat vanilla shortbread, or Manolo Blahnik Read the Rest…

Seeing the Best of London in a Full Day London Walking Tour

full day best of london walking tour with city wonders

During my first visit to London, Laurence and I did a full-day London walking tour with City Wonders to get a good orientation of the city and see some of the most iconic sites. The tour takes you through the heart of the capital city and during the day we saw so many recognizable landmarks, including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. In addition to seeing all these iconic London sights, we also got to visit and partake in some fun London experiences, including a visit to the Tower of London before the crowds, a short boat ride on the River Thames, witnessing the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace, and savoring a formal afternoon tea in a London hotel. We’ll share what we saw and did during this City Wonders Best of London walking tour, everything Read the Rest…