Planning a visit to the English city of London? Here are some recommendations on where to go*. To view all the photographs (with the captions in full) of each city, click on any image and navigate using the left and right keys.
1. A view of the River Thames and the London Eye, on our first day. We had to get used to the unpredictable English weather throughout the trip: sunny one moment, cloudy the next; warm and humid for a day, cold and drizzling the next.
2. We enjoyed one of the better free walking tours in Europe. The guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, the route was straightforward, and the two-and-a-half hours went by very quickly. Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery were one of the first few attractions on the tour.
3. Saint James’s Park – named after a leper hospital – was along the trail of the tour.
4. A view of Buckingham Palace, from Saint James’s Park.
5. Lunch of fish and chips, chicken tikka masala and rice, and a salad with fish cakes, right after the free walking tour.
6. Westminster Abbey, a traditional religious building which serves as the coronation site of British monarchs. Most recently, the royal wedding between Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Miss Catherine Middleton was held in the building.
7. A short walk from Westminster Abbey is Big Ben, the nickname for a great bell at the Palace of Westminster, the parliamentary meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
8. Borough Market was bustling with the sale of food and beverages, produce, and other confectioneries. It is located next to London Bridge (not to be confused with the Tower Bridge).
9. A scotch egg – a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, before it is coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried thereafter – from one of the many food stalls in Borough Market.
10. From the distance, standing on London Bridge, is the view of the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge – with its bridge towers – is often mistaken for the London Bridge.
11. The half-day visit to the Tower of London was a good one. We started with a Yeoman Warder guided tour, through which we got a good 45-minute introduction to the grounds and its history, and thereafter we used an audio guide to get around the towers and the wards.
12. But the highlight was the Crown Jewels exhibition, which my mother really enjoyed. The jewels are ceremonial objects decked in stones, pearls, and diamonds, and really beautiful items.
13. Dim sum at contemporary Yauatcha in the Soho area, a district of restaurants and cultural commerce. We chose a combination of dishes which were harder to come by in Singapore, including king crab dumplings and a venison pastry puff.
14. After lunch, we had cakes and coffee around the corner.
15. Chinatown in London bustles with activity, and is marked by a few gates across the streets.
16. The view at Piccadilly Circus, after a visit to the Soho area.
17. For Mother’s Day, we had dinner at Burger and Lobster. Portions were huge, and the parents enjoyed their lobsters. Burger was great too, even if it was not the best.
18. Mom posing by a flower bed in Hyde Park.
19. After dinner, we took a slow walk across Hyde Park, the largest of the four Royal Parks in London. The Long Water is an artificial recreational lake in the middle of the park. The park was a stone’s throw away from our accommodation, an Airbnb apartment.
20. We took a day tour to three locations – Windsor Castle, the Roman baths, and Stonehenge – and while it was a rush we had a good glimpse of the attractions. The first stop was Windsor Castle, with its resplendent State Apartments and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.
21. The ruins of the Roman Baths and its temple, where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago. Because the day-tour itinerary was rushed, we only got to see a very small part of Bath, which was a shame. The city looked quaint and pretty.
22. The prehistoric monument that is Stonehenge – constructed thousands of years ago – with different myths surrounding the stones and their functions.
23. Posing for a candid photograph in front of Stonehenge.
24. The parents enjoyed their dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant, which is known for its roasted duck. This was the Bayswater outlet, a short walk from our accommodation.
25. Second visit – in three days – to the same restaurant, this time with crispy duck, scallops, and other roasted meats
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