My second day started bright and early with a tour of London led by a local guide along with that traditional cloudy weather. We used whisper radios which had an earpiece to easily hear the guide as we walked in our large group. Though tiring in the end, I loved that the whole tour was walkable starting right at our hotel doorstep.
We had a "walkie" through Kensignton Gardens which was great because our guide led us through parts I did not previously see. The Prince Albert memorial was covered in so much gold!
We continued through Hyde Park to make our way to the changing of the guard. Instead of rushing Buckingham Palace like the thousands of people, we stayed back on hard treets and followed the band around to the palace.
After the guard change we walked to all of the major sights including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London and Bridge.
My favorites were Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. After our tour ended my roommate and I set out for lunch. Not wanting to spend money on overpriced pub food, we tucked down to the Borough Market for lunch.
There were all kinds of vendors selling delicious eats and it was much more favorable, bustling with locals rather than busy tourists. I knew I wanted something traditional and British so I went for a meat pie.
The vendor offered up his favorite pie, the shamrock which was stuffed with British beef and veggies. On the side I had mash and gravy. I only spent £5.50 and the very kind Brit threw in a cold water for free!
The meal was hot and unbelievably flavorful--so tasty! Not to mention, they only use the best free range meat. This was hands down my favorite London meal and I got to enjoy it the best way possible--hanging with the locals.
After lunch Jess and I toured a church across the market since it had free admission. It was beautfiul!
Afterward we played tourist a little while longer and took the Tube across town to see the London eye. And popped in and out of the Victoria and Albert and the Natural History Museum, free of charge.
I loved taking the Tube (Underground) which is London's subway system. It was fast, efficient and very easy to follow.
I have to say I've always been a lover of British culture and 2 days just wasn't enough to do as the Brits do. It was very expensive (most expensive city in Europe) and impossible for me to pay and go experience every attraction such touring Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London.
It was a bit disappointing not being able to immerse myself deep into the British history, but the free museums were a great alternative. The Museum of Natural History had a very cool dinosaur exhibit.
I certainly loved everything I did get to experience and would love to go back. It would be fun to spend a week in London as well as outside of the city and get a better feel of its real roots.