I live in London, but it’s often easy to get caught up in the everyday of commuting and visiting favourite places. Before long, you’ll realise that you haven’t been anywhere new in weeks. This is particularly awful in the capital city, where there is so much to see and do. From cobbled side streets to imposing world-wide icons, London has it all. I think it would be impossible to see it all, but I want to make sure that I get to see and enjoy as much of my city as possible.
My parents and sister decided to come down to visit for a few days, which was the perfect excuse to get out and explore more. We walked over 45,000 steps over the three days, so it’s fair to say that we got to see a lot of the city.
Here are some of my highlights.
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 was a weird day. In many ways, it was completely unremarkable. I’m lucky in that, for my job, I get to do a lot of work on twitter so I was checking our feed when I noticed a tweet about reported shots fired in Westminster.
Within minutes, or even seconds, more of the story was developing. I was giving everyone else in the office the information that was coming through as I saw it reported on Twitter.
My office is about a fifteen minute drive away from Parliament so there was never a major concern for our safety. We carried on working throughout and didn’t leave the office so much as a minute early. The office is on the ground floor of a very busy road, though, and we listened to endless police cars streaming past in packs. Three or four would tear down the street, usually about five or ten minutes apart, for what seemed like hours. I couldn’t believe that so many police were available, let alone that all of them were needed at once. It made the whole situation feel uncomfortably close.
The more information that filtered through to us, the more terrifying it got. Some people were cracking jokes. Others were still on lunch and had no idea, or were trapped in dull meetings when they would rather have their eyes glued to the news.
I went on an adventure at the weekend. It was technically a work trip, as I had to write an article for one of my magazines we create, but it was a lot of fun. I got to stay in a lovely country hotel, eat incredibly fancy food, and have a spa day. As far as weekends go, it was pretty great.
I vlogged the whole trip especially for you, so put the kettle on, sit down, and have a watch. Then come back and read my review of the trip. Enjoy!
The festive season is in full swing so I couldn’t let a weekend pass by without doing something Christmassy. I last went to Windsor in May and bought a ticket to the castle. As well as granting a day inside the castle walls, it offers free return entry for up to five days over the next 12 months. I haven’t been back since, so it seemed like the perfect time to get my full money’s worth while also getting to see all of the royal Christmas decorations.
I had to battle train delays and a trek across the entire capital city on the premiere shopping day of the year, but eventually I made it into the town. The gorgeous atmosphere and quaint streets meant that I couldn’t resist digging out my camera. I filmed a few bits throughout the afternoon.
As I mentioned in the video, no photos are allowed in the State Rooms. It’s such a shame as there are some truly beautiful rooms. So, instead of my photos, here’s one that I’ve borrowed from British Heritage. It’s beautiful, right? This year, the red bows were substituted with miniature crowns and there was an adorable Corgi toy sat at the bottom.
The best part was that the Queen was actually in residence. The Royal Standard was fluttering high above the ramparts – or hanging might be a better word as there wasn’t a breath of wind. We probably wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t overheard one of the staff members talking about how the Queen had arrived the previous evening. We spotted lights coming from a few of the rooms that weren’t open to the public, where we decided that the Queen must be. Plus, a Rolls Royce was parked up outside. Surely only a few people would be important enough for a ride.
After the castle closed, we went for a wander in the town centre as the market stalls were starting to pack away for the evening. They seemed to stay for as long as the light did, so we swapped the independent retailers for the bright lights of Zara and Topshop for a bit of retail therapy.
It was definitely a short and sweet visit, but it was definitely worth the trip to get to see the decorations and to experience the magic of Windsor Castle again. If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend a visit, particularly around Christmas.
Have you been to Windsor? What did you think? Do you know any similar places that I can visit next? I always love suggestions!
I’m all about my day trips. After spending 40 hours a week sat in front of a computer in an office, I like to make the most of my weekends. That usually means finding something new to do, and that isn’t particularly hard in a city like London.
This week I caught a quick train out of the city centre to Windsor, which takes around 25 minutes from Paddington station, or even less if you live in West London. The atmosphere makes it feel a lot further away from the hussle and bustle of the capital, though. You’ll still find the same number of tourists, a few less tacky souvenir shops, and lots of pubs in prominent locations.
If you look beyond that, you’ll find a beautiful working castle, gorgeous shopping arcades, and a pretty fun night out. Carry on reading to get ideas for your trip.