Our March getaway to London was fab. We did lots of different things in the two days we had there. Our first day in London was quite a girly day. Make up shopping, cupcakes, yummy food and a spa day.
The second day was filled with traditional tourism. Here is all we got up to.
I love being a tourist, and London is full of iconic landmarks to grab a good picture with. Our hotel was located right by St Paul’s Cathedral, but also just round the corner is the Millennium Bridge (the Harry Potter Bridge to me).
I have never walked across this before, so crossing it was fun. We crossed it so we were on the South Bank and right by the Globe Theatre. Now when I have walked along the South Bank before I always walk towards the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, but this time we headed towards The Shard and Tower Bridge.
After grabbing a quick pic outside The Globe, and managing to sneak a peak inside just as a tour was coming out, we headed towards Borough Market and The Shard.
We grabbed a little bite to eat from one of the MANY and delicious food stands in the Market and nibbled as we walked round, we didn’t go in the Shard building this time, that’s on the To Do list for the next trip, instead I just got really dizzy standing looking up at it.
We then continued along the Thames Path, we came across a lovely shopping place, Hay’s Galleria. It was so pretty, I bet it would look even prettier at night. It had a mix of high street stores and market stalls, it’s a good place to stop for a little rest and grab a coffee.
Tower Bridge and Tower of London
Our destination was Tower Bridge. For years I have looked at it in the distance, but never walked to it or across it. Also for years, I have wanted to visit the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels. It is surprising to me that I have never visited this before as I am such a royalist, so is my mum, so this trip we definitely wanted to make time for it.
It costs £25pp to enter the Tower of London but it is so worth it. I’d recommend having around 3 hours spare to explore it all.
We went on a pretty good day, it was a Thursday, the day before Good Friday, so it was relatively quiet for the tourist attraction. One of the Yeoman told us that around 18,000 people were expected to visit the Tower on Good Friday. We wandered around all the grounds first, and joined one of the Yeoman tours for a little bit.
We then headed in to see the Crown Jewels, I was so excited about this. I mean what girl isn’t excited about being face to face with some of the biggest diamonds and gem stones in the world. All the Crowns, Orbs and Sceptre’s are behind glass cabinets, and you are not allowed to take any pictures when inside.
All the previous King’s and Queen’s crowns are together and to see them you move past them on a slow moving mechanical walk-way. Once you’re at the end of the walk-way you can re-join the queue for another look.
I admit we went round on this about 4 times!!
Queen Victoria’s jewels and Queen Elizabeth II’s jewels are in their own cabinets. The diamonds and gems are HUGE!!
We covered every part of the tower from walking the walls to seeing old torture towers. The inside of the White Tower is now home to the Royal Armouries exhibition.
We got to see the Changing of the Guards, parts of the Tower that once housed exotic animals, and see where the working Yeomen live on site.
There is honestly just so much to see inside and I highly recommend a visit.
Vogue 100 Exhibition
After the Tower of London, we hot footed it across London (thanks to the tube), to the National Portrait Gallery. We had tickets for the ‘Vogue 100 – A Century Of Style’ exhibition.
This exhibition has been running at the gallery since the 11th February 2016 and it will end on the 22nd May 2016. The National Portrait Gallery and British Vogue have teamed up to show archived images from the magazine spanning its 100 years in publishing. The exhibition is full of iconic images and the background to achieving them.
It starts off with a fantastic installation of Vogue Covers from every era on huge illuminated poles. When you make it through here, you’re greeted by a large square space with video footage projections on 3 walls. This is a reel of behind the scenes footage of celebrities and models on photo shoots for Vogue.
The exhibition then splits in to decades of the magazine. Each room has photographs that are key to that era.
The photographs in the 1990’s – 2010 themed rooms were my favourite, this is probably because I remember a lot of them. The style of photography showed lots of creativity and futuristic influences, but then also very natural shots, like the model has been caught off guard (they just woke up like that…).
The 90’s room was almost a shrine to my favourite model, Kate Moss. She was such a natural beauty when she first started out, you can totally see why she has become a Vogue Icon, her images are dotted all throughout the exhibition.
The room dedicated to a Century of Magazines is really interesting. It showcases archived magazines and depending on the year of publication they are all open on certain pages. This room had articles on War Time women, HRH Princess Diana, Charlie Chaplain, and the last photo shoot Marilyn Monroe did.
Couldn’t resist snapping a 1923 article on Coco Chanel tailoring and millinery.
As you can see from the floor plan there is so much to see, and so much information to take in. We spent almost 2 hours in there. There was a real mix of people buzzing around each room, fashionistas, business women, fans of the magazine, and a lovely older couple who we overheard telling one another about the first time they saved up to buy an issue of Vogue, wow.
Until next time London
We’ve been down to London for quite a few exhibitions now, and we can’t wait to see what the next one will be. I’d always recommend travelling to see them, because when you’re there you get to see so much more as well.
Since I posted my last blog about London lots of people have been asking about where I stay on other trips down there and how I find out different and fun things to do down there. I’m thinking that after this one I will write about a few of my favourite things to do in the Big Smoke, and hopefully by then I’ll be planning my next trip.
Until next time,