Neighborhood Travels

Touring London Sites

While Wales was quiet and beautiful, our leading destination in this two-week adventure was London.  We again traveled by train, with crowded cars and standing room only.  Eventually, we transferred, and the situation improved; nonetheless, we were thrilled to arrive in London.

After a peaceful stay in rural Wales, it was time to move on to a week in the big city and see the London sites.

Iconic Places

There are some things one must see during a visit to London.  We attempted to touch on some of these via the Hop-on-Hop-off tour, but I was determined to visit Buckingham Palace.

A crowd gathers at Buckingham Palace

The royals hosted an event the day we walked to the palace.  Perhaps that explains the helicopters landing and taking off nearby.  We also saw a few well-dressed guests as they departed.  Sorry, I didn’t recognize anyone.

We enjoyed the nearby parks, walking up through St. James Park to stumble upon the palace and then leaving by way of Green Park.  I’ve been to London several times and still lose my sense of direction.  There are too many twisting streets!


My daughter and I were determined to find the famous pump.  Have you heard of it?  In 1854 London suffered a severe cholera epidemic.  Science on this was poor; most doctors believed miasma, particles in the air, caused the illness.  John Snow proved that the real issue was contaminated water from a pump.  It was a fascinating read, and so we searched for the pump.  It took a bit of walking, but eventually, we saw it.

A replica of the pump on the sidewalk next to the John Snow pub.  How many times did we walk right by it?

Abbey Road is undoubtedly a London icon

Yes, I took a rock n roll tour and zipped around Chelsea, Kensington, and King’s Road.  Most of the time, I didn’t know where I was.  Still, I recognized a few names from the sixties, and even I have heard of Queen.  Our minibus stopped for photos at Abbey Road Studios.

The crosswalk the Beatles made famous on their Abbey Road Album.

I would have had to stand in the intersection if I wanted to make a more realistic replica of the album cover.  No thanks, Abbey Road is much too busy for that kind of thing.

The City of London

Our hotel was on the border of Hyde Park and Mayfair, near Marble Arch.  We used the underground to crisscross the various sections of Greater London east of us, a must see area.  The City of London contains several historic buildings such as St. Pauls and the Tower.  It also is the financial center.  We took the tube as much as possible and continued to explore on foot.

Leadenhall Market was one of our Harry Potter sites.  It doesn’t look precisely like Diagon Alley, but it was the location used for the first Potter film.  Harry and Hagrid walk through it on their way to the Leaky Caldron.

Imagine Harry and Hagrid approaching from the far end!

While in The City, we also walked toward the Tower and Tower Bridge.  I was pleased to see one of the dragons guarding The City’s entrance.

Liberty, the Byward Street dragon.

There are similar watchdragons at the thirteen other significant entrances to the City of London.

Our time in London was a mix of “something old, and something new.”  To see a few of the places I visited, please click here.


Elizabeth Boatman

Traveler, explorer, memory maker and someone who's just downright curious about stuff. It's all about finding joy.

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