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Exploring London in a weekend

20141108_143846Last year, my mum came to visit me in London from France. I’m always the one going back home to see family, so it was nice to host for once and share a bit of my everyday world with her.

She hadn’t seen Britain and London in over 20 years (!), so it was quite a big occasion. I wanted it to be a memorable trip and fit as much of the capital’s wonders as possible. She was only down for a long weekend, so we had to really try and pack things in.

In the end, I was happy with how much we managed to see. I started the working week pretty knackered, but it was worth it. If you’ve got guests down for a few days, here are some suggestions on how to make the most of their time here.

Day 1: Busy, busy, busy

My mum arrived very early on Saturday morning at Heathrow. After dropping her stuff off, we headed straight into central and got off at Leicester Square. We had a long day to look forward to, so first things first we found a nice cafe to obliterate a massive full English breakfast. French breakfast is all about pastry rather than cooked food, so it’s always a nice thing to try. Plus it certainly keeps you going for a while!
20141108_112009After that we went round the Leicester Square/Trafalgar Square area, stopping at the M&M’s World shop for a bit. For some reason, this was one of my mum’s personal highlights which I wasn’t expecting. We both came out with the inevitable bag’s worth of overpriced chocolate.

Remembrance Day Tribute, Trafalgar Square
Remembrance Day Tribute, Trafalgar Square

Our wander round took us past Big Ben, the House of Parliament and 10 Downing Street. We saw the changing of the guards, and also stopped off at the nearby National Gallery. Before heading back West later in the afternoon, we stopped at Harrods for some luxury window shopping. Needless to say, everyone slept pretty well that night.

Day 2: THE event

Conveniently in hindsight, Sunday turned out to be Remembrance Day. We took a bit of a gamble and decided to try and get to the Tower of London, which we thought would be absolutely rammed but also more beautiful than ever because of the red poppies tribute.

20141109_123526 In the end not only was the view amazing, we also managed to get tickets to visit the tower. It took us several hours to go around and see everything, including the crown jewels.


That one precious picture where it’s actually sunny

20141109_155922 We ended the day in a couple of nice pubs in the Chiswick area I work at and know well. And we had the classic curry dinner! I’m so glad we got to see the tower: If you have people down, I recommend looking up what’s on in terms of attractions/events – there’s always something on!

Day 3: Wrapping up

Monday morning was a bit of a head scratch. Not only were we pretty tired from the previous two days, but my mum had booked that awkward early afternoon flight which left us little time to do anything, and certainly not enough time to head for central and back to Heathrow.

20141110_120239 20141110_120638In the end, we spent a few hours walking around Kew Gardens. Based in West London, the notorious park is home to a range of very old and rare types of plants and flowers. It was a nice contrast from the noise and crowd of central London. Importantly, it’s also not too far from the airport!

But that’s just my own experience 🙂 How would you spend a weekend in London?


  1. That’s so great that your mum enjoyed London! I would love to see the poppy memorial as it looked so beautiful! I’m hoping to go back to London at the end of the year as well so hopefully I’ll get to see a few of the things you’ve mentioned in this post too.
    Lauren // OhHay Blogs!

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