PRESTON: London Calling


Living the tourist life and posing in front of the River Thames and Big Ben.

This past week I spent three days in London. After wanting to go there for so long and hearing all of the talk about it, I set my expectations pretty low, believing it to be impossible to live up to the hype, but I was far from disappointed when I did get to experience it firsthand. 

Is it expensive? Yes. Is it crowded? Definitely. The tube during peak times is an absolute mess. You finally get to understand how sardines feel squished inside a can. But the city itself is wonderful. 

If you visit all the tourist hotspots like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey you can easily stumble across a handful of different parks, each more beautiful than the last. Even if you’ve only got a university student budget, you can still see most of the sights and have a great time.

Since I refused to go on the London Eye (as someone with acrophobia I was not about to attempt it), my friends and I went to Regent’s Park and walked up Primrose Hill. Not only was the view breathtaking, but the neighborhood was gorgeous and it didn’t cost us a thing.

While I was in London I stayed with the relative of a friend, so we had the best of both worlds where we were located on the outskirts of town but directly next to a train station. Getting an all day travel pass was easily the way to go as it allowed us to take the tube, the train, or the bus anywhere around London. 

One of the best ways to get a feel for a town is to get lost in it and London had more than enough streets to wander down for one weekend. Even exploring the city all day for three days wasn’t enough time for us to do all that we wanted.

Camden Town and Piccadilly Circus are both very popular and extremely crowded, but worth checking out. Trafalgar Square has lots to do as well. My favorite places to go were the parks where we could just sit and people watch while soaking up the sunshine, but arguably you could do that anywhere.

Next time I go to London, I’ll have to hit more of the museums and see a West End show, but for this past week it was just enough for me to stroll along the River Thames and admire Tower Bridge.