Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Our London Itinerary | Day 3 & Day 4

For days 1 & 2 of our itinerary, click here

Day 3 started off with us waking up early, eating a quick breakfast, and heading up to Leavesden for the Harry Potter studio tour! We were all pretty excited! Although from our new hotel, it was going to take us over an hour to get out to the studio. One underground and one overground train were late, so we were worried we were going to miss the shuttle bus. We got there in time and the shuttle bus waiting around way longer than the website said it did!

The Harry Potter studio tour was the one activity that we decided was worth the splurge. We tried to limit what activities we spent money on, and we were all SO glad we went! There was SO much to see and do on the tour! We spent a good chunk of the day exploring the studio before taking the train to St Pancras/King's Cross station. We did eat a snack at the studio cafe before leaving. About halfway through the tour (and I should state that the first few minutes of the tour are with a guide, but then you are welcome to explore and take as much time as you want wandering around.) From what I can remember, I believe they had burgers, sandwiches, some sort of meat pie, and a few other items. Since the prices weren't too bad and we weren't sure what we were going to do after the tour, we wanted to make sure we ate before we left. And they also had a place where you could buy butterbeer! We did buy a cup and share it (it was a little expensive.) and it really just tasted like cream soda. We were kind of disappointed!

Anyways, back to St Pancras/King's Cross. We walked over to the British Library, because I had read that they were supposed to have some free exhibits you could look at, but when we got there everything we found you had to pay to look at, and since none of it was interesting enough to us to pay for, we left. 

We then decided to walk over to 187 N Gower Street, which is the location used for the exterior of Sherlock and Watson's apartment in the BBC Sherlock series. Unfortunately there was a bunch of cars parked in front of it, so we weren't able to get a great picture. But it was still pretty neat to see!

It was later in the afternoon by now and everyone was getting hungry again, so we decided to have an early dinner. I has spent quite a bit of time researching a good place to get fish & chips, and the place I had found was not too far. 

We almost walked by the place (I had read some reviews that said it was a hole in the wall type of place. They weren't kidding! There was construction going on around the shop, so there was scaffolding everywhere so it was quite hard to find because of that.) But anyways, Fish Bone was a great place to get fish & chips! Most of the places I had read about were pretty expensive, but Fish Bone had a pretty decent menu, and also had items for people like my brother who doesn't like seafood. My mom, sister, and I all got the cod and chips, while my dad got the calamari and chips, and Michael went with a meat pie. The food was all SO good! And, as with most American fish & chips, the food was not greasy at all! Meaning the cook knows what he's doing. The staff was really friendly and I would definitely recommend stopping by if you're in London! 

After eating, we took the tube back to our hotel.

For the full London day 3 post, click here.

On day 4 (and our last day in London) we didn't have too much planned. I wasn't sure what we were going to be able to do earlier in the week, so, since we had already done what was planned, we headed over to the British Museum. The museum is free and there is a lot to see there. We spent maybe 4 or 5 hours there before leaving. 

We wanted to find some touristy shops so we could get some souvenirs, and luckily we didn't have to go far! Fancy That London was right by the British Museum and had tons of fun touristy things at decent prices. We had been in a few other tourist shops before and they were all kind of expensive, so I would definitely recommend Fancy That if you are looking for a more affordable place. We all picked up some fun little trinkets and postcards and then left. We spent a little time just walking around the city, taking it all in since it was our last day. 

We then took the tube back to Tower Hill and walked over to St Dunstan-in-the-East, which was finally open! I don't think the rest of my family was too excited about it, but I thought it was pretty neat! 

The church was built around 1100, was severely damaged during the Great Fire of London in 1666, was fixed up, then was severely damaged during the Blitz in 1941 when they just left it as ruins. In 1967 it was cleaned up a bit and the ruins were left as a park. I thought it was pretty neat and took an ton of picture (which you can find if you follow the link just below the map to the full London post.) 

It was nearing dinner time, so we walked over to the Tower Bridge and walked around on the west side of the bridge. There was a lot of restaurants, but they were all pretty expensive, so we walked back over to Pret and picked up some sandwiches. The weather was nice, so we took our sandwiches down the the river and ate by the Thames. It seemed like a nice way to end the day! After dinner, we walked back over to the Tower Bridge to take some more pictures. We all wanted to pick up some British candy (becuase let's be honest, European chocolate is SO much better than American chocolate!) there is a Tesco right by the Tower Bridge, so we stocked up on Cadbury bars, Jammie Dodgers, and whatever else sounded good. I also got a couple baking items to try.

After buying all our chocolate and stuff, we headed back to our hotel. We knew we were going to have a long day the next day, so we wanted to get packed up and to bed at a decent time so we could travel on to Paris.

For the full London day 4 post, click here.

A few tips...

-We all really enjoyed London, and it really wasn't too busy or crowded with tourists when we went. London is an expensive city, but we tried our best to keep the cost down and I think it can be affordable for a family. Airbnb is a great resource for finding an affordable place to stay. Most hotels in Europe only allow 2-4 people in a room, so since there is 5 of us, that meant we would of had to get 2-3 hotel rooms! I'm not sure about you, but an average of $300 a night is just not doable for us! Airbnb allows you get be closer to the city, and you will probably have a full or partial kitchen, as well as a washing machine, and WiFi. 

-We also saved money on food by purchasing breakfast items (like muffins, yogurt, things like that) at a grocery store (link Sainsbury's Local, which are all over the city). We either didn't eat lunch, or snacked during the afternoon (it's a good idea to bring protein bars from home) and then we ate out for dinner.

-Some food places will charge you extra if to dine in. (Pret is one of those places.) If you get your food to go (or take away as they call it in London!) it's cheaper.

-Definitely bring some good walking shoes! Something comfortable because you will probably walk a LOT!

-Do get a picture of yourself with a telephone box. I know it's super touristy, but I wish I had now!

-If you are going to be in London 4 or more days, or plan on traveling across the city a lot, get an Oyster card. It can be used on the bus, underground, overground, and most of the rail services in London. Just swipe it and go! Super easy and way more convenient than purchasing tickets ever single time you want to go somewhere. And, if you don't use all of the money on your card, you can use the machines in the stations to get a refund. Plus, they'll make you feel like a local ;)
If you have any other questions about traveling London, or London as a family, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message at!


  1. The Harry Potter Studio Tour is the best! One of the great things about it is that they rotate the items on exhibit quite frequently so that if you went back next year you'd get to see completely new props! x

    1. It definitely is great! I didn't realize they changed the exhibits that often, I would love to go back again sometime! Thanks for stopping by!