When you travel down to London all the way from Manchester, it’s actually like entering another country. Not even kidding. The weather brightens up, and everything just looks and feels different. It’s just weird. But in a good way.
I’ve only been to London a handful of times in my 24 years of life, and most have been for an event. The very first time was the only time we came as a ‘holiday’ and it was just me, my brother and my dad when I was still pretty young. We ventured around all the touristy things, and visited the museums.
The next time after that it was to watch Les Miserables, and see if we could
stalk spot Nick Jonas. (We did. Twice.) After that it was for the Deathly Hallows final premiere, and that honestly wasn’t such a great trip. Though the Phelps twins did sign my book! I also visited on my own to go to the Wild Photos event. And then I went to the Harry Potter studio tours, twice but a couple of years apart.
Despite those trips, I’ve never really had the chance to just walk around and appreciate all the quirky buildings, shops and decor around the city. This time I managed a little more of that…
House of Vans Graffiti Tunnel
This was right on our doorstop, and we stumbled upon it accidentally really. No idea it existed until we could smell the strong paint and hear loud music blaring through the tunnel. So many people were just painting the walls and it honestly looked amazing. I love a good graffiti wall.
My favourite had to be the elephant, but there were also loads of superheroes dotted about and they were pretty cool. I like that this kind of thing happens, because graffiti is generally seen as a bad thing but it really is an amazing art form.
The London Tourist Spots
Of course we had to see the main attractions. The London Eye, Big Ben, Pall Mall. We didn’t actually go down to the palace because the others were basically on the route we were taking anyway. People say that big cities are just a load of buildings, ugly concrete. When you start looking up, looking at the detail, you’ll see so much more interest.
I just find the old buildings so fascinating! Especially love the white ones and they look amazing when against a blue sky backdrop. There’s also a lot more green in London than you would expect, helped by the streets lined with trees down every other road. We managed to find a couple of small parks too on the walk and it was funny to see so many people just lying down, sunbathing and sleeping in the sunshine.
Experiencing The Streets of London
On the very first night we ate out at Southbank and then had a little walk along the river. We discovered a little ‘beach’ (glorified sandpit) and sat down, just watching everyone go by. I love people watching, not gonna lie. Mostly I was looking at outfits. Isn’t it strange how we might all shop at similar places, but everyone really does have their own style and look. London is definitely varied! There was also a guy playing guitar and singing, so it was just really relaxing to be sat there as the sun was going down.
What I find weird about London is that there are so many people, so many strangers, yet so many will congregate in places like this after work and have drinks. Obviously in their own groups, but just to be in a crowd of so many and it feel so relaxed and calm was lovely. I can’t really explain much better than that, but it just felt like everyone was coming together outside despite not actually talking. I’m probably just romanticising it right? You wouldn’t get this vibe in Wigan though!
It was also Gay Pride week, with the actual parade being on the Saturday we were there. Well that was an experience! It was great to see all the surrounding businesses decorate for the day though, with balloons and banners and the like. Obviously everyone was getting very involved! I wrote a little more about that in my review of Cursed Child (spoiler free!) – the reason behind us actually going into London.