London 2012.

I know this blog is meant to be about my adventures in Glasgow but I couldn’t resist posting about my recent trip to London, mainly because it was absolutely amazing! I’m lucky enough to have a close uni friend who lives just outside the city so I thought, before I head off up North, I’d take a trip to the South and hit the capital one last time (for the foreseeable future at least!)

I arrived there Wednesday afternoon and was immediately whisked to the beautiful Hummingbird Bakery, which is famous for its gorgeous cupcakes. I treated myself to a lovely Red Velvet Cupcake (their best seller) which was simply wonderful.

Me outside The Hummingbird

A beautifully packaged cake

Our next stop was the Natural History Museum. I’ve been to London many times before but never actually got round to doing many of the major museums (too busy shopping probably!) so I was really excited to finally visit NHM – safe to say it did not disappoint! I got to see the giant blue whale, dinosaurs, go in an earthquake simulator, see an actual human brain and do some optical illusions. All in all a cracking few hours! The buildng itself is also beautiful, so it’s well worth a visit if only for that.

Natural History Museum

No trip to London is complete without a cheeky visit to Harrods, so that was our next destination. We spent much of our time there in the food court, drooling over all the fantastic things on offer! We then decided to head up to Hyde Park as this was another landmark I hadn’t managed to visit before. It was a lovely summer evening so I definitely picked a prime time to go! Definitely one of my new favourite places in the capital.

Harrods

Hyde Park in the Sunshine 🙂

On our way home we passed through Kings Cross Station so, as a Harry Potter fan, I just had to have my picture taken with the Platform 9 3/4 sign! So much fun!

By far the best thing about the new Kings Cross

That evening we just chilled at my friend’s house, attempting to cook a sophisticated meal for the family and pampering ourselves with face steaming (!) and face masks. We used to do this semi-regularly at uni so it was a lovely end to a fantastic first day.

Casually just steaming my face.

However, it was the Thursday that was the really big day – we had tickets to go and see the Paralympics!! I was so unbelievably excited, not only to see the athletics but to also visit the Olympic Park. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful London morning and as soon as we reached Stratford the atmosphere was just electric. I literally cannot describe just how epic (and massive) the Olympic Park is – its actually unbelievable.

The Olympic Stadium

Our view of the stadium!

We got to see some fantastic athletics, including the amazing British athlete Hannah Cockcroft who stormed her heat for the 200m race and the fantastic Li Duan, a Chinese blind Triple Jumper who really knows how to create a show for the crowd. Like I say, the atmosphere was just electric and, to say the tickets were a bargain at £10, it was well worth every penny, just for the sport alone!

Once the session had finished we decided to have a good look round the Olympic Park. It is actually massive. You also, as was to be expected, have to queue for everything. Apart from that though it is brilliant! There is just so much to see and do everywhere – they have buskers and street performers entertaining the crowds, lots of lovely food and drink places (especially the rather cool Street Market section which has a ridiculously good selection of grub), a London 2012 megastore for souvenirs, a park area which shows live paralympics action on two big screens outside and various art installations and other general attractions for the masses. It really is a day out in itself!

Souvenir megastore

Tapas!

The world’s biggest Mcdonald’s apparently

Street Entertainment

Outside the Velodrome

Outside the Orbit


After a very exciting day at the Olympic Park we then made our way further East to the Royal Emirates Docks to have a trip on the new cable cars built over the Thames. There are some amazing views of the city to be had, definitely well worth the £3 for a single trip, even if just for the experience alone!

Cable Cars

Millennium Dome/ 02 Arena

There’s also a tiny man-made “beach” next to the Docks so, of course, I just had to have a little paddle in the Thames.

Never thought I’d end up in the Thames

To round off the day we then headed to Tower Bridge (yet another landmark I’d never actually been to!) and Southbank, where we ended up watching more Paralympics on a big outdoor screen. When we won a gold medal everyone clapped which was cute!

Paralympic Symbol on Tower Bridge

All too soon however it was time for me to dash through central London and get the coach back home to Nottingham. I absolutely love London so this was the perfect way to start rounding off what has been an amazing summer. I definitely see myself going back again multiple times and, if I could ever afford it, even living in the capital at some point in my life. For now though, this will probably be my last trip for at least a year so I’m glad it was such a memorable one!  Weird to think my next couple of trips to ‘the capital’ will involve heading to Edinburgh instead!

Days until the big move:8 (AHHH!)

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