Our first big trip we did when we first moved to Europe was going to London for the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 red carpet world premiere. We also did a lot of exploring in London and had so much fun. This is definitely a place I could go back to.
The day we arrived we went straight to Trafalgar Square (location of the premiere) with our suitcases to wait for wristbands to get into the premiere the following day. We waited 6 hours just to get the wristbands. It was really crazy. People had been camping there all week so they could get the spots right along the red carpet. It was a long day, but once we got our wristbands it was late enough to go check into our hotel. Our hotel was absolutely awful, so I am definitely not going to recommend it. However, it was a place to sleep and we made it work.
The next day we got up bright and early, dressed ourselves in our Hogwarts inspired costumes and went back to Trafalgar Square to wait some more. This time we waited 10 hours and it poured and poured and poured all day long.
The rain gave us a few minutes break on a rare occasion to get pictures.
I even found a tiny space big enough to sit for a couple minutes between rain showers. Standing for 10 hours straight hurts, but it was worth it.
As the premiere was about to start, the sky opened up to beautiful blue skies and sunshine! Since we didn’t camp there we couldn’t get up to the red carpet, but we lucked out and found a spot on a platform holding light towers. It gave us a good view and the ability to see over everyone else’s heads. We only had problems with one teenage girl trying to push me off the platform. Only after a cussing match with another woman on the platform she gave up and left.
The premiere was amazing, a once in a lifetime experience and I never want to do it again! I am incredibly lucky and appreciate that I got the opportunity to go to this kind of event, but it’s one of those things I can do once and feel I’ve reached my “premiere quota” in life.
Pictured Above: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Pictured Above: Michael Gambon (Dumbledore)
Pictured Above: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Pictured Above: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
Pictured Above: Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
Pictured Above: JK Rowling (Author of the Harry Potter series)
Enough of Harry Potter, lets get to the sights of London!
We went to see Wicked while in London and it really was fantastic. My husband is not a musical lover, at all, and he loved it! It’s definitely something to splurge on and get good seats. The story, singing, and dancing was all incredible. I was very impressed.
The red bus tours are another London “must do”. Not only is it fun to ride around in one of London’s famous red buses, but you also get a great, live, tour guide. It makes it very easy to get from one site to another since they stop all over the city. We just rode the bus around without getting off and listened to the entertaining tour guide on our one lazy day. It helped give us an idea of what the sites were top on our list to see.
This bridge is commonly mistaken as “London Bridge”. This is not London Bridge, it is Tower Bridge. London Bridge is just a normal looking bridge.
The natural history museum was good, but no different than any other in the world. It would be best for people with kids because it was very interactive. We spent all of about 20 minutes in there as the unique exhibits they had you had to pay a fairly large price to go into. The outside was very beautiful though.
Parliament Building is a must see staple of London. Even if it’s just for a photo op!
Hyde Park was gorgeous. It made for a fun afternoon relaxing in the sun.
Trafalgar Square is entertaining. We spent a lot of time there just people watching. There was always at least one street performer to watch.
Of course Buckingham Palace is a must, too!
Another fun night we had was going to see a comedy show. Take this advice – do not buy tickets for a comedy show from people on the street, a lot of them are scams. Only buy the tickets at a legitimate facility from a ticket salesman inside the building. We found a great place, a bar that was hosting comedians, and you can find them too because there are a lot of them. Just use your gut and if it doesn’t feel right, find someplace else.
There is so much to do in London that I can’t possibly list it all. My best advice is to use the red bus tours. Even if you just use it for one day to get the lay of the land and figure out what you absolutely have to see, because there is no way to see everything. There are countless sites, museums, comedy clubs, musicals, restaurants and SO much more.