This post will be the first part of Tourism in London things to do in one week. I don’t like that much using the London tube underground to move from a place to another in London since it is underground and it is always crowded.
I usually prefer to move from one place to another walking especially if they are not that far from each other. This first post about London will talk about a possible free self guided walking tours for half a day (You will visit Hyde Park, Wellington Arcb, Queen’s Garden, Buckingham Palace, St-James Park, Horse Guards, The House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, County Hall and the London Eye). I did this the day I arrived in London in the afternoon around 4pm (the sunset was after 9 pm…)
Let’s say you arrived to London in the middle of the day and did the hotel room check in early in the afternoon. There is no time to waste, grab your camera and start discovering London with this free self guided walking tour. If your hotel is in Bayswater area then you can start this afternoon walking tour from your hotel and get back with the London tube underground, if you are in other area then you may take Central line (London Tube Map) and reach Lancaster underground station. Our afternoon walking tour will start in Hyde Park (Bayswater Road, Lancaster entrance), many tourist (and londoner ) go there for walking, running, jogging, playing soccer, or for a picnic with family and friends. There is a small lake (serpentine lake) where many play paddle boat and children feeding the ducks (Photo Album). You can have a nice view from a bridge over the lake (a very nice spot to take good panoramic pictures of the Serpentine Lake and the Long Water), ice cream and refreshment are also available. Follow the Serpentine lake (East Hyde Park) and heading south east until you arrive to the entrance gate of Hyde park (south east), you will have a big statue in front of you (Wellington Arch ), continue south east and enter the Constitution Hill (between Green Park and Buckingham Palace) a long nice green path. Following this path will lead you to Queen’s Gardens and Buckingham Palace. Before you reach that point, you will see at the end of the park a nice big gate with beautiful architecture and painted with gold. (photos album)
Once you leave the park you will have a very nice view over the Queen’s Garden and Buckingham Palace. From the left to the right: Beautiful gates, flowers, entrance to Saint James park, statue, fountains and the Buckingham palace. A nice spot to take good photos, to see the famous changing guard in Buckingham palace you should probably be there in the morning. I saw the one in Windsor castle and it is actually very interesting.
The entrance to Saint James Park is in front of the Buckingham palace, next to it you will find a big map where you can locate yourself and it gives you some possible walking path. I followed the one that goes near the lake directly from the entrance. You only need to turn right after the gate and follow the lake, many ducks are there, nice view showing reflections of the trees on the lake. There is also some squirrels. A little further when you rich the bridge there is an amazing view over the London Eye with its reflection on the lake. Very nice panoramic view (photos album, Panorama photos are available in 3d .MPO format and playable on 3d TV).
After Saint James Park, cross the Horse Guards to reach Parliament Street. You will most probably start to see the Big Ben on the right, follow the Parliament Street and heading to the Big Ben direction to get a closer look on it. In the afternoon (sunset time) and seeing it from that street, the sun will be shining into the Big Ben, it will be then the perfect lighting condition to have clear picture of the Big Ben with the zoom. Westminster Abbey is a little further, I didn’t have the time to visit it but it is highly recommended to have a look on it since Westminster Abbey is the place where Royal Weddings are celebrated. Turn left before the Big Ben and go to the bridge, you will have a nice view over the House of Parliament and London Eye, you will must probably be there around sunset, take some nice photos then go to a restaurent for dinner (if you like Mac Donald there is one next to the London Eye) and then come back to take pictures by night.
The House of Parliament and the Big Ben are extremely beautiful with the light at night (photos album, Panorama photos are available in 3d .MPO format and playable on 3d TV) . to come back to your hotel, there is two underground stations: one next to the Big Ben, Westminster tube station (access to District line and Circle line) and the second one behind London Eye, Waterloo tube station (access to Jubilee line, Northen line and Bakerloo line)
In the next post I will talk about the London Aquarium, National History Museum, Science Museum, Imperial College, Kensington Garden and the Wicked Broadway musical show. I will also talk again about the London Eye ;)
All the pictures were taken with Sony Nex 5 camera 18-55mm Lens