Wednesday, July 19, 2017

London Day 2

London is one of the most phenomenal cities in the world, and one you could spend a great number of days exploring without hardly scratching the surface.  That being said, I like to visit London in 2-3 day spurts.  When I couple a London stopover with another destination, I get a two-in-one trip, and avoid breaking the bank on a seemingly expensive city.

After a good night's rest after my London Day 1 itinerary, I get up in the morning and catch another traditional British breakfast in my hotel (refer to London Day 1 for a detailed description).  This practice saves me money, but I also find it fairly relaxing.  I really do like to see a lot of things on vacation, but I also like to relax a bit as well.  Taking breakfast in my hotel allows me to ease into my day a bit in order to offset the seemingly faster paced afternoon of catching local attractions.

Next, I make my way to London's famous Changing of the Guard ceremony.  This colorful ceremony marks the official handing over or military responsibility for the security of London's palaces.  This ceremony takes place roughly every other day at changing times (usually late morning), so you will need to look up the schedule online because it changes periodically.  This event is free, although you can purchase guides to the event if you'd like. Also, this is one of London's must-see events, so getting there early to get a good spot is ideal.

After witnessing the Changing of the Guard, a trip to the Churchill War Rooms is a must-see for any History buff.  The Churchill War Rooms are more than just rooms filled with exhibits related to Winston Churchill's legacy.  While you will find plenty of that, this museum is literally located inside of the secret bunker inhabited by Churchill and his staff during World War II.  You can see and walk through rooms that where they met, planned, ate, and even slept.  This is one museum that is worth it's price.  Speaking of price, check their website carefully because they do have family rates in addition to single ticket prices.

These two cultural experiences are sure to inspire you (and work up an appetite), and in keeping with this inspiration, I recommend making your way to Gordon's Wine Bar on Villiers Street.  While this is apparently London's Oldest Wine Bar, I must admit that I would never have found it on my own had a local not brought me there.  If it's ambiance you like, this ever-so-slightly off-the-beaten path wine bar is sure to deliver.  As soon as you walk into the bar, you are greeted by a dimly lit interior.  The combination of wood and stone makes you instantly feel like you are in another age. Turning left, you make your way into a tunnel with a low, stone ceiling.  This tunnel is likely to be filled with locals sitting in mismatched wooden chairs and unevenly sized tables.  You will need to go to the bar to order a bottle of wine, and a separate area to order food.  The wine is superb and the food offers tremendous value, as the portion sizes are more than shareable.  During my visit our party of four ordered one wedge of cheese, an order of hummus, and roasted vegetables.  The portions were generous enough to feed us all, and came with fresh baguette.  This is the perfect place to land after a day out touring museums.  This establishment is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours before you either head back to your hotel, or take in a play in London's West End. Look online for discount tickets or go to the Leicester Square ticket booth (aka TKTS) which is located in Leicester Square's Clocktower Building.  Just remember, when it comes to a day-of ticket booth, you need to be flexible about which production you are seeing because availability could vary.

So, here you have it.  Our SPLURGES and SAVERS for London Day 2.


  • Breakfast (Included in your hotel= FREE)
  • Lunch (Grab & Go or pack a granola bar in your bag)
  • Changing of the Guard (FREE, unless y.)ou buy the guide)
  • Gordon's Wine Bar (The generous portions make everything shareable, which makes for a tremendous VALUE).
  • Optional:  Theatre Tickets (TKTS booth earlier in the day, or online discount agency)


  • Churchill War Rooms (This museum isn't free, but well worth the price.)
What are some of your favorite London, high value attractions?

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