1. Free Europe Tours: I found this tour through another blog I read regularly, and she raved about how wonderful the tour was and said it was a terrific way to see the sights of London. Although it's a free tour, you tip at the end based on how much you think it was worth. I assumed since it was a two and a half hour tour that it would be relatively leisurely, but it was the opposite! Our tour guide explained that we would be booking it to see all the sights in the allotted time. We had such a good time. Our tour guide was hilarious and told us a lot of great stories (and lots of good information, too!). He timed it out so that we could see the changing of the guard and the horse parade. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip!
2. Arsenal Tour and Game: My nice friend is a HUGE Arsenal fan, so we knew that we had to get in some quality time at the stadium. I really enjoyed our tour. We couldn't fit a tour in with one of the former players, but I'm glad that we were able to do the audio tour because we got to take our time in each room. We got to take pictures in each of the players spots in the locker room and sit on the bench and take in the empty stadium. The next day we headed back and got to see a big win. It was a lot of fun and I'm so glad I got to share that experience with him!
3. Museums! We went to the National Gallery, which was cool because we got to see the work of a lot of amazing artists. Some of my favorites were the ones by Monet! (My mom used to teach art, and it was fun seeing some of the paintings we used to learn about as kids!) I have to admit that after a while I was a little museumed out. We wished that we had gotten a map so that we could have planned out our route a little better and hit the sights we really wanted to see instead of doing so many. That place is huge! We also got to go to the Natural History Museum, and I wish we had more time to visit that one! It was also gigantic, and we got to see a lot of cool things, but there just wasn't time for it all.
4. Kensington Gardens: Our hotel was within walking distance of the gardens, and one morning we walked over and explored a little. I really loved how peaceful it was (and seeing all the dogs and runners!).
5. Cambridge: I had a friend from college (we actually did a study abroad together!) that moved to Cambridge with his amazing wife to get his MBA. They took us around the little town and told us the best way to see it was by punting. Essentially you row a little boat down the river and the person steering you does it by standing on a little platform and rows with a big stick. I know that's a horrible description, but you'll see in the picture. I opted out of rowing us, because honestly my balance and coordination are not the best and I knew I would be in the river (my nice friend said he was pretty sure I would, too, so it's not just me being a wimp!). We had the best time hanging out with them, but are definitely ready for them to be back in the States!
That is our trip in a nutshell! If you've ever been (or are planning to go!) to London, I would love to hear about your experiences or share additional places to go! I could have written five times as long about it. We absolutely loved our time there! I hope you guys have an excellent weekend!