London – Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, and Regent Street

Hi friends, welcome back to my Paris and London Anniversary series 🙂 It’s hard for me to believe this is the last installment of the series! This post is a bit of a catch all with places we saw, but didn’t spend much time at, and includes pictures from multiple days. On our first day in London, we walked around after visiting Westminster Abbey admiring the House of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower (renamed from Big Ben in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee). I would love to tour the Houses of Parliament one day, but it didn’t make it to the top of this list this trip.

The famous London Eye. We only admired it from afar, we didn’t have our hearts set on riding this famous Ferris wheel.

Trafalgar Square was right outside our hotel and this place was always bumping! They had a Jurassic Park event going on so it was always pretty busy and lively. I thought these ice cream cone statues were cool until I saw the big flies.

The National Gallery is free to enter and includes work by Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Velazquez. We were museumed out from Paris, but would love to visit one day.

Jon and I still had some daylight left after Windsor so we decided to walk around to the Admiralty Arch and National Mall. Admiralty Arch connects Trafalgar Square and the National Mall which leads down to Buckingham Palace. The arch was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s death, but is now owned by billionaires and being converted into a hotel, apartments, and private club.

I loved how festive the National Mall looked with all of the flags! I should’ve known with all the gates that it was going to be pretty crazy in this area the following day.

As I mention in my Notting Hill post, we walked by the must-see Piccadilly Circus, Oxford, and Regent Street. We walked through on a Saturday morning and it was very empty. If you’re in London before Christmas there is a beautiful light display on Regent Street that is on my list!

On our way back from Kensington we walked through Wellington Arch and down Constitutional Hill to Buckingham Palace. The closer we got to the palace, the more crowded it got and we soon realized we would not be getting anywhere near Buckingham Palace.

I wanted a picture with the gate, but that was fenced off and stadium seating had been put up in front for the upcoming Jubilee concert. Oh well, next time! We got in and out for a picture as quick as we could to avoid the crowds.

St. James Park is located in front of Buckingham Palace, but with all the crowding we spent as little time here as possible. On a normal day this would be a beautiful spot to wander and relax.

Jon and I decided to end the trip with a delicious Indian dinner at Dishoom. We had walked by this restaurant every day and there was always an incredibly long line. Living in NYC we are used to lines and know anything with that long of a line has to be good. We got in line and they brought us some chai tea and mint tea while we waited and it ended up being around a forty-five-minute wait. The weather was nice and we weren’t near hanger so it wasn’t too bad of a wait. The restaurant is huge inside and the tables are well spaced out so it feels like you’re in your own dining world. We were very hungry from the 25,000 steps we walked our last day and this was the deliciously filling meal we were looking for! There are about eight locations in the UK and I’d highly recommend checking them out!

We had free tickets to go to up to the Sky Garden, but we decided not to go. We were pretty exhausted from our eventful day and extremely full! We headed back, relaxed, and started packing for our flight the next morning. Jon and I took the tube to the Heathrow express and were at the airport pretty quickly. It was very straightforward and everything was going smoothly until I forgot about the one plastic bag for liquid/gel rule for carryon bags. Every nook and cranny of my bag got searched and I had to decide between keeping my contacts or makeup (I chose sight over beauty in case you were wondering 😉 ). It was sad to see half my toiletries thrown away so wastefully, but rules are rules I suppose. So if you’re travelling in the UK, remember they are very strict about their gel/liquid rule in a carryon.

Jon and I found a flight deal and it was only about $100 extra to fly business class home compared to premium select so we got to go to the lounge and had a very comfy trip home. We had fun taking turns putting up the divider screen when the other wasn’t paying attention.

Jon and I had such an incredible time celebrating our first wedding anniversary in Paris and London! We loved both places and had so much fun. I also feel pretty lucky to have visited right before the Queen’s passing and to have seen her flag flying while we were at Windsor Castle. It was such a joyous time to be in London. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along and that this has brought back some good memories or inspired you to visit these wonderful cities 🙂

35 thoughts on “London – Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, and Regent Street

  1. Sounds like an awesome end to a great trip! I’ve enjoyed following along and seeing all the sights of two countries I’ve never visited.

    1. A trip to remember! We really enjoyed both countries and I’m so glad you enjoyed following along 🙂

  2. Very much enjoyed your London and Paris series Lyssy, you managed to see London at its best with all the patriotic flags flying except for the mess with the extra barriers and staging. Hope you will return to visit more of the UK next time. There’s a branch of Dishoon in Manchester too which is another fine city you could perhaps add to your list. M.

    1. Thank you! It was cool to see London so patriotic. We only had about three days there so I’ll have to go back and spend a few days in London and the rest exploring the other areas of the UK. Manchester would be cool to visit!

      1. I agree! Helps build the anticipation 🙂 Italy is my next trip to plan for next May.

  3. What lovely photos! You don’t have problems in the US with 1 plastic baggie for liquids in carry-ons? I couldn’t get over the stuff being thrown own when we flew! We had a checked bag and I made sure to leave everything even remotely liquid-like in my checked bag this time to make the whole process go quicker.

    1. Thank you! I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with liquids in the US. I’ve had packets of instant oatmeal searched haha, but never liquids. It’s interesting (frustrating) how countries all have different rules. I had like a 4 week supply of contacts from putting them in my bag every trip just in case, so that took up a lot of my baggie. When we flew back from Vienna I had all my liquids in a separate makeup case and just put that through security and it was fine.

  4. So many familiar places Lyssy. The good thing about London is that if you put one foot in front of the other, you will see some stuff. Our favourite walk is along the South Bank between Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge in either direction. As to Buckingham Palace, can you imagine getting anywhere close these days, now that QEII has passed? Your Indian food looks to die for. The last time we were there we found a great Lao restaurant (Lao Cafe) right near the National Gallery. The dining in London has improved so much since our first visit in 1977. Glad you know how to celebrate anniversaries by travelling. It is a great habit to get into. Cheers. Allan

    1. So glad this brought back some good memories! We love just walking through new cities and stumbling upon new sights. With all our walking in Paris and London it felt like we walked the whole city. That is a nice walk, we did part of that on our way from Borough Hall to St. Pauls. It would be pretty crazy to get anywhere near the palace and churches these days! I had heard London had good Indian food, so I was happy we stood in line and waited. I don’t think I’ve had Lao food before, but it sounds delicious! I follow a lot of London food bloggers and they share some pretty good looking food! Yes I’d rather have an airplane ticket than a bracelet for an anniversary 🙂

    1. Thank you! How amazing to have studied abroad, it would be really cool to live in London for a bit.

  5. This was a wonderful anniversary trip. I think you might have needed a vacation when you got back. They ruined the ice cream cone statues with flies for some reason. When the Queen’s funeral gets to London you will have fresh memories of all of the places being shown one TV. Scoring business class for a $100 was such a great deal.😀

    1. Haha yes we probably needed a vacation from our vacation! No minute went to waste on this trip 🙂 It is neat to know and have visited many of the places she will be taken. It was such a great deal and made going home a lot easier. We were excited for the plane ride back, but now that we’ve tasted luxury it’s hard to go back.

  6. It was absolutely a memorable anniversary trip. The ice cream sculptures on Trafalgar Square had a similar effect on us. We loved St. James’s Park on a quiet morning. An Indian feast is the best way to end a London trip. That’s my favourite cuisine and Dishoon is a great discovery in your article. I’ll have to visit it next time I’m in London.

    1. Such a wonderful way to spend our first anniversary! It would be nice to visit St. James’s Park again one day. We definitely didn’t have enough time in London, so I’d love to go back before seeing more of the UK. Dishoom is definitely worth the wait!

  7. Thank you for taking us along for the ride (walk)! You went to a lot of effort to include us in your daily excursions, which I hope didn’t take away from simply enjoying your anniversary trip. I prefer “Elizabeth Tower” over “Big Ben” but I’m also wondering if there was a better choice out there in the London cityscape than a clock tower. And despite all the “locked out” you encountered, your memories will always be more about being in London at the same time as the Jubilee, not to mention Elizabeth’s final days in this world. That’s pretty darned cool.

    1. So glad you enjoyed coming along! I love taking pictures so it didn’t take away from enjoying the trip. If I was a fashion blogger trying to get the perfect shot I can see how that would definitely take away from our trip and Jon wouldn’t like it haha. Maybe the city planners are planning something new and cool to honor her. It was definitely a surreal time to have visited! I had to update my Kensington post to adjust for Will and Kate moving to Windsor, but didn’t think the Queen would die during this series.

  8. The National Mall looks so beautiful with all of the flags! It seems like there are so many neat and historic places close to each other in London so that is really cool. The food at Dishoom also looks very delicious. Thank you for sharing these awesome spots!

  9. It looks like we skipped past nearly all the same places in London! It was impossible to see get remotely close to Buckingham Palace for us too. I’m jealous of that flight deal you found – which airline was it?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.