My husband and I are big fans of Mr. Bourdain and his shows The Layover and Parts Unkown. We find that Anthony Bourdain is one of the only travel journalists to show the nitty and gritty of any travel destination, showing the touristy parts, but focusing more on the gems found off the beaten path. No filter or fluff. Just raw, honest, and deeply provoking footage. After finding out we were going to have a 10-hour layover in London while on our way to Italy, we decided to put on our walking shoes, and explore the city.
London is such a big city that getting places can be a little bit tricky. If you don’t have your own car, you will be happy to know that London has some awesome public transportation options. If you want to travel in style, hop in a traditional cab. Since we were traveling with a large party, we decided to travel by train.
From Heathrow airport, you can either hop on the Heathrow Express to Paddington, or hop on the tube and go pretty much anywhere. I will say, the Heathrow Express is quite fast, but also expensive. A one-way ticket to Paddington costs £25. If you are not in a rush, I recommend buying a day travel pass for the Tube (£12.30). It will save you a lot of money and will give you the flexibility to travel to all of the main sites.
If you are visiting London during a long layover like we did, you want to make sure you have an idea of what you want to visit. Do a little research and write down your top three list of things you would want to see. Pull them up on a map and make sure they are within the same part of town, or within easy access. Our top choices were Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Bridge. Luckily, all of the things we wanted to see were so close to each other that we just walked.
You cannot visit London and miss out on the fish and chips! Head to Great British Fish and Chips located on The Queen’s Walk, across from the London Eye. Be ready to eat some golden crispy battered fish and fries cooked to perfection. This is the perfect spot for a quick bite during your long layover.
Lastly, just enjoy your layover and explore the town. Walk along the river Thames, explore Hyde Park, or grab a pint in an old pub. Do anything you need to enjoy the day and get over the jet lag!
Have you ever been to London? What would be your favorite thing to see? Let me know in a comment below.