Travel With Vik

London: Day 1

London: Day 1

After spending a few days exploring the English countryside, it was time to go into London. It was my first time going since 2004, when I went for a week for a Make A Wish trip for my brother. I had seen all the attractions before, but to be honest my memory was vague after thirteen years.

The ride into London was about 40 minutes from the station in the village I was staying in, Ashtead station. The station was about a 15 minute walk away from me. The British train system in general is rather confusing, with various companies all around and dynamic pricing schemes, similar to how airline tickets are sold. From Ashtead, there were two options, Southern Rail and Southwestern Rail. One went into London Waterloo station and one went to London Victoria station. I chose to just take whatever train came first, which ended up being London Victoria. This was bound to happen, as there were more trains running to London Victoria due to construction works taking place at London Waterloo. I made sure to take the train after 9 AM, because then the prices were cut; another benefit is that the trains are less crowded at this time. I purchased a day pass for about 13 pounds; this covered the commuter trains into and out of London, as well as unlimited riding on the London Subway, otherwise known as the “Tube.”

After arriving into London, I made sure to check out the top two attractions, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. To get there, I took the subway from London Victoria station to the Tower Hill station on the District Line. This takes about 15 minutes for 9 stops.

Just outside Victoria Station

After arriving, the Tower of London is obvious fairly quickly after exiting the station at ground level.

Tower of London

There were long lines to purchase tickets, and I had a funny feeling that seeing the Tower from the outside was good enough.

Tower of London

It turns out that I was proven right, at the expense of about 30 British pounds.

Tower of London

Inside the premises were more of exhibits than anything. I was able to spend a couple of hours there, but much of the time was spent waiting in lines, particularly in staircases.

Tower of London

Personally, I don’t think this place is worth the expense.

After this, it was off to get something to eat. I had to go to the Borough market based on everything I had read about it. This was a fascinating place, there were stalls of foods from all around the world. I chose to have something I’d never had, basically a spinach and cheese filled filo pie, a food that is popular in the Balkans. I also had a cumin spiced lamb sandwich, this seemed to be local stall.

After this, it was off to the nearby Tower Bridge. The admission here was much more reasonable, about 9 pounds.

Tower Bridge

The most popular part was the glass floors, one could see the ground through the glass.

View below from Tower Bridge

However, to me the most interesting was a spread of pictures of bridges all over the world that were being displayed for the current exhibit. My father is an engineer so I always had an interest in such structures. There were nice views of London as well from the elevated area.

View of London from Tower Bridge

Finally, there was a separate engine room which shows the steam engines that were historically used to power the bridge.

Engine room of Tower Bridge

After this, it was back to the outskirts of London, as I had plans to catch a proper English soccer match in the evening!


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  1. Novak Zlatapopovic September 29, 2017

    i like how much cost

  2. Steve L. October 16, 2017

    My daughter has an interest in going to London. I read both of your reviews and it seems long lines are par for the course to see the noteworthy sites. Ugh!

    I like the posts that you write from around the world. Lots of good info and pics that are easy to digest…

    • Vik November 1, 2017 — Post Author

      Thanks a lot for the comment, I try to talk from the frugal person perspective.

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