Europe

Europe

I have only been to 12 countries in Europe including the one I live in, but I haven’t seen much of them and some trips were very brief.

  1. Belgium – Driving through on the way to France
  2. Croatia – I loved Croatia and I can’t wait to go back one day and see more.
  3. Finland – I don’t have many photos of my 36 hours in Helskini, Finland so I’ll just have to go back.
  4. France – I have been to Marseille (Marseille things to do & Marseille where to eat), Nice and Paris.
  5. Germany – Mainly drove through, but I don’t remember any of it.
  6. Ireland – 5 hours in Dublin, the shortest trip for a working meeting.
  7. Italy – Venice and Milan.
  8. Monaco – Spent 2 days in Monaco, it was great and would love to go back.
  9. Portugal – Algarve, it rains for 7/8 days, I haven’t been back.
  10. San Marino – An afternoon on a school trip in the 90’s on the way back from Venice.
  11. Spain – Barcelona, Ibiza, Tenerife, Gran Canaria.
  12. The United Kingdom (London in 1 Day, London in 2 Days)

 

 

*Photo Credit: Your Child Learns 

 

 

My 2017 Review

We all start the year off with great intentions and as the year comes to an end we look back on all that we have or haven’t achieved….

Well I have completed much of what I had set out to do, and some things are still a work in progress. So here is how I did!

Overall grade: C+

5 Achievable New Years Resolutions

This year I wanted to have some plans that could be achieved, here were my 5 resolutions!

1) This year I really wanted to push out the boundaries and go to places I’ve never been before my first trip will be to Mauritius a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. I have also planned a 3 day stop over in the Dubai in the Middle East (making in my trip two holidays in one).

Results: So I loved Mauritius and would definitely like to go back and see more of Island. The people are friendly the weather is great and there is so much to do that I definitely want to go back. 3 Days in Dubai was the shortest amount of time I have spent there is was great to see a few friends but if I’m honest I will we had another day there, time went to quickly.

My second trip that I hadn’t planned by the new year was somewhere in Europe I had never been.

Results: Marseille, France. It was booked last-minute [The week before]. The weather was wonderful it was a little more expensive than I thought it would be but the exchange rate has really hurt the pound this year. I would go back but there is so much more of the south of France I would still like to see.

My third trip to Iceland.

Results: It didn’t happen 😦 but I have it planned for 2018 🙂

Grade: B+

2) My second resolution was to try new things like scuba-diving, indoor skydiving, zip lining and a water submersible / mini submarine.

Results: It didn’t happen, I had to get permission to scuba dive from my doctor, so that has slowed things down.  Now I have got the go ahead so I will definitely be planning this for 2018 and the indoor skydiving is planned for February.

Grade: Failed

3) My third resolution is to be healthy this is something that always try to do but fail at miserably. This year I aimed to eat better and keep fit consistently and stay as well if possible. This will be my hardest challenge but I thought it was achievable.

Results: I started personal training once a week at the beginning of the year.  I have definitely not achieved my goals, but I am fitter than I was and it is still a work in progress. My eating has been inconsistent, I eat better but I also fall of and eat junk too.

Grade: C

4) My fourth resolution is to be happy, doesn’t everybody wanna be happy? Not sure how this one will go but I plan to start and finish every day happy.

Results: I’m happy 🙂 but there are days when I am not.

Grade: B-

5) My fifth resolution for the year is to eat beautiful food and try new cuisines that I’ve never had before.

Results: I have tried Mauritian food and Grenadian food, not that adventurous, I must try harder.

Grade: C

Overall Grade

2017 grade C+

Day 1 – First 24 Hours in Dubai

Dubai has so many activities that you can do, here’s how you can spend 24 hours in Dubai.

Day 1

Arrival 

Day 1 is a great chance to settle in as the city is open late you don’t have to try and cram it all on your first day plus, you might be tired from a long flight, lacking sleep or just needing some rest.  Here is what happened in our latest trip to dubai.

We arrived in Dubai at 4.30am on a Saturday morning, a little earlier than expected and checked into our hotel for next few days.  I was returning from a holiday/best friends wedding in Mauritius and decided to extend our return stop off to a 3 day layover.  Myself and my teenage son booked to stay at the Jumeriah World Trade Centre Residence. Shattered as I was lacking sleep I went straight to bed for 4 hours and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.  I wouldn’t suggest arriving  so early in the morning as often you can’t check into you hotel to 2pm without paying extra for early check in.

I’m a fan of the Jumeirah group hotels, (do try them out if you get a chance) I booked this city centre residence for a few reasons.

  • As we were in Dubai during the Easter holidays a lot of the Jumeirah group hotels by the beach the prices are sky-high. (£600 per night).
  • A residence has more space than a traditional hotel room. Our room on the 31st floor had a full kitchen, dining table and front room. A residence/apartment is often at the same price or cheaper than the main hotel, it might be set back from the beach or in the city.
  • I was travelling with my teenage son so wanted some extra space so we weren’t on top of each other.

We had breakfast at about 10am and the restaurant was close by on the floor below with amazing views of the city.

Breakfast with a view 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

As with any hotel I’ve stayed in Dubai the buffet breakfast is top class with a wide range of cold cuts, hot food, cereals and fruits.

Cove Beach

We started our day with meeting up with a girlfriend who lives in Dubai and we went to Cove Beach.

Cove Beach is a beach club that has loungers, beds and tables for sunbathing and posing as well a small beach and plunge pool for cooling down, there is also a restaurant and bar.  Cove Beach is located at Jumeriah Beach Hotel and is open from 11am-3am each day.

Cove Beach 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Most people travel via Taxi in Dubai as it is reasonable priced. Once you arrive at the hotel go to the left of the hotel and ask for directions.

Tip: At the weekend (Friday’s and Saturday in Dubai) you need to pre-book the beds, loungers and tables, but you don’t need to book space at the bar, although it does get busy do arrive early.

Cove Beach Strawberry Daquiri 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.ukThey make great drinks and the food is decent too.

The team that set up Cove Beach have thought of everything, During the day, there is music playing in the day-time and a DJ later at night.  Besides having great changing facilities they also have UK plug points for charging your phones (for me this is like heaven).

This is a great setting,  its is however quite pretentious with the ladies dressed to impress with their swimwear, cover ups, designer glasses and full faces of make-up.

Tip: So be warned ladies, go glam and wear your favourite bikini and cover ups.

Bu Qtair Restaurant

After a few hours catching up we decided to grab some food from Bu Qtair restaurant. Bu Qtair is a seafood restaurant and is one of Dubai greatest secrets.

Tip: Open daily from 6am – 11.30pm this restaurant is nothing to look at from the outside but is it well worth a visit the atmosphere is laid back and the fish (catch of the day) & prawns are yummy.

Catch of the Day at Bu Qtair Resturant 72 hour in Dubai at www.mywonderful.co.uk

When you arrive you join the queue to choose your fish from the catch of the day.  It is weighed in front of you and you can also add prawns if you want.  You pay and then go to a table and wait for about 20 minutes for your name to be called.  Like most we choose to sit outside.  When your food arrives you can choose to add paratha (A flat bread), rice and water to your order.

Bu Qtair Resturant 72 hour in Dubai at www.mywonderful.co.uk

Tip: We arrived at about 6.30pm any later and you will have a long queue for food and then another queue for a table. See the picture above below of the queue when we were leaving.

You know the place is good when the locals and expats queue to eat & how often do you get your food weighed at a resturant?

Located along Jumeirah beach you will find it next to the fisherman’s quarters. Click here for the Map.

Burj Kalifah, Dubai Mall & the Water Fountains

That evening we had planned to go to Ski Dubai (An indoor ski centre) but after stuffing ourselves we opted for the easier option of going up the Burj Kalifah and a little shopping at Dubai Mall.  This is why Dubai is a great destination,  there are so many activites that are close to each other.  You can change your minds and move your plans around with ease.

Burj Kalifah 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

 

The Burj Kalifah is the world tallest building.   I had been up the Burj Kalifah 4 years before but my son wasn’t with me on that trip and this we decided to go up at night.  Click here to see my post about my first visit to the Burj Kalifah by day.

 

The Burj Khalifah is located at Dubai Mall and is the worlds largest mall.  When we arrived at the mall we went down towards the lower ground and walked past the aquarium, we didn’t buy tickets as we have been before, but is worth a visit and you would have time to do it on your first day.

Dubai Aquarium at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

We went down to the next floor and bought our tickets for the attraction which is called At the Top.  We booked to go to the 124th & 125th floors, which and not the higher option of the 148th floor.  Our ticket time was 9.30pm so we had enough time to go outside and watch the water fountain show at 9pm.  The water fountains outside put on a display to music every 30 minutes, which attracts crowds of people and well worth seeing.

We then came back inside the mall and joined the queue for At the Top.  We entered one of 3 lifts.  Our lift took us to the 125th floor.  As we got out we were accosted  immediately by the staff members to take “cheesy tourist photos” with green screen behind.  (We didn’t buy any, as they weren’t great and not worth £30, YES £30!!!!  We walked around the floor, working out key points around city, like the Burj Al Arab, the airport, our hotel…..

View from the Burj Kalifah at www.wonderfulworld.co.uk

The water fountains from Burj Kalifah 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

 

We then walked down the spiral staircase to the 124th floor which also has an outside observation deck, we went outside and were able to watch the 10pm water fountain show from above.  This show was to the James Bond theme tune.

 

 

Gold Letter Box At The Top 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.ukMy son really enjoyed the experience and I was glad it was a new experience for me, as I got to see the city at night.  There is no time limit that you can stay up there which is great, so you don’t feel rushed at all.  On each floor there are souvenirs you can purchase and we found a gold letter box.  There is also a large shop on the ground floor as you leave the attraction. We decided to take a look around and bought our obligatory fridge magnet that we get when on holiday.

We then went shopping around the mall for about an hour….. Yes the malls are Dubai are open very late.

 

Waterfall at Dubai Mall 72 hours in Dubai at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Dubai Mall is open from 10-12am weekdays and 10am -1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays. We sat this waterfall which is stunning

We then got a taxi back to our hotel and crashed out…….

Click here to see my favorite pictures from my trips to Dubai

 

 

How to spend 72 hours in London-Day 2

There is so much to do in London.  But if you only here for a long weekend or a long layover, here are the best things to do in 72 hours.  London is known for its history, beautiful buildings, shopping and changeable weather. Click here to read Day 1’s adventures.

Day 2 is a mix of sightseeing and shopping, so make sure you have comfortable shoes and check the weather forecast as it is London so you might need an umbrella or some shades or both.

I have selected 2 routes you could follow. The Red Route for all purses and the Blue Route where money is no object.

Day 2 – From the Map

72 Hours in London Day 2 at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Day 2 – Sightseeing & Shopping

Red Route:

1)  Leicester Square

Starting the day off the day in central London at Leicester Square, the tube line is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line (Black) and the Piccadilly Line (Navy).

Leicester Square is famous for its cinemas such as the Odeon Leicester Square, Empire and Leicester Square which are frequently used for film premieres.  Nearby is also the Prince Charles Cinema is known for showing cult films, sing-a-longs and marathon film runs. The square is a popular tourist attraction, and also host events for the Chinese New Year as china town is just behind the square to the north.

Leicester Square also has popular stores, M&M world and Lego Store which is the largest Lego Store in the world.

Fact: Lego store has exclusive sets you won’t find anywhere else in the world

2) Piccadilly Circus  

Piccadilly Circus is a short minute walk from Leicester Square.  It is well-known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side, it is London’s equivalent of Times Square.  However They are currently being updated and are switched off until the Autumn of 2017.  Piccadilly Circus is also the place where the Shaftesbury memorial fountain and statue is although most people mistaken the statue for Eros.  Piccadilly Circus a busy but popular meeting place.

Here the route splits continue reading for the red route or read further down the post for the blue route.

Shopping

Next take a walk up Regent Street named after George, the Prince Regent (later George IV). The street runs from Waterloo Place in St James’s at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church.

The street was completed in 1825. The street is known for its flagship retail stores, including Liberty, Hamleys, Jaeger and the Apple Store. Regent Street is approximately 0.8 miles. Everyone has their own taste with regards to shopping so take your time and enjoy yourself.

Tip: If you’re from outside the EU make sure you keep your receipts and claim back your tax.

There are a couple of stops you have to make on Regents Street, Hamleys and Liberty’s.

3) Hamleys & Carnaby Street

Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world.  It is named after William Hamley.  Hamley’s has had a few homes over the years but it is now situated at 188-196 regents street. Hamleys’ flagship store has seven floors, with different categories of toys on each floor.  The store is a popular destination for tourists and there is always a que’s outside the door during the run up to Christmas.

Parallel to regent street and behind Hamleys lies Carnaby Street  (highlighted in red on the map below).

72 Hours in London Day 2 at Carnaby Street www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London. Close to Oxford Street and Regent Street, it is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques.  Carnaby Street derives its name from Karnaby House, which was built-in 1683 to the east.

72 Hours in London Day 2 Carnaby Street at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

By the 1960s, Carnaby Street was popular with followers of the mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Take Six. Bands such as the Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appeared in the area to work (at the legendary Marquee Club round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialise, it became one of the coolest destinations associated with 1960’s Swinging London.

There are loads of places to eat around this area, so take a break for lunch and get ready for the afternoon of lots more shopping and photo opportunities.

 4) Liberty of London

While Liberty’s isn’t technically on Regent Street it is just off Regent streets on Great Marlborough Street. Liberty’s is a department store which sells luxury goods including women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, cosmetics and fragrances, jewellery, accessories, home wares, furniture, stationery and gifts and is best known for its floral and graphic prints and silk scarf’s.

Started with a £2,000 loan from his future father-in-law, Arthur Liberty accepted the lease of half a shop at 218a Regent Street with only three staff members.

5) Oxford Circus / Oxford Street

Oxford Circus is the intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street in the West End of London. It is served by many bus routes.

Tip: It is often a great place to take a picture of London’s famous red double-decker buses in a row.

It also has Oxford Circus tube station directly beneath the junction itself which had the Victoria line (turquoise blue) and the Bakerloo line (brown).

Oxford Circus has the highest pedestrian volumes recorded anywhere in London. At the busiest times, over 40,000 pedestrians per hour pass through the junction. The Circus was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, the area is famous today for it many flagship shops, TopShop, Miss Selfridges and Nike Town.

72 Hours in London Day 2 St Christopher's Place at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

 

From Oxford Circus take a walk west down Oxford Street towards Marble Arch.  On route to our next destination you will pass many shops and department stores John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams.  Just before you reach Selfridgew look out for this Clock  on the right hand side of the road, and the a narrow alley way. St Christopher’s Place has small boutiques and lots of great restaurants.

 

 

 

6) Selfridges

72 Hours in London Day 2 Selfridges at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Selfridges, also known as Selfridges & Co was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store on London’s Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK (after Harrods) and opened 15 March 1909.

It is also believed that Harry Gordon Selfridge coined the globally known phrase “the customer is always right” and Selfridge used it regularly in his advertising.

72 Hours in London Day 2 Selfridges & Co at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

 

 

Selfridges’ windows have become synonymous also with the brand, and to a certain degree have become as famous as the company and Oxford Street location itself. Selfridges has a history of bold art initiatives when it comes to the window designs. The windows consistently attract tourists, who marvel at the current designs and styling and fashion trends.

Harry Gordon Selfridge’s success was his relentlessly innovative marketing, which was elaborately expressed in his Oxford Street store. When launched Mr Selfridge tried to make shopping a fun adventure and a form of leisure instead of a chore.  Emphasizing the importance of creating a welcome environment, he placed merchandise on display so customers could examine it, moved the highly profitable perfume counter front-and-centre on the ground floor, and established policies that made it safe and easy for customers to shop. These techniques have been adopted by modern department stores around the world.   The shop’s early history was dramatised in ITV’s 2013 series Mr Selfridge.

I think this is the best department store in London and I am a little (well a lot) biased as I used to work for Selfridges head office for 3 years but enough about me.

You can spend hours shopping here are there are loads of restaurants where you can take a break.

Blue Route:

 

Shopping on the blue route

3) Fortnum & Masons

Fortnum & Mason often shortened to just “Fortnum’s” is an upmarket department store in Piccadilly, London.  It was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason.

In April 1951, Canadian businessman W. Garfield Weston acquired the store. In 1964, he commissioned a four-ton clock to be installed above the main entrance of the store as a tribute to its founders. Every hour, 4-foot-high (1.2 m) models of William Fortnum and Hugh Mason emerge and bow to each other, with chimes and 18th-century–style music playing in the background. Click here to see the video of clock via The Londonist 

Founded as a grocery store, Fortnum’s developed into a department store, it stocks a variety of exotic, speciality and also ‘basic’ provisions.  It is also the location of a celebrated tea shop and several restaurants.  Fortnum & Mason is famed for its loose-leaf tea and its world-renowned luxury picnic hampers.  Their hampers contain luxury items such as Stilton cheese, champagne, quails’ eggs and smoked salmon are very popular, especially at Christmas time, and start from £55 to £1000.

Random Fact: In 1886, after having bought the entire stock of five cases of a new product made by H.J. Heinz, Fortnum & Mason became the first store in Britain to stock tins of baked beans.

 4) Burlington Arcade

The Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping arcade in London, that runs behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. The Burlington Arcade was built “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public”.

The Arcade opened on 20 March 1819 the arcade is for pedestrians only.  Its smart uniform shop fronts under a glazed roof, have always been filled with upmarket retailers. It is also patrolled by Burlington Arcade beadles in traditional uniforms including top hats and frockcoats.

5) Bond Street

72 Hours in London Day 2 Bond Street at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Bond Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London. It links Piccadilly in the south to Oxford Street in the north and has been popular for retail since the 18th century, being the home of many fashion outlets that sell prestigious and expensive items.

Bond Street has the highest density of haute couture stores anywhere in the world, attracting the rich, the famous and many tourists. So you may be able to do some celeb spotting.

The nearest tube stations are Green Park in Piccadilly which have the Victoria line (Turquoise blue) and the Jubilee Line (Grey), and Bond Street station in Oxford Street which have the Jubilee Line (Grey) and the Central line (red) . Despite its name, Bond Street station does not directly connect to either New or Old Bond Street.  Bond Street is the only street that runs between Oxford Street and Piccadilly. The entire street is around 0.5 miles (0.8 km) long.  Many of the shop frontages are less than 20 feet (6 m) wide.

Prestigious and expensive shops sit alongside auction houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams. At one time, Bond Street was best known for top-end art dealers and antique shops, some dealers and antique shops remain, but many of the shops have come to be occupied by fashion boutiques, some branches of global designer brands. The street still has a reputation as a fashionable place for shopping, including the flagship stores of Ralph Lauren and Cartier. Fenwick have had a department store on Bond Street since 1891.

 Regent Street

Next take a walk up Regent Street named after George, the Prince Regent (later George IV). The street runs from Waterloo Place in St James’s at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church.

72 Hours in London Day 2 Regent Street at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

The street was completed in 1825. The street is known for its flagship retail stores, including Liberty, Hamleys, Jaeger and the Apple Store. Regent Street is approximately 0.8 miles. Everyone has their own taste with regards to shopping so take your time and enjoy yourself.

Tip: If you’re from outside the EU make sure you keep your receipts and claim back your tax.

Follow the map on to Regents street and make sure you pay a visit to a couple of stops to Hamleys and Liberty’s as you join back to the red route.

6) Hamleys & Carnaby Street

Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world.  It is named after William Hamley.  Hamley’s has had a few homes over the years but it is now situated at 188-196 regents street. Hamleys’ flagship store has seven floors, with different categories of toys on each floor.  The store is a popular destination for tourists and there is always a que’s outside the door during the run up to Christmas.

Parallel to regent street and behind Hamleys lies Carnaby Street  (highlighted in red on the map below)

72 Hours in London Day 2 at Carnaby Street www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London. Close to Oxford Street and Regent Street, it is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques.  Carnaby Street derives its name from Karnaby House, which was built-in 1683 to the east.

72 Hours in London Day 2 Carnaby Street at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

By the 1960s, Carnaby Street was popular with followers of the mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Take Six. Bands such as the Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appeared in the area to work (at the legendary Marquee Club round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialise, it became one of the coolest destinations associated with 1960’s Swinging London.

There are loads of places to eat around this area, so take a break for lunch and get ready for an afternoon of lots more shopping and photo opportunities.

 7) Liberty of London

While Liberty’s isn’t technically on Regent Street it is just off Regent streets on Great Marlborough Street. Liberty’s is a department store which sells luxury goods including women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, cosmetics and fragrances, jewellery, accessories, home wares, furniture, stationery and gifts and is best known for its floral and graphic prints and silk scarf’s.

Started with a £2,000 loan from his future father-in-law, Arthur Liberty accepted the lease of half a shop at 218a Regent Street with only three staff members.

8) Oxford Circus / Oxford Street

Oxford Circus is the intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street in the West End of London. It is served by many bus routes.

Tip: It is often a great place to take a picture of London’s famous red double-decker buses in a row.

It also has Oxford Circus tube station directly beneath the junction itself which had the Victoria line (turquoise blue) and the Bakerloo line (brown).

Oxford Circus has the highest pedestrian volumes recorded anywhere in London. At the busiest times, over 40,000 pedestrians per hour pass through the junction. The Circus was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, the area is famous today for it many flagship shops, TopShop, Miss Selfridges and Nike Town.

9) Selfridges

72 Hours in London Day 2 Selfridges at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Selfridges, also known as Selfridges & Co was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store on London’s Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK (after Harrods) and opened 15 March 1909.

It is also believed that Harry Gordon Selfridge coined the globally known phrase “the customer is always right” and Selfridge used it regularly in his advertising.

72 Hours in London Day 2 Selfridges & Co at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Selfridges’ windows have become synonymous also with the brand, and to a certain degree have become as famous as the company and Oxford Street location itself. Selfridges has a history of bold art initiatives when it comes to the window designs. The windows consistently attract tourists, who marvel at the current designs and styling and fashion trends.

Harry Gordon Selfridge’s success was his relentlessly innovative marketing, which was elaborately expressed in his Oxford Street store. When launched Mr Selfridge tried to make shopping a fun adventure and a form of leisure instead of a chore.  Emphasizing the importance of creating a welcome environment, he placed merchandise on display so customers could examine it, moved the highly profitable perfume counter front-and-centre on the ground floor, and established policies that made it safe and easy for customers to shop. These techniques have been adopted by modern department stores around the world.   The shop’s early history was dramatised in ITV’s 2013 series Mr Selfridge.

I think this is the best department store in London and I am a little (well a lot) biased as I used to work for Selfridges head office for 3 years but enough about me.

You can spend hours shopping here are there are loads of restaurants where you can take a break.

Where is your favourite shop in central London?

Click here to read Day 1 of 72 hours in London.

How to spend 72 hours in London- Day 1

There is so much to do in London.  But if your only here for a long weekend or an extended layover, here are the best things to do in 72 hours.

 

 

Day 1 – From the Air

London from the sky - 72 Hours in London at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Day 1 – From the Map

72 Hours in London Day 1 at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

1)  The London Eye

Starting the day off at one of my favourite attractions is The London Eye.  The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the south bank of the River Thames (South side of the river in Waterloo between Waterloo and Westminster Bridges). The London Eye is not for those who don’t like heights at 443 feet tall it gives great views of London. The Ferris wheel takes about 30 minutes to complete the rotation.

Tip: Book before your trip to save money.

There are lost of different packages available and great saving to be had if booking tickets for other attractions. Prices Start at £22.00 per adult. Click here for more information.

 

2) Westminster Abbey

A short 5-10 minute walk across Westminster Bridge and will take you to the 2nd and 3rd stops of the day. Westminster Abbey’s  website states “ Westminster Abbey is one of the world’s great churches, with a history stretching back over a thousand years and an essential part of any trip to London.”

Westiminster Abbey - 72 Hours in London at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

But most people want to see it as it is where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece were married, as were Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales and most recent the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Katherine Middleton.

Queen Elizabeth II also had her coronation at Westminster Abbey.

Fact: Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been held in Westminster Abbey.

Click here for prices

 

3) Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament

A short walk across the road will bring you to Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is known the iconic clock tower attached to The Palace of Westminster aka The Houses of Parliament.  The Clock Tower was renamed The Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee. Big Ben is the name of the bell in the Elizabeth Tower.

The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

4) Downing Street

A short walk up Whitehall may take you past some demonstrations and also Downing Street. Downing street is the official residences of The Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and The Chancellor of the Exchequer at Number 11.

Tip: It’s a great photo opportunity to take a photo with some armed police, but don’t expect to see the Prime minister.

 

 

5) Horse Guards Parade 

A short walk up further up Whitehall and you will reach Horse Guards Parade.  Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London.  It is well-known for the Changing the Life Guard and the Four ‘O’ Clock Parade.

Changing the Life Guard, takes place daily at 11:00 weekdays and 10:00 on Sundays.  Check here for more details and to confirm times and dates as they do vary.

The Four ‘O’ Clock Parade, also known as the Dismounting Ceremony takes place at 16:00 hours in the courtyard within the Horse Guards building.

The Queen’s Life Guard is normally provided by men of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment which consists of a Squadron of The Life Guards, who wear red tunics and white plumed helmets, and a Squadron of The Blues and Royals with blue tunics and red plumed helmets.

 

Tip: Great opportunity to take a picture with a royal guard on a horse.

72 Hours in London Day 1 part 2 at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

 

6) Trafalgar Square

Take a short walk up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square.  Here you will find Nelson Column, the fountains, the Lions, 4 Plinths and the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.  Here you can spend a few minutes taking pictures or a few hours in the Galleries. It’s totally up to you.

By now you must be starving, so have a break for lunch.  In London you have so much choice of food I would suggest eating somewhere close by in the strand or Covent Garden.

 

7) Covent Garden

From Trafalgar Square take walk up the strand or through the side streets to Covent Garden.

Covent Garden - 72 Hours in London at www.mywonderfulworld.co.uk

Covent Garden is famous for its piazza and cobbled square, the area is great for shopping and food. So spend a few hours taking it all in.

Then have a pre-theatre dinner in one of the many restaurants.

 

8) Theatre Land

In the areas local to Covent Garden are Shaftesbury Avenue, Dury Lane and the Strand, also known as theatre land. London has many award-winning shows, with loads to choose from, you would be mad not to.

Tip: Pre book tickets for great savings.

I love London, which means I’m very lucky as it is my home town (well city). I hope you liked Day 1 in London and check back here next week for Day 2.

 

15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 5 Health)

Part 5: 3 Health related tips so you can save for an amazing holiday!

You want to book your trip to a wonderlust destination here are tips 13-15 to help you get there. 

The year is coming to an end so it could also be the best time to start a new years resolution and look after your health, by giving up or cutting down on just 3 things you will be able to be healthier and have more money available for that perfect holiday! Here are 3 things that you could choose from or you could add something else. Continue reading “15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 5 Health)”

15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 4 Food & Drink)

Part 4: 3 Food & Drink tips so you can save for an amazing holiday!

You want to book your trip to a wonderlust destination here are tips 10-12 to help you get there. 

Moneys tight or/and you dream holiday is a little more than you wanted to spend, by giving up or cutting down on just 3 things you will be able to have the perfect holiday! Here’s a few things that you could choose from to save £1,000’s each year.

Tip 10) keep-cup-oliver-bonasThe Morning Continue reading “15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 4 Food & Drink)”

15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday in! (Part 3 Flights & Hotels)

Part 3: 3 tips to cheaper flights and hotels for an amazing holiday!

So you want to book your trip to a wonderlust destination here are tips 7-9 to help you get there. 

Tip 7) Booking your holiday – Can you take your holiday Continue reading “15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday in! (Part 3 Flights & Hotels)”

15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday in! (Part 2 Shopping)

Part 2: 3 Ways your shopping can help you afford an amazing holiday!

If like me you don’t fancy the idea of backpacking, staying in a youth hostel or at 2 star hotel, then you know booking a holiday to a wonderlust destination can cost a pretty penny.

In the next remaining 4 posts I will be sharing the 3 tips on shopping, flights, food & drink and health that I have used to help me get to my dream destinations without having to live like a student to get me there. 

Continue reading “15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday in! (Part 2 Shopping)”

15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 1 Saving)

Part 1: 3 Money saving tips that can help you afford an amazing holiday!

If like me you don’t fancy the idea of backpacking, staying in a youth hostel or at 2 star hotel, then you know booking a holiday to a wonderlust destination can cost a pretty penny.

In the next 5 posts I will be sharing the 3 tips on saving, shopping, flights, food & drink and health that I have used to help me get to my dream destinations without having to live like a student to get me there.   

Continue reading “15 Tips to help you save for an amazing holiday! (Part 1 Saving)”