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The Insiders Guide to London Attractions

May 17, 2017

The Insiders Guide to London Attractions

May 17, 2017

london attractions

I know, I know, I live in the West Midlands – how can I be a London insider?

Well, if I haven’t mentioned it enough times, I used to live in London for University. I spent four amazing years there studying and *trying* to find a graduate job before moving back to my hometown, Telford.

As you can imagine four years of living in the big smoke has given me enough time to explore all of the main attractions several times, meaning I can give you the low down on my faves.

Guide to London Attractions

Depending on how long you’re visiting London for you probably won’t have time to visit all of the attractions below, so to make it easier I’ve put a star next to ones I think you should definitely make time for.

Big Ben and Houses of Parliament ?

? Westminster

When you think of London this is probably the first thing you think of right? (Other than Fish and Chip shops which are surprisingly hard to find in Central). That being said, it’s a pretty good starting point for a day in London as it’s close to many other attractions and it doesn’t take long to do.

Tip: There are two places that are PERFECT for selfies in front of Big Ben.

  • Stand on Great George Street (going towards St James Park)
  • Stand on Westminster Bridge (going towards Waterloo)

Westminster Abbey ?

? Westminster

Just behind the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Abbey, one of the most photographed places in London. It’s well worth a visit and if you book online you can save 10% off a £20 ticket. It’s not a lot, but it all adds up in the most expensive city in England.

london eye

London Eye

? Westminster & Waterloo

The London Eye is another iconic part of the London skyline, and luckily, it’s right opposite Big Ben. Once you’ve walked around the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey you can take some photographs from across Westminster Bridge, then make your way over to Waterloo.

If you’re looking to go on the London eye tickets are available from around £24 online, which is pretty steep for online 45 minutes but the views are spectacular and TOTALLY worth it.

Tip: I’d recommend buying online to avoid having to queue to purchase the ticket on the day.

River Thames Cruise

? Westminster, Waterloo, Embankment & Tower Hill

An absolute must when is London is a cheeky little cruise on the River Thames. Although it sounds pricey it’s actually pretty reasonable and so worth the money if you want to see London from a completely different perspective. Places like Discount London offer tickets for as little as £14.40, perfect for when you don’t want to spend too much but want to squeeze in a mini Thames cruise.

buckingham palace

Buckingham Palace ?

? Victoria, Green Park & Hyde Park Corner

If you go to London and don’t visit Buckingham Palace, did you even go to London at all?

I think visiting the Queens house is the most quintessentially British thing you can do, so it’s well worth a visit just for that iconic shot of you standing outside the gates. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of her leaving in her Bentley State Limo.

Tip: If you go around 10.30am you’ll be there in time for the Changing of the Guards at 11:00am. It gets pretty crowded, so the earlier you go the better. Double check the times online though, as sometimes they can be as late as 4:00pm.

Trafalgar Square ?

? Charing Cross

Trafalgar Square is home to the National Gallery, Nelsons Column and some of the most beautiful fountains in London. It’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by (if you can get a seat) and has great views of Westminster and the London Eye when facing towards Whitehall Road.

Piccadilly Circus ?

?Piccadilly Circus

Once dubbed the ‘Times Square of London’ – Piccadilly Circus is often a must see on most tourists list. Admittedly there are NOWHERE near as many lights as there are in Times Square, but it is now a major hub for the West End, with plenty of theatres, restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area.

Originally, there were many buildings with illuminated signs at the major traffic junction, but now they only remain on one.

Oxford Street ?

? Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Tottenham Court Road & Bond Street

If you love shopping, Oxford Street is the place for you. Starting at Marble Arch station and stretching 1.2miles to Tottenham Court Road underground, there are plenty of places to spend ALL your spending money.

Being the central shopping district in London a lot of the stores are the flagship stores including Selfridges, Debenhams, New Look, Topshop, John Lewis, Forever 21 and H&M.

Tip: Get off at Tottenham Court Road underground station so that you can walk from the top to bottom. If you get off at Oxford Circus you’ll start in the middle and end up backtracking on yourself.

Hyde Park ?

? Hyde Park Corner, Victoria & Marble Arch

Hyde park is one of the most popular parks in London and one quick visit will show you exactly why. It’s absolutely huge (the largest of the four Royal Parks), stunning to walk around and surprisingly quiet for a few hours rest in the sunshine if needed.

Tip: Around November time Winter Wonderland (a massive German Market) opens up in the middle of Hyde Park. If you’re visiting in the festive period I would 100% recommend paying a visit – it’s one of my favourite things to do at Christmas time!

Madame Tussauds

? Baker Street

Madame Tussauds is a great one to do if you’re visiting London with kids as it’s essentially a museum filled with wax work models of famous people. I haven’t been since I was younger but I know they have new editions such as One Direction, Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes.

Tip: Buy your tickets online, they’re cheaper and you won’t have to queue as long. My University campus was directly opposite and during lectures, I used to be able to see people queuing up for hours to get in.

London Zoo

? Regents Park & Camden

I think I’m slightly biased including this one as I did work there for 6 months after I graduated. Considering it’s a zoo in the middle of an incredibly busy city it’s actually pretty big and well worth a visit. They’ve got tigers, gorillas, lions (in a new enclosure!), penguins, giraffes, hippos and so much more.

They don’t have elephants though so don’t be fooled by the speakers playing elephant sounds – the amount of times I had to answer “Where are the elephants, I can hear them?” – OMG.

Tip: If you’re visiting London via train you can get 2 for 1 tickets for the zoo beforehand here.

tower bridge

Tower Bridge and The Tower of London ?

? Tower Hill

Possibly one of the most iconic bridges in London, Tower Bridge is another must see. Originally opened in 1894 Tower Bridge has had several renovations and is regularly adapted to celebrate important occasions such as the Queens Jubilee or the London 2012 Olympics.

The Tower of London, directly opposite, is a historic castle within the Borough of Tower Hamlets. I’m not going to go into it’s history because there is A LOT of it, but I’d definitely recommend a visit to learn more about London’s history on a whole. Entry for adults is £28, or £24 if you book online in advance.

Harrods

? Knightsbridge

This another one for those who love to shop, although you may need a little bit of a higher budget for this one. Well known for it’s food halls and luxury fashion, Harrods is both a foodies and shopaholics dream.

Tip: Visit the pet shop, they have the CUTEST dogs.

Woah, that was much longer than anticipated. I didn’t even get to cover other awesome London attractions such as the Tate Modern, V&A, Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum.

Maybe I’ll have to do a round two at some point? 😉

Kirsty Leanne

xoxo

 

I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

WHAT TO EXPECT

Instagram

  • Just some of the things people (including me) can feel anxious about as a plus size traveller. It can be hard, but thankfully there’s a great community of people here on Instagram who can help ❤️✈️🌎 #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #plussize #travel #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling #fatgirlstraveltoo #curvygirltravels #travel #travelblogger #travelblogger #anxiety #anxieties #travelanxiety #overwhelmed #takeuspace #takingupspace #community #travelcommunity #reels #instagramreels #reelsinstagram
  • AD  For a long time, I was scared to admit that I was on my self-love journey as I felt like it meant that I had to constantly be positive about how I feel about my body. I knew that the way in which I felt about myself was definitely changing in a positive way, but I didn’t want to open up and say that I was on this journey because I was so scared that I couldn’t be the positive role-model that people needed 🥺

It took some time, but I finally realised that self-love means something completely different to each and every person that has started the incredible journey of learning to love their body more. For some, self-love is wearing a bikini in public for the first time ever. For others, it’s saying no to something you really don’t want to do and taking time to focus on YOU instead 👙

To believe that self-love was a linear concept held me back from so much so when @welovedates asked me to share what it means to me, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show you that there’s so much more to self-love than building your confidence in yourself ❤️👏🏻

I’ve shared five ways in which my life has changed as a result of my self love journey over on my blog so if you fancy reading, head over to the link in my bio 👩🏼‍💻✍🏻

If you’re on your self love journey, how has your life changed? 👇🏻❤️ #welovereal
  • In another world, today would have been the first day of the Plus Size Travel Too x Bali trip ✈️🌎
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For those of you that are new here, this time last year I announced my first international group trip created with plus size travellers in mind. For obvious reasons, however, I had to cancel it earlier this year. It felt as though it was my biggest career achievement to date and honestly, I am gutted that it hasn’t been able to go ahead as planned 🥺😢

Being passionate about an industry that is now so uncertain isn’t easy right now, but I’m (mostly) hopeful that things will rebuild and I promise they when it’s safe, I’m going to do all that I can to make Plus Size Travel Too trips a reality again ❤️👏🏻 #plussizetraveltoo
  • ad pr • them: “gross, she probably can’t even touch her toes 🤮”

Me: “......hold my drink 😏👏🏻”

Just your friendly reminder that you shouldn’t assume someone can’t do something just because they’re bigger than you AND if for any reason they can’t do the same things as you, they’re not any less worthy of your respect ✌🏻
  • ad pr • a cat print dress certainly makes for the purrrfect Halloween outfit 🕸🕷

When it comes to shooting new content I’ve been feeling really uninspired lately and honestly, I think it’s because I usually find my inspiration in travel and discovering new places ❤️✈️

Summer has been and gone and I think I must have only taken a handful of photos. I felt like I was putting pressure on myself to create when I didn’t feel like it, so even when I did try to self shoot the photos didn’t come out how I wanted 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thankfully, Autumn is well and truly here and I’m feeling really really motivated to start taking photos again. It’s my favourite season for both the colours and the fashion, so I feel like it’s a time of the year where my ‘at home’ content always starts to improve a little 🍂

As I’m not going to be travelling anywhere for a while, I feel like this is going to be the year to embrace my Autumn content even more (starting with this gorgeous @joanieclothing dress) ❤️📸 

I hope you’re all as excited as I am for my content over the next few weeks 😂🎃👀 #joaniegirls
  • I know things have been a little quiet around here the past few weeks but it’s for good reason, I promise! 🥺❤️

So, as I haven’t mentioned it here yet, last week I started working for a new job on a part-time basis! 👏🏻 I’ve been doing lots of training and getting used to my new schedule so unfortunately, Instagram fell behind a little bit. I feel like I haven’t had the time to develop content ideas or create new Reels for a couple of weeks now and when I finally remember to post, it’s gone 10pm and far too late to consider posting 😂

I’m finally getting the hang of things again, so consider this post an accountability post to say that I’ll be back to posting properly ASAP 🥺✌🏻
  • I don’t have a lot to say today so I thought I’d let you all know I really miss Disney California Adventure, even if their churros were extremely overpriced and small 🎡🎠
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Side note: next time I go to a Disney park, will someone please remind me to wear something practical? I looked cute but oh my god, it was so WARM 🥵 #plussizetraveltoo
  • “PLUS SIZE GIRLS POSING IN BIKINIS ARE PROMOTING OBESITY. THIS IS NOT OKAY”❌
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So, earlier this week I shared a video of myself in a bikini. It was the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini to the beach and honestly, I was super proud of myself for taking a big step personally on my journey 👙
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Over the course of the last few days I have a lot of positive and supportive comments from people but of course, when a video on Instagram gets a lot of views, it starts to attract those that think those in a larger body than them shouldn’t be allowed to live their best lives on social media.
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They’re the people who, no matter what I’m doing, tell me I’m promoting obesity by sharing videos and images of my body online 🤷🏼‍♀️📸
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These comments don’t phase me anymore, so....
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JUST FOR A LAUGH, I DECIDED TO DESIGN THE PROMOTING OBESITY MAGAZINE COVER, JUST TO SHOW HOW RIDICULOUS IT ACTUALLY SOUNDS WHEN PEOPLE SAY THIS 😂👏🏻
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By posting videos of myself travelling and enjoying myself, I’m not saying HEY EVERYONE  YOU SHOULD ALL GAIN WEIGHT AND I WON’T BE HAPPY UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD IS FAT LIKE ME. I obviously recognise that there can be health complications for some people, but size does not indicate your health and health does not indicate your worth. 
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Every single person on this planet deserves love and respect and I am going to continue to fight for that every. single. day. Just because someone lives in a body that is bigger than yours, it doesn’t mean that can’t live the same life that you do publicly for fear that people are going to come for them online.
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When people say we’re promoting obesity what they really mean is we’re promoting loving yourself at any size. We’re promoting happiness. Following your dreams. Travelling the world. Finding confidence. We’re promoting the life that everyone deserves to live.
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Honestly, I didn’t realise a video of a happy fat girl in a bikini was going to make people so mad 🤷🏼‍♀️👙 #plussizetraveltoo
  • I’ve been quiet the last few days but I’m back and feeling super refreshed after spending a night glamping, even if it was just thirty minutes from my front door ❤️🥺
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2020 really has been a whirlwind but I am so so thankful for all of these small, happy moments ✨#plussizetraveltoo

FOLLOW MY ADVENTURE

PLUS SIZE TRAVEL TOO COMMUNITY

  • Is anyone else ready for Autumn? 🍂 📸: @sandrapotisek
  • Here’s your friendly reminder that every body is a beach body ☀️🦩👙 📸: @lb_trippinagain #plussizetraveltoo
  • This is a common question for plus size travellers and after experiencing it difficulty on a recent flight, @megkatem has written an article for the Plus Size Travel Too site that looks more into when and where you can’t use a seatbelt extender 💺✈️ 
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The link to read is in our bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • SOUND ON 🔊 HOW TO FIND THE SIZE OF YOUR SEAT BEFORE YOU FLY/BOOK A FLIGHT ✈️🌍❤️
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This is one of the most common questions I get asked both here and on Tiktok, so I thought I’d create this video to help 👏🏻
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1) Log onto seatguru.com
2) Pull up your flight details on Skyscanner (or the site you use to book your flights)
3) Enter the name of the airline and select the carrier you’re flying with from the drop down menu
4) Enter the date you’re travelling and the flight number (if you have it)
5) Take a look at the seat map. You can see the seat layout, the seats closest to the toilets, the ones with the most legroom etc
6) Click info at the top of the screen and scroll down, here you will see the width and pitch of each seat for each available class
7) If needed, scroll through the customer photos to get an idea of what the pay looks like from a user-perspective
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I hope that helps! If you have any questions, please ask below and I’ll do my best to answer 👇🏻❤️ #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltips
  • Are you looking for plus size friendly activities in LA? Plus Size Travel Too founder @kirstyleanneuk shares her top picks in a recent PSTT blog post ❤️🇺🇸
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“LACMA URBAN LIGHTS: Created by Chris Burden, the Urban Lights have been outside of the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art for almost 12 years. There are a total of 202 1920's lamps and 309 LED bulbs that make up the incredible structure. We visited during the day but as the sun starts to go down, no matter what time that is, the lights will turn on. When the sun comes back up again the next morning, they turn off thanks to an astronomical timer. Since their installation in 2008, they actually haven't missed a single night”
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Find out what else is included by clicking the link in bio 📸: @fordtography #plussizetraveltoo
  • Have you ever put off living your life because of your weight? Kristina from @livingwonderfilled thinks about all of the things she wished she hadn’t missed in her latest blog post on Plus Size Travel Too ☀️🚣‍♀️
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At the end of the day, when we were talking about how great of a time we’d had, planning more days like this, I suddenly felt kind of nostalgic for all the days I’d missed. All the times like that one, when all everyone wanted to do was have fun, but I got too in my head about it to let myself enjoy.”
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The link to read the post is in the profile bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • Ever wondered what it’s like to visit a Moroccan Hammam while plus size? ✨
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“As a plus size woman, I did not feel embarrassed as the hammam I visited had women of all shapes and sizes. No one judged or batted an eye. I was the only woman with dark skin there, however, but still no one seemed to care and were too busy enjoying their spa experience. It was just a normal day for the women who lived there as this was something integral in their culture. I quickly realized that my fears and insecurities stemmed from being judged in America, but that Moroccans were much more accepting and unbothered. I just had a body, it was nothing to gawk at or laugh at, as I had imagined. It was serene to simply be allowed to exist without feeling ostracized. It was also a confidence boost to walk around practically naked while indulging in spa treatments.”
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Katrina, from @globalmidwife shared her experience over on the Plus Size Travel Too blog. To read more, visit this link in our bio 🌍 #plussizetraveltoo
  • EXCITING LAUNCH TIME 🌍✈️❤️
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So for the past few months I have been mentioning a ‘secret project’ and after lots of hard work, the launch day has finally come. Although I know was supposed to launch last week, I had a number of setbacks and I wanted to ensure everything was perfect before I put it out into the world 🥺
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SO, WHAT AM I LAUNCHING?
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Today is the launch day for the Plus Size Travel Too website, a safe plus for plus size travellers to find inspiration and advice when it comes to their travels ✈️
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Although I regularly post plus size travel content on my own website and blog, I wanted to create a space that was dedicated specifically to plus size travel, rather than it being mixed in with all of the other topics I cover. It’s a place for community, as plus size travellers are also encouraged to submit their own advice and experiences too 🥰
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To celebrate the launch day, there are already some INCREDIBLE posts live. These posts have been submitted by @cardifforniagurl @thetravelcurve @thecrownwings @globalmidwife @gemmaslittleworld @livingwonderfilled @rhianwestbury and @leabellablogs ❤️
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I’d love it if you head over to www.plussizetravel.com (the link is in my bio) to have a read of their awesome work and if you can, spread the word about the launch. Wether you’re plus size or not, you never know who may benefit from something they may read ✨ #plussizetraveltoo
  • 🌈 HAPPY PRIDE 🌈 although celebrations may be a little different this year due to COVID-19, we want to know how you’re celebrating in the comments! 👇🏻
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Here at Plus Size Travel Too, I’m celebrating by donating to Mermaids - a charity that supports trans children and their families! If you want to do the same I’ve popped the link in my bio (as well as links to 12 other organisations you can donate to today, or any other day of the year!) 🌈📸: @readytostare #pride

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