London UK: Odd Eats

In my opinion, one of the best parts of traveling far is sampling far-out foods and dishes.  Now, England is not usually known for its unusual food, which we will refer to as Odd Eats here on the Persistent Traveler Blog, however I did get to eat 2 unusual dishes while visiting London and I would like to share my experience with you.


London UK: Westminster Abbey

One of the greatest things to do while visiting Europe is to be able to visit very old cathedrals.  In London there is the Westminster Abbey.  The Westminster Abbey was built in the 11th Century AD and still stands today.  On top of being a church, the building was used for Coronation Ceremonies for many monarchs such as King Harold and William the Conqueror.  Inside the church today there are saints buried in tombs and you can walk by their tombs on your tour.


London UK: Thames River Cruise. Is worth it?

I was skeptical about taking the Thames River Cruise for a couple of reasons.  Number one, I get motion sickness very easily on most boats.  Number two, it seemed like a waste of time because there are so many sights to see off the river.  Despite my skepticism, I agreed to join my wife and kids and take the 30 minute cruise from the Tower Bridge to Big Ben.  Fortunately my skepticism was in vain, it was a very nice cruise.

As far as the motion sickness, I did not get sick.  The cruise is one of the smoothest boat rides I have ever taken as there was no swaying back and forth almost as if the boat was on a track under the water.  As far as the potential of losing time that could be spent visiting other sights?  The cruise actually allows you to see more sights in just 30 minutes, yes it’s from the water, but you will see sights that you probably wouldn’t see if you chose not to ride the boat.  You will float by famous landmarks such as the London Bridge, Shakespear’s Globe, the London Eye, Big Ben, and Parliament and much more.  You will also have a local tour guide speaking to you over the loud speaker.  This tour guide is not one of those annoying tour guides that you will want to throw overboard after 10 minutes, the tour guide is actually very informative and quite comical.

A few words of advice before you purchase your tickets to the Thames River Cruise:

  • be sure to bring some cash, it’s polite to tip the tour guide a few pounds
  • try to get a seat on the top deck, it’s outdoors and you will see more.
  • show up about 20 to 30 minutes early as the line builds up fast
  • for no additional cost you can travel one way (Tower Bridge to Big Ben) or you can travel round trip
  • take a camera and take good pictures
  • be ready to add sights to your list of places you want to visit

On your next visit to London, if you decide to take the Thames River Cruise, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Below are some pictures from our cruise.


London UK: Tower of London

There are a lot of sights to see in London, probably more than you can possibly visit in a single 1 or 2 week vacation, so you will have to prioritize, pick, and choose.  Be sure to pay a visit to The Tower of London.  If you’ve never visited London before, you may think the Tower of London is some single Tower in the middle of the city, it’s not.  Instead, it’s a castle, and a few other buildings within a walled off space.  it served as a prison, a place where coins were minted, and it even served as Royal Residence.  Today it is a museum depicting these things and more.  On top of seeing where Royalty lived and seeing the prisons and mints, you can also see displays of Knight’s clothing from back in the day, you can see the dishes and eating utensils that were used, and you can see many of the weapons that were used.

It’s a fun and fairly inexpensive way to learn some history about London back to as early as the 11th century.  Even if you’re not into History, you can agree that seeing and exploring really old buildings in itself is fun and interesting, and you will experience all of that at the Tower of London.