I am currently studying abroad in Italy for the IHTM degree. My roommate is here with me and we began planning out our weekend trips a long time ago. Both of us are huge nerds (Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, etc…), and London has a lot of nerd-related things, so even though I had already been to London this summer for a few days, I decided to go back for one weekend with my roommate. I am SO happy I made that decision because my weekend in London was one of the greatest weekends of my life.
We had to take a shuttle from Castellammare to the Naples airport, which was super convenient and only took about a half hour. We then took and Easyjet flight to the London Stansted airport. From there we had to take a Terravision bus to central London, where we could have walked to our hostel, but it was 1:30 in the morning so we decided to take a cab. We stayed at the Walrus Bar and Hostel. I stayed there this summer and fell in love with it. If you ever go to London I highly recommend this place. It is comfortable, safe, and the people who work there are awesome and fun. They have free wifi and a continental breakfast is included. I met some of the coolest people while staying in this hostel.
The front of the Walrus Bar and Hostel
Our first day in London started of the a tour of Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea F.C. stadium. I am a huge Chelsea fan, and was unable to do the tour this summer. It was definitely one of the coolest places I have ever been. I got to sit in where the players sit and see their changing room with all of their jerseys hung up. The museum was amazing too, very interactive, and it had all of their trophies on display. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get tickets to the game against Stoke City that was that weekend because the tickets sold out before they went on sale to the general public.
In front of the pitch
After that we went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which is actually located at 221B Baker Street. They made it look just like Sherlock’s house in the stories. On one floor of the house they had wax figures of all the major characters including Sherlock, Watson, and Moriarty. On Saturday we went to Speedy’s Sandwich Bar and Cafe, which is located next door to 221B Baker Street in the BBC version on Sherlock. However, the BBC version apartment is actually on N. Gower Street. The cafe had good food and service, and their were pictures of the cast everywhere.
After that we continued on to the Harry Potter Studio Tours. They were having a special called “Feathers in Flight” so all of the owls from the movies were there. There were also the artists who made Buckbeak and Fawkes look so realistic, they were doing demonstrations on how they created the birds. I saw the studios this summer, but as a crazy Harry Potter fan I think it will be worth the money every time (Especially since I got to meet Hedwig!). My favorite things about the studio tour are seeing the inside of The Burrow (The Weasley’s home), butterbeer (which is essentially cream soda with some wonderful fluffy topping), and the Hogwarts model that was actually used in filming.
Harry Potter’s owl, Hedwig, at 4 Privet Drive
We also went to The Who Shop. This store is dedicated to selling a wide variety of Doctor Who merchandise. The owner actually remembered me from this summer, so apparently I am loved there, probably because of how much money I spent. They also have a museum in the back of the store, which you enter by unlocking the doors of an official TARDIS prop used in filming, Doctor Who fans will understand how awesome that is. Inside they have official props and costumes that were used in Classic Doctor Who and the new seasons.
After we got all of our nerdy things out of the way we spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday sightseeing. We bought the London Pass which gave us free entry to just about everything except St. Paul’s Cathedral. It also included a travel card for the weekend that gave us unlimited use of the buses and underground. We did The London Bridge Experience which explains the history of the London Bridge, but in a creepy way with actors that are meant to scare you, it was awesome. We also went to the top of Tower Bridge, which had amazing views, but because of the glare in the windows I could not get a good picture. However, even if you don’t have the London Pass it is definitely worth the money to go.
Another place I would highly recommend is Westminster Abbey. I am not religious but this is by far one of the coolest places I have ever been in, especially if you are into British History. They have audio guides so you can see everything at your own pace, but I could literally spend hours in there.
London is so full of history and amazing places to see and things to do. I think everyone who goes will have an awesome time. I have now been there three times and all I want to do is go back and see even more.