How To Spend One Day In London

I find it wonderful to have visitors and get a chance to be a tourist in London. It’s so easy to get into a routine and stop exploring. When someone visits me, I ask for my guests’ preferences, what they would like to see. Every time I realise how much London has to offer and how difficult it is to plan out a day’s route that would include a variety of activities, would be interesting and cover as much as possible must-sees in the least amount of time possible.

I am no expert guide but I have a few places I love revisiting and showing to people out of town. Last week I had my cousins visiting for a couple of days but they only had half a day for sightseeing and we made the best of it. Our plan included:

  1. Oxford Circus, Soho, China Town
  2. The National Gallery, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Square
  3. Trafalgar Square
  4. St James’s Park
  5. Buckingham Palace
  6. Hard Rock Cafe

Our time was limited so we couldn’t add much more, and we do enjoy walking around taking our time and getting a few pictures. I will add a few recommendations on what else to see around these locations for those that have more time to explore.

    1.  We had breakfast at home and headed straight to Soho, on our way passing Oxford Circus, and China Town because our plan was to treat ourselves for brunch – Bubblewrap Waffles.
      bubblewrap
      I do recommend to consider having your breakfast in one of many cute cafes in Soho, perhaps visit a few shops on Regent or/and Oxford streets and then head to China town for this delicious treat to make it a full morning in Soho.

 

    1. From there we headed to The National Gallery. On your way, you can pass Leicester square and having the time, treat your kids, or the kid inside you, to a visit to the M&Ms store as well as LEGO store. Keep in mind these are very busy and your visit can be prolonged by waiting in queues, especially LEGO store which usually has quite a queue to get inside even when the weather is not too nice. Just a few minutes walk away is Piccadilly Circus which is one of London’s most popular tourist destinations, home to the iconic Piccadilly screens and the statue of Eros.How much time you will spend in The National Gallery will depend on how much of it you will want to see,  typically people spend up to 2.5 hours here but if you just want to see the highlights to save time, I would say 1hour would be plenty. Next to The National Gallery is the National Portrait Gallery where a visit usually takes up to 2 hours.
    2. After the visit to the museums, take a bit of time to check out Trafalgar Square and possibly take a few pictures of the fountain with the National Gallery in the background or with the famous statues of four lions, surrounding Nelson’s Column.trafalgar-sq-3

 

    1.  Next destination, St James’s Park. On your way, you pass Admiralty Arch which is just 2 mins away from the Trafalgar Square. Unfortunately, due to road works, it was mostly covered but I’m sure they will wrap up soon so future visitors can enjoy this majestic landmark. Close by you have a number of museums & galleries to check out if you have the time, however, we continued down The Mall towards St Jame’s park, briefly stopping in the square in front of the Household Cavalry Museum, to take a few very Instagram friendly pictures with a bit of London Eye peeking behind the museum.

      From here, you have an option to do a little 1hour detour to see the Horse Guards, Downing Street, London Eye, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.

      Then have a stroll in the beautiful St James’s Park where you can expect to see many different birds (check Duck Island), feed squirrels and parrots. Must spot to visit is the Blue Bridge, offering spectacular views across St James’s Park Lake to Buckingham Palace to the west and Horse Guards Parade, Big Ben and the London Eye towards the east.

      We were there just as the sun started to set and it was so very beautiful.

    2. Another must-see on our list was the Buckingham Palace, a sight to pass by or depending on visit’s timing & season, visitors can tour the palace’s opulent private and state rooms or watch the changing of the guard.palace

 

  1. The last item on our list was dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe as per the request of one of my guests. We chose the original venue, standing on Old Park Lane since June 14th 1971. On our way there we passed Green Park and Wellington Arch. As it was already quite late and we were super hungry after all the walking, we didn’t visit Hyde Park which is just there, and it’s a beautiful place to visit if you have the time! 

    As an alternative, you can choose to pass on dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and head towards Knightsbridge and have your pick of upscale restaurants or go for a visit to Harrods where you can do some shopping and choose from many dining options. 

Thank you for reading and if you are planning a trip to London, I hope it helped! What would be your favourites to see on this route? Should I do more posts like this with different sights?

Love,
Hewnly

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10 Reasons Why Travelling is Good for You

In the cover picture, I am in front of the Met in New York, a place I wish to return one day to explore it more! It has always been my dream to travel the world. Why Travelling is Good for You? Here are 10 reasons:

  1. You Learn About Yourself
    💭 “A long stretch of road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet .” Patrick Rothfuss
  2. You Improve Your Mind
    💭 “If you allow it, travel has the ability to expand your mind in a way you never realized was possible,” Trusted Travel Girl, Valerie Wilson.
  3.  It Strengthens Relationships 
    💭“The shared experience of travel brings people together. A family getaway, a romantic trip, or long weekend with the girls or guys can strengthen important bonds.” Betsy Goldberg
  4. Boosts happiness and satisfaction
    💭 “According to a Cornell University study, the anticipation of a trip can increase your happiness substantially, even more than the anticipation of acquiring something tangible, like a new car.” Riyaz Babu Shaik from Medium.com

  5. It Puts Life in Perspective
    💭 “Traveling to other countries, particularly those in the developing world, can be a big wake up call and put your own life in perspective. Things that you may take for granted, like having running hot water, modern appliances and the opportunity to study and get a well-paid job at the end of it are not available to everyone, purely because of where they were born. You’ll probably come away with a new appreciation for everything you have and the opportunities that life throws your way.”  buildabroad.org10-Reasons-Why-Travelling
  6. You Get More Social
    💭 “It’s sink or swim on the road. You either get better at making friends or you end up alone, crying each night into a pillow. You learn to make friends out of strangers and get more comfortable talking to new people.” Nomadic Matt
  7. You Won’t Regret You Didn’t Do Something or Never Visited a You Always Dreamed to See
     💭 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Mark Twain 
  8.  It’s an Investment in Yourself
    💭 “The money you spend on travel, is an investment in yourself. Travel doesn’t make you feel as bad for spending money.” 
  9. It Increases Your Mental Wellbeing
    💭 “Travelling more is likely to have a tremendous impact on your mental well-being, especially if you’re no used to going out of your comfort zone.” The Claimcompass Blog 
  10.  You’ll Have Incredible Adventures (and Stories to Tell)
    💭 “Whatever your initial expectations and travel plans are, it’s more than likely that you’ll have incredible adventures along the way that not even J.K. Rowling could write the script for. Sometimes it’s everyday encounters that dish up unimaginable experiences, or wild side trips that you take on a whim, but chances are you’ll be going home with a few tales to tell.” buildabroad.org

Which one is your favourite?

This year I made a promise to myself to go away as much as possible. I visited Denmark, USA, France, Romania, Germany, Netherlands and Lithuania (a few times as my family lives there) this year. Might not seem like a lot to some but it felt to me like I’m always going somewhere! I loved it and I hope the next year will be just as eventful. Please visit my Instagram to see the visual diary of my travels. And my recent post about where to go for a great cocktail in Amsterdam.

What is your dream places to visit?

Love,
Hewnly

 

 

 

Airplane Essentials: 12 Items to Make Your Trip More Enjoyable

Travel can be exhausting and packing a few essentials to make it more enjoyable and provide a little bit of comfort can make it so much more enjoyable. Everyone that travels a lot have a sort of check list while they prepare for a trip. Mine is below and I do hope you find it usefull:

1 Travel Pillow 
I use this inflatable one which is a real lifesaver. It also is so easy to fit into your carry-on and to keep it clean – you can remove the outer layer and wash it after each trip.

2.  A collapsable water bottle
Hydration, hydration, hydration!

3.  Antibacterial wipes
One of the most usefll things ever  – always good to keep it around!

4. A Travel Organiser
Keep all the important documents safe and in one compact place

5. A Sleep Kit
Travel can be exhausting and while you are flying it’s great to have a good rest and be fresh to carry on

6. A Lip Balm
The dry cabin air is hard for your skin, have a good moisturing lip balm with you to keep you lips nourished.

7. Some Entertainment
I always have a good book to help me pass the time. Amazon kindle is a great solution where you can keep a bunch of the book and read the one that takes your fancy.

8. A portable battery charger
I tried so many of portable chargers until I found this one – your phone will never die on you again!

9. A pair of soft, thick socks
A cosy pair of socks really, really makes plane travel soo much more comfortable

10. A toothbrush and toothpaste / mint or gum
Nothing than a bad breath, right?

11. Vitamin C
Keep your immune system strong, especially on holidays!

12. Scarf
Cabins might get very cold and a soft cosy scarf will keep you warm and happy you brought it on board

 

Do you have any other essentials you take with you while you travel?

Love,
Hewnly

18 Best Travel Quotes to Inspire Your Wanderlust

Travel. Inspiration. Adventure.

Who doesn’t love travel quotes?! I don’t know about you, but I love them. The other thing that I love is photography. This post is a collection of 18 of my favourite inspirational travel quotes as well as a few pictures I’ve taken on my adventures.

Ready for a little wanderlust-inspiring pick me up?

#1   “Please be a traveller, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” -Andrew Zimmern

#2    “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” -Miriam Beard

#3    “Everything I was I carry with me. Everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.” -Ma Jian

#4     “Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

best-travel-quotes-3

#5    “We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.” -Ray Bradbury

#6    “The only thing that you can carry with you on your travels is your heart. Fill your heart with good things and good things will follow you for the rest of your life.” -Unknown

#7    “All you need to know is that it’s possible.” -Wolf, an Appalachian Trail Hiker

#8    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

#9    “I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it.”

best-travel-quotes

#10    “Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.” -Jaime Lyn

#11    “If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.” -Richard Branson

#12    “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -Jawaharial Nehru

#13    “Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.”

#14    “Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”

best-travel-quotes-4

#15    “You can shake the sand from your shoes, but it will never leave your soul.”

#16    “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

#17    “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” -Eugene Fodor

#18    “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” -Edmund Hillary

What are your favourite quotes? Let me know in the comments below!

Love,
Hewnly

 

Travel Bucket List

Happy Travel Tuesdays!

I could go on and on about how much I love to travel and even it is not so often I get to do it at the moment as my work keeps me in London (which I do love!) for most of the year and the rare occasion to travel is usually spent on trips to see family in Lithuania and Slovakia. I do not complain, oh no! However, one day I dream (and keep working on getting it) of having a digital nomad lifestyle.

There are so many places I would like to visit, and here are but a few of them:

  1.  Santorini, Greece
  2. Maldives

  3. British Columbia, Canada

  4. Vietnam
  5. Chile
  6. Iceland
  7. South Africa
  8. Nepal & Bhutan
  9. Rome, Italy
  10. New Zealand

I could put many more places on this list but these are my top obsessions at the moment.

Where would you like to travel to?

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you back soon!
~ H