We saw the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace and enjoyed afternoon tea on a London bus. We spent five days and four nights in the UK!
This is a detailed summary of the expenses and spot information, so if you are planning to go to London, please refer to it.
Schedule for our trip to England
Day 1: Arrive in the UK. Visit the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye
This time, I went from Paris to London for fun. We traveled from Paris to London by train called Eurostar.
After arriving in London, we checked into our hotel and went to see the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
Day 2: Shopping at the Rose Market and Harrods
We went to the Rose Market, also known as London’s kitchen, to look for food souvenirs and have lunch. After that, we will go shopping at Harrods.
Day 3: Train to the Cotswolds
We went to the Cotswolds to play in the old-fashioned landscape of England.
Day 4: Enjoy the Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea
We watched the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace and then went to afternoon tea for lunch. Afterwards, we went shopping at Liberty.
Day 5: Visit Tower Bridge and fly to Paris
After visiting Tower Bridge, which we had decided to do when the weather was nice, we moved on to Paris.
This time around, I was mainly just enjoying shopping and sundry bits and bobs!
Here is a recap of the actual trip.
Day 1: Arriving in the UK by Eurostar
This trip was from Paris to England (London) by train, Eurostar.
The Eurostar can be booked for about $80 per person one way if you book early enough.
The inside of the car is also very clean. It’s a great way to relax.
We were on the train at lunchtime, so we bought a snack at the onboard store, which cost about 4.5 euros.
It’s easy to buy sandwiches and drinks at the onboard kiosks.
Two and a half hours passed in the blink of an eye as we relaxed. We arrived at London’s “St. Pancras International” station.
The station had a cute little clock.
The subway runs all over London, so we took the subway to the hotel.
Check in at the hotel
Day 1 hotel is “Staying at the Ibis Styles London Southwark. It’s a convenient place for sightseeing, with the Rose Market and other attractions nearby.
Hotels in England are expensive, and there are not many places you can book for around $100… This Ibis was bookable for $130 and had the best reviews.
The room was clean, not too small, satisfactory!
Bathroom and toilet are clean. It’s a good idea to bring your own shampoo.
I value cleanliness in hotels, so Ibis is a safe choice for me.
All hotels are clean and easy to use!
After a short rest, head to the Houses of Parliament or the London Eye
After a short rest at the hotel, we came to Waterloo station, where the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament are located.
I heard that Big Ben, a famous landmark in England, is under a long construction until 2021. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but it’s a good idea.
It’s very sad, but I hope it will look beautiful again after 2021.
Westminster Abbey, which is now the Parliament building, can be visited for about $30.
We didn’t tour it because we just wanted to drop by, but if you’re interested, it’s a good place to start.
Feeling the gentle breeze, I took a few pictures and went back to the station again.
Enjoying the British specialty “fish & chips”
The first night’s dinner was “fish & chips”, a British specialty. We had it at a restaurant in Waterloo Station.
The fish & chips were freshly fried and the portions were huge.
British food doesn’t seem to be seasoned much before cooking, so I sprinkled salt and pepper on the chips myself and enjoyed them with tartar sauce.
Eating out is expensive in England, but the fish & chips were only about 10 pounds, which was cheaper than other dishes.
This was the end of day one!
Day 2: Shopping at the Rose Market and Harrods
On the second day, we went to the Rose Market near our hotel. It seems to be known as the kitchen of London, where you can find anything food related such as chocolate, cakes, bread, seafood, vegetables, etc.
There are so many cute looking sweets that you could easily spend half a day there.
Shortbread also comes in this cute shape…! This market offers tastings, so if you like what you see, you can buy it and eat it, or take it home as a souvenir.
Lunch at the Rose Market
This rose market also sells food cooked on the spot, so it is recommended to come here for lunch.
I had the paella from the seafood shop for 7 pounds.
The flavor of the seafood was soaked into the rice, it was delicious!
I highly recommend this paella. Maybe it’s because they use fresh ingredients, but it was very tasty.
One more thing, I bought some fries topped with lots of butcher’s bacon. 5 pounds.
These fries were quite hearty, and for five pounds, they seemed cheap. They were also topped with cheese and green onions, and were delicious.
I felt that this Rose Market seemed to have a high level of dining experience.
Other options include mushroom risotto from the vegetable shop? It’s a great way to get a feel for the world around you.
There are a lot of people here during lunch time, so if you want to take your time to shop, it would be better to come early in the morning.
Basics of Bala Market
Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, from 8:00 on Saturdays.
Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL United Kingdom
Access: 3 minutes walk from “London Bridge” station
London Bus to Harrods
London has a convenient subway system, but it also has London buses that run all over the city.
It’s a great way to get around the city without having to go underground, and I found it very useful on this trip.
It’s a pretty clean bus inside like this, and you can ride it without worry.
The long-awaited shopping
Moving on from the Rose Market, we came to Harrods, which we had been looking forward to! Harrods is known as a luxury department store in the UK.
They are famous for their teddy bears, and Winnie the Pooh seems to have been modeled after a Harrods teddy bear.
Harrods has its own dedicated souvenir shop, and it’s pretty damn cute! This is the first time I’ve been to a Harrods store.
There was also an easy-to-buy key chain type teddy bear.
Other tumblers with famous London landmarks were also available. It’s a great gift to take home with a cup of tea.
There are also tote bags and backpacks with motifs of famous British landmarks.
Also, the London bus cans with lots of teddy bears on them were really cute. I bought it immediately.
It’s a great place to buy souvenirs for your loved ones, as Harrods has a lot of sophisticated designs.
Harrods is said to be one of the most famous places for escalators.
This is the first time I’ve been to Harrods.
It’s so beautiful and enchanting.
Basic information about Harrods
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00, 11:30 – 18:00 on Sundays only
Closed: Dec. 25
Address: 7-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL, England
Access: A short walk from Knightsbridge
After leaving Harrods, we went to the souvenir shops in town.
We saw cute London bus key chains everywhere.
▼ You can find more information about Harrods and other London souvenirs in the following article.
Move your hotel
From here, I moved hotels to meet up with people I knew. Near Baker Street, “Check in at the Americana Hotel.
It’s not dirty, but it feels like an old hotel and the room was quite small.
If you want to stay in London, we stayed at the “I would definitely recommend the Ibis Styles London Southwark.
After dinner, day two is over!
Day 3: Short trip to the Cotswolds
On the third day, we came to Paddington Station in the morning. From here, we will take a train to a rural town called the Cotswolds at “Kemble Station”.
I had heard that it was a wonderful place with old-fashioned English streets.
The train is beautiful and very comfortable. It’s a short trip, about an hour and a half from London. Once we arrived in the Cotswolds, we were driven around by a local guide.
The Cotswolds are made up of small villages scattered all over the place, and it seems difficult to explore without a guide.
To the most famous spot “Bibury”
We came to “Baiburi”, one of the villages with old-fashioned streets.
Exciting to see a city so different from London!
Each building was so pretty.
Each village is very small, so we stayed for about 15 to 30 minutes and then asked the guide to drive us to another nearby village.
The flowers are beautiful and fit the atmosphere of this village very well.
There are also a few souvenir stores here and there.
Many of the stores had cute interiors. The Cotswolds are less expensive than London, so it’s a good idea to pick up some souvenirs here.
The classic “fish & chips” for lunch
The village of Bourton-on-the-Water seems to be the largest, and this is where we had lunch.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat, but since I was there, I ordered fish & chips. It was crispy, freshly fried, and delicious!
I was full for 12 pounds.
After lunch, we took a walk around the village. This place called “Boating on the Water” is really nice, like in a fairy tale.
Many people spend their time relaxing around the river.
The ice cream sign is cute too.
We could really feel the idyllic holiday like a picture.
To the famous bakery Hufkins
After lunch, we went to Hufkins, a famous bakery in the Cotswolds.
I’m sure some of you have heard of Hufkins, as their eco-bags have been getting a lot of attention in Japan for their cuteness.
I was happy to get the eco-bag I wanted.
Because it’s a bakery, the Hufkins shortbread was delicious.
The shortbread and eco-bag together cost about 10 pounds.
Basic information about Huffkins Stow
Opening hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Closed: Basically no holidays, but check on 12/25, etc.
Address: The Square, Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1AB United Kingdom
▼ Here are some sweets to buy in London, England
To the hills overlooking the Cotswolds
Finally, we were taken to a hill overlooking the Cotswolds. It looks like there is a place called Broadway Tower that you can climb.
It is said that the famous British designer “William Morris” once spent his vacation in this tower.
There were many William Morris items in the tower.
The tour ended here with a ride to the train station.
Peaceful tea time
We had about an hour before our train time, so we found a cute cafe and took a break.
The colors of the teapots and cups are cute. It’s a great way to get a feel for the world around you. It’s a great way to spend a peaceful tea time.
Taking the train to London
We take the train back to London again. The Cotswolds is one of the places I’m really glad I went to, as it’s a completely different city from London and there are many peaceful places to visit.
On this day, we bought some prepared foods at a nearby supermarket and ate them. day 3 end!
Day 4: Enjoy the changing of the guard ceremony and afternoon tea
On the fourth day, we headed to Buckingham Palace in the morning.
We arrived just before 10am, but it was already packed with people; the changing of the guard ceremony takes place between 10am and 12pm.
I was in a hurry to get to my spot. It seems that most of the guards actually start coming through around 11am.
The changing of the guard ceremony is like a parade…!
The march has finally begun.
We’re thrilled to be getting closer!
The costumes are very cute and the performance is wonderful and exciting.
We also saw guards in different costumes.
We left Buckingham Palace after visiting until around midnight.
We headed for the afternoon tea we had booked.
Afternoon tea like a dream on a London bus
The afternoon tea that I had booked this time was to be enjoyed in a London bus.
The exterior of the bus is also specially designed for Afternoon Tea.
The inside of the bus was also made cute.
Here’s the afternoon tea you’ve been waiting for.
Cute colorful sweets!
The popular bakery “BB Bakery” bakes their products on the same day, so of course the taste was delicious.
Not only do they have sweet treats, they also have sandwiches.
The warm scones were also excellent.
The tea is served in a tumbler. The tumbler is an Afternoon Tea original.
It’s a great place to take home a souvenir. I love it.
It’s a very voluminous afternoon tea, but don’t worry if you can’t finish it. We were given a box to take home.
The price is not cheap at 55 pounds, but you can enjoy afternoon tea on a bus that takes you around London’s famous sites, so it will be a memorable experience.
Making a trip to the Liberty shop of my dreams
After enjoying afternoon tea, we went to Liberty. Liberty is a department store famous for its floral designs. You can find some very cute sewing tools there.
An apple needlepoint is just too cute…
Some mini sewing sets with floral patterns.
The fabric is sold by the piece, but there are also several sets.
I bought a large scarf for £14.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a handkerchief or scarf of any size, and I found it to be the perfect souvenir.
Kitchen goods and other items are also cute with Liberty patterns.
It was such a cute department store that I could look at it all the time.
Liberty’s Basic Information
Open: Monday-Saturday 10:00-20:00, Sunday and holidays 12:00-18:00
Closed: Dec. 25
Address: Regent Street London W1B 5AH
Access: 5 min. walk from Oxford Circus
That’s it for Day 4!
Visit Tower Bridge and head to Paris
We went to Tower Bridge, which we had decided to come on an absolutely clear day. It’s a must-see for any Londoner.
We first came to the top of the bridge. It’s a beautiful bridge up close.
Apparently, you can climb further up. This is the first time I’ve done it.
Pay for a £9 ticket.
We are now at the top of Tower Bridge. The cars crossing the bridge look like miniature cars.
Everyone was excited about the glass floor and took lots of pictures.
We also enjoyed the view of London. Compared to Paris, there are many more modern buildings.
Go down under the bridge and take a photo. The bridge is really elegant and beautiful. I had a wonderful and memorable time.
There is also the Tower of London near Tower Bridge, and it looks beautiful to see Tower Bridge from here.
I’d like to come back to this place next time.
It’s almost time for the Eurostar, so we’re off to St. Pancras station.
Basic information about Tower Bridge
Opening hours: 10::00 – 17:30
Closed: No holidays
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP United Kingdom
Access: 5 minutes walk from Tower Hill subway station
Eurostar to Paris
We take the Eurostar back to Paris again. We plan to stay in Paris for 6 nights and take it easy.
If you’re taking the Eurostar as well, I’d recommend arriving at your boarding station about an hour early.
Since the UK is not a member of the Schengen Agreement, which allows free travel in Europe, you have to leave the country and go through immigration before getting on the train. And this takes time…
It was lunchtime, so I bought a salmon bagel from the concession stand. It’s a great way to start the day.
It was a hectic four nights and five days, but looking back, I saw a lot of beautiful things. It was a lot of fun!
▼ To read about our trip to Paris after England, click here.
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