Neal's Yard London

London Memories From A Second Visit

I have nothing but good memories from my first trip to London six years ago. After all, it was a city I had been dreaming of visiting ever since 5th grade, when I first started learning English and read all about the great London, with its double deckers, changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and everything else that makes London unique.However, all these memories feel like they belong to someone else. Someone in a different state of mind, who hadn’t let go of friendships and had other dreams for the future. Someone who didn’t imagine he would get to travel the world, but dreamed of living in London in a few years, thinking some friendships last forever.

For years I’ve avoided going back to London because I didn’t want to ruin the perfect memories I’ve had from the first visit, especially after a rather disappointing second visit to Paris. But when I found ridiculously cheap plane tickets from London to Iceland, my excitement made me forget my doubts. Paul had never been to London before, so I was pretty excited to see all the touristy places (again), as well as explore some I’ve missed the first time.

Nevertheless, I’ve had a great time in London, remembering fondly my first time there, but making new memories along the way. I was pondering about writing this post, because what else can be said about London that hasn’t been already said so many times? Especially after a three day trip? That’s right, not a great deal.

Instead, let me take you on a journey aroundΒ London through my photos. πŸ™‚

Our first stop was Notting Hill, because I had missed it the first time and everyone was talking about how beautiful this part of Lodon is. What can I say, they’re absolutely right! What was even better was that there weren’t many tourists around, which made me enjoy London even more.

Portobello Road London
We wandered along Portobello Road where we saw rain for the first and last time on our time in London. And it lasted a few minutes only. Hopefully my third time in London I’ll be just as lucky πŸ˜‰

Portobello Road London

London tube
When we weren’t walking, we took the excellent London tube, after a day I was already giving directions to others and telling them what trains to take 😂
Big Ben London
I remember the first time I saw Big Ben, how overwhelming that feeling was, after reading about it and seeing it in all the London photos and guidebooks. I have to say, it still felt the same on my second visit.
Big Ben London
Look at that gorgeous blue sky!
Big Ben London
aaaaaand it’s gone
Nandos London
Ever since we first visited Scotland, Nandos has been our go-to restaurant when we go to the UK. We just love that Portuguese chicken! πŸ˜€
London pub
Of course, we didn’t always eat at Nandos (we could have easily done it though), so we made sure to go to some English pubs as well.
British Pie London
And have delicious British pies, mmmm!
London pub
You don’t have to go far to get to a pub in London, this was the closest to our hotel and we liked it so much we ended up going there twice.
Neal's Yard London
I wanted to go to Covent Garden because I’ve also missed it on my first time. I loved it so much I could have easily spent all my time there, wandering its streets and going from one cafe to another. However, the crown jewel was Neal’s Yard, a cozy and colorful little square, which I found out about by luck, seeing it in someone’s story on Instagram. (who says Instagram stalking doesn’t pay off? πŸ˜› )

Neal's Yard London

Neal's Yard London

London Covent Garden
The small of this coffee house was incredible and the first time I walked past it, there was a huge queue, so I went back on my last day just for a cappuccino which proved to be the second best coffee on the whole trip (the best one is at Stansted airport – the only good thing in that airport – at Joe’s Coffee House).
St Paul's Cathedral London
Two visits and I still haven’t managed to find St Paul’s Cathedral open. Guess I’ll have to go back.
St Paul's Cathedral London
But the view from the terrace of One New Change shopping mall was impressive. And free!
St Paul's Cathedral London
Looks even better after the clouds have started to disappeear
London Eye View From Above
Like I said, we did all the touristy things πŸ˜‰

London Thames
Loved wandering along the Thames (away from the crowds), despite the clouds announcing the end of the world (it didn’t rain one bit though)

London Thames

London Thames

St Martin-in-the-Fields London
St Martin-in-the-Fields didn’t have any tourists, despite being right next to Trafalgar Square. That window in the back and the paper cranes made it one of the most unique churches I’ve ever seen.

Kensington Palace London
The London conservatives don’t want you to see πŸ˜‰
King's Cross London
We also followed Harry Potter and saw the famous (for HP-nerds) Platform 9 ΒΎ which was a lot more popular now (unlike the last time when it was hidden somewhere). You could even take photos with props….and wait in a long line for that.
Leadenhall Market London
But we did find Diagon Alley at Leadenhall Market πŸ˜€

Leadenhall Market London

London by night
Obviously I couldn’t resist not taking some photos of London by night, it’s just as beautiful as it is by day, if not even more (yes, because there are fewer tourists)

London by night

Neal's Yard London
I think it’s only fair to end this photo gallery with my favorite new spot in LondonΒ  💗

I have to say, after a few days in London, the number of tourists in Iceland made it seem like the whole island was deserted. I hate crowds and crossing the Westminster Bridge or being in Trafalgar Square was hell for me, I couldn’t wait to go back to the more quiet Covent Garden, it was because places like this that I fell in love (again) with London, wandering from one charming street to another, watching people pass by while I sit in the sun with a delicious cup of coffee. This is what I’ll picture every time I think of London from now on.

What has your experience in London been like?

California Globetrotter

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  • amazing night shots! I’m glad that London didn’t disappoint on the second visit:)

    • Thank you – to be fair though, I was a bit disappointed by the night shots and was hoping to take a lot more, but I was very tired that night and I should have planned the shooting locations better.

  • World Journeys

    LOVE London! And I have to be honest – you’ve found places I didnt know of at all! So more to see when I get back! πŸ™‚

    • It’s impossible not to love London, isn’t it?

  • You have a great eye for photos! Love the fresh perspective πŸ™‚ Especially Neal’s Yard – when I lived in London I would just hurry past it every Sunday on the way home – this is a great reminder to look around a bit more!

    • Thank you! My current favorite memory in London was drinking a delicious cup of coffee in Neal’s Yard, watching the bright blue sky πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful photos! I also grew up wanting to move to London, though that desire has waned quite a bit over the years. Now it’s just a place I’d like to visit someday. Haven’t made that leap quite yet, just because there are other places I’d like to see more. But looking at your photos, I love how even the simplest things, like walking down the street or going out for a bite, have such beauty to them. I love all the colorful buildings, the beautiful, doors…even that cloudy sky! I know you said you did a lot of touristy things, but your trip really has the perfect balance I look for when visiting a new place. It actually has me bumping London up higher on my list, so who knows? Maybe I will be there soon after all. Glad your return visit did not disappoint!

    • I’m sure your visit to London will not disappoint you, but I highly recommend you to go beyond the obvious attractions (Big Ben, London Eye etc) as well, London’s beauty lies in charming empty streets, colourful squares or delightful hidden cafes. πŸ™‚

  • Anisa Alhilali

    Amazing photos! I do love London! Funny to hear that you love Nandos. I see that place everywhere there. You do really need to go inside St. Paul’s it is really impressive. I have been inside but still need to climb the stairs to the top. #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • We went to Nandos last year when we went to Scotland for the first time because a friend went before and liked it. It’s now our go-to place every time we go to the UK, it’s impossible to imagine a trip without the Portuguese chicken, haha.

  • When I saw the word Notting Hill, my emotion with the movie has come back. And your photo has pointed right to the scene at the movie. All the photos are so impressive though sky is not blue (it is common in London, isn’t it?). I have never been to London so this is an amazing guide page for my next visit. Thanks.

  • Gabriela

    Great photos, nice storyline and it seems you covered quite a lot from the things you missed in the first place! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing, #TheWeeklyPostcard fan!

    • Thank you, I did see a lot of the places I wanted and didn’t have time for the last time πŸ™‚

  • Sooo many cool things in this post!! I’ve heard of many of these unique places but haven’t made it yet to see them! Will try next time! Pinned & Stumbled!

    • I can’t believe you’ve never been, you’d love London!

  • ps. Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!!

  • Moment Mom

    Amazing pictures! I don’t have to Instagram stalk, I can just save your post! Thanks so much for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful memories, Vlad. I’d love to return to London too. It’s an exquisite city, probably my most favorite one in Europe. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • It’s a beautiful city and I wouldn’t say no to returning any time, but it doesn’t make my top 5 list of favorite European cities…

  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    London is my fav place and I am sure you will have a lot more awesome memories for more and more visits in the future! @ knycx.journeying

    • I hope so too. Can’t wait to visit again πŸ˜€

  • Mags

    London is such a magical place. I never get tired of visiting. I’m sure you’ll return many times.

    • I think so too, it’s impossible to get bored there, you can always find something new to do or see.

  • No shame in doing all of the touristy things! After all, London is one of the world’s greatest touristy cities! Love your photos, particularly of Big Ben through the London Eye. Nicely done! Got us looking forward to a visit. And you can bet we’ll spend plenty of time doing all the touristy things. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  • Men in London are so good-looking and so well-dressed!
    I go to London about 3 times a year and every time find something new to discover and to love. It’s a city that keeps on giving. On my next visit I want to hit up the Natural History Museum πŸ™‚