Any tips for visiting London?

Posted on April 10, 2019


union jack flag

Mr. Ken and I are planning a trip to London, England this summer. Neither of us has ever been to England. Mr. Ken is the doer in our family and I am the planner. So I have been a busy little bee doing lots of research. I’ve been very fortunate to have several friends who have been to England many times. Their advice has been invaluable.

So, I am asking you all, my blogging friends for any tips for visiting London. We plan to be over there for two weeks. We will make London our home base and plan to take day trips as necessary. We will be staying in Notting Hill.

We love to walk. (Er, rather I like to walk. Mr. Ken likes to eat.) So, we’ll do lots of walking tours. We both love history and I know England is full of history.

I will be doing several blog posts about our adventures leading up to the visit, as well as the visit itself. Here’s the first installment.

airplane quagmire

1. The airline quagmire.

I remembered reading somewhere that you should either browse in private mode or clear your cookies after looking at airline flights, since Big Brother (aka the airline) is watching and will magically increase the fares, should you return to the site. I was so paranoid while I was searching and kept checking to make sure I was in “private mode.”

And then we have alphabet soup. You have to enter the airports you are leaving from and arriving to. Can’t I just put in Boston and London? No, it’s BOS and LHR. LHR for the uninitiated is “London, England UK Heathrow.” Shouldn’t Heathrow be something like “HEA?”

You can’t believe everything you read. So when I first put in our trip parameters, the ticket prices showed prices of $350 round trip. And this was on legitimate airlines. Wow, I thought, this is too good to be true. Well, yes it was. Once you go through the entire process, having to give everything up to your first born child, the price comes out to more like $1040. The breakdown of this huge jump shows there’s lots of duty taxes, surcharges and what not.

In spite of all this, I was very impressed with Virgin Atlantic’s process.

london bakery

2. Vive la difference.

So Mr. Ken and I have been married for almost 30 years, so we have learned to appreciate our differences. I couldn’t help but laugh though when I was showing Mr. Ken the pictures of the flat I was going to book for our stay. I really thought he would “ooh’ and “aah” over the rooms, as well as the pretty scene from the windows. His only comment was, “Oh boy, there is a bakery right next to where we’re staying. I’m sold!”

I am looking for:

  • tips on what to see, especially on the “unbeaten” path
  • books to help plan our trip.  I have the Michelin Guide and Fodor’s.

Thank you! 🙂

Union Jack photo is from

Plane photo is from

Bakery photo is from Best Bakeries in London.